The Veldt, The Milling Gowns
156 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA, 02143
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:45 PM
This event is 18 and over
Watch & Listen
Modern English were formed in Colchester, Essex, England, in 1977 by Robbie Grey (Vocals), Gary McDowell (Guitar) and Michael Conroy (Bass). Originally known as the Lepers, the band made their name in the burgeoning punk scene where they would get together exclusively to play at parties, until they were picked up by 4AD. Richard Brown (Drums) and Stephen Walker (Keyboards) were subsequently added to the line-up of the band. A debut single, "Drowning Man" was released in 1980 on the Limp Records label. The band's debut full-length; "Mesh & Lace", released by 4AD a year later, it drew heavily on the gloomy post-punk sound already patented by bands such as Joy Division. The follow-up "After The Snow" showed a huge progression, as they introduced warmth and strong guitar harmonies (most notably on the minor classic "I Melt With You"), rejecting the tinny bleakness of the debut. It was especially well received in the USA, and the band relocated to New York to consolidate a popularity encouraged by college radio. 1984's "Richochet Days" had a crisper production but less creative experimentation. By the time of "Stop Start" (1986), the band had left 4AD and Walker and Brown had quit the band and Aaron Davidson (Keyboards, Guitar) had joined. Grey initially returned to England to form a new outfit, but reconvened Modern English in 1990 with Davidson and Conroy. They released "Pillow Lips" on the TVT label in 1990, Robbie Grey and band member Ted Mason co wrote and produced a second release for TVT though it received very little enthusiasm from the label. Locked into contractual obligations, Grey subsequently put the band on hold to study and travel, leaving Mason to handle the legal issues. In 1995, Modern English again re-formed with the line up of Matthew Shipley (Keyboards) Ted Mason (Guitar) and of course, Robbie Grey. They recorded "Everything's Mad" on the Imago label. In 1998 the line up changed again, keeping Matthew Shipley and adding Steven Walker (guitars), Ian Robbins (bass) and Jon Solomon (drums). In 1999 Ian was replaced by Nik Williams (bass). In 2001 they recorded a new album 'Soundtrack' with producer Hugh Jones but due to the collapse of the record company it was shelved. Finally in 2010 this album is being released by Darla with a US tour at the planning stage.
Daniel and Danny Chavis are natives of Raleigh/ Chapel Hill, North Carolina, East Village residents for the past 28 years and co-founders of the groundbreaking band The Veldt, who lifted their band's name from a Ray Bradbury science fiction story. Musically reared in the church and juke-joints of their native southern state, the twins have been performing since they were children, listening to music that included gospel, Motown and Pink Floyd. In March, they, together with bassist/programmer Hayato Nakao, return to their roots with the release of the EP The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape on March 18, 2016.
Featuring the emotionally wrought first single Sanctified, a ballad that perfectly captures the lush sound of Danny's screeching guitars, decibel breaking distortion, a frenzy of feedback and Daniel's soulful wail, and Hayato Nakao's deep bass grooves and guitar feedback, the track serves as the perfect re-introduction to this dynamic band. Long-time collaborator A.R. Kane produced the final track on the EP, while Mahogany's Andrew Prinz contributes guitar on two tracks, with Marie Cochrane on vocals for another two.
The title The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur was borrowed from an E.E. Cummings poem. Its raging sound was influenced equally by the emotional soul of Marvin Gaye, free jazz warriors Sun Ra and Pharaoh Sanders, various Drake hip-hop tracks, and their own fertile electric imagination.
In their early days, the Chavis brothers making a name for themselves playing throughout the south at a time when fellow southerners REM and Superchunk were securing major label deals. As more black rock bands (Living Colour, 24/7 Spyz) began selling records and gigging throughout the world, the Veldt was courted by various labels, including IRS Records and Capitol.
Initially signed to Capitol Records in 1989, the Veldt embarked on a musical journey that changed their lives. Soon, they were in the studio with dream-gaze guru Robin Guthrie working on their debut Marigolds, playing American concert halls with the Cocteau Twins, working with A.R. Kane, and opening for Jesus and the Mary Chain in England. The Veldt were a sensation from the start as they became a part of a movement of innovators who came of musical age at a time when rhythmic rebels were reflective, gritty and wild; their sound inspired future generations of alternative artists, including TV On the Radio.
They switched labels and Mercury Records released Afrodisiac in 1994. Their single Soul in a Jar was an underground hit.
As the brothers moved to expand their musical language, fusing more electronics into their soundscape, they retired the "Veldt" name and, for various reasons, began recording and touring under under the name Apollo Heights. In 1999, the Chavis brothers met bassist Hayato Nakao, who would become their permanent partner. Their music was loud, exploring color, space, sensuality and beat driven melodies with rhythmic and dynamic tension. Daniel's falsetto vocals cast a contrast upon the wall of sound created by Danny's heavy rock dreamscape guitar and Hayato's pounding and licentious beats.
Although the Veldt were signed by two major labels after leaving Mercury Records in 1995, the brothers decided to remain indie and self-released their 2008 album White Songs for Black People. "The major labels were always trying to get us to change our sound, our look or both," Daniel laughs. "But, we had no interest in being the next Lenny Kravitz or Tony! Toni! Toné! Unfortunately, not everyone shared our vision. We weren't trying to be rock stars, we just want to play our music and pay our rent."
Apart from Robin Guthrie and A.R. Kane, they have collaborated with TV On The Radio, Mos Def and Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), and have shared the stage with My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, Living Colour and TV on the Radio, among others.
After changing their name back to The Veldt, the Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur serves as the band's re-emergence, to be followed by another full album of material on their Resurrection Hymns LP later this year. Indeed, for these veteran musicians and passionate noise technicians, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur marks a new beginning.
The Milling Gowns
"The Milling Gowns are Boston's premier gloom pop band, conjuring up the mood and rhythm section power of Joy Division, with the vocal & lyrical strength of Magnetic Fields and evocative guitar work of the Cure, with a dream-pop/shoegaze icing that makes their sound truly unique. You can listen to and download The Milling Gowns' most recent recordings at at https://themillinggowns.bandcamp.com, with earlier work from their catalogue available on Spotify and iTunes."
$18.00 - $20.00
Crossroads Presents Modern English
with The Veldt & The Milling Gowns