Electric Soft Parade on BBC 6 Music 20th June

Marc Riley BBC 6 Music 20th June – Read the Transcript: click here

MARC RILEY PART ONEMARC RILEY PART TWO
MARC RILEY PART THREEMARC RILEY PART FOUR

SONGS: IdiotsOne Of Those DaysSummertime In My Heart
Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone

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Transcript: Electric Soft Parade on BBC 6 Music 20th June

Marc Riley BBC 6 Music 20th JuneListen Again

MARC RILEY PART ONEMARC RILEY PART TWO
MARC RILEY PART THREEMARC RILEY PART FOUR

SONGS: IdiotsOne Of Those DaysSummertime In My Heart
Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone

M: They’ve only been here about an hour and a bit but I’m delighted and thrilled to say we’ve got the return of The Electric Soft Parade tonight. Hello guys. ESP: Hellooo. M: Really good to see you. Everybody but Alex, I have to say, is a little bit green around the gills. You were on the pop last night. He’s buzzin this lad here, he’s been driving and he’s been on the coffee all day. T: He’s been on harder stuff than just coffee. I didn’t know whether I was allowed to say Red Bull on air. M: Well you’re not but I am. I’ll probably get the sack for it but that’s alright. Of course you’ve taken your shades off now Thomas but I couldn’t help, it was a bit like an expostulation but I just had to shout “proper rock star” everytime I saw you. T: Every time. I’ve taken them off now though just for you Marc. A: He’s an improper rockstar right now. M: Oooh steady it’s only quarter past seven.

M: So you were at Rough Trade weren’t you doing an instore last night. Both: Yes. M: Can you do a trolley dash. Did they let you get a big trolley and just run round and take everything you can get in 10 seconds… A: Back in my day, when we started, that’s what we used to get. You used to get a bit of freebie action. Once you’d finished it they’d go, go and spend your money. Alas no. M: Not anymore no. It’s times of austerity. A: They gave you some water, that was very nice of them, it was very hot so that was much appreciated. M: You can ask for no more. And you were in the mighty Rough Trade obviously. A: Quite right. M: So you’re gonna do four tunes for us tonight. A: Apparently so. M: That’s the good news, the bad news is that we’ve kind of stolen one off Gideon Coe because you didn’t have time to pre-record it before so we thought, we can’t waste it. Sorry Gid. He can repeat them anyway can’t he. So the first of the four tunes that Electric Soft Parade are going to do for us tonight is… A: Summertime In My Heart. M: New single. Fab.

Summertime In My Heart

M: Effortless and really really brilliant, Electric Soft Parade live in session with what is the new single, Summertime In My Heart. Really great. So yeah, three more if you don’t mind fellas.

M: Electric Soft Parade back in the room, hello guys. Proper rock star! What tune are you gonna do now for us then. T: We’re gonna do the first single we put out off this record, it’s a song called Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone. And this one goes out to my class down at Brighton City College. They’re listening in, it’s the end of the course and they’re having a right old party I’d imagine. M: How old are they? T: Around my age, a little older, a little younger. M: They’re old enough to drink then. T: They’re old enough to have a lot of fun on the last day of term as it were. M: Good on you lot and you’ve got a famous teacher. T: I didn’t mean for a second that I take a class. I mean I’ve been going to a class. M: Really? I’m not blowing smoke up yo ass but what can you learn? T: It’s interpersonal skills, helping skills, counselling. Heavy stuff. Lovely class though, this one goes out to you guys. M: OK excellent.

Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone

M: Truly sumptuous, Electric Soft Parade live in session; Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone. So one of you guys, will you introduce the rest of the members of the band please. A: Please do, Tommy boy. M: He’s Tommy boy obviously. T: My name’s Thomas White, to my left we’ve got a mute keyboardist with no microphone trying to communicate something to someone else wearing a pair of earplugs with headphones over the top. M: He’s called humpty dumpty, I think he wants to remain anonymous. Is that what we’re saying. T: Nonsense. Alan Grice here on the keyboards, my dear brother here Alex White on Fender Jaguar, a little midi keyboard type affair and vocals, Heather Urquhart on guest vocals, she’s up with us today singing on a couple of tunes. H: Hi. T: Mr Damo Waters on the drumkit. Longstanding chap of steel Matthew Twaites on the bass guitar. M: He’s very quiet today. A: He’s subdued. T: As you said green around the gills. M: I was specifically talking about him, you’re dead right. T: And Mr Andrew Claridge on various beautiful guitars. M: Yeah absolutely, I’m slightly jealous of his talent and his guitars.

