Miki Berenyi Trio, Lol Tolhurst & Budgie

Fri Jun 7 2024

8:00 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

Bottom Lounge

1375 W. Lake St Chicago, IL 60607

$30.00

Ages 17+

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Miki Berenyi Trio, Lol Tolhurst & Budgie

  • Miki Berenyi Trio

    Miki Berenyi Trio

    Music

    Miki Berenyi began her career as a recording artist in 1989, as co-founder of the band Lush, releasing a series of EPs (Scar, Mad Love and Black Spring compiled as Gala) and LPs (Spooky, Split and Lovelife) on the iconic 4AD label. The band toured extensively, many times in the US — with Ride, Babes in Toyland, Jane's Addiction, Flaming Lips, Weezer and, most notably, as openers on the 1992 Lollapalooza tour.

    Lush split in 1996, and Miki retired from music, but a 2015-16 Lush reunion tour, which included a Coachella date and release of an EP Blond Spot, revived her enthusiasm and she formed Piroshka, who released two albums on Bella Union: Brickbat (2019) and Love Drips and Gathers (2021).

    When the global pandemic made touring impossible, Miki spent the lockdown months writing her memoir, Fingers Crossed, released in 2022 to widespread acclaim. To provide some musical accompaniment for the string of book events and signings, Miki Berenyi Trio was formed, with her partner Kevin 'Moose' McKillop on guitar and Oliver Cherer on bass (both had played in Piroshka).

    The band has developed a momentum of its own and they are now writing new songs, inserted into the set of Lush and Piroshka tracks as they continue to fulfil live bookings, with a plan to record and release an album in 2024. For the US dates, they will be joined by Michael Conroy — also a founder member of Piroshka and Modern English.
  • Lol Tolhurst & Budgie

    Lol Tolhurst & Budgie

    Alternative

    Square one for Los Angeles was December 2018, when Budgie was passing through LA in esteemed singer songwriter John Grant’s touring ensemble, and he and Lol Tolhurst met for lunch in a downtown diner. Recalls Budgie, “As we were finishing, Lol turns to me and says, ‘I think we should do something together.’ With these things, I usually go away and forget, but for once in my life I said to myself, ‘Yeah good idea!’” 

    After leaving The Cure in 1989, Tolhurst “found love,” married and, in 1994, settled in LA. Budgie almost moved to the City of Angels in the mid-’00s but, eventually, he says, “fell in love, moved to Berlin, and family happened.” When the pair reconvened in early 2019 to make music, they had a couple of sessions – first at a friend’s house up the coast in Morro Bay, then chez Mötley Crüe tub-thumper Tommy Lee, no less, “but it just wasn’t sounding right – we were falling into that trap of trying to paint ourselves as we once were.”

    In what he describes as “a pit of despondency,” he went up to Topanga Canyon to visit Garret Lee, ten years their junior, but whose enviable production CV includes Taylor Swift’s Red, U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb and the final two REM albums. His advice, in true post-punk fashion: rip it up and start again. “Once you’re starting from nothing,” he advises, “you can do anything.” When Budgie returned to California between commitments with John Grant, the three kindred spirits first repaired to Yosemite for a bonding weekend, and thereafter recorded in Topanga for two weeks, with Lee cannily straddling the roles of musician and mentor-cum-producer. They’d drink coffee, play records, banter a lot, go for walks, share experiences, and out of all that came, this time, some inspirational music.

    A very special group chemistry emerged during those intensely creative sessions. Reveals Budgie, “Lol is very levelling. He calls himself a pragmatist, whereas I’m very impetuous, and it was like Garret was bridging the two, in his consultation room.” The other instrumentation came naturally. Back in his days with The Cure, Tolhurst switched from drums to keyboards circa ’83, and Budgie, too, was grappling with early synths through that era, so it was only natural that ‘Los Angeles’ would be brimming with synths. For Lee, with two elite drummers aboard, it was an opportunity to break from the grid-locked inflexibility of contemporary electronica.

    As the record evolved, there would be instrumental contributions from noted guitarists, including The Edge and IDLES’ Mark Bowen, but the rest were handled by Lee, and often digitally distorted beyond all recognition. Further visitors to Lee’s Topanga hideout were master orchestrator Davide Rossi (Goldfrapp, Coldplay) and brass specialist Jordan Katz (Father John Misty, Ghostface Killah), whose taut arrangements were similarly manipulated, and even run at half speed, for maximum disorientation and weirdness. 

    Come March 2020, they were fairly certain they were just about done recording an instrumental album “which was the original intention,” says Budgie, but as he flew home to Berlin just as COVID-19 was forcing the whole world into lockdown, Lol had taken the step of contacting post-punk fan James Murphy with a vague idea of him voicing on one or more of the tracks, and in those first fallow weeks of isolation, Lol put feelers out to a few other friends and admirers to see if they might also be interested. 

    After plunging into the unknown with their own music-making, then navigating the unplannable chicane of Coronavirus, it’s frankly a miracle that Tolhurst, Budgie and Lee came through four years later with an album so coherent and hard-hitting – about freedom and slavery, beauty and decay, hope and despair. Plans are afoot now to take Los Angeles into the live arena, and spread the word far and wide about this miraculous record: future facing, empowering, and on its own terms thoroughly triumphant. 


     

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Miki Berenyi Trio, Lol Tolhurst & Budgie

Fri Jun 7 2024 8:00 PM

(Doors 7:00 PM)

Bottom Lounge Chicago IL
Miki Berenyi Trio, Lol Tolhurst & Budgie

$30.00 Ages 17+

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

Ages 17+
limit 8 per person
GA info
$30.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast
Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 17 and over. Any ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 17 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.