Shining through

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 September, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 September, 2002, 12:00am

FOR THOSE who don't know any better, The Shining is NOT the original movie soundtrack of Stanley Kubrick's horror classic of the same title, but a new British band made up of ex-Verve members Simon Jones and Simon Tong.

Now, I must confess I am not a Verve fan and have only come across one of their anthems, Bitter Sweet Symphony, while watching a car commercial. What I do know is The Verve were once described by Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher as 'one of the most important bands in history'.

Formed in 1990, the original line-up included Richard Ashcroft (vocals, guitar), Nick McCabe (guitar), Simon Jones (bass) and Peter Salisbury (drums). They split up briefly five years later, and then regrouped with Tong on the guitar and keyboard. In 1999, they disbanded for good.

They were, undoubtedly, one of the most important acts on the British Indie scene in the early 90s, so it's natural to compare The Shining's debut album True Skies with what The Verve did in the past.

Conspiracy theorists might argue that Jones and Tong formed The Shining 'to make Ashcroft's risible solo offerings good by comparison', which is kind of unfair, given their effort is not bad at all.

Some critics say The Shining's sound owes more to the legacies of Led Zeppelin and the Stooges than The Verve's recent offerings.

The pair, alongside vocalist Duncan Baxter, were rumoured to be briefly working with ex-Stone Roses guitarist John Squire following the demise of The Seahorses. Other members of The Shining include lead guitarist Dan MacBean and Mark Heaney on drums.

Their debut single Quicksilver, produced by Youth and released earlier this year, is an undeniable mix of heavy rock and soul.

What makes this album interesting is the range. From the drug-induced rock of Wonder How, the beautiful Hendrix-esque dream-ballad I Am The One to the throbbing electro-rock on Until The End.

The Shining fit effortlessly into the long line of classic British guitar rock bands - from the Who and The Stones to T-Rex and Led Zeppelin through to Oasis and The Verve - by combining heavy soul with noisy guitars and accessible melodies.