M: OK so the album, Idiots, six years between the albums, a bit of an obvious question, but what does it take to fire up Electric Soft Parade. Is it like you’re sat there in the pub one night and you just go “brother, we gotta make a record”. A: Infact we were gonna call that song “brother we gotta make a record” but we thought don’t be ridiculous. It’s a natural thing, it’s not like we think oh let’s wait 6 years. Things happen, things change and record labels disappear and reappear again and various things like that. Lots of other projects on the go and all that sort of thing. It just felt about the right time, we hooked up with the guys that did the first record, the sort of team around that – the production team, just spent a bunch of time doing it and here we are… it’s just how long it took I guess.

M: You always keep busy don’t you, you’ve been back in and out of the studio with lots of different groups. And it’s called Idiots which I read one of you did say the Idiots in question are you two. A: Well, I think it’s open for discussion. T: You said that didn’t you. A: I think I might have said that. M: It’s not open for discussion though unless your going to have a conversation with yourself. You said it Alex, what do you mean?

A: I think we’re naturally self-deprecating English people, that’s the nature of it and I like that self-reflective thing, it’s all a bit silly and “come on”… I like all that. M: I’m sure you’ve probably beaten Prince to that album title. I’m sure he sits there and thinks “I’m an idiot, I like playing practical jokes on people, word’ll get out eventually, I’ll call my next album Idiots”. T: I said onstage the other night in Bristol, I think we need to establish ourselves as the Stewart Lee of indie, I think that’s a good analogy. M: I think your delivery was slightly Stewart Lee then anyway. T: It’s just the nature of how we deconstruct things… there’s no similarity whatsoever to what we do, essentially.

M: I was talking to Alex before because you being a proper rock star, you were just walking about doing interviews… A: Signing autographs, whatever. M: Alex said to me, one of the touchstones for the album would be, in the concept of the record itself and the sound of it, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, would you agree with that Thomas. T: There’s a little bit of it in there… there’s a lot of Steely Dan on the record, a lot of Chicago, a lot of Robert Wyatt, a lot of The Clientele, they’re a massive influence on a lot of songs I’ve been writing recently. M: ELO get an honourable mention as well. T: The track Mr Mitchell which is obviously about Andrew Mitchell, it’s so obvious… M: Why do you even say it, don’t patronise me mate… T: You’ve met the great Andrew Mitchell, right. So that track, we had Mr Blue Sky as the blueprint for it and obviously it’s a completely different song again, a lot of those references, a lot of that very clean 70’s pop type stuff.

A: I think the Rumours reference, the idea was it was a record that was undeniably a great record, whether you like it or not. M: You’d admire it even if you didn’t sit down and listen to it. A: You don’t have to love Rumours to accept that that’s a great piece of work and important. That’s kind of what we were going for. M: And it’s getting namedropped more and more that particular album, as is ELO, I think it was Jason Lytle from Grandaddy who was the first person to own up and say actually excuse me, I like it… I saw ’em in 1975, just wanna make you jealous probably. Did it work? T: Terribly jealous. A: That’s pre Xanadu… M: It wasn’t the big Beatles sounding stuff but they were good. A: Eldorado’s a great record actually, early 70’s. M: I tell you what I have got in my bag, I shouldn’t say it on air but I’ve got 10cc’s Greatest Hits, I saw them as well, twice in one night.

M: We’ve got Electric Soft Parade live in session, they’re doing two more tunes for us, one right now. So the third tune will be? T: This is the title track from the record, this is Idiots.

Idiots.

Wow that was fabulous, epic. Electric Soft Parade live in session with Idiots, I was going to come out of the end of that and just go “idiots” but I couldn’t, it was just that good, really brilliant… we’ll have one more in a short while, work those suckers to death ‘eh. T: Nice one Marc.

