The phenomenon of playing a whole album live from start to finish isn’t a new one. Things really kicked off when All Tomorrow’s Parties introduced their Don’t Look Back series in the noughties, and the world and his wife have joined in, including Electric Soft Parade who got back together last year to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the release of their debut Holes in the Wall. Thomas White obviously enjoyed the experience because over the next few months he’s revisiting his back catalogue, starting last night with his 2008 solo debut I Dream of Black.
Support came from Red River Dialect, who launched their Americana / Country tinged debut album at the Prince Albert this Monday, and from local folk legend Mary Hampton, who would have been worth the ticket price on her own.
Thomas White and his band came out in their now trademark African gowns and played the album in full as billed, in the dark save for a b-movie* projection onto the wall behind them. There were some familiar faces in the band : his brother Alex on keyboards as well as assorted other people he’s played with in many of his other collaborations. Thomas explained towards the end that he writes his albums to be listened to as a whole, despite seeming a little embarrassed by some of the proggy instrumental interludes, which he attributes to the album being made when he was very stoned. It works as a whole too, thanks to the fact the record takes in a wide variety of styles and has stood the test of time. The band had learned the album and nothing more, so for an encore we just got the one song – a replay of one of the more upbeat tracks.
Thomas White is back on 9th August playing his second album The Maximalist, and again on 22nd September playing his most recent release Yalla.
*knowing my luck, it’ll turn out that it’s a really famous film that I should have spotted