Andrew's Lush Recollections

There are many stories throughout this site that show Miki's kindness and generosity, but these recollections from a long-time fan top them all.
 

Preface: Here's a brief retelling of the instances when I met the band; and what happened to make me love them even more, musically, and as people:
 

1991 March 14 - Warwick University

I was working in an indie record shop in Coventry, and the Student Union rep from Warwick Uni was in. Found out Lush were playing with James Taylor Quartet that week, so managed to get tickets - having been driving all the staff mad for a year with "De-luxe." Arrived at the bar at the University and lo and behold, Lush sat in a corner with a bunch of people, and a table full of drinks. So, I got the barman to take over a tray of 4 pints of lager which after a brief exchange with the band was returned for a tray of... yup, 4 pints of cider. This led to a short, drunken conversation "Cheers for the drinks, but we only do ciiiiiiiider!" with Miki and Emma - "What's De-luxe about?" Emma: "Er- basically, nothing"(!) - then, cringingly (I was 19 and drunk!) asking Miki to dedicate a song to me, which, she duly did, bless her - Covert/De-luxe - "For my mate Andy down there, this is dedicated to you" The friends I had gone with who liked Lush were hardened New Model Army fans and they said it was one of the most violent gigs they'd been to! All 3 of us had bruises across our chests from the barriers at the front of the stage afterward. Well worth it though!!

Setlist from Miki's stage monitor speaker. I think "New One" was Monochrome!

(Click on any of the images for a larger view)


1992 February 17 - Aberdeen Pelican Club
 

 

Now living with family in NE Scotland, the only way to do this gig was a 70 mile coach trip and to book a room in the hotel - the basement of which the gig was in - then coach it back in the morning. Arrived at the hotel mid-afternoon, wearing the leather bike jacket I'd painted the label of side 1 of "Gala" on the back of, and "Spooky"/"Black Spring"/"For Love" stuff on the arms. Hanging around the hotel, I somehow managed to end up in a room of the band's, and sat with Miki, Emma, Chris and Phil. (gulp) All four of them were very kind to the elated, nigh on catatonic/then gibbering mess I had become - Miki even took some photos of the stuff I had painted on my jacket - I'd taken my Spooky 10" to be signed (nicked years later) - and when they heard the saga of my trek down to Aberdeen, somehow I ended up on the guest list for the Liverpool gig ten days later - think it was any gig left on the tour I could get to - For some reason I gave Emma a wee teddy bear, (skint! yet had to do something) and Miki a silver rope charm bracelet that was my Mums. As goodbyes were said and I was heading back upstairs to my hotel room, I heard someone shout my name and turning, saw Miki run towards me. Stuffing an envelope in my jacket pocket and saying "Now don't fucking look at this until I've gone okay" then turning, laughing, halfway down the stairs "and I don't want it back!" - Of course I ripped open the envelope and there was 50 note inside (which I put towards my 1st Epiphone Les Paul) At the gig, a couple of hours later, in the club in the hotel's basement, got to the front early (no one else there lol) and one of the security guards started chatting, so I told him about the afternoon's madness - and, moving the barrier aside he said "Come and stand this side then, mate, you'll enjoy the gig more" - so I found myself stood right at the front of the barriers, relaxing having a fag and a pint inches from the stage during what was a blinder of a smaller yet still packed and intense gig. They sounded amaaaaaaaaazing.


1992 February 27 - Liverpool University

Arriving at the University a short while before the gig (on the guest list! Ha) I bumped into Chris who was out front with a pint watching the support band, Spitfire, soundcheck I think. We chatted for a while about all kinds of things; how he would play faster to try and speed the girls up on purpose, the support, the tour, he tried football but I never followed that (he really was the most friendly, good natured, amiable bloke). He suggested I drop my bag off backstage (after a long train trip from Scotland I had a huge rucksack with me), where I recall there were many people with many margaritas; pitchers full of margaritas as far as the eye could see, and everyone in an ebullient mood. It transpired that everyone was all headed off after the gig to see Levitation play later at a club called Krazy House, I'd be welcome to tag along. Another amazing sounding show, afterwards there was this long unruly ensemble of Lush, Spitfire and their friends walking through Liverpool, already pissed - Justin from Spitfire's a good laugh - en route to this club. It was 2-for-1 on bottled beer when we got there - by the end of the evening I recall Emma walking around with a glass of bright orange stuff and her pulling an ugh face, saying "fucking orange squash, they've fucking run out of fucking orange juice" (vodkas) By then, the bar had been drunk dry of tequila and Newquay Brown too (according to a rather vexed barmaid) - the abiding image of the night is bottles all over the floor, a drunken hug with Chris - before being helped out of the unmoving cloakroom queue by Justin from Spitfire who took my ticket and got all my stuff back in an instant (thanks for that) before heading off to Lime St station at half 3 in the morning to wait for the first train back up to Scotland. What a night!
 


1992 May 15

1992 Late Summer


After reading about Miki's stage-diving, head-splitting incident in Texas, I waited until the end of the tour and figured she would be back at home and sent her some flowers as a "get-well-soon" thing. Her response:

  


1992 November

During one of my regular trips to London to do Berwick St, all the record shops, various other Record & Tape Exchanges, Tower Records etc. I decided, somehow, madly halfway through the day, whilst looking an Underground map, it would be a grand idea to go up to Kensal Green and see if Miki was at home (?!) Bless her, she was really welcoming despite being caught off guard - sat in her kitchen had a cup of tea and a cigarette, she showed me one of the chords in "De-luxe" I'd not been able to figure out by ear (open 4th fret barre) "and that, I don't know what that is" she said. Chatted for a while about Lollapolooza and the Texas-Head-Splitting-Stagedive, was only there maybe 20 minutes; figured it was best to make my excuses and leave her in peace. Some ideas I have seem like a good one until I carry them out!


1994 August 26 - Reading Festival

     


The day of the gig Lush were signing "Split" postcards in a tent. Unseen in the queue when I reached the table, Miki looked up "Bloody hell, its you!" signed my card "Andrew in the area." Had painted the artwork for LP of "Split" on the back of my jacket now, which they all noticed but as they were kinda busy signing, I didn't hang around. During their set there were some technical problems, it cut out during the start of "Lit Up" and there were some real wankers in the crowd heckling. They all 4 looked raaaaaather pissed off, understandably. Remember being stood in front of Emma, looking up and saying "Cheer up" - she replied "Hello" with a weak grin. Thankfully they had no more technical problems and it was a cracking gig, "Desire Lines" was so loud I couldn't hear properly for days afterwards! They did themselves proud considering the difficulties they had.

    

1996 January 20 - Warwick University

The four of us that were in a band, this time, went to see Lush, unfortunately never got the chance to say hello - except to Chris briefly, from a distance as he was en route from backstage. They played a blinder of a show, though!


 

 

 Dedicated to the memory of Chris Acland  

 (c) 2017