M: So you’ve done some dates already but I’ve just had this through from Mark, fantastic session tonight, only 13 hours til tickets go on sale for their October gig at London’s Bush Hall. T: Well he knows more than we do. A: Can you get us one ‘cos I’d quite like to go to that. M: I can see that you’re playing on the 20th of July, you’re playing at the Truck Festival. T: And the night before we’re playing a very very special show supporting The Levellers on their first Brighton show for about 15 years, which is a big deal. M: On the 20th you are playing the Truck Festival as I say but you’re playing on the Virgins and Veterans stage, where do you fall into the… T: Interestingly enough Al had a period of writer’s block and came out the back end of it and wrote a ton of amazing songs, they were too expansive and long and weird for the new ESP record, if I may say so myself. A: You may certainly, I think you’re right. T: And he’s formed a band around that called Interlocutor so at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon that band will be playing, I play drums. A: We’ll be playing as virgins. T: As virgins and as veterans, ESP will be playing about 9.30 in the evening. A: Literally same stage. T: Does that answer your question. M: It really does, probably a bit too indepth.

M: I noticed before and I never realised because I am a bit daft… T: Bit daft… M: Chris Hughes produces your record or some of them. A: Indeed. The first and this last… T: He did the first one way back in the day, he runs the label that we’re now signed to and produced the new album. M: I didn’t realise we were talking about Chris Hughes, of Adam and The Ants and he’s worked with so many different people. An absolutely amazing producer. T: I think our first run in… we didn’t know him at the time, he produced the first Gay Dad album, they’re a much derided band but for many members of this group myself included, that first album’s just an incredible record. And I think they got tarred with the brush of having a divisive name but actually it’s an amazing record, Chris’s attention to detail’s just all over that record and I think on everything else we’ve done with him. M: Producing Adam Ant pop record’s is pretty amazing, Robert Plant and Paul McCartney. A: And he co-wrote Everybody Wants To Rule The World. M: Did he really, kerching! Much respect is due, great producer and a great record and a great band, I’m blowing smoke up yo ass now. T: You keep swearing, we’re not allowed to swear.

M: Do you wanna do one last tune then? T: This one features our dear friend Heather Urquhart on vocals and I want to dedicate it to me and Al’s friends Duncan and Jadine down on Langdale Road in Hove. M: Don’t give out the number. Good work, ok get to it.

One Of Those Days

M: Bit of class from start to finish, Electric Soft Parade live in session, One Of Those Days. You’re great, thanks for coming in. A: Appreciate it. T: It was worth it.

Burtski Subotniks Radio Show Parades Its Softness

LISTEN AT MIXCLOUD HERE — ESP Website: electricsoftparade.co.uk

The Electric Soft Parade, Brighton’s premier band, born and raised in Brighton, one of the musical combos that we are most famous for. They release their latest album IDIOTS (out on 17th June) I caught up with the lads at the weekend and did a little radio interview with them so this is Tom and Alex of The Electric Soft Parade with the odd grunt from Clanger.

Hello it’s Mikey here, I’m with the almighty, all conquering Electric Soft Parade. It’s a Sunday, they’re just chillin, they’re getting ready, they’re rehearsing for their new album.

Tom, new album, new guitarist, what excites you the most?

TW: Clanger’s… what the **** am I gonna say? Clanger’s **** really… can I say that? That’s just ruined the interview straight away.

OK let’s put it this way. What do you feel about your new album, it’s called Idiots, are you excited about it?

TW: Yeah as one review already put it “it’s rare you get an album named for the people who won’t buy it”.

Tell us about it; direction?

TW: It’s probably the least fashionable thing we’ve ever done. And it sounds like a mish mash of a lot of very technical seventies kind of very muso seventies pop. And it’s got the least production of any record we’ve done. It’s got the most complex musicality so it’s a mixture of those two things.

Are you playing it live at all?

TW: Yeah you know we’re playing it live…

For the benefit of my dear listener, tell dear listener where he can listen to you live.

TW: This coming Monday (17th June) at The Green Door Store in Brighton, Bristol the next day, The Louisiana and then the 19th up in London we’re doing an instore at Rough Trade East.

Brilliant, excellent. There’s a new guitarist, sadly Andrew Mitchell, just for geography because he’s up in the North of Scotland, we’re down on the South Coast of England; Clanger has taken over the guitar. Clanger how do you feel?

C: I don’t do interviews.

Yes you do – I’ll jump up and down on you…

C: OK. I feel good.

You just can’t shut him up. If I could get a word in edgeways. Now we should go from the taciturn to the melifluous, this is Alex White. New album, what do you think of it?

AW: I adore it actually, as it goes. I think it’s fantastic, I’m very proud of it. I’m happy to say that.

Excellent. What for you is your favourite track?

