Lush’s Miki Berenyi “The Interview 2008” and her personal photo album Part 3( Part 1 is here ,and part 2 here )
Miki Interview 1996
Miki: “Me with Ian Astbury (The Cult) after our gig at the Electric Ballroom in 1996. Chris was an absolutely MASSIVE fan of The Cult (well, back to when they were Southern Death Cult) and met Ian the first time during the Ride tour in 1991 in LA. Ian ended up joining us on stage in LA one unforgettable time to duet on the song Ciao! (the Jarvis duet on Lovelife). The really funny thing though was that when we went through it at the soundcheck, it became obvious that Ian had got a bit confused and thought we were going to cover the Cult’s Edie (Ciao Baby). We’re playing the intro and he’s going “It’s quite skiffle, isn’t it?”. Chris was laughing so hard he could barely play.”
“Ciao!” By Lush (ft. Jarvis Cocker)
Miki: “Interview with ‘Kennedy’ at the MTV Weenie Roast – a big production stadium gig that’s comparable to various media-run roadshows, but this is in a fucking huge stadium. There was a revolving stage so that as one band played, the next band could set up. That was the theory anyway. We were on after The Fugees who, clearly, had been booked into that slot shortly before they spent about a million weeks in the top ten with Killing Me Softly. As a consequence, they weren’t too keen on playing so low down on the bill and turned up late, spent ages setting up and then failed to leave the stage after their third song, a 15-minute rendition of No Woman No Cry. By this time the MTV organisation had had enough and as Lauryn Hill’s soulful vocals released the first strains of their hit song the stage started to revolve slowly and the rapturous cheering turned to boos as Lush appeared, startled and apologetic. Possibly the most Spinal Tap moment of my entire music career.”
Miki : With Mark Gardener (Ride) at Phoenix 1996. I only put this in because I didn’t have any photos from the 1991 tour and we’d had such a lovely time – the band and the crew were all really lovely and it was such a great way to have our first adventure to America.”
Photos 36 Is From Kat Bjelland (Babes In Toyland) own collection
Miki: “Somewhere on stage – 1993”
Miki: “Photo shoot for Lovelife with the Fiat 500 car.”
“Love At First Sight” By Lush
Miki : “My last New Year’s Eve with Chris – Dec 1995 ”
I don’t know about you but the summer seems to have passed me by this year, the rain, and the biblical flooding have had me dashing off to B&Q in a quest to acquire Ark building materials. However I have a theory, this year has nothing to do with global warming, oh no, I earnestly believe that this year those serotonin boosting rays of sunshine have somehow been vacuum packed into Lucky Souls debut album “The Great Unwanted”.
There is something unremittingly summery about Lucky Soul’s sound, it has a strange and disturbing effect on me, I am transported to a world where I imagine myself starring in a 1960’s “pop movie”, cruising along country lanes in a flat top Aston martin, picking up mini skirted beat girls whilst stopping off at various arty Warhol-esque parties. (Ahem!) There’s no denying Lucky Soul have a retro feel to their sound, classic ’60s influenced songs with shimmering female vocals, there’s a pipette of Phil Spector in the “Soul” cocktail plus a dash of St Etienne a squirt of Motown and a splash Dusty Springfield. And hark! Is that a warmer, cuddlier Dubstar mooching around in the background?
The female-fronted six piece from Greenwich, South East London certainly look the part, Ali the glamorous blonde bobbed lead singer backed by the five very dapper suited and booted chaps look a little like “Parallel Lines” era Blondie. The difference being these gents look much politer than Debbie’s dissolute bunch of ne’er do-wells. I can imagine these young fellows pointing out in true beat movie style to some dance hall ruffians “We don’t fight; that’s for squares”. But there’s nothing gimmicky about Lucky Soul they play tight finely crafted pop songs that, although influenced by a different era very much belong in the here and the now. It’s happy feel good music, and it’s the perfect antidote to the miserabilst and inane mumblings of the likes of self-declared “genius”, Johnny Borrell and his ilk. And did I mention they have great song titles too? ” One Kiss Doesn’t Make A Summer”, Lips are Unhappy” “Ain’t Never Been Cool ” and “Baby I’m Broke”, would all look rather splendid on T-shirts. Seriously though “The Great Unwanted” deserves to regarded as a classic, has there been a better debut album ? There is not one weak track, not one filler, every song could be a smash hit single, it really is the mark of a band that are truely deserving of the title “genius”
So If you missed out on the sun this year, worry not, just pop “The Great Unwanted ” on your musical appliance of choice and dance yourself dizzy, ok so it wont give you a tan, but it will certainly lift your spirits and you won’t have to worry about those pesky UV rays!
