Shoegaze gods My Bloody Valentine have gone through various phases since Kevin Shields and Colm Ó Cíosóig formed the band way back in 1983. Concert video has recently emerged of one of the group’s earliest incarnations. The classic MBV lineup, with the addition of singer/guitarist Bilinda Butcher and bassist Debbie Googe, came together in 1987, but even then they showed more in common with post-C86 indie pop than would eventually be heard on 1991′s landmark Loveless — let alone last year’s long-in-the-works m b v.
As Dangerous Minds points out, there’s not much information about this half hour of live footage other than a 1987 recording date, and the quality is predictably shaky. A YouTube commenter suggests the gig was at the Bull and Gate in London, and that’s difficult to rule out. My best guess at the setlist, which you can scroll down to see, doesn’t match up with the songs played at a previously circulating video from June 1987 show at Port Talbot in Wales, or a close-but-no-cigar September gig in Cambridge, England.
Oh, yeah: After a personal favorite from this era, the 1987 Strawberry Wine EP’s Rocketship-foreshadowing “Never Say Goodbye,” an audience member can be heard saying, “This is terrible — it’s rubbish.” Greatness is always underappreciated in its own et cetera.
In any event, it’s a fascinating glimpse into a cult-adored band’s nascent stages; for comparison, also check out for a 1989 University of London show, which ends with a notably brief “You Made Me Realise” encore.
Meanwhile, MBV’s Googe recently joined the Thurston Moore Band, led by the former Sonic Youth singer/guitarist. A new shoegaze documentary premiered earlier this year.
My Bloody Valentine 1987 setlist
Kiss the Eclipse
By the Danger in Your Eyes
Paint a Rainbow
We’re So Beautiful
Never Say Goodbye
Lovelee Sweet Darlene
Sunny Sundae Smile
No Place to Go