LUSH Chicago: Review and "interview"

Written by "Bones, Inner Sanctum, Sanctuary" on Wed, 10 Aug 1994 16:14:28 CDT.

quick playlist:
Undertow (Spooky remix)
Lit Up
For Love
The Childcatcher
Kiss Chase
Light From a Dead Star
Baby Talk
Desire Lines
Sweetness and Light
Leaves Me Cold

Also, in response to the issue avbout Weezer and Dillan Fence, while
Chris Acland and I were watching Dillan Fence play, he said this was the
first time he saw them, and that they really have no hand in choosing
the opening bands, but he did like Dillan Fence.

OK:  here's the review etc.  Questions, comments, etc. welcome
It will also appear in Subculture mag as a feature. . .

Lush, Live at the Vic Theatre, Chicago, July 31, 1994

"How could I have spent all that money?"

Miki Berenyi, lead singer/guitarist/ and songwriter of the London band Lush
is looking somewhere between perplexed and distressed.

"I had all that money and I thought I put it away somewhere. . ."

"I know," adds bassist Phil King confirming that he has fallen prey to the
epidemic as well.  "I had $32...but..."

As spending money is redistributed to the band members, the dark and somewhat
mysterious vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Emma Anderson asks Phil for her bag
in an attempt to renogotiate the slush fund.  Apparently, the nearby Halsted
Street Fair, an annual outdoor bazzar not unlike a huge block party featuring
music, dancing, food, and gifts, has played havoc on some of the members'
pocketbooks.  Drummer Chris Acland remarks that it was nice and later, Phil
would even display some newly required items he bought from a local comic
store.  With a quizzical smirk, he pulls out several items from the plastic
bag, including several stand-up cardboard cut-outs of Stimpy, 2 Speed Racer
bumper stickers, and a bottle of Catwoman bubble bath solution.  "Purr-fect
for bubble fun," proclaimed the bottle.  "Pretty kinky, Phil," I muse.
"They're for friends," Phil reassures as he proudly sets Stimpy on the coffee

Lush is enjoying a break from the heat of Chicago where it hit over 90F.  The
foursome are now basking in the luxury of air-conditioning, comfortable
couches, fruits, drinks, and bulk-rate candy.  Whether it was the change
in atmosphere or not, the band is a bit weary, but playful.  Miki, sipping
modestly from a can of orange Crush, lounges on the floor before deciding to
saunter barefoot to sit on the couch next to Phil and Chris, feeling the plush
carpeting between her toes as she walks.  Chris, who along with Miki, form
Lush's fun-loving, comedic side, inquires who else has played at the Vic
theatre where they wwould be playing later on that day.  "Einsturzende
Neubaten and Skinny Puppy," I answer noting the "similarity" in musical style
between these bands and Lush.  "And Dead Can Dance."

"That's right!" smiles Acland, seemingly finding solace in company with a fel-
low 4AD band.  Phil and Emma, who form Lush's enigmatic and profoundly intel-
lectual side, look on and Emma says, "We're not THAT familiar with all these
venues around America" when asked if they were surprised that they weren't
playing their traditional venue at Cabaret Metro.  "It's not like when we're
told to play somewhere, we're like, 'HEY!  The Vic!'"  But they definitely
remember the venues they enjoy.  Chris' remarks on the Cabaret Metro and
its newest extension, the Double Door is evidence of that.  "Good club,
Double Door," Phil says, nodding.  "Oh, yeah, it was good," spurts Chris,
quick to respond to how much he liked its intimacy and setting.  Lush played
a quietly publicized date there last month, taking the smaller 21 and over
bar by storm.  Tonight, however, they were playing to a much more massive
crowd--one that would pack the Vic so much it would make a fireman's
maximum occupancy nightmare all too real. . .

