Ritz, Manchester, 12/12/2019
published: 23 /
On the final tour date in support of acclaimed new LP ‘This Is Not A Safe Place’ shoegaze legends Ride turn in a storming set on Election Night at a sold-out Ritz in Manchester. Richard Lewis reviews.
With a score of positive reviews for superb new LP ‘This Not A Safe Place’ and a pan global trek in support of the disc, 2019 has been an extremely good year for shoegaze pioneers Ride.
The final date of the tour, a full room at venerable Manchester venue the Ritz greets the quartet as ‘R.I.D.E.’, the opening cut from the LP blares from the speakers and “Fuck Off Boris” (it is Election Night) scrolls across the backdrop.
Aptly titled for its feeling of rapid ascent, ‘Jump Jet’ supplies the opening salvo, moving on to ‘Future Love’, a perfect successor to Byrdsian guitar pop jewel ‘Twisterella’, the expansive production work of Errol Alkan transferring beautifully to the stage.
While even some far younger groups would prompt eye-rolling with the decision to play eight tracks from their new album (anyone who claims they go to see Andy Bell’s former bandmate Liam Gallagher to hear his solo material is frankly lying), tracks from ‘…Safe Place’ land just as effectively as the classic material.
Sure-fire crowd pleasers, a pulsatant ‘Leave Them All Behind’ and a powerful ‘Chrome Waves’ sit comfortably alongside 2010s cuts ‘Charm Assault’ and ‘Lannoy Point’ which prompts a very polite stagefront moshpit.
Emphasising that they can still go toe-to-toe with any heavy-duty psych outfit out there, ‘Drive Blind’ swerves into fuzzed-out malevolence before re-emerging, while a romp through trebly 1960s inspired pop gem ‘Taste’ makes them sounds like a band barely out of their teens.
Switching to acoustic guitar, ‘Shadows Behind the Sun’ taps into English psychedelia beautifully, a storming take industrial/synth pop banger ‘Repetition’ meanwhile underlines Loz Colbert’s reputation as one of the best drummers of his era.
A plaintive ‘In A Different Place’, the nearest the group come to a ballad leads into ‘Vapour Trail’ prompting the traditional chorusing of the string section coda. ‘In This Room’, the downbeat closer to ‘…Safe Place’ kicks off the encore, completing the set by coming full circle back to the opening track of their debut, a raucous take on ‘Seagull’ powered by an octopus-armed Colbert.
Two albums into their second wind and thirty years since their formation, Ride look set to make into the end of the 2020s on this form.
Photos by Andrew Twambley