Electric Soft Parade Album Launch

Last night The Electric Soft Parade headlined a rammed Green Door Store to launch their new album Idiots.

Crayola Lectern

Crayola Lectern

Support came from the leftfield Crayola Lectern, who we’ve written about numerous times. The stage was all set up for the headliners, which left Chris Anderson tucked at the back playing Electric Soft Parade’s keyboards and Alistair Strachan rather exposed at the front. They only played a short set, and did their usual trick of leaving those in the room who hadn’t seen them before confused and beguiled.

Thomas White

Thomas White

By the time The Electric Soft Parade were ready to start the room was as rammed as the stage. Now playing as a six piece, and with at least half the band swapping instruments over the course of night there it all got a bit crowded. The set was drawn from their whole career with around half the tunes taken from Idiots. It was their first live gig with the new material, not that you would have known it. The White brothers were on charming form, with plenty of banter including some self deprecating words on their review from NME (which referred to one track as ” as unlistenable as a million malfunctioning taps” – “How did they know that was what we were after?” quipped Alex!). The band finished up with an encore of album closer Never Again played just by Alex and Thomas and then Mr Mitchell with the whole band. Electric Soft Parade – it’s good to have you back.

Alex White

Alex White

The Electric Soft Parade are back onstage in Brighton again on 4th July, at an instore in Resident, and again on 19th July supporting The Levellers at The Dome.

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Source New Music at the Dome Studio Theatre – Martin Rossiter, The Beautiful Word and Jacko Hooper

Last Night’s Source New Music at the Dome Studio Theatre was a fantastic night. We’ve written about all three bands, but I can confidently say that each of the three bands better than I’d ever seen them before.

Jacko Hooper is growing with every performance, and he won over the room most of whom were there solely for Martin Rossiter. There seems to be less nerves than when I first saw him, and there’s a great balance that shows off the quality of both his songwriting and his guitar playing. The Beautiful Word have made a bit of a change of direction this year, going a bit more indie and introducing tropical guitar riffs. There’s still a hint of the twee folk in the background with tracks like May Not Be Love, but overall they now sound like a band who’ve found their sound. Fantastic stuff.

The first thing Martin Rossiter did when he came on stage was thank The Source for extending their definition of New Music – I first saw Gene at Reading Festival back in 1999 – but Martin’s solo album only came out last year. Being the showman that he is, he’s recruited the talents of pianist Robin Coward so that he’s not constrained by an instrument, which allows Martin to roam the stage. The simplicity of the songs holds up in a live setting, and the sound is every bit as powerful as on the record. If you’re thinking of going to see Martin live at Bush Hall in London next week, then we thoroughly recommend it.

New Bat For Lashes / Toy Collaboration

Back in February we wrote about a new release by Emiliana Torrini, put out on a 7″ only label called Speedy Wunderland. They’re obviously doing something right over there because they’ve given us cause to write about them again.

Their new release is a track called The Bride, a collaboration between Natasha Khan and Toy. We’re not quite sure what distinguishes Bat For Lashes from Natasha Khan, but the piano line, and the vocals are instantly recognisable. You can take a listen to the track on soundcloud below, and the record is available to pre-order from Resident.

IMG_2703e crops

Weekend Gig Picks

Here’s this weekend’s gig picks for you all. This week we’re extending things out to Monday, because there’s a gig that we can’t not mention.

PHBOn Friday night Martin Rossiter headlines the Source New Music Night at the Dome Studio Theatre. Support comes from The Beautiful Word and Jacko Hooper so this should be a bit special. Tickets are a bit pricier than a normal Source New Music though – so if you’d rather save your pennies then head down to Sticky Mike’s where the Physics House Band are hosting another Physics House Party. They’re playing a headline set with members of Flamingods, and there’s support from Luo, Caveman Genius, Demob Happy, and Shrine. Hush Hush Friday at the Blind Tiger caught our eye too – another free gig with FVNERALS topping the bill and Dog in the Snow supporting.

ImpellersSaturday Night’s pick is Clowns, who are playing at the Prince Albert. If you like your weekends a bit funkier then The Impellers are on the bill at Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club at the Concorde.

Brighton Folk comes back to the Brunswick on Sunday Night, with Amy Hill and The Galleons playing.

The reason we’ve extended things out to Monday for this weekend’s picks is to include the Electric Soft Parade‘s album launch at the Green Door Store. The album is definitely the highlight of 2013 for us so far and will be on sale at the gig. Support comes from Crayola Lectern. Also on Monday, for those who prefer their ‘problem folk’ to sunshine pop, ex Brighton resident The Great Park returns from Germany for a gig at the Prince Albert, ably supported by local singer-songwriter Tandy Hard. Frankly, as ever, we’re torn…

Electric Soft Parade – Idiots

ESP IDIOTS

The opening song from the new Electric Soft Parade album sneaks in the line “And now it’s back to work / as if I never left”, but while it’s been seven years since No Need To Be Downhearted came out the White brothers never quite got around to leaving. Since then there’s been three Brakes albums, three solo albums from Thomas, and guest spots from both brothers in numerous bands. There’s been plenty of live dates too, most notably supporting Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on their world tour in 2011, and playing a gig at the Haunt last year for the 10th Anniversary of Holes in the Wall.

At the end of 2011 a French label put out Lily on 7″, which we described as “the kind of melodic guitar pop that most indie bands would sell their grandmother to be able to write”, and then the band spent all of 2012 assembling an album full of tracks of the same high standard. Earlier this year they released the country tinged Brother You Must Walk Your Path Alone, which has barely left our stereo.

Next Monday sees the release of Idiots, Electric Soft Parade’s fourth long player. The thing that strikes you on first listen is that any of the album’s ten tracks could be singles; not only is Idiots very much a pop album but there isn’t a duff track on it. It’s a classic guitar pop sound that’s been sorely missing from the charts of late, which have been cluttered up with the likes of Kasabian’s testosterone soaked riffs or Ed Sheeran’s overly sensitive acoustic drivel. Where are the tunes? Where are the choruses you can sing along to?

Well, here they are. Summertime In My Heart is the optimism of the season distilled into song form. The Corner of Highdown and Montefiore is a brooding, reflective ballad with lush strings that you lose yourself in before you realise it’s got a bit epic. Title track Idiots draws on the lush seventies pop of ELO or Wings, and the infectiously catchy Mr Mitchell could have been penned by Ray Davies. One of Those Days makes me swoon with it’s gorgeousness, shuffling rhythms and close harmonies, and Welcome To The Weirdness has the best guitar solo that Brian May never wrote. Never again calms things down to finish with, the sweetest song about hangovers that’s ever been written.

Idiots is a fantastic album. It’s rammed with brilliant, sunny guitar pop tunes, and is a great comeback for the White brothers. It’s out on Monday 17th on Helium Records, and the launch is being put on by Melting Vinyl at the Green Door Store that day.