Thurston Moore Band plays first gig 'by accident'

Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine ‘supergroup’ make live debut in front of small crowd of fans and friends

An almost accidental gig on Thursday night at London’s intimate avant-garde venue Café Oto provided a word-of-mouth crowd with the first chance to hear the Thurston Moore Band showcasing their much-anticipated debut album The Best Day live – ahead of an international tour beginning this Friday night in Belgium. Led by the eponymous founding Sonic Youth guitarist, and drummer Steve Shelley, the band also features My Bloody Valentine bass player Deb Googe and James Sedwards of Nøught on a second guitar.

The band is a return to more slightly more conventional rock for Moore, who has been playing regular experimental gigs at Oto in recent years with various luminaries from the improv scene including Caspar Brötzmann, John Edwards and Adam Golebiewski.

By email, Thurston Moore explained to the Guardian how what was meant to be a rehearsal became the first gig of the band’s tour:

“Steve Shelley flew into London to rehearse for our purported first gig at Pukkelpop festival in Belgium today (Friday) and we were having tea and crumpets at Café Oto Tuesday afternoon when we noticed they had nothing booked that week. We asked if we could set up and rehearse on Thursday to whomever may be lingering and Oto said sure.

Positive feedback

“We then thought we’d just invite some friends. Then we thought well let’s announce it day-of and have some fans dig our ‘rehearsal’. Well, word got out and it became a straight-up rock’n’roll party and we plugged in and played every note we knew (so far) – all new songs, from the new album, The Best Day.

“Super Duper fun time with James Sedwards of Stoke Newington ripping wild guitar action and Deb Googe showing who is most definitely boss on the bass. And of course Steve and Thurston in stratospheric sonic form. Nice time, wish you were there. Next time? Say yes!”

The venue generally has its avant garde performers play a number of sets over an evening. Rather than doing that, the band simply played all the new songs once, and then again after an interval. Some of the songs can be heard online, streaming via Dalston web radio station NTS.

The Best Day will be released by Matador Records on 21 October.

Sonic Youth’s website lists the tour dates in Europe and the States beginning now as:

08-16 Hamburg, Germany @ Dockville Festival
08-17 Berlin, Germany @ Lido
08-18 Bielefeld, Germany @ Forum
08-19 Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Ocii
08-21 Paredes De Coura, Portugal @ Paredes De Coura Festival
08-23 Pully-Lausanne, Switzerland – For Noise Festival
08-24 Paris, France – Rock en Seine
09-04-05 Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch Music Festival
09-07 Toronto, Ontario, Canada @ Riot Fest
09-12 Victoria, British Columbia @ Rifflandia
09-14 Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
10-03 Vancouver, British Columbia @ Biltmore Cabaret
10-04 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
10-07 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
10-08 Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst Atrium
10-10 Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
10-11 Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room


Lindesay Irvine

The GuardianTramp

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