“Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn’t fit for humans now,
There isn’t grass to graze a cow.”
Today (July 27, 2016) marks the 25th anniversary of the 1991 Slough Festival, a short-lived one-day festival in the town’s Upton Court Park that (almost) made a mockery of Sir John Betjeman’s poem.
The 1991 festival was particularly special, because – alongside the likes of Ratcat, Soul Family Sensation, Thousand Yard Stare and the Mock Turtles – it featured Slowdive, Revolver, Curve and Ride. It was, essentially, the shoegaze Woodstock – and all for just £6.50 in advance or £7.50 on the gate.
Not surprisingly, The Scene That Celebrated Itself, including members of Lush, Chapterhouse and Blur, decamped en masse from Syndrome to sunny Berkshire for the day and here are some photographs taken by music PR Polly Birkbeck that perfectly capture the vibe, plus below are the full sets from Slowdive and Curve and an amazing version of ‘Chelsea Girl’ by Ride.
Emma Anderson (Lush) with Loz Colbert (Ride)
Polly Birkbeck with Chris Acland (Lush)
Stephen Patman (Chapterhouse) with Emma Anderson (Lush) and Joe Dilworth (photographer, Stereolab drummer)
Graham Coxon (Blur)
Sadly, we aren’t able to provide a time machine, but if you want to attempt to relive the occasion we do still have some of our ‘original gazer’ T-shirts, based on the Ride/Lush US tour tee from 1991, available in the Sonic Cathedral Shop, as well as the last few copies of the hilarious ‘Memoirs Of A Shoegazing Gentleman’ book by Lord Tarquin (aka David Quantick). Grab them all here.