PLaying in support of their latest and critically-acclaimed release _Split_,
Miki, Phil, Chris, and Emma knew no limits thaty night.  Amidst a dark stage
tuned to the sounds of the Spooky remix of "Undertow," the former "mosy hated
band in London" took their places in the face of an impatient crowd who
absolutely could not contain themselves as they waited to put what was for some
a 2-year wait to an end.  Miki, who had changed from a summer dress to a black
blouse and silver skirt and had donned fire red canvas high tops whose colour
competed with her hairdye, bade the fans a jaunty hello before kicking
it in with "Blackout."  Lush certainly had some impressive sound going
tonight and their enthusiasm was coupled with an intensely beauiful Intellabeam
light show.  Following the song's terrifyingly abrupt stop, "Starlust" was
next.  This time, it was played in its newer _Split_ form rather than its
original b-side form, but Emma was really feeling its wave and again, the
twinkling lighting was no less than incredibly perfect in embodifying the mood
and title of the song.  "Lit Up" slowed everything down a bit and gave all
those moshing a bit of a break, even to ask what the 4 lemons on Lush's
backdrop banner stood for, to which Miki replied with a mischievious smile
and a roll of her eyes.

Although it was the only song from Lush's 2nd album _Spooky_, "For Love" re-
ceived what was arguably the biggest welcome from the crowd.  Phil, in parti-
cular, was especially into the jazzy bassline he played for the song, while
Chris got the crowd into a ruckuss with his drumming--a job he definitely

Most people didn't recognize it when it was played, but that was because
"The Childcatcher" was a limited release.  The kids didn't seem to mind it
though, and only a select few of us were singing along with Miki and Emma's
profound tune about older men and their younger prey.

Paralleling their performance on MTV's _120 Minutes_ that night, Lush performed
"Kiss Chase" next and followed up with _Split's_ opener, "Light from a Dead
Star."  This song was remarkable and the introductory bells were exceptionally
clear.  Although a sudden mishap killed Miki's microphone, it only served to
demonstrate that the band is so in-tune with each other and ready to improvise
when Emma surprised everyone in the rare act of actually taking over Miki's
lead vocals for the last half of the song, bringing it home to a successful
close.  "Sorry, [this] didn't happen in practice," grinned Miki.  True,
the song worked perfectly at the soundcheck. . .

As if to make up the apology, Lush gave one of the best songs of the night in
the form of "Lovelife" which made one just want to shut their eyes and dream
of their significant others wherever they may be.  Furthering the point, Phil's
excellent bass intro and Chris' uncanny percussion helped Miki and Emma break
the conventional "single-at-the-end-of-the-main-set" dogma by playing a
crowd-involved "Hypocrite."  Everyone was into this one, yelling out the
furious words with Anderson and Berenyi, and floating upon waves of slam-
dancing fans.  Miki summed it all up by concluding, "That was fun!"
She definitely liked this one.

Swaying to Chris' aqueous percussion and Phil's groove bass, the fans swayed
like waves at high tide to "Undertow" as if to give the song some tangible
reality.  "Let me try to pull you free," entranced Miki, her voice bearing the
same effect as an angelic mantra.  Emma had a similar effect with her guitar
intro for "De-Luxe," which was great, although it was again "Covert"-less.
A fan, body-passed onto the stage, shook Miki's hand at the end of the song
(Miki complied with a smile) before leaping back into the fray.  Miki
saluted him goodbye upon seeing the incoming security goons.  "What a polite
young man," she remarked.

"Downer" could be summed up in one word:  insane.  The most violent and
obnoxious mosh came here and it looked as if Chris would break holes in his
Yamahas without regard to the Geneva Convention for this one.  Emma's slide
technique was put to use in "Baby Talk," which, just as in the Double
Door show the month before, closed the set and found Miki abandoning her
guitar only momentarily in order to completely feel and deliver the power and
emotion of the lyrics before returning to the psychotic flanging
of her 12-string Rickenbacker (which I still haven't managed to convince her
to "donate" to me, but with the broken D-string I did get, I only have 11
strings to go).

After a lengthy break which succeeded in getting concert-goers even more
excited than before, Miki and Co. returned with a plea for one of the opening
bands:  "Dillan Fence's van has broken down.  So, during this song, I want you
all to cross your fingers and pray for Dillan Fence."  Emma then did some of
her best work that night with an emotionally-stricken version of "Desire Lines"
which tempted tears.  Extending an invitation to dance, Miki then presented the
beautifully airy "Sweetness and Light" which fluttered through the space
like a butterfly--definitely one of the highlights of the night.  Again,
everyone got into such a mood that they went totally mad waiting for 2nd

Lush answered with a kick to the head.  "See if you know this one," chided Miki
of her newer fans before playing "Thoughtforms."  What a surprise!  Everyone
who was into Lush's swirly music for the longest really appreciated this since
it hasn't been played live in years.  And again, "Leaves Me Cold" closed the
evening with Miki's most frenzied string-straining guitarwork and Emma's
slides giving her fretboard a run for its money.  It's a wonder that the
two best friends don't break their equipment while performing!  In a fit of
excitement, Miki threw her pick over her head and while catching her breath,
smiled and said goodnight.

