With art-rockers The Blue Aeroplanes set for a New Year Liverpool date, Getintothis’ Paul Higham reports on the rejuvenation of the cult Bristol band.
If bands too often fizzle and fade away as the sensible obligations of middle-age overtake the heady idealisms of youth, then there must have been something in the water in the early 1980s. Having recently seen the likes of The Fall, Gang of Four and The Pop Group pass by these shores to affirm the longevity of the original post-punk era, early 2017 sees the turn of The Blue Aeroplanes.
Always something of a cult band The Blue Aeroplanes are a curious beast, never quite seeming to fit into a particular scene. Rooted more in the art-rock tradition than the snarling malevolence of post-punk, their music borrowed from both forms without truly belonging to either. Indeed sonically they drew as much (if not more) from Television and Talking Heads as they did from their British contemporaries. As if to illustrate their sense of difference and separation from the prevailing scene at the time, John Peel considered them too rock to merit play on his radio show.
If musically they were cast adrift somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, then their angular art-rock, which also bore more than a passing resemblance to REM, did quickly attract a following sufficient to pique the interest of Fire Records who subsequently re-released the band’s debut album Bop Art, before releasing Tolerance and Spitting Out Miracles in the late 1980s. Major label success and critical acclaim followed with Swagger which was released in 1991 before they were swept away by the youthful excess of the Britpop era.
Although the band have made efforts at a revival since then, they now appear a rejuvenated force. Their line-up has been augmented by younger fresh blood, yet Gerard Langley‘s often spoken word and poetic lyrics, delivered from behind trademark black sunglasses, remain a reassuring fixture. As does the demonic dancing of Wojtek Dmochowski who adds ferocious energy to the band’s live performances.
As indication of their stature, they were selected by Stewart Lee, he of impeccable taste and prodigious knowledge of the original post-punk era, to play at his ATP Festival in April, where they went down a storm. With a new album set for release early in the new year, the band bring their refreshed and rebooted live show to Liverpool on Wednesday January 11 2017.
The Blue Aeroplanes play Liverpool’s O2 Academy 2 on Wednesday January 11 2017.
Full tour dates are below:
January 11 2017: O2 Academy 2, Liverpool
January 12 2017: The Ruby Lounge, Manchester
January 13 2017: O2 Academy 2, Newcastle
January 14 2017: Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
January 15 2017: Stereo, Glasgow
January 18 2017: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
January 19 2017: Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
January 20 2017: The Square, Harlow
January 21 2017: 02 Academy, Islington, London
January 25 2017: The Cellar, Oxford
January 26 2017: The Leadmill, Sheffield
January 27 2017: Arts Centre, Norwich
January 28 2017: Patterns, Brighton
January 29 2017: The Cavern, Exeter