Saturday, 23 July 2011

Drugstore are returned to us

For those who have forgotten (and how could you?), Drugstore were one of the better bands from the 90's, with Isabelle Monteiro's soft, drawling voice mounted upon a dynamic, supple indie rock base. They gained a little extra fame from a Radiohead endorsement, Thom Yorke singing on one of their bigger singles, El Presidente. Their debut album was a nervy mix of lyrical genius and tension and release, but the band disliked the bare bones production, if memory serves. White Magic For Lovers was the sequel, and improved production and continued high quality songs really put them on the map. They opened the main stage at Reading 1998 (and were in fact the best band I saw at Reading 95. Look at that bill and tell me it isn't a compliment), but then seemed to vanish after the slapdash Songs for the Jet Set. Isabelle said "Things spiralled down", and that spells ten years of hard times.

But after many years in the wilderness, a great Glastonbury performance and a few more sell out shows, Monteiro has reassembled a crack unit of players under the Drugstore moniker. No half assed Marion style reformation here, as the band have signed to the once legendary Rocket Girl label and released a new record, Anatomy. After a ten year lay off, I'm hoping for a solid piece of work with a few flashes of brilliance. Realistically that's all you can ask for from a band that's come back froim the dead (see Satchel's Heartache and Honey for a good example of that), and it's a real shame that I'm out of the country for their August shows. They play a free show at Rough Trade East on the 11th of August, and a sold out album launch on the 18th of August in St Giles in the Fields. I had that bookmarked in my tickets to buy tab, but it had sold out by the time I looked at it again. So the only chance I have to see them is at their December 8th Scala show. We'll see if I haven't been skinted by Christmas cheer before that one then. Listening to this album over the weekend, and will let you know how it shapes up shortly....