The Slough Festival took place in the town’s Upton Court Park. NME described it as “the bargain ticket of the summer” and they weren’t wrong: Ride, Curve, Slowdive and Revolver all played, along with Thousand Yard Stare, Ratcat, The Mock Turtles and Soul Family Sensation. It was the shoegaze Woodstock, all for a mere £6.50.
“So, The Scene That Celebrates Itself finally celebrates itself bigtime,” wrote Steve Sutherland in Melody Maker. “Well, middle-to-bigtime actually, because this modest gathering of teenage flesh pinking under the kindly sun on the hectic Heathrow flight path is a very serene, civilised affair. There’s no pissing in bottles and lobbing them at the stage, no fist-fights, no wrestling with security for the opportunity to stagedive, no casualties and no mud. This is a day out with the in-crowd. Donington this ain’t.”
In their review, Select magazine pointed out that the beer was free backstage and Ride and Slowdive mingled with “omnipresent liggers” like Lush, Blur and Chapterhouse. “There are so many musicians here,” they pointed out, “there are enough to stage a football match in the field behind the backstage area.”
“After all the disparaging comments about shoegazers,” said Steve Lamacq in his review in NME, which had the headline ’Slough That’s What We Call Music’, “they are acquiring some identity. And what an identity it is.”
Below are some photographs taken by music PR Polly Birkbeck that perfectly capture the vibe of the day, plus the full set from Slowdive, Curve playing ‘The Colour Hurts’ and an amazing version of ‘Chelsea Girl’ by Ride.