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Reformed Original Shoegaze-era band New York Band Springhouse, Celebrating Its 30th Anniversary, to Play Four East Coast Shows With Contemporary New Zealand Legends The Chills and Announces New Bandcamp site

Springhouse kalamashoegazer 1 by John Cooperider
11 January 2019

Springhouse – live at Kalamashoegazer 12 – Photo Credit: John Cooperider

Fresh from their first show back together after eight years, successfully co-headlining November’s 12th edition of Kalamazoo, MI’s premier dreampop/shoegaze/beautiful noise festival, Kalamashoegazer 12 (appearing with Texas’s Ringo Deathstarr, California’s Soft Science, and five others), New York’s legendary proto-dreampop/shoegaze/indie-rock/post-punk band Springhouse — including our own Big Takeover editor Jack Rabid on drums and occasional lead vocals—is thrilled to announce they have added four shows on their more home turf from New York to Washington D.C.—supporting The Chills!

Springhouse 1991Michael Lavine 2
Springhouse 1991 promo photo. L-R: Jack Rabid, Larry Heinemann, Mitch Friedland – Photo by Michael Lavine

The occasion is a chance to play with the atmospheric Flying Nun Records’ pop-rockers, one of their all-time favorite original late’ 80s contemporaries, on four East Coast dates—on what is similarly the beloved, legendary New Zealand group’s first U.S. tour in 23 years. Indeed, it will be a reprise of sorts; 29 years ago, Springhouse happily drove 10 hours south to play with The Chills along with Boston greats The Blake Babies in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, April 14, 1990, back when the New York trio only had one 7” single out: “Menagerie Keeper” b/w “Soul Astray” on the Bob Mould/Steve Fallon/Nick Hill imprint Singles Only Label.

Now, they’ll do it again—four times. Having been invited to come out of comfortable retirement by Kalamashoegazer festival organizers April and Adam Zimont’s kind invitation/heartfelt request, it had already seemed crazy not to do a show back home for old friends and fans. And the chance to play with The Chills once more, nearly three decades later on such a rare U.S. tour for the Kiwi indie stars, is particularly thrilling for the New York group of Rabid, singer/guitarist Mitch Friedland, bassist/backing vocalist Larry Heinemann, and since 2008 fourth member, guitarist David Burokas.

Springhouse kalamashoegazer 1 by Thomas Amtsbuechler
Springhouse – live at Kalamashoegazer 12 – Photo Credit: Thomas Amtsbuechler

The festival appearance and these four shows also allows Springhouse—unplanned—to properly mark the 30th anniversary of their group’s launch—playing their first New York show supporting Naked Raygun at the Pyramid club in the summer of 1988; recording their first song “Soul Astray” that fall in Manhattan; and then recording six-tenths of their first LP for legendary indie label Caroline Records called Land Falls in January and February 1989, also in Manhattan, predating most of the U.K. dreampop/shoegaze explosion they would soon be often grouped with when the album was finally released two years later. (And they would also make their CBGB debut supporting England’s ageless New Model Army in 1989. They would go on to headline or direct support at the hallowed club almost two dozen times.)

Springhouse kalamashoegazer 2 by John Cooperider
Springhouse – live at Kalamashoegazer 12 – Photo Credit: John Cooperider

In fact, “We are absolutely over the moon to be playing with the Chills again, 29 years later!” gushes Rabid. “We were and are huge fans, and saw every one of their previous tours here in the ’80s and ‘90s, and their two newer albums since they’ve been back have been just as great, too. In fact, one of the nicest delights we had back then was after we played with them in 1990, their singer Martin Phillipps went back to New Zealand and told some interviewers there that he’d really liked us when they asked him what bands he’d come across over here! That was a total shot in the arm, before we got signed to Caroline Records and started to make albums and tour later that year. It’s so great to get a chance to do it again so long, long, later!”

Springhouse kalamashoegazer 3 by John Cooperider
Springhouse – live at Kalamashoegazer 12 – Photo Credit: John Cooperider

(And for his own part, Phillipps is equally looking forward to touring America for the first time since the Clinton administration’s first term, and from a recent Chills Facebook post playing with Springhouse gain, saying, “The Chills are thrilled to finally be returning to the United States for our first proper tour since 1996. It was in America that we had some of our greatest adventures, made our most loyal fans and met people who would become life-long friends while, at the same time, we performed some of the best live shows in our history. And we’re particularly pleased and excited that legendary NYC band Springhouse will be opening for us along with Brion Starr in Brooklyn, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington DC. Such a treat to have Jack and the guys along!”

The four concerts will see Springhouse performing first, followed by wider tour openers Brion Starr and The Chills, and here are the dates:

Tuesday February 19 at Bell House, Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY (TICKETS)
Friday February 22 at White Eagle Hall, Jersey City, NJ (TICKETS)
Saturday, February 23 at Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA (TICKETS)
Sunday, February 24 at The Black Cat, Washington, DC (TICKETS [The Black Cat’s all ages policy: “We welcome concert goers of all ages into our paid events, but we prefer those under 18 to have parental permission and be accompanied by an adult. And no drinking!”]

(Note, it is possible that one or more of these shows might sell out, so advance tickets might not be a bad idea, and are easily obtained on each venue’s site. And for the full list of all 14 rare Chills U.S. gigs, see Fire RecordsWEBSITE)

Lastly, to celebrate the shows, Springhouse has finally launched a long-requested Bandcamp page, so people can hear their old albums, 1991’s Land Falls and 1993’s Postcards From the Arctic, for free. (They’re still working on getting their 2008 comeback LP From Now to OK up there.) All fans and interested parties can easily access it now HERE.

And likewise, much of The Chills’ generous catalog including their superb recent albums Silver Bullets and Snow Bound, their classic singles collection Kaleidoscope World, and career-spanning live album Somewhere Beautiful can be sampled for free HERE and Brion Starr can be heard HERE.

All hope to see you there! You wouldn’t want to miss such rare appearances, several decades on!

(Lastly, for a ton of background information on Springhouse and its long history, their official long bio, and a few old interviews, see our news item from September 1 last year HERE.)


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