Apart from loving the bizzare mix of cover versions that Radio 1 has produced, I’ve spent most of this Christmas getting in touch with my inner shoe-gazer: Lush have helped with this.
Lush – Sweetness & Light
Back in the early 90s, as most of the country (or that part of it under the age of 30) got on with getting messed up and dancing in fields, there were a stern bunch who were more interested in playing lots of guitar and staring at their shoes. The music weeklies (in those days there were more than one) mocked them, but I loved them. Few of them produced amazing albums, but quite a few produced incredible songs, & Lush were amongst those.
Sweetness & Light is almost certainly their finest moment, although many people will probably remember them for Ladykillers, the much more Britpop-ish number that came towards the end of their career. But it’s in the washed out vocals, sweeping guitars and chugging drums of Sweetness & Light that Lush truly reached their peak. It’s just a shame it was also one of their first ever releases; like so many bands they were cursed to never match their early potential.
Still, that shouldn’t stop you enjoying what is a truly wonderful piece of early 90s English guitar pop; grunge may have killed shoegazing & Britpop stolen its crown, but this has more soul than the first and a million times more wit than most of the dross that the latter turned out. It’s all in the name really; this is sweet and light.