In the evolving story of Luna v2.0, the band continues to entertain in new ways. While last year it was the eclectic and meticulously curated covers album A Sentimental Education, this year’s tour seems to be an exercise in finding the deep cuts that haven’t been performed in more a decade. Its been three years now and as we’ve chronicled umpteen shows, but at this Industry City show in August we saw Luna perform four songs for the first time — “Math Wiz”, “I Can’t Wait”, “Broken Chair” and the Galaxie 500 number “Strange”.
Up early and on a train to Stockholm at 8:15. The train is a treat, comfortable and relaxing and pretty quick - not as quick as flying but so much more comfortable. We left Copenhagen in the rain and arrived in Stockholm to blue skies and blustery winds. It made the city so much easier to love.
Checked into the Airbnb, grabbed some food, and filled the afternoon with a visit to Skogskyrkogården (a cemetery).
Debaser was on the waterfront, it didn't have the character of Copenhagen's venue but it had air and space, it had high ceilings and a high stage. Also, when I arrived, it had almost no punters.
Confuse-Ray opened the show with punchy guitars, but never really grabbed my attention despite that.
The venue slowly started to fill but it didn't seem like the show was going to pull a crowd. Then, all of a sudden it had. The audience was suddenly decent and enthusuastic and Luna made it worth their while. Tonights surprises was the first live outing for Luna's cover of Roy Orbison's California Blue; and a blinding Fuzzy Wuzzy to close the show (thanks to Mike's efforts).
… and then it was all over. Thanks Luna and thanks to all the Luna fans I met over the week - you make it better.
We took the train from Copenhagen to Aarhus sharing the carriage/journey with Joakim and Ulrika. We arrived in the rain and went looking for, and eventually finding, food. Always the priority on arrival in a new city.
Luna were playing in Loppen in Freetown Christiana, a strangely bohemian part of the city. We wandered through the drugs stalls and ate falafel and drunk lemonade ~ I'm not sure Freetown was ideal for my uptight-ness. Motorhead's Killed By Death played on a nearby radio.
The venue was low ceilinged and oddly laid out, it had the charm of rock venues of the past - the sort of charm that was better in nostalgia than in reality. It filled up, and heated up.
First up were Echo Ladies, whose recent Pink Noise LP on Sonic Cathedral is a gem, and who I'd managed to miss on their recent visits to London. It was good to get to see them.
Luna played I Want Everything which I was hoping to get to hear on this tour but hadn't turned up in the two shows so far. I noticed that Fuzzy Wuzzy had been crossed off the set list. That was a bit sad (luckily Mike also noticed the crossing out and took steps to rectify that in Stockholm).
The band were tight and the crowd were fans - Chinatown almost drifted into sing-a-long territory. It was a good show - but the heat and the crowds meant when the ending arrived it came as a bit of a relief.
Having taken the hard (and regrettable) decision to skip the shows in Bristol and Hamburg Monday morning was spent traumatically crossing London in rush-hour to get to Stansted and thence to Aarhus for my second luna show of the year.
I knew nothing of Aarhus but it was in the right direction if we wanted to end our tour in Stockholm. After the RyanAir flight (never again) to Aarhus we arrived, grabbed some food and snoozed the afternoon away in our Airbnb.
We arrived at the venue while The Telenovelas were rattling through a sweet and faithful cover of The Go-Betweens Right Here. The stage was low and the room was spacious and airy. It was more comfortable than London which made for a more relaxed feeling show.
Aarhus's surprise was a fantastic Black Postcards, a song that took on a life on Luna's farewell tour of 2004/5 but had pretty much slipped out of the repertoire since their 2015 reunion. "It's never the same twice".
After soundcheck it was off to Euphorium for the pre-show meet-up which was well attended and nice to catch up with the Luna-tics, we then headed off for the show to catch great support slots by Gaygirl and Fear of Men - some top DJ-work from Sonic Cathedral and find that Luna were, unsurprisingly, in top-form.
The Academy isn't a particularly nice venue (although the boy found a comfy seat on the mezzanine) but the sound was good, the audience were enthusuastic and the band in good spirits.
Nice surprise was hearing that Math Wiz was getting an outing on this tour - The Days of Our Nights has always been very under-represented in Luna live shows but this and Superfreaky Memories have been added to the repertoire for this tour (although I wasn't lucky enough to hear the latter).
