Thursday, 19 March 2015

REWIND: Astrid - 'Distance'

One of my favourite bands from the late 90s post-Britpop era, and one who should have enjoyed a lot more commercial success than they did. I class this as one of the great lost classics of the decade.

I first heard the Scottish four-piece Astrid when their magnificent 'Distance' single was played on The Evening Session back in 1998. I have been a fan ever since. 'Distance' is a glorious slice of melancholic indie pop, simple, direct and ever so addictive. It was the lead track on their 'Hi-Fi Lo-Fi' EP, which was produced by the legendary Edwyn Collins and released via the Fantastic Plastic label in a lovely cardboard outer sleeve. Astrid went on to release three albums before splitting in the mid 2000s. While drummer Neil Payne joined Texas, and bassist Gareth Russell went on to be a member of Idlewild, frontman Willie Campbell continued with the bands Our Small Capital and The Open Day Rotation, before launching a solo career. Guitarist/songwriter Charlie Clark has also been releasing his own solo material, which includes the wonderful 'Feel Something' EP from 2013. Fittingly it was released on AED Records, which is of course run by Edwyn Collins. His next project will be the debut release from Broken Arrow, a duo formed with the highly talented vocalist Brandi Emma. Prior to that, there will soon be a 7" single that Charlie recorded with his buddies Dash And Eric. It will be released under the name Charlie Clark And The Majestic 12 on Manimal Vinyl in both the UK and US, and will feature a brilliant leadx track called 'The Devil's Pulpit'. A while ago, I spoke to Charlie about his life, music and his time in Astrid, in an exclusive interview that you can read HERE...

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