Electric Soft Parade play a live show on 15th December at Concorde 2, Brighton, in aid of The Martlets Hospice. Visit their website at themartlets.org.uk
Also playing at ‘Maximalism’: British Sea Power/Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster/Field Music/The Chap/The Pure Conjecture/DJ’s: Mystery Jets.
Interview with Thomas White at The Argus “It’s a scary environment – intimidating and terrifying if someone you love is in there. But it is also a very beautiful and calm, warm place. The conversations you have there – all people talk about is life.”
So says Electric Soft Parade founder and Brakes guitarist Thomas White of the Martlets Hospice, which supported his mother Ann through her battle with cancer until her untimely death, at the age of 55, in July 2009.
Thomas and his brother Alex – also of Electric Soft Parade, Brakes and The Pipettes – have put together the musical extravaganza Maximalism to raise money for the 18-bed unit in Wayfield Avenue, Hove, and increase awareness of the hospice’s important work.
And many friends have come forward to support the brothers and the charity.
As well as the first home performance by Electric Soft Parade since December 2007, the line-up includes Brighton buddies British Sea Power, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and new Matt Eaton project The Pure Conjecture.
Coming from outside Brighton will be Sunderland’s own band of brothers Field Music, London-based laptop glitch-hoppers The Chap and a DJ set from Mystery Jets.
“The Martlets Hospice looked after mum so well, and their aftercare for their patients’ families is so good,” says Thomas.
“It costs about £11,000 a day to run all the 18 beds in there. It’s an expensive thing to do, but the care is so essential. We wanted to do something both on a personal level for our mum, and something that was going to help in a real way.”
The original idea was to hold something in a smaller venue, but with the addition of British Sea Power and Field Music to the bill the brothers felt that they could approach Concorde 2 – which was happy to help.
“It’s been a steep learning curve for me and Alex,” admits Thomas. “It’s about raising awareness, but it is also going to be a great night out.”
Performing as Electric Soft Parade was an important part of putting the night on for Thomas.
“My mum saw us build the band up,” he says. “She knew of us as that band, so it is important for us to play those tunes. Both our folks had their moments when they asked when we were going to get proper jobs, but I knew she felt we were all right and looking after ourselves. I think every parent must have that moment where their child achieves a certain thing and it puts their mind at rest.”
That moment could arguably have been when the brothers’ debut album as Electric Soft Parade – Holes In The Wall – was nominated for the 2002 Mercury Music Prize.
The future of the band might rest on Wednesday’s performance, however.
“I have been doing solo stuff and Alex has been doing various other things,” he says. “If the reaction from this show is good then we will see about doing a fourth record together. We have written it already, but some of the songs are getting on for three or four years old. We might write a new bunch and see if we can commit to a new record – I really hope so. Then again we might get bottled off at our own show!”
Maximalism also features a charity auction with all proceeds going to the Martlets.
See the Maximalism Facebook page for more information.
* Starts 6pm to 2am, tickets £20. Call 01273 673311.