This is 1993, and the shockwaves from the grunge quake are storming Lisbon’s rock scene. In the capital’s brand new rock club Johnny Guitar, the Nevermind, Dirt and Goo attitude is everywhere, from the loud guitars, to the torn jeans and checkered shirts tied around the waist of a sonic youth in a quest for nirvana.
Lulu Blind were born a couple of years before from the ashes of some landmark punk and alternative bands from Lisbon. Their distinctive sound reflects the wider influences from all band members, from hardcore to garage to indie to grunge. Their line-up wields three guitars, they play fast and hard and fast and their wild gigs attract a crowd where metalheads mosh alongside old-school punks and arty rock fans.
Breakthrough happens with the song Rita Hot Pussy, entitled to a video clip – something quite scarce those days in Portugal – on an indie music show on national TV, creating awareness for the band all over the country. Lulu Blind’s popularity increasingly grows, largely because of their demolishing live sound and performances.
In January 1993, they enter the studio to record their debut album, to be titled Dread. They invite Zé Pedro, the guitarist with Portugal’s biggest rock act Xutos & Pontapés to produce their record. This will be the iconic guitarist’s first and only experience as a producer.
While the band is still recording their album, Rita Hot Pussy is included in a three 7”single compilation released by Moneyland Records, an indie label owned by another Portuguese rock and art icon, João Paulo Feliciano. That same year, on July 14th, they open for Sonic Youth at the band’s first concert in Portugal, and a few months later for Manic Street Preachers, in Lisbon and Porto. 1993 is also the year they take to the road with rock monsters Xutos & Pontapés, as a supporting act on their national tour.
By the end of the year, Dread is released. A raw, innocent and gutsy record that faithfully depicts the early years of a band on the rise. The story of Lulu Blind would not end there, but 25 years after Dread’s original release, what was to come next, for the time being, doesn’t matter.