NEWS For 2005:
Gig on 25th May At Brixton Offline NOW CANCELLED!
Brixton, the Offline club on
the 26th May - check out the details here: www.urban75.org/offline/
There was a gig on April 15th, here's the flier.
There's also a compilation OUT NOW on Fire Records...
There's information on the tracklisting in the Discography or
Or Tim's site : Midway Still
Also, these are the bits I've found about the band this year:
MIDWAY STILL released their debut single waaay back in 1991. Now they are back! Fire Records release a 2-CD retrospective on Jan 24th, and this (the Bull And Gate) is a gig to celebrate.
'Some bands simply come and go and in time you forget they ever existed. Or maybe – and I've done this myself – we reshape our memories of groups to make them bigger or more sensitive, or more life-changing... all these things they weren't. For me though, Midway Still…are.' - Steve Lamacq
September 2004 Fire Website: Taking their muse from Husker Du, Midway Still have described their music as being just the noise and tunes of a punk rock band into The Byrds and The Beatles. Yet their power-chord melodies catch classic strains of The Who and the Jam and in another era, they would have made a great mod band.
The band played two gigs:
Thurs 27 Jan 2005 - Bull & Gate, London
Sat 5th Feb 2005 - The Victoria, Swindon
One of the best pop punk bands that never made the dent they deserved....
When I first went looking on the web, even
the Becketts got honourable mentions, things that meant there's a tiny legacy left to
them...but not Midway Still!
Ooooh, no... looking for pictures, CD covers...anything, I didn't find even a mention anywhere...so no logo, no piccies, no scans of postcards of a river the tour manager sent me.....just yet more of my vacant dribblings....
There are websites now, my hardly updated LINKS page shows that!
Now, of course, they've reformed, sans hair, but I feel quite glad that this shambling archive, complete with DISCOGRAPHY, LINKS and GROUCH pages, was the first up.
It's wilfully neglected now, but the discog. and press shots are still as keen as ever!
Midway Still were a pop/punk three piece from the early 90's, who played stacks of live shows with the likes of Mega City Four, Senseless Things etc etc..
They did what I maintain to be one of the finest John Peel sessions ever recorded (you can mail me for a copy if you like....back in the day I wrote asking for one, but the copy I got sent wasn't as good as mine!) it had an infinitely superior version of "What You Said" from the first album on it and I listened to it incessently at the time.
I've also got a video from ITV of Midway
Still playing at The Forum (The Town And Country club at the time), in a bill including
the Senseless Things and a couple of others (I've got a very very knackered T-shirt from
it somewhere!).....the sound qualities naff, but it's quite interesting nonetheless.
You can't describe music sufficiently with words, I've always said...to compare bands is a real mistake, but with a current lack of space for MP3 files, I'd have to say that the old adage "English Nirvana ahead of their time" comes as close as anything.....
You may be wondering, "Why the converse symbols?", or not, but anyway, the point is that the following fashion 'tips' applied to "the still", as no one called them:
1)Hawaiin Beach Shirts are a good idea. (apparently the drummer had loads of em' (100+?....according to the Chart Show, when they showed the Better Than Before promo vid)
2)Converse traditional trainers are a neccessity (A T-shirt they produced had 'Chuck Off' in the place of Chuck Norris and Midway Still, where the Converse All Star used to be....)
3)Longer hair than anyone except Metallica...we say yes...
Note: Again, I will bring in the tracklistings soon...promise!
Midway Still play the Garage, Highbury And Islington, on the 7th July 2000.
And the Upstairs of the Garage on the 21st July!
I missed the damn 29th June one at the Water Rats as I'm unemployed and brassic!
HERE'S WHEN I FIRST FOUND OUT THEY'D REFORMED:
Events have taken a BIZARRE (and I mean this) BIZARRE twist now, as last night, completely by accident...I found out they'd reformed and watched them.
......And reaffirmed my faith (although I was absolutely damaged at the time), we're talking You made me realise, What you said, better than before......after seeing Serpico a couple of weeks back with Wiz dragging his way through lifeless imitations of Mega City Four tunes, this was quite amazing...
Er, so looks like it's time to REALLY get to grips with this page! As I said I'd send them this address...it's a bit like telling your landlord it'll be fine to come around in ten minutes...suddenly you look about and the place is a mess!
Point is, there's a gig in June (I don't remember the exact date! Alcohol had LONG wiped me out) at the Water Rats, Kings Cross, London...mail me for details I can't provide.....
And now! Thanks to Keg for this top Melody Maker interview!
Melody Maker 9 May 1992
When MIDWAY STILL first exploded onto vinyl eight months ago, their noisy guitar sound was something of a novelty. Nirvana have changed all that but ANN SCANLON reckons that the Midways' wrist-slitting melancholy can be traced directly back to Husker Du.
It's a drizzly afternoon in North London, and Midway Still are sitting around in a tiny studio, waiting for the clock to strike five pm so they can start recording their next single.
It's too bad that the band's only afternoon off in weeks has been blown away by the man in the workshop downstairs who - bizarre as it sounds - has imposed an all-day ban on the studio simply because he can't deal with the noise.
If it's noise that's the problem then he would have had a hard time coping with Midway Still who, despite their glorious pop sensibility, are noisy punk rockers at heart. Today of all days they're likely to have the volume cranked up viciously high as they attempt to cover Captain America's debut 45, "Wow" - a song that the Midways admit to not actually knowing how to play yet.