Show over we were unceremoniusly herded out of the venue and decamped to a nearby pub for a little post-show gathering.
A nice start to my Luna tour and nice to see so many familiar faces, and to meet a couple of new ones.
A second track from the forthcoming Dean Wareham vs. Cheval Sombre album has just been released. Cheval Sombre takes lead vocals on this cover of Blaze Foley's If I Could Only Fly and has a gorgeous video by Dan Huiting to accompany it.
The duo have also announced two full band shows, one in New York City in December and one in San Francisco in January… not sure if there'll be more but keep your fingers crossed!
From Damon & Naomi's personal archive, an original copy of Galaxie 500's debut 7" single "Tugboat," on blue vinyl. There were 500 numbered copies of this first pressing sold. This is an UNNUMBERED copy from Damon & Naomi's own collection, never offered for sale. This copy has never been played and although the sleeve shows its age from yellowing and a bit of creasing around the single, this is old new stock and therefore MINT/MINT. (But please note this is also sold AS IS, any flaws should be considered a part of this original artifact.)
We are putting this one-of-a-kind collector's item up for auction to benefit #BETOFORTEXAS, the campaign of Beto O'Rourke to become senator from Texas. As reported recently in the press, Beto was an indie rocker before he was a politician - and among the recordings that have surfaced is one of him playing drums on a cover of Galaxie 500's version of Jonathan Richman's "Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste." Let's bond together and not let our country go to waste - end the corruption of politics by supporting campaigns that reject corporate money, like Beto O'Rourke's. And wherever you are, VOTE.
100% PURCHASE PRICE TO BE DONATED TO THE BETO FOR TEXAS CAMPAIGN. BE GENEROUS.
Another seller is auctioning TWO copies of Tugboat, also in aid of Beto O'Rourke's campaign:
2 Original copies of Galaxie 500's debut 7" single "Tugboat," #488/500 on Blue Vinyl, along with the Black Vinyl version. Paper Sleeves are bright white with no ripping, about as MINT/MINT as you’re ever going to find. These are historic items, certainly not to be played.
I am following in the footsteps of Damon & Naomi, placing these one-of-a-kind collector's item up for auction to benefit #BETOFORTEXAS, the campaign of Beto O'Rourke to become Senator from Texas.
I have the world’s largest collection of Galaxie 500 music and music memorabilia, with this election giving me cause to part with these two gems. Both records are resting in plastic sleeves, the record jackets are also housed in their own plastic sleeves, as it the altar rare and seldom seen AURORA RECORDS FLYER, also in mint condition.
100% PURCHASE PRICE TO BE DONATED TO THE BETO FOR TEXAS CAMPAIGN. BE GENEROUS.
I can not implore you enough to VOTE, and please encourage your friends to VOTE as well.
Some lovely video of Galaxie 500's 1990 show at Subterania in London has just turned up on YouTube. The video includes most of the show and has Kramer joining the band for the encores.
If you'll forgive the indulgence but this show, and probably Ceremony, changed the course of my life and career. Literally, a straight line can be drawn from here to me, sitting at a computer at The National Archives. It goes something like this…
27th June 1990 - Galaxie 500 blow me away in London
November 1994 - I get some free web space and the only thing I can think to do with it is make this Galaxie 500 web site
October 1999 - As one of the only people in BBC I&A with any web experience I'm roped in to help (mostly) build their new intranet web portal Research Central
1999 - 2013 - I work doing web stuff for the BBC until they lose their way, I lose my love and find myself a better job.
September 2013 to now - I work doing web stuff for The National Archives.
After the split of Galaxie 500 in 1991 Dean Wareham recorded a number of demos at Wharton Tiers' Fun City Studios in New York City and for the first time these tracks have been collected together for a limited edition vinyl only release.
The tracks were accompanied by drummer Jimmy Chambers (Mercury Rev) and, on I Can't Wait by Hamish Kilgour of the Clean. Later versions of the songs appear on Luna's Lunapark album.
Some of the tracks have seen the light of day on various releases over the years but now for the first time they have been collected together for a vinyl release on Lux Records. Also included is the version of Smile that Dean recorded with Kramer for the compilation album What Else Do You Do?.