This is it- the songs AND the running order… Something about these two simple points will make the experience far more complete and stable over these October dates than an average gig. Usually, the setlist – always up for discussion and alteration – can be a curious and mysterious beast. There is no winning formula, and sticking to one can often make the night a little contrived: everyone gets stuck in a pattern, and mixing things up here and there (at least after a week or so) can keep everyone on their toes. But there’s something about an album running order that goes beyond that. Something in your mind attaches a sequence of songs together as a whole – be it the anticipation of the next tune or intro sound, or opening riff – and this concert, this whole evening, is going to work as a whole. The setlist is agreed, and like the needle going on the record the sequence is set and it will play – we will play – given over to something bigger: how the album ‘Nowhere’ works as a whole.
The running order itself might take you somewhere, or back to a time or place, but what about the songs? Chatting to him recently, Steve Lamaq commented that Nowhere was/is an escapist album; that there is an element of escapism to it – or simply that you can escape in it. Looking back, and having heard it in sequence recently, I would agree… But what helps? is it the disarming honesty and open vulnerability of the lyrics; is it the fuzzed-out psychedelic, harmonic and melodic density of the songs; or is it the fact that we were playing up to and beyond our (then) limits as a band? Certainly the performances captured were often exactly that – the moment when it worked – sometimes with a breathtaking spontaneity, as opposed to the sense of a self-conscious and overdubbed musical ‘part’. There is something in the listening mind that subconsciously hooks into this kind of daredevil approach and goes with it, interests it, more than say a metronomic drum machine or a well-oiled and practised groove – call it ‘freshness’ maybe? We certainly weren’t stopping to think. The way the songs work certainly does seem to take you on a journey. It is going to be an absolute pleasure 25 years on, to be playing these bunch of songs in the way that was set back then, and has endured in people’s minds ever since. You will hear Nowhere in full, but you will hear also the sound of a band straining at its leash to break into new territory – from the sounds of the time and into something new. The journey begins soon… lets escape