Friday, May 17, 2019
the sham men
(via Alex Petridis)
They did some good stuff, though, The Shamen - I enjoyed them around En-Tact
Credit where it's due - more than any of the other indie-dance crossover artists of that era, they managed to master the new musical language - and they did it by themselves. (Primal Scream needed Andy Weatherall's help).
Almost by chance - without intent, certainly - I have seen The Shamen play live as many times - possibly more times - than any other band I can think of.
They were on a lot of bills in the late Eighties when they were pure psychedelic revivalists: Op Art imagery, liquid lightshow projections, phased and flanged guitars, Electric Prunes-y kinda vibes, fey monastic vocals. They were sorta kinda fellow-travelers with C86, and in a different way, with the Loop tendency - but slightly too professional and clean sounding.
Closer to Porcupine Tree than Spacemen 3.
Saw them once in their uneasy transitional stage going from acid-rock to acid-house, when the results were bit clumpy and didactic.
And then a couple of times during the full-blown techno-rave stage.
Interviewed them too, for a piece that never came out. What struck me was the seriousness, even piousness, with which they talked about psychedelics as a tool of consciousness-elevation.
Then they became pop stars, with this imperishable bit of period kitsch.