AW: My favourite track, I guess probably Idiots, the title track, ‘cos it’s a very personal song from Tom and I support every notion in it and I also feel like it’s one of the most collaborative on the record. Some of them Tom just brought in and we played them and others we actually made together and that is one of those. So I think that’s a genuinely collaborative effort.

Brilliant, fantastic. Did you self-produce it?

AW: It’s actually produced by Chris Hughes who’s the drummer in Adam And The Ants and a guy called Mark Frith who’s his wingman. They’re an amazing team. It’s sort of self-produced and produced with them but really the production credit should be with them, they did the record.

Brilliant, thank you very much Electric Soft Parade, welcome back, all the best for the new album, thanks for talking to me. Monday at The Green Door Store it is.

Transcript: Electric Soft Parade on BBC 6 Music 17th April

Gideon Coe BBC 6 Music 17th April

GIDEON COE PART ONEGIDEON COE PART TWO

So it’s 6 Music Breakfast and as you may be aware our Breakfast Show Record Of The Week is the new single from The Electric Soft Parade, Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone. During yesterdays programme there was much excitement towards the end as we waited for the arrival of Thomas and Alex from the band. It didn’t quite happen but they are via the power of being here on the Tuesday but actually appearing on the radio on the Wednesday here. How are you doing fellas?

A: Not bad. T: Perfect. A: It’s like having a time machine or something. T: It’s magic. A: It’s brilliant. G: It can be done you see, anything can be fixed. I won’t ask you about your journey here but that was one of the questions from our listeners. I think we should just gloss over your journey here and talk about your first album in six years and it’s a very welcome return. There was a hiatus and sometimes with a band when there’s a hiatus some people think that’s it, you’re not gonna come back… that was never the thought…

A: Hiatus always seems to be a code word doesn’t it. We’re brothers so we’re never really gonna break up in that sense unless we do it legally, I don’t know if you can do that, you can divorce your parents and stuff, can you divorce your sibling? I’ll look into it… T: Wow. G: That was a short comeback. A: Well yeah you know we’ll see what happens. We’ve been doing other things; Brakes and everything else that we’ve done. It just seemed like the right time I guess, we had the songs.

T: It’s kinda weird, I remember we did one last show promoting that record with Sparks – we supported Sparks at Islington Academy. I think we had it in our minds we’d take a little break… kind of just stuff kept happening, we didn’t have a label and stuff. It took for the songs to be there really, for everything to start snowballng again.

G: Did you do one of the Sparks shows at Islington in London where they did each album one after the other? 21 nights…

A: We did the second last one or something. I remember talking to them afterwards and they were just so zoned out, they could barely speak, just glazed over, “we’ve been in the same building for 3 weeks”. G: That was the plan, Brothers Mael. A: Well exactly guys. I think they had a different production every show and different band and things like this. It must’ve been such a headache. G: Charming gentlemen though. A: Amazing. T: Charming is the word. Very polite. Very very well-spoken. A: They’ve got this sort of vision of England in the 70’s when they first came here and they still act like that’s the game.

G: Not that we’re going to talk about Sparks all the time but when they arrived in England, they will always be reminded of it, one of the Top Of The Pops moments… This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us; striking, unnerving… A: Devastating. I must say briefly, just give Tom a little shout out here, Tom actually played guitar on This Town on Jonathan Ross’s show on tele. T: I did a bit of session work for Sparks.

G: Sparks aside, your return was also buoyed by some shows you did with Noel Gallagher. When did they happen. A: Indeed. That was end of 2011. G: Was this road testing the material… T: Essentially we were in a place where we were playing live again and I saw he was doing some shows. Hand on heart, I literally just texted him and said “give us a support slot” and we ended up doing the whole European Tour.

A: Fair play to Noel as well, a lot of people of that stature, the perception from the public is that they can just do what they like and get whoever they want on the bill and actually they don’t have that much to do with who’s on first and all the rest of it. We thought, good for his word, maybe we’ll get it, maybe we’ll get phased out along the way through that process. Actually he was good to his word and got us on the shows.