Lush deienitely put on a much stronger, powerful, and lengthier show than they
previously had in the past.  They definitely have improved their live act in
the same directions as their musical style, and bested their earlier perfor-
mance last month hands-down.  Everyone was in their purest form and worked
equally hard to deliver the finished product that could only be Lush to
the fans.  The only drawbacks apparently being the somewhat obnoxious crowd
whose mosh made it hard to enjoy the songs, and the absence of songs from
_Spoooky_ such as "Nothing Natural" and "Monochrome."  Again, it would
haave been gorgeous if "Fantasy" or "Hey Hey Helen" was played, but given
the above-and-beyond performance, the emotion, and the surprises that Lush
did give, who were we to criticize?  This was brilliant!  Besides, there was
plenty of room to indulge in older material from their first album _Gala_,
something bands don't do much anymore.

The importance of the quality of the brand new songs from _Split_ is due
largely in part to the band's honesty in sound.  Miki and Emmma are always
ready to admit that they are happy that the album sounds more like the
band does live, and both women seem to have worked as hard as they could
to achieve this.  Although all of the songs were written by the end of
June 1993 and were even performed live at the 13 Year Itch celebration
last year in July, both Miki and Emma knew that _Split_ still had a long
way to go before being born into the right sound, and there was a delay
in that birth.  Finding a producer was a hindrance indicates Phil earlier
on, but he kind of stopped right there.

"You never answer the question!" laughs Miki, perking up from the couch
and prompting him to go on.

"Finding a producer, a suitable producer, who is available. . ."  Phil
is trailing off again, but Miki's on a roll.

"C'mon!" she taunts.  "and the rest...The touring and all that
know, whatever."
"It wasn't that period?"
"By the time we finished the demos, it was recorded and rehearsed. . ." Phil
tries to continue.
"And the, you know, remixing and the thing."  Miki is starting to see that
she's doing the explaining anyway.

Bob Mould was the first choise for a producer, but he only liked a few of the
demo songs.  The band shopped around for others until they decided on
Mike Hedges, whi had produced The Cure, Bauhaus, and Siouxsie and the Ban-
shees.  "Finding a producer took about 2 or 3 months.  There was a gap
between finishing the demos and going to the studio," remember Chris.
"Mixing it, that took about a month, then we had to remix it again, so
there was also like 4,5,6 months where it could've gone out quickly."
The album had to be remixed because Lush were unhappy with the mixing done
by Hedges.  It started when the final mixing process found Lush travelling
to Normandy, France to Hedges' home--a move that was completely out of
Lush's agenda and against their wishes, and the association between Mike
and the quartet began to tarnish a bit.

"It was a bit out of control," Emma says.  Miki agrees,"Yeah, I mean
recording took forever. . .to the end of the year. . .but it didn't seem like
such a long time. . .but it took us 'til the whole fucking thing was
[done].  It wasn't like we did three mixes and go, 'Oh, this isn't any good.'"

The mixes were being done in a foreign environment in France that was
completely incompatible with Lush, and they were being brutally attacked
by boredom.  "Well, mixing is just boring anyway, the most of it," says
Miki.  "You would sit there for like 7 hours listening to extra sound. . .
of course, it's more boring to you," she tells Chris who defends with,
"ALL the time it's boring."  Phil also painfully remembers that "There was
nothing to do [except mix. And] just eat lots of cheese."

"It was just about time when everyone was just [antsy]," Chris ventures
and Emma adds, "It was just a sort of boring town.  There was nothing. . .It
was a pretty town, but it rained."

