If you maintained your eyesight throughout 2007, you weren’t really there. It was the year the world – well, some bits of Shoreditch – went neon. Glowstick necklaces were de rigueur, necking the glowing goo inside was the tipple of choice and it an entire generation failed to procreate because they were trying to make love while listening to Death From Above 1979, who are about as shag-friendly as the phrase ‘this report contains scenes some viewers may find upsetting’.
It was the era of New Rave, but what happened to its main players? Let’s find out…
As kings of New Rave, Klaxons were always the most likely to fall on their feet, and so it appears. After the band announced their January 2015 tour as their last ever, the trio have been working on individual projects. James Righton – now Mr Keira Knightley – is soon to release an EP called ‘Open Up The Sky’, the first fruits of his new solo moniker Shock Machine, recorded in a cabin in the south of France with producer James Ford. Jamie Reynolds has teamed up with Gorillaz guitarist Jeff Wooton for an as-yet-unnamed collaborative project set to release music in 2017: “We’re taking different backgrounds and cultures and trying to push music forward,” said Wootton. “Me and Jamie have great chemistry together and it’s really magical. It’s very fast. You think of great bands like The Smiths and it’s always fast.” Only guitarist and marathon man Simon Taylor-Davis has remained quiet thus far, but don’t assume we’ve heard the last of him.
Despite a few line-up changes, CSS are still together and released their fourth album ‘Planta’ in 2013. When she’s not donning spangly leotards in her guise as Lovefoxxx, singer Luisa Hanae Matsushita works as an artist in New York, recently collaborating on a San Francisco exhibition of ceramic jaguars.
New Young Pony Club
Rather than splitting up and each starting their own ice cream van route, as you might have assumed, singer Tahita Bulmer, guitarist Andy Spence and drummer Sarah Jones are still going strong, releasing their third album ‘NYPC’ in 2013. The former members are also still involved in music too, with ex-bassist Igor Volk launching a synth-based solo career in 2012 and keyboardist Lou Hayter remains one of music’s most glamorous figures, recently releasing an album with her band Tomorrow’s World, also featuring Air’s JB Dunckel, as well as DJing and working as musical director on fashion shows.
Once the fulcrum of a paint splattered trio of nutters called Test Icicles who reportedly hated their own music, Dev adroitly consigned New Rave to his past by first becoming folk troubadour Lightspeed Champion for two albums and then an electro R&B alter-ego Blood Orange, who has released three albums since 2008. In the meantime Hynes has had insane success as a writer and producer with the likes of Solange Knowles, Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue and Carly Rae Jepson.
Watching them fill festival tents with garishly t-shirted indie Cindys well into the ‘10s, it looked like Hadouken! might be stayers. Not so – they announced an indefinite break in 2014, since when singer James Smith has been working as a social media manager while “writing and recording in LA” and members of the band have continued their side-project with The Midnight Beast, Cast Of Lions.
It was somewhat inevitable, given the vast amounts of experimental drugs involved, that someone from the New Rave scene would end up living in the Welsh wilds and calling themselves an ‘Earth Shaman’. Luckily that man – Late Of The Pier’s Sam Eastgate – also took the time to reinvent himself as LA Priest and continues to release albums of synthetic psychedelia. Big Hair, Sam’s collaboration with Connan Mockasin, also finally released an album last year. Unfortunately the Late Of The Pier reunion that so many fans clamoured for in the years after their split sadly won’t happen, since drummer Ross Dawson died in a “sudden and tragic accident” in May 2015.