Berlin, April 3rd. The Festsaal Kreuzberg, newly opened elsewhere, is bursting at the seams. Slowdive have invited to the reunion concert, and the fan community has gathered together to celebrate the Shoegaze heroes of the 90s at one of their few comeback shows. It is not only the expectation that unloads and the crowd cheers as the five visibly aged sombre rockers enter the stage. Who is there for whom, the band for the audience or the audience for the band? Nobody knows what's about to happen yet. Will the band dive into the sinister lowlands of nostalgia, or will they dare apotheosis for the 21st century?
Every abstract thought, however, vanishes on the spot when Slowdive reach into the strings. It is certainly no coincidence that they start with "Avalyn I", the opening track of their debut EP "Slowdive". The auditorium is immediately captured by the gentle but massive waves of the guitar vibes. The physical confinement in the Festsaal Kreuzberg suddenly gives way to cosmic vastness. Yeah, there's a moment of memory there, but that's not the point. "We just want to see what it feels like again," says bandleader Neil Halstead one day after the gig. "Slowdive is Slowdive. Since our separation more than 20 years ago, we have developed in very different directions, but have remained close to each other as people. Slowdive is an important moment in all our lives. We wanted to try out what it felt like to get back together as Slowdive. Not a new edition from back then, but Slowdive today, it's nothing else."
Song for song the band works their way through their discography, only in the fifth track they arrive at the present, as if there had never been this break of more than 20 years in the band's history. "Star Roving" from the self-titled new album finally focuses on the mission of the group. The song seamlessly follows the classic Slowdive sound, yet it also makes it clear that there is no way back, as Halstead also notes. "It's a fine line to stay true to yourself and still try something new. We've all changed in the meantime. But not only we, but also our environment, the world and the technical conditions in music have changed enormously. We've always experimented with sounds, we've always gone to our limits. That is why our frontiers of that time cannot be our frontiers of today. Where should our artistic challenge lie, if not in the new?"