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13 February 2014

A Retrospective: Matt Etherton of Presents for Sally on Slowdive.

A Retrospective:
Matt Etherton of Presents for Sally 
on Slowdive

When you think of what an 11 year old would be listening to, you automatically presume it would be the throw away pop rubbish that we are force fed through most radio stations and TV stations; but occasionally, one young and impressionable youth slips the net. These days, no matter what age you are, what country you live in or even what time of day it is, you can go online and listen to whatever you want. Whether it be a classic tune from 20 years ago or new bands armed with songs and a Soundcloud account, it is all there for you with just a couple of clicks of a button. Rewind 20-25 years and it wasn’t so easy.

I had always been a weird music geek. My parents gave me my first turntable when I was about 4 and I used to sit and listen to their records – which weren’t always great, but I just loved putting a record on! As I began to grow up and reached about age 10, the small amount of money I would get from visiting family members or from my folks would always be spent on records. Back then you could get a couple of 7 inch singles (which had been in the charts) for 49p each. 

One Saturday morning whilst watching “The Chart Show” on ITV (I’m sure the UK readers will remember it) I stumbled across the Indie Chart and my life was never the same again. There would be a top 10 rundown every 3 weeks and nearly every tune that was shown was by a band I had never heard. At the time I really didn’t understand where this music had come from and to be honest I didn’t really care – I just knew it was different, I knew it was special!

“The Chart Show” is where I first heard Slowdive; a brief 10 second clip of ‘Morningrise’ to be exact. It didn’t sound like anything else to my ears. I had heard snippets of My Bloody Valentine, Stone Roses and other bands from the same indie charts – even owned a few of those records – but there was something about the 10 seconds of that extremely slow, noisy, almost non-song that this 11 year old took with him and has kept with him 20 years later. And yes, it does still have the same effect on me today as it did to those 11 year old ears!

A lot of the bands I discovered at that time still mean a great deal to me, but Slowdive was always one I held dear to my heart and continue to do so. I know that sounds really pretentious (and those who know me will know I’m not like that all the time, I hope!) but hearing about them reforming and actually getting tickets to see them live really made my day and meant such a great deal to me. As someone who is lucky enough to be able to put records out, I will be the first to say that the 10 seconds of black and white film I saw all those years ago shaped the way I wanted to do things musically, the sounds I wanted to experiment with and genuinely inspired me to always try to be innovative and do my own thing, regardless of what seems popular or what people think I should do.

As the 20 years rolled on and the 11 year old boy became a 32 year old man, I never stopped listening to Slowdive or the associated projects from the members; to say I’m excited about finally being able to see them live is an understatement. It might have taken all those years, but the fact that I might hopefully get to hear those few seconds of ‘Morningrise’ that gripped me as a youngster makes it an even more special night!

Learn more about Matt Etherton/Presents for Sally:

1 comment:

  1. I had a very similar experience with Catch the Breeze in 91. I used to treasure those moments when the indie chart came up on The Chart Show like gold dust. It was Indie, Dance or Metal, so you had a one in three chance and if their video wasn't played you would have to wait till next week in the hopes of a glimpse of your favourite band.