G: And these were shows with the traditional line up of the band, the studio line up? T: It’s kind of evolved over the years. There’s a core line up of four of us which has been solid since we broke up weirdly, it’s kind of evolved over the years. There’s been a lot of different members; we had Mathew Priest whom you know from Dodgy, he played with us for years. There’s been different people but we’ve had a solid line up…

A: Mr Twaites is our bass player, Matthew Twaites… T: He’s been with us the whole time. A: Since the very first thing. G: I did hear that the EP recorded a couple of years ago was the first time you’d taken that band into the studio. A: Yeah that’s right, exactly. We just did it in Brighton, just real cheap, just on our own really and this little French label were up for putting out seven inches and we just did this thing just around, ‘cos we were working at the time and then that then snowballed to Helium records that are putting out this new record. They heard that and heard that we were about and doing shows and everything and it just slowly and surely came from there.

G: What shall we say about Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone? T: There’s a very heavy influence of a particular song which I heard a few years ago now. A song called Elusive Butterfly by Bob Lind… his work was almost an epiphany, it was like half Tom Verlaine from Television, Richard Thompson, all that kinda stuff then with Nick Drake singing. An odd mix of stuff but it really kind of got me at the time. There’s a big influence of that and Belle And Sebastian. And also the idea of getting all this stuff in a two and a bit minute song. G: Which you managed more than well. We’ll hear it and talk some more with Thomas and with Alex. This is Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone…

G: There it is. T: As if by magic. G: It’s the Breakfast Show Record Of The Week, Electric Soft Parade and Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone which is a beautiful tune and you’ve mentioned the influences on it but it’s very much one of your records. It manages to be – it does contradict itself – it manages to be uplifting and yet quite a sad record to listen to as well. T: I think it’s quite misanthropic and it’s quite bitter in a way but it’s housed in a little chirpy, jazzy pop tune.

G: I haven’t mentioned the album title yet but the album from which it comes, the forthcoming LP, is called IDIOTS! A: With an exclamation mark. G: You have to say it like that don’t you. A: Oh you have to yes. T: It kind of demands a delivery of some magnitude. A: It’s shouting at you. All caps. G: IDIOTS! Why is it called that. A: I don’t know, we messed around with different titles and various things and tried to be serious for ages then just thought IDIOTS! It’s that self-deprecating kind of thing, that’s quite fun isn’t it, I dunno.

G: I wouldn’t trust anybody who hasn’t at some point or doesn’t regularly call themselves an idiot. A: For me it’s a bit like people who don’t like The Office. It’s like, well you are David Brent then. That’s my theory. You’ve got to be able to look at it and go, I’ve just totally done that a million times. I can behave like that sometimes, I’ve also got a blind spot and accept that about yourself. T: If you can’t admit that you can see some of yourself in Brent. A: You’ve gotta say you’re an idiot too… if you look at that and go, we’re idiots, you’re idiots, come on… let’s be idiots.

G: So with the title, did it come into the reckoning during the making of the record. A: That song is called Idiots already, the song Idiots, the title track was called that. It’s such a throwaway, where the lyric comes in in the chorus, it’s not like it’s the front bit of the chorus and it goes hey idiots…

T: A big thing for us is you have producers who purely involve themselves on a musical level but Chris Hughes and Mark Frith who made the record with us, there’s a constant dialogue about the nature of titles and how they define a record. Everyone involved in the record was quite equally involved in that and the way the record grew. There was no overriding concept for it.

G: The way the record ended up sounding, was that as you expected it to sound? T: And so much more. A: I mean some of the songs, the first track, that’s probably the third recording we did of it and that itself has been stripped to the bone and then rebuilt as the recording – really getting every single note to speak the maximum… G: That sounds like really hard work. A: Well it’s dull work actually in a way. You go in a studio and record for a week and you just record your songs and mix ’em, this whole momentum of doing it quickly, which can be great but with this we’ve really had a chance which a lot of groups don’t get to sit on this record, sit on every little stage of it… we’ve done our working week down in Bath with the guys then come back to Brighton, then maybe done couple of weeks off then another 5 days, all that sort of thing. You’ve got this time to sit and listen to it and go, you know what, I’ve listened to it in the car, in the kitchen etc and now I can hear what’s wrong with it. Whereas if you just do a record in 3 weeks you do the work and then 6 months later you realise the first track should be a b-side, that it’s rubbish or whatever – the one you’ve put in the bin should’ve been a single.

T: The pay off for me is listening to the record as a whole. G: Good stuff in the meantime upcoming show, Koko on Friday. IDIOTS! is out in June and the single Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone is available to download now. Thanks for dropping by fellas. A: Thanks so much for having us.

