Following their stint of UK dates last year, including a headline performance at ATP's last ever festival at Camber Sands, Loop have confirmed their first shows across the US in 24 years. Starting in Philadelphia on April 16th, stopping at the Austin Psych Fest and concluding in mid-May in Portland, the band will play a total of 22 dates across North America.
Loop was formed in Croydon, London, 1986 by Robert Hampson (vocals/ guitar) and partner Beki Stewart (Bex) on drums. After finding Glen Ray on bass, through an ad in Melody Maker, they began to perform live and were quickly signed to HEAD Records run by Jeff Barrett (Heavenly,) who released their feedback-drenched debut 12", 16 Dreams.
Following line-up changes - the arrival of new drummer John Wills, new bassist Neil MacKay and James Endeacott on second guitar, the band were to take a more primal rhythmic foundation captured on their impressive debut full-length Heavens End (1987).
The band managed to hypnotize all with their discordant trance-like spell which served as an antidote to the prevailing trend in British pop at the time - they resurrected the concept of loud, out-there rock for a new era, creating droning soundscapes of bleak beauty and harsh dissonance, loosely influenced by bands such as The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, The MC5, but retaining an avant-garde and experimental edge from Can, Faust, Neu!, Rhys Chatham, Glenn Branca and minimalist systems music, to name but a few. Live shows were revelatory - Loop, allowing LOUD as a constant descriptive term, pushed PAs to the very edge of their existence, creating a sonic pummel not really experienced since.
A collection of singles and B-sides, The World in Your Eyes, appeared on HEAD in 1987, and after the departure of Endeacott, the band signed to the Chapter 22 label, releasing the Collision 12" as well as their more sparse and discordant second full-length, Fade Out.
With another label change, this time to Situation Two Records, the band replaced Endeacott's vacant position with Scott Dowson and veered towards more ethereal soundscapes on A Gilded Eternity (1990,) which was to be their final album.
After four years of pushing the boundaries, the band disbanded with only a BBC sessions collection Wolf Flow(1991) released after the band's demise.
Loop 2014 North American Tour Dates
4.16.14 - Kung Fu Necktie - Philadelphia, PA
4.17.14 - Le Poisson Rouge - New York, NY
4.18.14 - Metro Gallery - Baltimore, MD
4.19.14 - Middle East (Downstairs) - Cambridge, MA
4.21.14 - La Sala Rossa - Montreal, QC
4.22.14 - Wrongbar - Toronto, ON
4.23.14 - Magic Stick - Detroit, MI
4.24.14 - Cactus Club - Milwaukee, WI
4.25.14 - Gabe's Oasis - Iowa City, IA
4.26.14 - Turf Club - St. Paul, MN
4.27.14 - Bottom Lounge - Chicago, IL
4.28.14 - Record Bar - Kansas City, MO
4.29.14 - New Vintage - Louisville, KY
4.30.14 - Pilot Light - Knoxville, TN
5.01.14 - Georgia Theatre - Athens, GA
5.03.14 - Austin Psych Fest at Carson Creek Ranch - Austin, TX
5.04.14 - Austin Psych Fest at Carson Creek Ranch - Austin, TX
5.06.14 - Soda Bar - San Diego, CA
5.07.14 - Church on York - Los Angeles, CA
5.09.14 - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA
5.10.14 - The Rio - Santa Cruz, CA
5.15.14 - Chop Suey - Seattle, WA
5.16.14 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR
Photo Credit: Tom Sheehan