ELECTRIC SOFT PARADE talk about their 15 December show

Electric Soft Parade were interviewed on Juice Radio to promote their December 15th show at Concorde 2 in aid of The Martlets Hospice – read the transcript below.

Listen Again to Thomas + Alex interviewed on Juice (DJ also plays There’s A Silence)

Also playing at ‘Maximalism’: Thomas White/British Sea Power/Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster/Field Music/The Chap/The Pure Conjecture/DJ’s: Mystery Jets.

DJ: You may have heard we mentioned several times on the show about the big gig happening in Brighton tomorrow night (December 15th) taking place at Concorde 2, it’s the Maximalism gig put together by The Electric Soft Parade. We’re joined in the studio right now by Thomas and Alex from The Electric Soft Parade. How are you gentlemen.

ESP: Very good. DJ: You’re still looking pretty cold there Thomas. T: I’ve still got my gloves on. DJ: You’ve got your gloves on, got your scarf on. T: Well it’s winter. DJ: You’ve been in this building for 20 minutes and you’re still freezing. T: Alright I’ll take ’em off. DJ: It looks like you’re stopping for a little while. T: Yeah, getting settled.

DJ: But you’re here because there’s a very important gig happening tomorrow night which you’ve put on, it’s the Maximalism gig. Why don’t you tell us about this gig. We’ve talked about the artists on the show but tell us the story behind the gig.

A: About 18 months ago now mine and Tom’s Mother died from cancer and she was cared for at The Martlets Hospice in Hove in the last few weeks of her life. We were just very touched by the way these guys dealt with all the patients and just their general attitude. Specifically with the care they provided for our Mum. We were motivated to try and raise some money for them from that experience.

They’re a charity, they’re a small organisation, not subsidised by anyone really (the government) We just thought probably everyone who’s had a relative in there or a friend… they’d want to get some sort of donation together to give to them. We thought we’re probably some of the only people who could do that; organise a gig where you could get bands to play and raise a load of money. Most people could just raise a few hundred pounds themselves. We thought we could actually raise quite a few thousand, that’s the idea.

We started putting it together and Tom’s done quite a lot of the work. He spoke to a lot of the bands and called in favours basically from over the years. We’re just trying to raise as much money as we can for the Hospice. It’s a personal thing for us, obviously. The idea was to make a great gig that had our favourite bands from the area that are out today and just make as much money as we can. Simple as that.

DJ: It’s a bit of a dream line-up in terms of the bands you’ve got on; a Brighton dream team of bands playing. Tell us why you chose these particular bands apart from the fact they are the best bands in Brighton. How long have you been friends with these artists. British Sea Power are kind of the big name you’ve pulled in, are they.

T: It’s quite crazy because the last time Electric Soft Parade, British Sea Power and the Eighties Matchbox guys played a gig together was pretty much 10 years ago to the day in the Hobgoblin and we were all unsigned and it was the first time any of us had played together.

It’s rather bizarre to think 10 years on we’ve done all this stuff and made all these records and getting back together and playing a gig and that’s great… obviously a lot of Brighton bands involved and Brighton people involved backstage in the running of it.

We’ve also got Field Music playing, which is a real coup for us. They’re simply one of the best British bands working today and that’s a real honour to have them involved. And also The Chap as well, they’re a great band from London.

It’s just really surprising that everyone’s offered to come and play for nothing and just make the best line-up possible. One of the things we made a deal out of was, yes, it’s a personal thing and we want to honour our Mother and give something back to these people. But actually a lot of the time at charity gigs people don’t know us, they don’t care, they just want to see a good show. We wanted to make sure it worked as a gig, so that someone could go along and not know the back story and just enjoy it on its own merits as a great little mini festival type thing.

DJ: So instead of just pulling on people’s heart strings…

T: Obviously it matters to us but we wanted it to be a great show on its own merits as a gig, we cared about that as well. That was in our minds as well when putting the line-up together. So it’s both angles.

DJ: We’ll play one of your tracks in a moment. It’ll be great to get some Electric Soft Parade on the show because this is a new music show, we haven’t really played anything by you guys for a while.

A: That’s old music. DJ: We are going to play some old music tonight, we’re going to totally rip up the format. A: You’ll have people tuning out, don’t do that.

DJ: Nah they’ll be fine. We’re going to play something that’s a few years old from British Sea Power as well. We’ve been playing their new record which is called Living Is So Easy. We thought we’d go with something from a few years ago, something more rousing perhaps from the album Do You Like Rock Music. So this is British Sea Power with Waving Flags.

