Gig preview: The Chills at Brudenell Social Club

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Most people celebrate their birthday with a couple of drinks but Martin Phillipps went one better and marked his 50th with the release of ‘Molten Gold’.

The first new material from The Chills in over a decade the single ended “a very dark period of cyclical depression and drug use.”

The return of the cult New Zealand quintet, whose influence can be heard on The Shins and Panda Bear, was also precipitated by the singer-songwriter, “meeting the right people who believed there was still more to me and The Chills and then tackling the practical realities about what it would entail to get us moving forward again.”

The melodic post-punk band acknowledge their past by backing the single with a re-working of their much-loved ‘Pink Frost’. Originally recorded in 1982 the constantly changing track has been performed at nearly every gig the outfit’s subsequently played. Phillipps believes that the two versions “are proud of each other - like siblings in later life discovering an unknown brother or sister and finding common ground.”

The reinvigorated indie luminaries have also just released Somewhere Beautiful, a triple live album that was recorded on New Year’s Eve 2011. During the show, “Amplifiers failed. Guitar effects pedal failed. Keyboards failed. Bass amplifier failed. One of the keyboards failed. A microphone failed. Yet it all still worked.”

Spread across “three discs for premium sound quality”, the album features lavish packaging and a print by contemporary artist Shane Cotton. Introduced to the painter through a mutual friend, “he has said that it was the lyrics which moved him more than the music and this has resulted in some beautiful artwork from one of our country’s bravest and most iconic artists.”

The live disc should whet the appetite for people who can also expect a record of new material, Silver Bullets, within the next few months. The album, “just recorded but yet to be mixed, has brought The Chills’ body of work firmly into the now.”

Leading up to its release the band will be touring, including a date at the Brudenell Social Club on 23 July, during which the band will take the, “audience through a memorable night of old and new material which they will not forget. We will not gaze at our shoes. We will not play classic songs as though they are a burden. We even smile at each other when we know we’ve done something good.”

The Chills play at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds on July 23, 7pm, £13. http://www.brudenellsocialclub.co.uk/whats-on/chills/

Nick Hodgson is to release his first solo album in January.

Music interview – Nick Hodgson: ‘I am essentially a musician – whether it’s playing Elland Road or playing some pub, I just love it’