I used to love going to the Reading Festival. To an indie lover like myself it was every bit as good as Glastonbury. And you didn't have to walk so far in all that specially churned mud. I don't recall it was raining at the 2001 Festival, but then I wouldn't really have noticed as I spent most of my time in the NME tent. Or was it called the 'Evening Session Stage' by this point? It doesn't really matter, but it was the first time I ever saw Lowgold live.
'Just Backward of Square' is a beautiful album. To get this laid back takes years of (barely) existing on the dole. It's lo-fi but it rocks. It's sad but it's uplifting. It's resigned to it's fate but it's not going down quietly. In fact everything 'Just Backward of Square' is, it isn't. And I ADORE it. It just had to be a NAKED album.
There's a bunch of fantastic singles within these grooves, 'Beauty Dies Young', 'Counterfeit' and 'In Amber are perfect pop beaming in from another planet. But it's the album tracks that ratchet this album up into the lofty echelons of 'classic'. 'Out of Reach', 'Never Alone' and 'Less I Offer' will take you there. Trust me. I'm a music doctor.
One of my favourite memories of watching Lowgold perform at that 2001 Reding was the moment when singer Darren turned to bass player Miles and spoke of how great it was to be playing the Festival. It felt as if they were kind of local lads, taken aback that they were playing at a gig they had attended as punters. This would have struck a chord for any indie musician in the crowd.. and it certainly affected me. Lowgold duly became one of my favourite bands, even though the music industry decided to chew them up and spit them out. On more than one occasion.
'Just Backward of Square' is a proud moment for NAKED.
Simon Parker is a musician and co-founder of NAKED Record Club