Home Live ‘Dreamy Distorted Bliss’ – Slowdive Live at The Forum 22 July 2023

    ‘Dreamy Distorted Bliss’ – Slowdive Live at The Forum 22 July 2023

    Slowdive Live at The Forum in Melbourne 22 July 2023. Live photos and show review.

    Rachel Goswell


    On July 22nd (to the enthusiasm of everyone who had missed them at the Daydream Festival earlier in the year) Slowdive was finally able to make it to Melbourne for their 2023 Australian tour to coincide with their latest released singles. The show was held at the forum Theatre to a sold out audience with Slowdive doing a extensive 90 minute set.

    Along for the ride was opening act, Melbourne’s shoegaze favorites Flyying Colours. After hearing their album Fantasy CountryI have  been a fan of Flyying Colours for the past couple years without actually having the chance to catch a show of theirs so it was fantastic to get to see them for the first time on such a huge stage. The band (in 3 piece form) performed a half hour set of their dense melancholic shoegaze. The audience reaction was great, everyone seemed to love them and their set, it’s everything you would want to hear from a band like this, huge guitars and big swirly psychedelic sections. The band played a mixture of tracks from their discography including fan favourites such as ‘Wavygravy’, ‘Long Holiday’ and ‘Running Late’ as well as a mix of tracks from their latest more synth driven release ‘You Never Know’. One thing that was a bit of a hassle was the sound tech didn’t quite get the levels correct at the beginning for the first couple tracks, but by the end everything was sounding huge. All in all a great set.

    Then came the headline act Slowdive. So as someone who has been a pretty big Slowdive fan for a long time I have to say straight up this show blew away all my expectations for how good it was. The legendary shoegaze 5 piece took to the stage, accompanied by one of the most insane projection shows you could hope for. The band opened the set with the opening track from their self titled 2017 reunion album ‘Slomo’ to a very enthusiastic audience. The general consensus from everyone around us just before the show started was ‘thank god we finally get to see them, it’s finally happening’. The band maintained this level of enthusiasm from start to finish, covering pretty much every track from their discography you would want to hear across the 90 minute set time. The band also played their latest single ‘Kisses’ which if that song is anything to judge their upcoming album by, the albums going to be amazing.

    The set was a 90 minute wash of dreamy distorted bliss. The mix all sounded perfect, the visuals they had for it were absolutely perfect to watch and zone out to. Just amazing stuff. It’s honestly hard to pick the highlights from this set because the whole thing was so damn good but I’d probably pick ‘Souvlaki Space Station’, and ‘Golden Hair’. As a personal aside I think for some reason in terms of the classic shoegaze bands, Slowdive were never really given their dues for being a “big hazy” sort of band, with people placing them in more of a refined dream pop category. I can say straight up now that it was one of the hugest, craziest sounding, most cathartic shows I could have hoped for. The live version of ‘Golden Hair’ was just incredible. Also I can’t really speak to what their shows would have been like in the 90s, but I’d honestly be unsurprised if someone who was around then told me that this is Slowdive in their prime. The band is confident in everything they do, the songs all sound amazing and timeless and the live show is just outstanding.

    All in all it was a fantastic night, both bands killed it. If a reader of Discipline Mag ever gets a chance to see either I strongly urge you to grab a ticket and bliss out to this amazing music. 

    Flyying Colours setlist

    I live in a Small Town
    Goodbye to Music
    Bright Lights
    Long Holiday
    Running Late

    Slowdive setlist (special mention of course also to them using Brian Eno’s Apollo as their walk on and walk off music)

    Catch The Breeze
    Star Roving
    Souvlaki Space Station
    Crazy For You
    Blue Skied An’ Clear
    Sugar For The Pill
    When The Sun Hits
    Golden Hair
    40 Days

    Rachel Goswell playing the tambourine
    Rachel Goswell playing the tambourine
    Rachel Goswell playing keyboard in front of psychedelic visuals
    Neil Halstead
    Neil Halstead playing guitar
    Neil Halstead in front of psychedelic visuals
    Performing with Slowdive
    Nick Chaplin in front of a psychedelic background
    Slowdive guitarist
    Slowdive drummer
    Flyying Colours live
    Flyying Colours at The Forum
    Flyying Colours drummer
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    Anthony Cooley is a contributor to Discipline Magazine. He has previously written for such publications as Echoes and Dust, Musique Machine, Mutiny in Heaven and others. His writing focuses on the world of drone, noise and ambient music.