Experience counts for everything and you can’t always leave the past behind as proven by The Boo Radleys. They show their statesman-like song writing prowess and revive the melodic, pop sensibilities of their chart-cresting nineties exploits with latest single, Sorrow (I Just Want To Be Free). Making extrovert sounds from their sense of introspection, the single – the last to be lifted from their imminent eighth album, ‘Eight,’ released on Fri June 9, 2023 on their own Boostr label – references electronic pop icons as voices warp, synths replace guitars and the band catches the beat.
New music not only heralds the release of their second album in as many years, denoting a new era of Boos prolificacy since their surprise reformation in 2021, but also the start of a new Boo Radleys tour. Initially taking off to play seven towns and cities with a SOLD-OUT date in Reading starting proceedings before hitting London’s The Garage on Wed 14 June, fans can look forward to greatest hits and more as the band celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the release of their critically-adored, classic album, ‘Giant Steps’.
Sorrow (I Want To Be Free) arrives as a potent example of everything that the three-piece, formed of original members, Simon ‘Sice’ Rowbottom, Tim Brown and Rob Cieka, have previously explained about the new sense of freedom, and healthy relationship with technology, that drives the band forward. Echoes of voices, pulsing electronics and tight percussion underpin the emotive pop they can’t seem to help but make, as Sice’s voice echoes an illustrious past of wall-to-wall radio popularity and the pathos contained within lines sung with purpose and meaning.
Brown says of the single: ‘Together in Electric Dreams’ for jaded, locked down, middle aged gentlemen. Deep, deep sorrow comes from disconnection. A loneliness that is forged from isolation. Humans may be born and die alone, but we cannot survive without other people.”
At the start of 2023, turning out to be one of their busiest years as a band with two long-playing releases and two tours, including one with John Peel-endorsed indie heroes, Cud, in October, the band released the first single lifted from ‘Eight’ first single, Seeker. Similar to Sorrow (I Just Want To be Free), it was a song that reflected on the need to have human contact, whether times were good or bad. Showing their lack of fear or constraint, the need to get things off their chests and hinting at the broad palette of moods and musical texture waiting for fans on the new album, they quickly followed up with The Unconscious, dealing with psychoanalysis, and Now That’s What I Call Obscene, going for the throat when it comes to intolerance and bigotry. How Was I To Know, meanwhile, charmed with recollections of drunken abandon and fuzzy-focused romance.
Having experienced the warmth of the welcome fans offered them on their first tour in three decades in the autumn of 2021, and adding festival dates as they’ve gone along, The Boo Radleys look ahead to more of the same across their live dates for 2023. All of their shows currently announced and on sale are as follows:
- Tue 13 June – Reading. South Street Arts Centre – SOLD OUT
- Wed 14 June – London, The Garage
- Thu 15 June – Tunbridge Wells, The Forum
- Fri 16 June – Birkenhead, Future Yard – SOLD OUT
- Thu 22 June – Dublin, The Grand Social
- Fri 23 June – Belfast, The Limelight
- Sun 25 June – Glasgow, Hug and Pint – EVENING SOLD OUT – MATINEE ADDED
- Sat 28 October – Manchester, Bread Shed w/Cud
- Sun 29 October – Liverpool, O2 Academy 2 w/Cud
- Mon 30 October – Sheffield, O2 Academy 2 w/Cud
- Tue 31 October – Birmingham, O2 Institute 2 w/Cud
- Thu 2 November – Bristol, The Fleece w/Cud
- Fri 3 November – Oxford, O2 Academy 2 w/Cud
- Sat 4 November – London, O2 Academy Islington w/Cud
Tickets for all dates can be found via links available at https://www.thebooradleys.com
‘Eight’ is released on multiple formats including online store and indies-only coloured vinyl editions as well as standard black vinyl, CD and digital versions.
Remastered and reissued in such fashion as to do its towering reputation justice, The Boo Radleys last month revealed full details of the 30th Anniversary release of ‘Giant Steps’. Re-emerging almost 30 years to the day since it’s original release on Creation Records, the album is available for fans and collectors to pre-order as a strictly limited to 1000 copies Dinked Edition, comprised of two marble-coloured discs with a special, bonus 12” featuring alternate, non-album mixes of four tracks including Lazarus, Rodney King and Peachy Keen. A deluxe, double LP on orange and purple-coloured vinyl, including a separate 10” record featuring remixes by fellow end-of-century voyagers in sound, Saint Etienne joins the running with a standard black double-vinyl edition also on offer. A super-limited, 500 copy Boos Store-only edition comes with a special edition pin badge.
The restored Boo Radleys have worked towards a new vision of the band, formed around the song writing ideas of each member, since first remaking contact with each other on artistic terms in 2019. Having originally experienced the boom of Creation’s 90’s era of big budgets and residential recording studios, the band has embraced complete independence and technological advances to reconnect creatively and push efficiently onwards. Although currently not a member of the band, The Boo Radleys acknowledge and pay tribute to their original guitarist and songwriter, Martin Carr, during live performances.