Pretty much every interview we post up undergoes a bit of editing of sorts, sometimes to cut out duplication in what’s been said, or maybe to move around the order of the discussion to give things a bit more continuity. Every now and then things get edited out because you think that your interviewee might be throwing in little white lies to see if they’ll get published, and so it was when I spoke to Thomas White of the Electric Soft Parade around the time he put out his solo album Yalla. At the end of the discussion, after we’d both had a few drinks, I asked him what he was up to next – “I’m doing a cover of the whole of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours” he said with a smile on his face. “I’ll send it to you”. I’ll admit to having been a bit dubious about the idea of someone who has a seemingly constant flow of new ideas covering a whole album and I didn’t hear any more until Idiots got released last year. “Ha!” I thought at the time, “I was right not to include that bit”.
He who laughs last laughs longest though, and on their recent mini-tour a couple of limited edition cds appeared on the merchandise table – As well as Thomas’ version of Rumours, Alex White has made a full album cover of Steely Dan’s Katy Lied. Both albums are very faithful reproductions rather than reinterpretations of the originals, pretty much note for note what was played on the seventies classics, and both are now up on Bandcamp:
We got a sense of déjà vu last night. It felt like it had only been a week since we saw the White brothers onstage at the Green Door Store. Last night’s songs weren’t from Idiots though. In fact, it wasn’t even an Electric Soft Parade gig. Confused yet?
Last night Alex White’s new band Interlocutor played at the Green Door Store. You can count their gigs so far on one hand, which is why you might not be familiar with the name. Including Alex’s brother Thomas (on drums) there were a total of eleven people on stage, including a violinist, a three piece horn section, an additional percussionist, and at times three people playing guitar.
If all of this sounds a little bit grander than the current Electric Soft Parade live setup, which has less than half the number of musicians, then that’s because it is. While both Idiots and the new Interlocutor material both hark back to the days of classic songwriting, Interlocutor’s influences are more rooted in AOR – The set included Steely Dan and Todd Rundgren covers, the arrangements were bigger and the sound a little more melancholy. Alex’s own songs, which he described at one point as “slowcore” sat well alongside the covers although the lyrical content about family and domesticity brought things a little closer to home.
Interlocutor may not have packed the pop punch of Electric Soft Parade, but what they did had grace, class and the same fantastic musicianship.
The White brothers are back! Not that they were ever really away, with Thomas’ Yalla being one of our favourite albums of last year, and Alex’s Interlocutor side project having played a few gigs recently, and both of them adding their helping hands to dozens of local bands. The last Electric Soft Parade album was back in 2006 though, so news that a new album – Idiots – is due in June is very welcome. The album will feature Lily which first appeared on 7″ at the tail end of 2011, which we loved. We’ve only just picked up on new single Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone, but it’s as gorgeous as anything they’ve done – melodic harmonies, a hint of country twang to the guitars, and a sparkling of their magic that distracts you from anything else your doing to make you lose yourself in the song. Lovely.
Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone is out now for download on Helium Records (or will be available on iTunes on April 16th)
So you’ve done the weekend now, except for that post-Saturday hangover-recovery dance, and you’re starting to wonder about your next big thing to do?
Well, you’re sorted. On Wednesday we have a gig by Alex White’s new band Interlocutor, Alex being the other brother out of the Electric Soft Parade and one of Brighton’s most prolific and talented musos. Interlocutor are an 11 piece alt-soul-rock band, and if Matthew E White or Lambchop’s your bag you will love this. Wednesday night they’re playing their new album right the way through. It will be great.
In support we have the amazing Crayola Lectern with his psychedelically-infused torch-rock, and the ramshackle indie-pop of Octopuses, comprising ex-members of the now legendary Foxes! And if that isn’t enough, these three bands will all be bathed in the warm glow of the Innerstrings Psychedelic Lightshow, a satisfying sight worth the meagre entrance fee on its own.
This one will sell out, so get your tickets pronto from the usual local stores or online at http://www.wegottickets.com/event/208205