Academic Cultural Review

Spiritualized @ Maida Vale 15th March

A review of a 2012 day trip to see Spiritualized playing live at the legendary BBC Maida Vale studios.

Today we had the pleasure of watching Spiritualized playing live at the Maida Vale studios as part of the 6music birthday celebrations.  I was joined on this happy occasion by members of the  notorious Mithras Massive (Easy Steve, Professional  Steve and Cornish Chris).   We had won tickets to see the band playing live and as it transpires it was the band’s first live concert in a year and a half.   The day turned into a bit of an adventure as we had to navigate  Southern Railway’s greedy ticket pricing and considerable delays on the  Brighton to London line which resulted in the four of us having to run through the sleepy village of Maida Vale.   Upon  arrival we thought that we had a long journey, but learnt from the nice people on the door that people had travelled down from as far as Glasgow and Edinburgh.  We were some of the last people to arrive before they closed the doors, my ticket was number 134 suggesting there were about 140 present.  Upon entering the building it was like reconnecting with our past lives.  I had the pleasure of listening to many John Peel sessions from Maida Vale, yet never imagined I would find myself standing in this famous studio.  The building was very old and inside the building we headed downstairs into the studio.  The drawback of our late arrival was that we were at the back and as a  studio the venue was not terraced.  The set list was as follows:

1. Hey Jane

2. Lord let it rain on me


3. Little Girl

4. She kissed me (it felt like a hit)


5. Mary

6. I am what I am

7. Come together

The first four tracks were broadcast live on Lauren Laverne’s 6music show. I think during the first break Jason did the interview which I was able to watch on the red button tonight  along with five of the tracks.  The  breaks were odd, but a fair price for a free concert.  The other odd bit was listening to this smoky music in the middle of the day, although the joy was not having drunks talking during the music and spilling their warm lager everywhere.   I particularly enjoyed the first track Hey Jane with its wonderful reprise, also I liked the catchy rhythms of She Kissed Me.  The tempo slowed down for the  slow lament of Mary,before picking up with the rocky I am what I am and it’s meandering bass-line, before the wonderful anthemic  finale of  Come Together. Jason was rightly proud of the new stuff which will be appearing on the new album next month, but it will take a few listens to get to know the tracks.

We left the studios and emerged into the beautiful  sunshine on what it transpired was the warmest day of the year so far.  We were greeted with the Maccabees and all their kit piled up outside the entrance  as they waited to go in and do their session.   Easy Steve  took a cool photo of them,  whilst Cornish Chris and myself told Professional Steve  the Sparklehorse story, a story that Steve  never tires of hearing.   We decided to have a picnic in Green Park and enjoyed the sunshine, before catching the train home after our great big adventure.