In 1986, independent music was beginning to settle down to an almost structured and less shambolic status, with new releases on small labels being plugged on radio and TV and some even becoming hits. The Smiths, New Order and Depeche Mode had helped pave the way for the Mutes, Factorys, Rough Trades and 4ADs of this world to expand and strengthen their rosters with a bit of overseas dabbling, or at the very least, more obscure signings.
In the mid-'80s, 4AD shifted sideways from the gloomy past of Bauhaus, Modern English and In Camera and the then-current ethereal era of Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil, by signing two American guitar rock bands - one was The Pixies and the other was Throwing Muses. It was a surprising move. It turned out to be a very good move.
Both bands were blisteringly uncompromising as a live act and both bands issued very promising debuts. But while the Pixies remain legendary, the Muses got left behind and by 2003, after so many keenly-received albums such as "Hunkpapa", "The Real Ramona" and "Red Heaven", they had pretty much ground to a halt with a disappointing self-titled eighth album. But now, with a still-enviable catalogue behind them, they're ready to grab you by the earlobes again...
November will see Throwing Muses return to the UK for their first tour since our records began, with shows to support material for a new album expected by the end of the year/early next year, plus a new collection of previous 4AD material, simply titled "Anthology", due in September.
The confirmed shows so far are in Sussex on 1st November, followed by Shepherd's Bush on 2nd Nov, Norwich (3rd), Holmfirth (4th), Manchester (6th), Glasgow (7th) and Cardiff on 8th November. Tickets are on sale from Friday, priced at £15 for Norwich, £20 elsewhere and Holmfirth goes on sale tonight at midnight(!). There is nothing to suggest that Tanya Donelly will be part of the new shows but, never say never. Don't miss out!
Singer and guitarist Kristin Hersh is also over in the UK and Ireland in a solo capacity over the next few weeks, playing Edinburgh's Edge Festival with back-to-back dates at the Cabaret Voltaire on Thursday and Friday 18th/ 19th August, then she crosses the Irish sea for dates in Cork and Dublin. We have tickets available for all of these dates - £12.50 for Edinburgh, 22.90 for Cork and 20 for Dublin.