The general idea is that their Roughneck labelmates will return the favour by recording Midway Still's first single, "I Won't Try", and the songs will be given away on a free flexi disc when the two bands play at London ULU early next month.
It will be interesting to see what Captain America's Eugene Kelly (a man who Kurt Cobain describes as "the most beautiful, intense, visceral singer on the face of this planet") will make of "I Won't Try".
When Midway Still released their first single last summer, "I Won't Try" was hailed as one of the best British debuts of the decade, and the Midways were welcomed as a much needed blast of noisy guitar rock.
At that time, most people were too busy trying to disassociate themselves from Manchester or celebrating the new scene to realise what trios with a guitar and a couple of mega-volume amps were going to mean by the end of the year. The ones who did glimpse the future were those who had understood the power and glory of the late Husker Du (when asked why no one had thought of doing what Nirvana are doing before, bassist Chris Novoselic recently pointed out that, actually, Husker Du already had).
Two singles on from their debut, Midway Still are about to release their first LP, "Dial Square", and are finding that the post-Nirvana world that they're now dealing with is very different to the one that they unleashed "I Won't Try" upon, eight months ago.
"The Nirvana thing is probably destructive rather than constructive," decides vocalist / guitarist Paul Thomson, "because everyone just goes, 'Oh, you're trying to copy Nirvana', and also there's gonna be a total overkill on guitar bands. I've heard EMF and bloody Pop Will Eat Itself are getting back to noisy guitars."
"Even the Inspiral Carpets are going for grungy guitars now," sneers bassist John, who sometimes switches to his real name of Jan. "When we started everyone was saying, 'You've got your guitars turned up cos you don't like dance and Manchester and all that stuff, haven't you?' and we were like, 'Um, no, we can't really say that we did'."
Weaned on classic power trios like Husker Du, Big Black, The Minutemen, early Motorhead, Dinosaur Jr and Snuff, it probably didn't occur to Midway Still to be anything other than loud and fast and tuneful.
"Husker Du were such a great band," enthuses drummer Declan Kelly, who completes the Midway trio. "Just the noise and the tunes, sort of like a punk rock band into The Byrds and The Beatles. At that time you were either well into tunes or you were well into punk rock, the two things didn't really go together. I think the Huskers did a helluvalot to change that, yet it's only now that they're being recognised for merging the two things."
After giving up his job as a proof reader of legal contracts ("You'd get this document for the purchase of one X15 DL Space Rocket worth 25 billion dollars, and sometimes they'd write million instead of billion"), Paul sat around for six months writing songs and trying to pluck up the courage to actually start a band. Towards the end of 1990, he placed an advertisement in Melody Maker and along came John and Declan, old school mates whose most recent band had been USMF.
After "I Won't Try", Midway Still looked for a producer who they hoped would understand them. Roughneck suggested Don Fleming (who also works with Teenage Fanclub, to whose "A Catholic Education"-era the Midways have often been compared), and he produced their next two singles, "Wish" and "Better Than Before", and the LP.
"Don doesn't like to do anything straight and on the album no two mixes are the same," Paul explains. "Every song sounds like it's been recorded in a different bloody studio, but that's what he sets out to do."
Whatever the producer's intentions were, Midway Still manage to sound laid back while a key line, wracked with broken-hearted passion, seems to leap out at you with every other chord change ("take a hammer to my dreams", from "Better Than Before" is one that immediately springs to mind). In the real world of Midway Still there seems to be a very real sense of striving, yet things always seem to slip away or fall apart.
"Yep, you sussed it," smiles Paul. "You absolutely sussed it. All the songs that we're doing at the moment were written two years ago when I was massively depressed, and they're all about one particular person."
He doesn't really need to stress the severity of his depression, since all his songs are imbued with sorrow, regret and a profound yearning to turn back the clock and not f*** up again. These days, Paul is a happier soul with a new girlfriend (who, handily enough, has never questioned him on the source of his muse), but he is still someone who's never satisfied with his songwriting.
"They're alright," he shrugs. "But they're not as good as say (Leatherface's) 'Not Superstitious', that's a bloody song and a half. Or old Bob (Husker Du's Mould) doing 'Too Far Down', that absolutely summed it up for me. I'm so far down that 'you wouldn't want to know anyway' - that was a killer."
Like Nirvana, Midway Still have taken from Husker Du's rich legacy and, along with Leatherface, are giving us tunefulness, simplicity and a total lack of pretence. If there's room in the charts for Senseless Things and Mega City Four (who Midway Still have been supporting around Europe), there's definitely a hallowed place for Frankie Stubbs and Paul Thomson.
"If someone gets up in the morning and really wants to play 'Wish', then that's enough for me," claims Paul. "When we were supporting the Megas, some kid came up to me and said, 'I've seen Carter, I've seen the Neds and I've never seen anything like you - you blew the whole lot away.'"
"For some little kid to come up and tell you that you're the best band he's ever seen does knock you back a bit," adds Declan. "But, then again, it does make you wonder about his taste."
Midway Still: pop music at it's self-scathing best.
Midway Still's month-long UK tour starts (started - at the time - Ed) on May 7 at Sheffield Poly.
page by edmund hornsby