When reunited British rock band Lush take the stage next year after 20 years away from the spotlight, it’ll be more than just a reunion tour. Apparently, the one-time shoegazers have new music on the way in the form of a new EP, and possibly, a full-length to follow.
And it reads as if new music from Lush is pretty much a done deal.
While there are plans further down the road to record an album, for now the new EP (as yet untitled, but it will be self-released) will feature four tracks, jointly written by the band’s co-founders Emma Anderson and Miki Berenyi. Production is being shared between Jim Abbiss and Daniel Hunt of Ladytron.
“I’m a bit anxious,” Emma admits, “wondering if people will think the new record will be as good as the old.” But Phil King, Lush’s bassist between 1992 and 1996, has some reassuring words for her: “I know I’m biased, but I work [in picture research] for a music magazine, and I heard music all day and so much sounds non-descript or derivative. But Emma just has this way of writing unusual chord changes that manage to weave lovely melodies over the top, and it immediately sounds like Lush.”
The post even addresses the addition of former Elastica drummer Justin Welch, who fills in for the late Chris Acland, who died of suicide in 1996.
Though Emma, Miki and Phil are all back on Lush duties, it’s evident to them that the fourth member of the band, drummer Chris Acland, is missing. The band officially announced their split in February 1998, but the end had come in October 1996 when, completely unexpectedly, Chris hanged himself, leaving his shocked and grieving bandmates feeling that it was impossible to carry on without him. Given such an ending, it’s a chance for Lush to create a new chapter in their lives, while still respecting what has been lost.
“Even now,” says Miki, “it won’t be at all easy knowing Chris won’t be there. We know you can’t recapture what you had before, but hopefully it will be brilliant in a different way. If I think of all best bits of the band, how great it is to play live, and to play your own songs, then there’s an open door you can walk through. I know I’ll regret it if I didn’t.” The loss will be somewhat mitigated by the presence of Justin Welch, an old friend of Chris’ who drummed for Spitfire and then Elastica. “Justin even still has an old snare drum of Chris’,” says Emma. “But Justin can’t replace Chris, he’ll just be doing his own thing.”
So far, Lush have announced four reunion dates set for 2016: The aforementioned Manchester Academy date, plus two nights, May 5 and 6 at the Roundhouse in London, and a stateside gig September 14 at Terminal 5 in New York City. The band have alluded to additional dates here in North America, and we’re told a Boston show is very much in the works.
To celebrate all this, 4AD are releasing a career-spanning five-disc box set called Chorus in early December, and best of compilation Ciao will be re-pressed on limited edition vinyl for Record Store Day.