Space

Space... The way they were

Space reunite for hometown Christmas gig!

Published on November 15th, 2011 | Jonny Abrams

The three surviving original members of Space have announced that they are to reconvene for a Thursday 22nd December show at Liverpool’s O2 Academy.

1996’s profoundly odd yet totally infectious debut album Spiders established the Merseysiders as the most unlikely success story of their era, flaunting as it did a bizarrely melodic and funky ingenuity that marked their improbable ascent as a cause for great celebration for those who choose not to take their music so seriously.

Cartoonish, mischievous and quirky – the latter being a description that the band themselves roundly rejected – Spiders was just about as far removed as you could possibly get from Radiohead or The Verve but how anyone could fail to love such sparkling, original singles as these is beyond Rocksucker’s ken…

1998 follow-up Tin Planet took a more organic approach to production but the instinct for deceptively sophisticated odd-pop remained, spawning two top ten singles (both below) and seemingly setting Space up for a long and fruitful career of Roughly This Sort of Thing. It was not to be but, in this writer’s humble opinion, the too-often drab and colourless nature of modern UK music could use the kind of kick-up-the-jacksy providing by songs such as these…

However, the playful/morbid dichotomy of Space’s music was mirrored by frequent turbulence off the field of play and it all came tumbling down just when the band’s standing should have been taken up another notch or two by their Edwyn Collins-produced third album Love You More Than Football in 2000.

A wall-to-wall blast of exuberant, dreamily ecstatic/ecstatically dreamy pop gold, the record was never released due to problems with then label Gut Records and it’s tempting to wonder how things would have turned out had it seen the light of day…

2004 album Suburban Rock ‘N’ Roll contained some of the band’s finest moments but disappeared without a trace off the back of a practically non-existent promotion campaign. By this time, only Tommy Scott and Franny Griffiths remained from the original four-piece line-up and the former went on to form The Drellas while Griffiths paired off with Jamie Murphy (whom we interviewed in November 2009) to play with Dust.

Original drummer Andy Parle, whose hip hop beats were such an integral part of Spiders‘ charm, passed away in 2009, so December’s reunion show is bound to be seen by his devastated Space cadets as a chance to celebrate his memory and legacy. Scott, Murphy and Griffiths will be accompanied for the gig by Phil Hartley on bass, Ryan Clarke on “vintage keys” and Al Jones on drums – and, frankly, Rocksucker cannot wait to witness the resurrection of this underappreciated, glorious oddity of a band.

Click here to book your tickets to the Space reunion show at Liverpool’s O2 Academy on 22nd December. For more information, please visit spacetheband.com

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.