DJ: Unbelievably good live, British Sea Power with Waving Flags. If you want to see them live they’re playing tomorrow night (Wed 15th Dec) at Concorde 2. It’s part of the Maximalism gig which is taking place which has been put together by Thomas and Alex from The Electric Soft Parade who are still with us. Also Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster are on the bill as well, the brilliant Field Music. Electric Soft Parade will be performing of course. The Chap too. DJ set from Mystery Jets. Have I missed anyone?

TW: I’m going to be doing a set, I’ve got the worst slot of the whole evening. I’m going to play a slot with my solo band. DJ: With your solo band?! T: I’ve got like a solo band and a choir. So we’re going to do a set dressed in psychedelic robes and glitter.

A: Genuine Egyptian psychedelic robes.

T: Just after doors. So we’ll be on about 6.15pm. Warm everyone up, get everyone in there. And then we’ll get on with the real music.

DJ: I think people will want to see that and if that doesn’t encourage people to get there nice and early.

T: Yeah, this night is all about multi-tasking; a lot of overlaps, certain people playing in a bunch of different bands… Noble from British Sea Power’s playing in a kind of super group that we’re involved in as well.

A: That’s the other one that you forgot; The Pure Conjecture is the name of the band. DJ: I saw the name and to be honest I’m not familiar.

A: No-one is because it’s a brand new band. You would be familiar with most of the people I would think. It’s Martin from Sea Power, myself and laddy boy here and a bunch of others. Steve Grainger who’s played in a bunch of bands (The Customers) produced records and stuff. Who else; Johny Lamb from Thirty Pounds Of Bone. Matt Twaites from Restlesslist. Matt Eaton from various bands in Brighton is a friend of all these people, he wrote a record and put the band together; 10 piece band – recorded at the Metway, the Levellers studio in Kemptown. Put the band together live in the studio, recorded it like an old-school 70’s record. This is the first time, possibly the last time ever, the band’s gonna be together in one place and do a show. Very exciting.

DJ: Has the running order been announced yet. A: It’s not been announced officially…

T: We want people to come down and watch everything.

A: It’s negotiable; we’ll see what happens. The idea is for Tom to open and The Chap to finish, that’s the idea.

DJ: So it starts at 6 O’clock, people need to get there straight from work.

A: Don’t even have any dinner… Grab something on the way down, grab a sandwich. Just get there. Music is your food tomorrow. Just don’t even eat dinner. Don’t have a shower, nothing, just get there.

DJ: It’s £20 a ticket, you’ll be able to get tickets at Resident and Rounder up to about 3 O’clock.

T: There will be tickets on the door but get there early to avoid disappointment.

DJ: It’s such a great line-up and all the money does go to Martlets Hospice.

A: A little word about the Auction.

T: There’s gonna be a bizarre raffle/silent auction. We’ve put together some very bizarre prizes. That’s to be enjoyed as well.

DJ: Are you going to stop the music to do an auction?

A: It’s going to be running through the evening then we’ll announce who’s won. These are things that people would have to pay quite a considerable fee for in the real world.

T: There’s a couple that are pretty unique, just really bizarre prizes.

A: Again all of that money’s going into the pot so we’re coming from every angle in terms of raising money.

DJ: I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I wasn’t to ask you about the future of Electric Soft Parade. It’s been 3 years since you last played in Brighton, all the more reason people should catch you tomorrow. Is this the last chance to catch you?

T: We’ll see how it goes. We took a break for various reasons. Me and Al play in a band called Brakes as well, we were doing that pretty full on. The last time ESP played in Brighton was at Duke Of Yorks cinema, we did a show with full visuals and stuff in December 2007. Then we took a few years out.

I think the idea with this show was to test the water and most importantly, see how we felt about it and see how it goes and people’s reaction. In theory it could be the final nail in the coffin or it could be the start of the next 5 years of making more records and touring and doing all that. So we’ll see…

DJ: Excellent, well we look forward to finding out the result of that. Gentlemen, thankyou so much for coming in tonight.

A: Thankyou very much for having us in and taking the time to let us speak about this. It’s obviously close to our hearts, it’s a very good cause.

DJ: It’s a pleasure. So tomorrow night (December 15th) at Concorde 2, the gig. It’s called Maximalism featuring Field Music, Electric Soft Parade, British Sea Power, Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, The Chap, The Pure Conjecture, it’s just a brilliant line-up. Mystery Jets are DJing. It’s £20 a ticket, all the money goes direct to the Martlets Hospice.

We would love you to go – tickets will be on sale at the door but you do have to get there early. Right shall we do one of yours…

A: Why not. DJ: One of your oldies, one of your classics… A: Throw it on. T: An old ranter.

DJ: This is Electric Soft Parade, There’s A Silence, on Juice.