Not too long ago, I saw Spiritualized perform live. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating in Leamington Spa” were words Jason Pierce never thought he would ever say. And he never did. He didn’t even say hello when he walked on stage, which was fine because the crowd was treated to a five-minute introduction of fabulously flanged guitar work combined with distorted feedback as its partner in crime.
The night climaxed with a simultaneously brutal and gorgeous ‘Lay Back In The Sun’, which mixed loud shoegaze with gospel backing singers. Jason’s voice became an instrument fighting against guitar feedback, and the chant of “Good dope, good fun” became hypnotic. The drummer drummed harder, a sound man came on stage to turn up the amp volume, and then the lights began to happen. A white light appeared from the darkness. It began as a small speck, the vanishing point in the distance, but it began to emerge. I wanted to follow the light, and that was when the strobe effects started, and my body was being invaded by pure joy. It was how I felt finding God would feel, and it was the second ‘religious’ experience of my life (the first being when I first heard Pavement’s ‘Rattled By The Rush’). However, this also happened at the end of ‘I Think I’m In Love’ and ‘Take Me To The Other Side’, and an atheist cannot find religion that many times. But it felt possible.