I mentioned in my previous post my excitement at the new Sleater-Kinney vinyl box set that had been announced. So I was even more excited a couple of days later when they announced a reformation, new album and a tour, including UK dates. Only problem being that the nearest date is in Manchester, so about 50 miles away. It’s not an insurmountable distance by any means. Not many bands could entice me to travel that far on a weeknight with work the next morning, now that I’m in my mid-thirties, but Sleater-Kinney are one of them.
The added complication this time of course is Frida. Finding a babysitter (grandma) shouldn’t be a problem, especially with 5 months notice, but every other time we’ve left Frida with a babysitter and been out as a couple we’ve never been more than a 10 minute taxi ride away. Admittedly, one of the main obstacles to venturing further afield has been that until recently Frida has exclusively breastfed so my wife had to be nearby. Now Frida has just started eating solid food and drinking from a cup, there will be no practical reason we can’t be a bit further away. I just know it will feel strange when we are both on the other side of the Pennines from our baby.
Still, it has to happen at some point, and I think Sleater-Kinney are as good a reason as any. I’ve loved them since 1997 when I read a review of their album ‘Dig Me Out’ in the NME and went out and bought it without hearing a note, the first time I had ever done that. Somehow I just knew I’d love it, and I did. The way Corin and Carrie’s voices and guitars intertwine was unlike anything I’d heard before or since. They also turned out to be one of those rare bands that progressed with every album, from the riot girl style debut to the heavy riffs and guitar solos of ‘The Woods’, which was their seventh and last, for reasons unknown (although this Brakes song suggests it was for financial reasons):
I’m generally a bit sceptical when bands reform, especially with new material.most bands are in decline by the time they split, and a five, ten or twenty year hiatus only make matters worse. Sleater-Kinney split at their peak however, and the one new song they’ve made available since the reformation suggests they could be as good as ever. Even if the new album turns out too be terrible, I’m pretty confident the gig will be amazing so I’m already counting down the days until March.