"There was a castle, but it was ruined," Phil says with an air of disap-
pointment.  "We didn't have any transport to get away. . .Plus [Mike's]
English videos were about 50 years old.  Chris summed it all up by stating,
"Everything was against us all the way."  Everything including the super-
natural, apparently.  Phil has some stories to tell about red cathedrals
and massacres while Chris had close contacts with spirit nooses and
the walls thanks to the spirits "living" in the Hedges home.  "It was bad,"
sighs Emma at the thought of Mike's lifestyle, and Miki laughs as she adds
"I had a fucking nervous breakdown!"  She then continues, "Mike was making
the coffee in the halls and was into the candles alot. . ."
"[And] then there's a bad accident," interrupts Phil and detouring Miki
into a different story better forgotten.  "OH!  You HAD to _remind_ me!"
giggles Miki, hardly containing herself.  "god, I actually blacked out!"

When all was supposedly done, the band was eager to return to London, but
upon arrival, found the mixes unacceptable.  It was clear there would be
more delay in remixing it.  Luckily, with the skills of Alan Moulder (Curve,
Smashing Pumpkins, NIN), it was easier than they thought.  Finally,
they were happy with the end result.  Don't get Lush wrong:  they're still
on good terms with Mike, although they haven't spoken to him since.
"We sent him a letter to let him know what's happening," says Emma.  "But
that's it, really.  I mean, he's pretty cut off and all."  Emma pauses
and thoughtfully brings her dark eyes up in consideration.  "Well. . .
he's sort of. . .out of touch with what's going on in the rest of the world."

But whatever the events, Lush's new album was by far a masterpiece, and
its completed thus fulfilled the quest for the correct sound.  While record-
ing, the band also explored new sounds, and hence there was room for
experimentation.  "Starlust" was tweaked here and there, and on a number of
songs, such as "Desire Lines" and "Never-Never," string instruments were
actually used, which was everybody's idea.  "We haven't had strings before,
no."  Emma says.  "Well, Ivo just said, 'Have you thought of any other
instrumentation?'" reveals Miki about the label's headman.  "So that's how
it happened."

Experimentation also turned into fun, as shown by Lush's extremely rare
recording of the Sixties children's television show theme song by Robert
Johnson known as "Rupert the Bear."  The idea started with Phil.  "I found
a copy of the record at a junk shop, and we're playing it [in the studio]
and the Stone Roses pop in."

"They thought it was us!" pipes Miki.
Phil continues, "They thought we were gonna be playing like, I dunno, dumb
reggae or something."  So the band recorded it for fun, and did they ever
have fun with it!

Since the release of _Split_, the band has had the "secretive" tour in June
and the current tour.  Allong the way, they have made 2 TV appearances, one
on MTV, and the other on the late night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien.
"It was alright," remark Chris and Emma.  Chris continues, "I thought it
was'd be there for 4 hours and then you rehearse, and
then you do it, and thenit's over and then you go."  The question
then becomes where they would like to make future US TV appearances.
"CNN," jokes Chris which triggers off a chain reaction of laughter and sug-
gestions from the rest of us.

"The Nashville Network!" I yell
"Shopping Channel!"  yell Miki and Emmma.  Discussion then turns to the
Cattle Shopping Network in Tennessee where cattle is auctioned off on
cable.  "That's quite good, actually," says Chris, who is impressed.
"Only in America," we sigh and Emma immediately remarks, "I believe it.
They'd probably do that in Australia."  Miki agrees, remembering, "They
have a quiz show about sheep!"  She is corrected by Emma who points
out that it is New Zealand, and suddenly the Autralian jokes begin to
roll.  Miki, in her best Aussie accent, says, "Put another shrimp on the
barby!" and Chris follows suit with "G'day, Mrs. Jessup!"

But all kidding aside, the playful Lush have definitely come a long way
since their first rehearsal as The Baby Machine, a name which always makes them
 laugh ("Oh, yeah!  Baby Machine!" Chris laughs with a sarcastically low
voice as everyone laughs on.  "That was pre-Lush!").   Originally a 5-piece,
Meriel Barham left her job as lead vocalist to pursue a future with the Pale
Saints.  But when she was with Lush, everyone remembers her somewhat fondly.
They disliked her writing to a small extent.  "It was rubbish," sighs Emma.

