Great Lost Bands no 4: Loop

  • 0
Today's addition to the list of lost bands is probably the most well known one yet. I'm including them as a 'lost band' mainly because of the time that has passed since their last new release (1990), but more specifically because of their huge influence on one of the best albums of last year, Wooden Shjips's 'West'. I have been met with a few puzzled expressions when I've stressed the similarlity between Wooden Shjips and Loop, but for those of us who know them and remember them, the comparison is an obvious one. Here is 'Collision' from 1988, which was practically an indie chart hit!

For those of you who don't remember them, Loop were active between 1986 and 1991. They were based in London and released three studio albums as well as a few collections of EPs and Peel sessions. The band were inspired by garage bands, Krautrock, heavy drone based rock and the minimalist side of Suicide, and were often, perhaps unfairly, thought to be following in the aftermath of Spacemen 3. The two groups didn't get on and in 1989 Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3 claimed in an interview with Lime Lizard, that "they really ripped us off!! Their first record sleeves, their sound, their live shows, just about everything. Their first few gigs were supporting us. The first time they had acid was when we gave it to them. Then they started calling themselves Loop. The first album was alright but it wasn’t anything we hadn’t done already."
Obviously there were huge similiarities but I always thought Loop had enough edginess and abrasiveness to sound distinct. They built up a strong live following, and when I saw them in Belfast Art College in 1990 they were the loudest band I had ever heard. They only held that title for a few weeks until My Bloody Valentine rolled into town, but still... There are a few amateur live videos of them on the internet, and this one below illustrates the intensity of their show.
From Centre to Wave

The band were getting popular in 1990 and the album A Gilded Eternity was released on Beggars Banquet offshoot Situation Two. It was more experimental and difficult than the garagey sounding early singles, but it has proved to be a lasting epitaph for the band. The first single from it was Arc Lite.
Arc Lite

Loop ceased to be a band in 1991, although a collection of Peel Sessions, 'Wolf Flow' was released the next year. Founder member Robert Hampson went on make music under the name Main, which continued until 2006 and was based more around experimental noise and sound art. Drummer John Willis and bassist Neil Mackay formed the Hair and Skin Trading Company whose first couple of albums carried on where Loop left off, but their last release Psychedelische Musique took influences from Faust and musique concrete.

Previously in this series
No 3: Bongwater
No 2: Prolapse
No 1: Bowery Electric

No comments:

Post a Comment