On your Vapour Trail: Tracking the members of Ride since the band’s 1996 split
Credit: TEATAN Photography
Last summer, I caught Mark Gardener of shoegaze pioneers Ride at Café du Nord in San Francisco. Billed as the Going Blank Again twentieth anniversary tour, Gardener unfortunately didn’t play the classic album in its entirety like I had hoped, but the show was still enjoyable. Now Gardener is bringing his music to the Great Indoors, an “all-day celebration of bands, beer and burgers” at the Brixton Windmill in London.
The August 31 mini-festival also features performances from Her Parents, the Winter Olympics and others. And since I’ve never been one for outdoor festivals, the prospect of hanging out in a pub listening to awesome bands all day is a good one. Sadly, a last-minute trip to London isn’t in my future, but the news of this show got me thinking: What the hell is the rest of Ride doing these days?
Ride are best remembered for their early albums and EPs. 1990’s Nowhere and 1992’s Going Blank Again are shoegaze classics. After the commercial failure of their later releases, Ride called it quits in 1996. The band reformed briefly in 2001 for a Channel 4 documentary; but while certain members have played together here and there since, a full-on Ride reunion seems unlikely.
Andy Bell has arguably achieved the most success since Ride’s split. After releasing two albums with Hurricane #1, he became a touring musician originally as a guitarist with Gay Dad before joining Oasis, replacing original bassist Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan. Not a bad gig.
Following Oasis’ split in 2009, Bell joined former band mates Liam Gallagher and Gem Archer in Beady Eye. Additionally, Bell has collaborated with a number of artists over the years including Weeping Willows, the Most, and Adam Ant. His first solo track, released under the name Grapefruit, came out in 2009.
After the demise of his post-Ride band the Animalhouse, Gardener embarked on a solo career. His first album on his own, These Beautiful Ghosts, was released in 2005. Three years later, Gardner co-wrote and provided vocals on the Brian Jonestown Massacre track “Monkey Powder.”
Both Bell and former Ride drummer Lawrence “Loz” Colbert have appeared with Gardener at his solo shows. Colbert is a regular player in the British indie scene, and briefly filled in for Supergrass drummer Danny Goffey during a 2005 tour. From 2007 to last year, Colbert also played drums with the reunited Jesus and Mary Chain.
Bassist Steve Queralt’s current whereabouts are bit harder to pin down. A 2011 interview with MusicFeeds reveals that he no longer plays music professionally and instead has settled into a quiet family life. Apparently he’s taken the Vapour Trail lyric “First you look so strong/Then you fade away” to heart.
Despite each member’s scattered career after 1996, Ride’s influence still is heard in many bands today. The band’s legacy remains solid with both Going Blank Again and Nowhere receiving recent reissues, and Gardener and Bell are still players on the UK music circuit. For more information about Gardener’s solo shows, visit his website.