"She had a song called 'Skin'," recalls Chris.  "And she also had a song
called (in laughing unison with Miki and Emma) 'It Has to Go.'  'Skin'
was alright, actually.  Now she's writing good songs.  She's talented."
Everyone seemed to agree with that.

Although neither of them wabnted to fill the vacant singing position, Miki
ended up with the task.  All of them had been in bands before--Miki and Emma
both played bass in The Bugs and The Rover Girls, respectively.  Chris
played in hard-core punk bands Infection and Panik as early as 12 before
playing as Henry Hysteria in A Touch of Hysteria and then moving to Les
Turds.  He met Miki and Emma in college, along with Steve Rippon, who was
Lush's bassist at the time.

Miki and Emma knew each other way back as children, and they even had their
own fanzine, _Alphabet Soup_, which doesn't exist anymore.  "I don't even
have a set of them," realizes Miki.  Phil points out that she still has
the artwork, which causes her to really think back.  "I've got. . .I think
I've got all of them.  And I've got one of the little sheets that we used
for printing.  I haven't got the folder, I've got the one that never
came out."  The childhood friends laugh in remembrance of the thought
and the art they both did.  "Pigs in bondage gear, from my remembrance,"
laughs Miki.

>From 1988 on, Lush recorded three EPs, _Scar_, _Mad Love_, and _Sweetness
and Light_ (all of which were compiled into their first US album _Gala_).
Soon after their the EP _Black Spring_ and their second album _Spooky_,
bassist Steve left when he found his bass ability couldn't keep up the
pace--his last show was a secret Ride fan club gig in December 1991.
His replacement was found the following month in the form of NME photographer
and associatee editor Phil King, who had played bass and guitar with The Ser-
vants, Felt, Biff Bang Pow!, Apple Boutique, and See See Rider.  The circle
now complete, Lush took to Lollapalooza '92, opening the festival, which
was a 139 date world tour.  "It was great," comments Emma.  "It was very very
very very beautiful."  Herein, the band received a great deal of exposure
and formed some friendships with the bands as well as Jim Rose's Circus
Sideshow, which brings a giggle to them (I won't say why.).  The friend-
ships formed included, according to Chris, "Mostly Ministry.  And we knew
the jesus and mary chain."  With a thoughtful expression, he jokes,
"Me and Ice Cube are pen pals."  We all laugh as Chris sees he has struck
a nerve.  With a gangsta voice he yells, "'How ya doin'?  YO! Fuck you, Chris!'
And I write, 'Fuck you, Ice Cube!' and he goes 'Fuck you bitch!  Hey buddy...
I got a little problem with my girlfriend."

"Because you haven't got one," teases Miki.
With an appropriate pause, Chris finishes with, "I just shot her.  All right,
all right!"

Inbetween the release of _Spooky_ and _Split_, Lush have been involved with
other things.  Emma says, "I played on the Drum Club's first album
(_Everything is Now_)--three songs.  I haven't done anything since then."
She also played on their single "Sound System" before that and even live in
the spring of '92.  The Drum Club remixed "Stray" as a 12" dance mix as
a return favour, but it has been very rare, although Chris recall that it was
played here in Chicago at a club.  "Was it?" asks Emma in surprise.  "I
think it ould be very difficult to get a hold of. . .but someone saw
it in Tower in London."  Even Lush doesn't have alot of copies.  Chris has
three, and Emma has one.  She also doesn't hang out with techno bands
as was previously rumoured.

Consssidering their beginnings, Miki and Emma have definitely developed
their skills since day one.  Emma herself had started with four guitar lessons
and learned five chords before giving up and Miki describes how she pain-
stakingly learned by playing along with old records such as Roy Orbison.
She even remembers someone even teaching her how to play "Old Man River!"
Obviously, given the massive amounts of intricate, imaginative, swirling
music, there are huge quantities of natural talent and imagination
floating amongst the duo.  But the pair laugh at the thought.  It's a bit
ironic, but even Emma says that nothing really inspires a song--it just
pops into her head.  Both are quick to point out that though they are both
confident with their sound and their voices, they still don't think they're
very good.  Yet their skills have increased so much that they have garnished
comments ranging from "superb" to "angelic" in describing their voices and
guitar work.  "Where di you read that?!?" asks Miki in a bit of shock,
leaning forward in wonderment.  "I'd like to get that."

