Slowdive Catch A Breeze To Daydream Festival

Slowdive tour Australia as part of music festival Daydream April 2023.
Tim is a Brisbane-based writer who loves noisy music, gorgeous pop, weird films, and ice cream.
Update - 29 May, 2023: Slowdive have rescheduled their Australian tour to July 2023. Scroll down for the new dates.

Update - 21 April 2023: Slowdive have been forced to withdraw from their Australian tour due to drummer Simon Scott injuring his back. Daydream will proceed with extended sets.

In a village outside Reading, England, Nick Chaplin is holding up his shirt to his webcam.

Yellow text across his chest states: 'I only like riding bicycles, playing bass, and maybe three people.' "It was a Christmas present from my kids, actually," he laughs.

As to the three people he probably likes: "That would probably be my wife, and they probably don't think it's themselves [the kids], to be honest. They probably think it's [drummer Simon Scott] and [guitarist Christian Savill] from the band."

While Nick's children might believe 'Dad's in a band that just plays at the pub in the village', the band he likes playing bass in is Slowdive, one of the leading bands of the British shoegaze scene during the early '90s.

"They ask, 'Why don't you have a job, Dad? Why do you just sit around all day? Why does everyone else's dad have a job and you don't?' "I'm like, 'I'm in a band – that's my job!' And they're like, 'No, you're not in a band! Not really. Why aren't you touring with U2?'"

While Slowdive may not be touring with U2, the band return to Australia this weekend (and next) as part of the inaugural Daydream festival tour, sharing stages with the likes of Modest Mouse, Cloud Nothings, and Tropical F... Storm. A far cry from "just sitting around all day".

Slowdive's initial run is a cautionary tale about the fickleness of taste. Only months after forming, the band were signed to the legendary Creation Records (Oasis, My Blood Valentine), while their first releases were highly praised for their dreamy take on the normally noisy genre of shoegaze, especially the sighing harmonies of band members Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell.

Once Britpop became the new flavour, the tide turned, and the band endured cruel taunts from the British music media. A week after releasing their third album, 'Pygmalion', in 1995 the band broke up.

Despite the negative press, the band continued gaining fans – Nick notes they've appeared on his daughter's friends' Spotify playlists. In 2014, the band reformed to much fanfare – a reception that took them by surprise.

After releasing their critically praised, self-titled fourth album in 2017, the band have toured far and wide, including making their Australian debut on the 2018 Laneway tour.

Australian fans were already excited for the band's return as part of Daydream, but recently Neil dropped a bombshell on the 'Six Pack' podcast that has thrilled fans – the band have finished recording a new album.

"It's not a secret that we had finished the record," he says. "I just think nobody had actually said it, so everyone was a bit taken by surprise.

"Now we're getting a lot of questions about when it's coming out, which I can't answer. But it is finished. It won't be like The Cure's album, which has been finished for like five years but still hasn't come out."

Slowdive's albums have had troubled productions. They were able to record their debut after convincing their label boss they had enough songs despite that not being true.

This time, the band have figured out their process. "I'm sure with a lot of other bands you've got one major songwriter," he says.

"For us that's Neil, and the rest of us are more contributors. I think we found with this record he wanted to be collaborative with it, but it took a long time to gel and for things to get together.

"Neil has very clear ideas sometimes, but other times it's difficult for him to express what he wants. If Neil could make the record that he really wanted to make, it would probably be a lot more electronic, to be honest.

"He does get fed up with the guitar sometimes; he's been playing the guitar for so long.

"With Slowdive, it became apparent that if you're going to do Slowdive, it needs to sound like Slowdive. The record sounds like us, but hopefully there's some differences and new and interesting stuff that people will like."

Slowdive's Daydream shows will not only be their first for this year, but also the first since the new album was announced. As to whether any new material will make it on to their set list, Nick is hopeful.

"We tried some stuff out from the new record yesterday and it sounded pretty good," he says. "The band is kind of split about whether people just want to hear the greatest hits and concentrate on that.

"Rachel and I are like, 'Let's play some deep cuts!' I'm looking forward to trying everything out and maybe the ones that are a little bit more out-there on the new record, trying to work out how we can play those live."

Daydream 2023 Tour Dates

Sat 22 Apr - Sidney Myer Music Bowl (Melbourne)
Sat 29 Apr - Hordern Pavillion (Sydney)
Sun 30 Apr - The Riverstage (Brisbane)

Slowdive 2023 Tour Dates

Mon 17 Jul - Astor Theatre (Perth)
Wed 19 Jul - Princess Theatre (Brisbane)
Fri 21 Jul - Enmore Theatre (Sydney)* venue upgrade
Sat 22 Jul - Forum Melbourne
Sun 23 Jul - Hindley Street Music Hall (Adelaide)* venue upgrade

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