WHAT Galaxie 500 - Blue Thunder EP
WHEN Leicester - 6 February 1990
Plaintive, minimal and always a little bit blue, this is Bad Weather City Music. Snow, fog, rain - Galaxie 500 is the music you turn to as the light gets thin, the nights drag out and the city gets colder and lonelier. I can’t play "Blue Thunder" or their album "On Fire" during the Spring or Summer. It just doesn’t sound right.
The gem on this EP is their version of New Order’s "Ceremony". Most cover versions are about zipping up the tempo but with this they asked the question ‘how slow can we go?’. This is slow. R-e-a-l-l-y slow. Glacially slow. By turning the usual formula inside out, it makes its world-weary desperation seem statuesque and noble.
I remember Galaxie 500 as one of the most difficult bands I ever interviewed. Guarded, listless, monosyllabic. I think Kramer - their producer/sound engineer - teased me about the quality of my questions. Grim stuff. In retrospect, I can’t blame them. Would you want to talk to a student journalist on a cold February night when you’re thousands of miles from home and about to face a room full of people who want to hear the jangly indie pop of headliners The Sundays?
And here comes the rub… As I was looking out the sleeve to make the photo I found that I’d had a Fan Boy moment and asked the band to sign it. Not only did they agree but their comments are funny, gracious and apologetic. How is my memory of that experience so different from the physical evidence? How vulnerable is my recall of events and emotions that I think are clear and specific?