"It was on the press release, "muses Phil and the laughter begins again.

With all the exposure, and the current music movement into the so-called
political correctness territory, one wonders where a female-fronted band
like Lush fall into place in a sea of riot grrl acts.  It's a huge concern
for Miki and Emma, but their opinions are very down-to-earth.  Miki believes
that the movement is much more common now, that there isn't as much stigma
attached to having female-led bands as before, but it's still there.
"I just noticed it because I noticed it when all that dance stuff was
out, and i just thought, 'Oh, here we go!'  Basically,we got women, who
aren't actually singing on the record.  They would get like a model to stand
there and y'know, "Laaa!' and then the music is done by blokes, all these
blokes with keyboards.  And then you get a pretty girl upfront and that's it."

The recent riot grrl movementis a concern as well, and with bands that are
a part of it such as Huggy Bear (Emma has seen them play and has a few
of their records), Miki and Emma choose not to be a part of the
"I'm in a band and I'm a girl" attitude which characterizes the most of the
riot grrl acts.  "I wouldn't choose to sing about's a bit impersonal,"
comments Miki.  "They never [seem to] sing about anything else, they only
sing about being a woman in a band.  I can understand it though, you know?...
Because people can be so feministic about the tension of the whole struggle
of women in bands...then I think, 'Well, it's not more feministic.  It's
a different sort of feminism.  It's OK.'  But I'm a bit too old for it, I
think.  Miki snickers.  "It's a very teenage thing to think you can reduce
politics into like, 'Oh, I am a feminist because I'm a woman in a band!  I
mean, that's enough!

"I think the riot grrl movement in Briatain is something quite different,
possibly, from what it is out here," Miki continues while taking in
a smoke from a cigarette she got from Phil.  "I mean, you're not gonna
get things like Kim Gordon, British equivalents of that, in a riot grrl
movement in Britain.  You're gonna get girls who wear, y'know, flat shoes
and--that's the thing that annoys me again about it--It's almost like...
fascistic in that you've got to look in like a certain way otherwise
you're not [a riot grrl].  And there's a bit of scorn for other women who
don't conform to that, which I find a bit self-defeating.  I mean,
you're trying to liberate women into like becoming something and yet if
they don't, [if they don't] conform to the way you think women should be,
then they're not, well, good enough."

"It's a very closed, well, viscious circle," sighs Emma.  She has definitely
seen all of the problems.  While Chrissy Hynde and Others have been chastised
by riot grrls because they say they don't identify with them, Miki and
Emma's remain firm even in the face of this sort of onslaught.  "I'm not
willing to sort of say I'm a riot grrl," says Miki.  "It just seems like
a very juvenile way of doing things."  Emma notes that even Courtney Love
had noticed that people seemed to refer to women in rock as just "girls."
"It very sort of targeted," says Anderson.  "But the thing is some of the
poeple in the thing are actually 25 years old, but they're pretending
that they're quite beyond that.  It's [actually] quite immature.  You know,
it's like pick up a guitar and learn 3 chords and well up and be fucking
sensitive, and I think feminism spreads a bit wider than that, actually."

"When you're 15 or 16, that's great," adds Miki.

Emma nods.  "That is at the age when things do change the way you think
about, you know, shape your outlook."

Miki agrees, and says, "Even when we first got onstage--I'm sure alot of people
would think, 'Oh, fucking girls!  Some stupid old band with girls in it...!"

"And this exclusion of men thing!" interjects Emma, showing her scorn for
the genre.

Miki supports, "I mean, that's how I would think when I'm 16:  All you have
to do is dress a certain way and [use] the right cliches and that makes you a
better person...[or else] you're a traitor!"

"And having all those rules, I mean, creating new rules," says Emma.

"By the time you get into 20," Miki continues.  "Life is a little more
complicated.  You realize the world isn't quite divided into just good and
bad people.  It's a grey area."

Emma is still a bit shocked at the kinds of people that form the riot grrl
movement--people who aren't actually pure "riot grrl" type victims.  "Alot
of these people . . .are middle-class privelaged kids.  They're not
child abuse victims. . .they're middle-class suburban kids.  It's a scene:
and you've got a fanzine, and it's fun, but it's not like you can say all
these people are like, a victim of society!  I mean, I'm pummeling some
of them off but. . ."

