The genre of Shoegazing is connected to many things (most of which can be tied back to Fender Jaguars and distortion peddles) but perhaps too rarely to pop music.
Critical and commercial success for the genre in the early 90’s began to stall the moment Brit Pop broke around 1994, leaving the shoegazing legacy (bar, say, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Nirvana or Teenage Fanclub) looking like the attempt of well-read art students, with fancy guitars, to make highbrow art… often at the sake of a strong melody.
It’s an unfair legacy and one which is only beginning to be rectified thanks to the reunion of old favourites (most noticeably Ride) and the formation of new favourites, both of which champion the musicianship and pop sensibilities that shoegazing has to offer.
Of the new crop of ‘gazers, Newcastle based Coquin Migale seem most keen to push the MBV template further to both the pop and the art extremes. As a perfect example, their most recent (and BBC heavily rotated) single ‘Soft’ displays serious musicianship, serious artistic vision and serious vocal delivery in a way which blends dreamy vocals with intense musical soundscapes. This is the sound of perfect pop music being delivered by an angry courier.
If you’ve seen them before, you’ll know that you should expect pitch perfect vocal delivery, aggravated musical assault and good between-song banter…
With their star on the ascent, and shoegazing being given the praise it deserves, this is the perfect time to see Coquin. A ten date national tour in February brings them to Newcastle’s Jumpin’ Jacks club on the 23rd. Ear plugs are optional.