Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Rewinding to Get High

After work one evening in 1997, I clambered into a friend's car and together we drove 50-odd miles to see Swedish band The Soundtrack of Our Lives play a show in a small Essex pub, on what I presume was their first UK tour. I'd blagged the tickets from a record company rep. He had one pair to give away and no-one else working in any of the record shops in the whole of East Anglia had shown the slightest interest in the band, but from the moment I'd heard their debut single, 'Instant Repeater '99' the previous year, I was smitten. I'd pursued the free tickets, concerned that the gig might've already sold out, so convinced was I of the band's greatness. I needn't have worried. To this day it's still the least populated concert I've ever attended. If there were any paying customers at all, the number definitely didn't stretch to double figures. To their credit though, The Soundtrack of Our Lives played as if they their very, ...ahem..., lives depended on it. They were bloody magnificent.

Several years ago I sketched out an idea for a Desert Island Discs series for this blog, but, like so many other things, I never got around to completing it. 'Instant Repeater '99' was high in the running order for that series and it remains my absolute favourite song of the 1990s, by any artist.

(Fun fact: There were two bands supporting The Soundtrack of Our Lives that evening. In the middle were a local combo whose name has been lost in the mists of time. First on were a bunch of youngsters who'd travelled a very long way to play in front of the proverbial one man and his dog, but they too threw themselves into their set all guns blazing. It was Idlewild.)

The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Instant Repeater '99


TheRobster said...

I loved Soundtrack Of Our Lives. I've written myself about how I discovered them - an immense performance on Later with Jools Holland in 2001 (I think). I followed them right up to their split. Sadly never saw them live - they were around at the time I had no money or time to go to gigs, and they rarely if ever played in my neck of the woods.

Sister Surround made my 50 Songs to take to my grave.

The Swede said...

That's another corking tune TheRobster. Great to hear from you - hope you're all keeping well.

John Medd said...

That's a great tune, TS. I love gig stories, too - not just the event itself, but the lead-up to it; the preamble, if you will.

Softshoebanana said...

Fantastic band...loved their first album

Swiss Adam said...

I read about them at some point in the late 90s/ early 200s and they sounded great on the page. I shelled out for a CD, at that time probably 12.99 or some such price and was really disappointed by it, they seemed so 'rock'. I should probably go back and investigate.

I love being blown away unexpectedly by bands at gigs.

Brian said...

Sister Surround got a lot of play on this side of the Atlantic too. That was a few years after your show, however. Sadly, that's the only song I ever heard by them before today. Another fine story, Swede. My least populated show remains Spiral Stairs right after his first long player came out. Meanwhile, ex-bandmate Stephen Malkmus was filling much bigger places. So much easier for the frontman, isn't it?

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