"[It seems as if] you're vaguely more sensitive, you get the shit kicked  out
of you!" Miki says with a little bit of surprise.

"I think the thing that bugs me about it is this thing about sort of slagging
off women in bands who actually cpuld play a bit.  I mean, actually writing
songs, and could play," Emma says in contrast to today's current trend.
"Now you have to get up there and just shout and hit your instruments and...
that actually had an opposite effect in a way.  And also, you could think,
'Oh, well.  They're _girls_, they can do that, you know?  That bugged me."

"Like all that stuff with PJ Harvey!" remarks Miki.  The artist was slagged
off and mixed up into all the riot grrl stuff, according to Emma.  Miki
remembers reading all of that where PJ Harvey was slagged off "because
she wouldn't say that she was a feminist or something .  People would
ask, 'Are you a feminist?' and she would say, 'No, I'm not, and I'm not fucking
interested either.'  But even if she says she's not a feminist, not by this
little code book, you kknow we have to listen to her songs, and they're not...
you know, they're not idiotic songs.  So if you took feminists as being
a strong female figure, then she's it.  It's pointless to slag of her off...
there's no denying it.  She's got a helluva lot more pull and effect than
someone like Huggy Bear, as good as they can be.  PJ Harvey's gonna hit
much more of a nerve with people, I think. . ."

After discussion of strong female musician figures such as Siouxsie Sioux,
the topic of Debbie Harry comes up, for she had been chastised by some femi-
nists simply because she was beautiful.  "It was like ridiculous," says
Miki.  "If you're beautiful, then you're not, y'know, 'Sorry, you're
not part of the club.'  Then to me, it gets like a lot of people who just
want o feel better than the rest...y'know, like, 'We're better than women
beacuse we're riot grrls.'"  In further regard to Debbie Harry, Miki
says it seems like, "you can't be sexy AND be a feminist" according to those
"rules."  Emma rolls her eyes and comments, "You have to wear dungarees."

Besides, as Miki puts it, "It just doesn't work, categorizing people like
that.  Somebody could have all the right political causes as their assets...
[and] can still be like boring fucking cows!"  We all laugh.  "And I don't
want to dress because I belong to certain [groups] and I don't want to give out
certain the time you get to like your mid-twenties or something,
you're not gonna want to be like bothered, you know.  [It's like],
'I'm gonna wear these things 'cuz I fucking like it!'"

"I sort of felt a bit sorry for those who got leapt on and pulled apart
rather quickly," says Emma.  After hearing that many riot grrls actually
tattoo "riot grrl" to their arms, she concludes, "I just don't think it's that
simple.  You can't solve the world's problems just by writing words on your
arm!"  Miki laughs in agreement.

The topic definitely elicits a mouthful from the two, and they definitely
have established their positions.  And they have every right to do so.
Miki and Emma have successfully pulled themselves up into their present
places, and continue to put out their brand of musical elegance to their
audiences.  Lush's tour continues through August, and sadly enough
they will not be participating in the "All Virgos are Mad" 4AD festival
in Los Angeles in September because they will be touring Europe then, parti-
cularly France.  They are disappointed about that, but they don't want to
ignore the French fans either.  "It would be nice for us to do it,"
Emma says, "but the actual logistics of's like, we can't have come
around here already twice, then go back [to America from Europe].  We'd
have to cancel those dates, go back, be fucking knockered, not have all our
crew because then they wouldn't be paid for it all, and all this sort
of stuff..."  Miki joins in, saying, "We did that once before...[and it
didn't work].  It would've been nice."  Emma agrees as Miki sums up,
"We can't just blow out the French gigs just for that!"

Lush also hope to play Australia again, possibly when things start to slow down
a bit.  Then afterwards, there'll be time for other things such as Phil's
plans to make home movies of French rock concerts or maybe Emma continuing
her equestrian efforts which she never took seriously as a child anyway.
Who knows?  But, two things are certain: First, they'll continue to do an ex-
ceptional job.  And second, they'll be more careful around the Halsted Street


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