Here you find what Turin Brakes were up to from the beginning until roughly the end of 2002.
Long Distance Waiting
Turin Brakes spent the Beginning of 2002 by taking some time off after a lengthy end of year programme that saw them stretch to more than 40 venues in over 10 different countries between October to December. Phew! A somewhat breathless Olly & Gale began working on an ‘idea’ they thought up for their next album. An imaginary thing called the ‘Ether’ which sits somewhere between the clouds and the Earth way up in the stratosphere. An interesting angle – to fully understand what they’re getting at you should check out the Ether Song EPK video footage – which is available on the FIRST limited 2CD edition of Ether Song.
Long Distance would be the gentle taster for the dawning of something much bolder. Or, if you will, the bridging between the heartache melodies of The Optimist and the moving on towards creating the bigger band sound that Olly & Gale were craving. Upon release the NME proclaimed it ‘Simon & Garfunkel on ecstasy’. Quite. Released on 21st October after the successful acoustic tour the previous month, it reached number 22 and was immediately the band’s biggest selling single to date.
Long Distance was the perfect hook for fans new and old. It starts off subtle enough, a juddering guitar, gentle shimmering piano keys and softly spoken opening lines. The interesting thing I found when it came out wasn’t the fact it sounded totally fresh, no. From that first piano key, you just know its going to brew into something that needs exploding and it reaches boiling point as Olly reaches the high notes of “The world’s turniiiiiiing”. Thankfully, it delivers…I find myself lost for words to find how to explain it, but perhaps the most beautiful crescendo you can ever set your ears too.
The video is perhaps the best yet, fitting the song perfectly the way the water begins with a few trickles before turning into a tidle wave. That’s precisely the feeling you get with Long Distance, and you just can’t help to shout out the epic chorus “Long Distance looosing is all that I’ve seen, now there’s a riiiiiiiiver!”.
So, Long Distance is up there with the best of them…perhaps on a par with Mind Over Money in terms of the message in the song and indeed the way it just reaches breaking point – though perhaps mind over money was a gentle warm up to this. I often listen to this thinking O&G obviously wanted to take things to another level, not a two fingered salute, but a nod to the record industry that Turin Brakes were not pop darlings. Long Distance is the track which gave TB big fat hairy balls and made rock music sit up and take a proper look.
So what else was on the single? Max Tundra and The Bees both weigh in with the first proper DJ “remixes” to be heard of a Turin Brakes single. I’m not normally one for remixes, quite frankly they are often nothing more than filler in an attempt to release a single on more than one CD format. The Max Tundra Remix is definetly what you would call weird, but it has a certain groove that might just catch you… The Bees Remix, however, is really good. The sound is quite graveyard sounding. well, almost like dead male church choir singers coming back to life. You do hear Olly’s voice during the verse (“the world is turning”) and it’s really a grower!
Lost & Found and Souless are both home recordings and lovely little tunes. The quality is a little poor, particularly on Lost & Found, the running of the tape can be clearly heard. However, that’s not to take anything away from the sublime natural beauty of both songs (nice use of the maracas in Souless). Definitely worth hearing, though not quite in the same league as some of The Optimist’s b-sides .