Chapterhouse have never seemed to have the best timing. Despite being key players in the “Scene That Celebrates Itself”, history has relegated them to also-ran status. Perhaps that’s because after representing a danceable bridge between shoegaze and baggy on their 1991 debut Whirlpool, they pivoted further into dance and psychedelia with 1993’s Blood Music, but to less successful effect than their peers and they split in 1994.
They also got ahead of their peers in the reunion game in 2008, reforming for tours in the UK, Japan, and North America, but they split again in 2010 from 2008 to 2010 before disbanding again, missing out on the wave of reunions a few years later by the likes of Ride, Slowdive, and Lush.
There was a little press around the time of the reunion, giving the band an opportunity to consider their place in the annals of music history. Said guitarist/vocalist Stephen Patman to Drowned In Sound in April 2010:
I think we were one of those bands that maybe got overlooked in some quarters. People that did like us seemed to end up forming bands of their own, but on a mainstream level we never got the exposure afforded to some of the other bands around at that time.Stephen Patman, Chapterhouse
Gone but not forgotten: DIS meets Chapterhousse @ Drowned In Sound
And in September 2010, when their volcano-delayed North American tour was about to get underway, they talked to PopMatters about how they’d be approaching the Blood Music material on the tour:
We’re not doing a great deal of material from Blood Music, but the tracks we are doing are addressing them in the way we wanted to do them at the time. In all honesty, we were behind what was happening at the time, and we felt it was a movement and were into those things. But there was a lot of input from various things that might have driven us down certain routes, and it got a little bit overblown, the production just made it a little bit too bombastic. The nice thing about the place we’re in now is that we’re able to address the songs that we’re still proud of and present them in a way that we felt they should have sounded then.Stephen Patman, Chapterhouse
Shoegaze Legends Chapterhouse Tour and Talk to PopMatters @ PopMatters
All of which is to say, hey – here’s the video for “Pearl”, the only official single from Whirlpool and whatever you think of the band’s impact on the ‘gaze movement, is a cracking tune with Rachel Goswell backing vox for good measure.