The VPME – got lucky and managed to grab a word or two with “the Soul’s” keyboard wiz Malcolm Young, (however we politely avoided asking him about his strange mutant toes)
VP: Your album “The Great Unwanted” is a fabulous summery album, was the finished item all that you’d hoped for and more?
MY:We’re all really proud of what we’ve done, but I think Andrew is such a perfectionist that he’s always thinking of ways that it could have been better. Our producer, George Shilling, really pushed us hard, and got us to perform better than we thought we could. It was a steep learning curve, and I’m really looking forward to going back and doing another album.
VP: Your bound to be compared to bands like St Etienne does it annoy you that people are always looking to label the latest bands “the new (insert name here)”
MY:Most people like familiarity, and they can’t get their heads around new things very easily, so it’s a handy label to stick on something. It’s the same with book publishing – everything’s the new Dan Brown or Harry Potter. If you liked X, you’ll love Y – it’s lazy marketing, but it doesn’t bother us. As long as they’re comparing us to good bands…
VP: It’s nice to see a band that take a pride in its appearance, was this a conscious decision or do you normally look so well heeled and dapper
MY: It was partly a nod to the old Motown revue tours, where they all looked so smart, partly an easy way to have a band uniform, and partly a reaction against the general trend of scruffiness. And for lazy marketing purposes, it’s always good to be remembered, whether it’s for the music or just “oh yes, Lucky Soul, they’re that band in the suits with the pretty blonde singer”. And it’s nice to make it feel more like a performance – you get changed and go onstage, and you feel like you’re making a bit of an effort. Too many bands just turn up and play a bunch of songs, and don’t care about putting on a show.
VP: What do you make of these scruffy loud, anemic Indie boys? Are there any bands within this genre that appeal to you?
MY: Toby and I used to be scruffy, loud, anemic Indie boys, and there’ll always be a place in my heart for a bit of a racket, but so many bands around now are just so formulaic that I can’t even remember their names. Again, it’s lazy marketing, A&R people seeing that a band did well, so they’ll churn out another band as similar as possible.
VP:Whose in charge? Come on be honest now, it’s Ali isn’t it?
MY:Maybe I shouldn’t answer this one, just in case I get into trouble.
VP :What do you make of this blogging malarkey? Some people believe that it’s dumbing down the Internet, others that it is free speech in its purest form. What say you?
MY: I think too much is made of the blog revolution. It’s great that people are able to put their thoughts out there, as long as they actually have something to say, but so much of it goes unread. Big business will always control the mainstream media, and most bloggers give up quite quickly unless they’re passionate about what they want to say. It’s a little like Speakers Corner in Hyde Park – the lack of quality control is what makes it interesting, but as with so many things, there’s just so much out there that you can’t be bothered to trawl through most of it.
We’ve had a lot of good press from bloggers, so personally it’s very flattering to know that someone in some far-flung corner of the world likes what you’re doing.
VP:Highlights Of 2007? When Where and Why?
MY:Personally, getting married, for obvious reasons.
With the band, just seeing the album out in the shops and reading positive reviews (in the press and from bloggers, and from people putting comments on Myspace) have been great – it’s really been a validation that what we’re doing is worthwhile.
VP:What’s your view on file sharing? Killing music or reaching millions of potential new fans
MY: From a financial point of view, it’s frustrating to think that people are just getting our album for free, but hopefully they’ll like what they hear and come and see us play. Besides, we’re all guilty of discovering new music and not being prepared to pay for it.
Home taping never killed music, and nor will file sharing. It just means it’s harder to make money from it…
VP:Simon Cowell’s smug face often fills me with an uncharacteristic urge to punch him very hard on his nose. Does anybody have that effect on you?
MY: The few times I’ve watched the X factor I’ve thought that he wasn’t that bad. He smashes the dreams of all the deluded people who go on there thinking that they’re going to be the next Mariah Carey. Even though you can hear him counting all the money in his high-waisted trouser pockets all the time he does it, I think he’s doing them a service by telling them to forget about being famous and get on with their lives.
There are plenty of people out there who rile me: Johnny Borrell, obviously. David Cameron. That little scouse kiddy from X factor. Madonna and Guy Ritchie. The Beckhams. Cristiano Ronaldo. Don’t get me started…
VP: Five words, which would best describe the Lucky Soul sound?