Twenty-nine years after its release, Young Marble Giants’ legendary ‘Colossal Youth’ – Rough Trade, recorded in 1980 in five days and mixed in 20 minutes – remains a landmark in post-punk music, an enigma of its own, acclaimed by musicians and audience over the years.
Formed in 1978 in Cardiff, the trio’s music was constructed around the powerful and minimal instrumentation of brothers Philip and Stuart Moxham on bass and guitar, supporting the naive untrained vocals of Alison Statton.
Stuart Moxham wrote the majority of the band’s songs, and his writing was often deceptively simple-seeming, giving YMG’s classic work a uniquely fragile yet powerful quality. The band split in 1980.
Reunited in 2007, the band has been since playing some rare shows around Europe, including All Tomorrows Parties, Primaverra Sounds, Villette Sonique among others. The orginal drum-machine parts are now played on electronic drums by third Moxham brother Andrew.
Since the reunion YMG played:
27 May 2007: Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, UK
28 October 2007 : Festival BBMIX, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
29 May 2008 : Auditorio Caixaova, Festival Sinsal, Vigo, Spain
30 May 2008 : Casa da Musica, Porto, Portugal
31 May 2008 : Festival Primavera, Barcelona, Spain
1 November 2008: Factory Festival, Nivelles, Belgium
14 November 2008: Sun Festival, Cardiff, UK
16 January 2009: Hebbel Theater/HAU, Berlin, Germany
9 May 2009: All Tomorrow Parties Festival. Minehead, Sommerset, UK – The band performed the complete Colossal Youth album
2 May 2010: Camden Crawl Festival, London
1 June 2010: Villette Sonique Festival, Paris
16 Oct 2010: Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, FR
10 Dec 2010: Midi Festival, Opéra de Toulon, Toulon, FR
9 March 2012 All Tomorrow Parties Festival. curated by Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel), Minehead, Sommerset, UK. That was the day they met again with label mates The Raincoats for the first time in decades:
13 October 2012: Teatro Municipal de Vila do Conde, Porto, Portugal
10 February 2013: Dingwalls, London
16 March 2013: Festival Avaulx Jazz, Vaux-en-Velin, France
20 September 2013: Union Chapel, London
14 December 2013: Week-End Festival, Koln, Germany
19 October 2014: Dancehouse, Manchester, UK
20 October 2014: Stereo, Glasgow, UK
[Jeff Mangum's] selection for the rest of Friday remained in a classic, cult vein, with Young Marble Giants performing their genius 1980 album ‘Colossal Youth’ – an intimidatingly pared down exercise in introspective new wave that was recorded in four days in rural Wales and remains frozen in time. The naively sweet vocals of Alison Stratton chirrup over Philip Moxham’s plundering basslines on ‘Searching For Mr Right’ and ‘Salad Days’, while ‘N.I.T.A.’ and ‘The Man Amplifier’ introduce their trademark Wurlitzer wobbles. Their sound is like nothing preceding or since – if anybody dared to imitate it would inevitably end in messiness as this level of simplicity requires seamless execution. YMG achieve this with trademark poise, closing with ‘Credit In A Straight World’, a song later covered in a slightly more belligerent manner by Courtney Love’s Hole. clashmusic.com/
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@ le Lieu Unique, Nantes, FR, Oct 16 2010