ESP Nostalgia

The Fly remembers ESP from their 2002 and 2003 covers… Take February’s (2002) Electric Soft Parade cover. Never has the magazine trodden the line between the sublime and the ridiculous so expertly. The entire basis of the feature was that the band were in Paris, having a chat with Will Kinsman. This did indeed happen. However, there was no budget to send a photographer with Will, so, ingeniously, he hooked up with the band a week later on Primrose Hill, sat them down on a park bench armed with nothing but a string of onions and a couple of croissants, and took some anonymous-looking shots with lots of anonymous-looking sky. To the layman, this might have initially looked like bad photography, but it was in fact a deliberate ploy that enabled our designer to photoshop in the Eiffel tower, and, for one of the smaller shots, a couple of whole baguettes. “The worst cover photo ever?” asks Kinsman, “A string of onions and a superimposed Eiffel Tower were never going to make Primrose Hill look like Gay Paris” The Electric Soft Parade, one of whom is “wearing” a pencil moustache and not even in jest are on the cover of our September issue. They follow the 2003 running theme by not looking the slightest bit bothered about it. Now, there’s been a few DID WE DO THAT? DID WE? moments as I’ve flicked through these back issues, but The Electric Soft Parade ain’t one of them – the album the cover coincided with, ‘The American Adventure’, was and is fantastic, their current anonymity more to do with a label that struggled to wipe its own arse, never mind make a success out of the once-astoundingly creative White brothers.