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Thomas White BBC 6 Music Session 28th March: Transcript + Listen Again

Thomas White BBC 6 Music Session 28th March: Tracklist: All The Fallen Leaves – King Of The Kingdom – I’ve Seen The Sunrise – Listen Again: bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00qklhk (hear clips from his session tracks and the full conversation)

Here’s the session for those unable to listen through the above link (from the original broadcast with some distortion) Better without bass boost.

Thomas White BBC6 Music 28th March 2012 Part One 12mb approx.

Thomas White BBC6 Music 28th March 2012 Part Two 8mb approx.

M: I’m delighted to say, for how many times we’ve had Thomas White in session over the years I don’t know but Thomas, welcome to the programme.

T: Hello there. M: Always an absolute joy and I can see that you’re a hard task master or “tarskmaster” because you’re sat down but your colleagues, well at least two of them are stood up.

T: They’ve gotta stand. M: They’ve gotta stand haven’t they… they went to get chairs and you just gave them that icy glare. T: I didn’t! I said grab a stool if you wanna stool…

Heather: He’s got a taser in his pocket. M: A taser? It used to be a cattle prod, he’s moving with technology isn’t he. Thomas introduce the rest of the members of your ensemble today please.

T: We’ve got Heather Urquhart here on vocals. M: Where did you get Heather from? T: A good friend of ours from Brighton and we’ve got Adam Kidd here as well on vocals… M: Or sulky kid as he’s often known. T: Sulky kid in the corner on vocals without a stool. I know these guys from Brighton and they’ve been helping me perform the songs from this new album for the last few months. Introduce yourselves.

M: No they don’t need to sell themselves, I tell you what will sell them, their voices when they come in. I was just wondering if you were involved in any other bands that I might know?

Adam: I’m in a group called Fragile Creatures. M: Fragile Creatures, right OK, have you brought a CD? A: I have! M: Well there you see that works, doesn’t it, absolutely. And there is another presence, a weird, eerie presence within the room. T: There’s this dude in the corner, he’s facing the wall. No he isn’t. My dear brother Alex is with us. M: Absolutely, lovely to see you mate. So he’s not trusting you with any harmonies tonight then? (A: No I’m on driving duties) Well you keep clear of the fridge.

M: We’ll get to grips with what exactly Yalla! is all about mate but what’s the first song you’re going to do for us? T: We’re going to play All The Fallen Leaves which is the first track on the album.

M: Thomas White live in session with All The Fallen Leaves and that’s a track taken from the Yalla! album. So you went away, you went to Egypt didn’t you for a while just to get away from things really. Did you go out there with the sole intention of writing?

T: I’d actually shared a flat with a good friend of mine called Claire in about 2004 in London and we kind of fell out of touch and she moved to Dahab in Egypt a good few years ago now and she married a guy out there and had a kid. I’d get the odd email or message online or whatever and she just kept on trying to get me to take a holiday over there and money and other things stopped me doing it and then late 2010 I booked this 6 week holiday. I find it hard having one day off.

M: You’re a very hardworking fella. You do your own stuff and you do Electric Soft Parade. If British Sea Power should need a drummer you do it. T: Well that’s it, I just get extremely kind of nervy and itchy when I have time off. So I arrived there and I’d luckily taken this little travel guitar and my laptop and a little microphone. Going out there I thought maybe I’ll write some stuff, not thinking I’d get anything usable.

About a week went by and I was this weird mix of awe at this amazing new place; incredible weather, wildlife, whatever else but also real mad homesickness. I hadn’t been away, certainly never been on holiday on my own and I was just plonked right in the deep end in this foreign place.

Dahab’s a very small town, very very different. Essentially it was a bit of culture shock and homesickness and all the rest. I started writing. After the first few days these kind of themes were happening. I’d find it really easy… I never want to labour over things I write. If something works, it works and it should be immediate as a listener and also to write it. You shouldn’t have to labour over something for months. It took about a week and a half to write and I initially didn’t think anything would come of it when I got back and I played it to a few people and people seemed to really like the songs. Then a friend of mine, Miles Heathfield from the band Clowns, he put me in touch with this label down in Brighton and essentially made it happen. He kinda got the ball rolling so I have to credit him really. M: You just have.

M: The tune we’ve been playing most on this programme is That Heavy Sunshine Sound which is a really really beautiful song and indeed we played it back to back with Paul McCartney every night and it sounded an absolute treat. You’ve been writing songs for a long time now, how old were you when you started The Electric Soft Parade and indeed writing.

T: I was about 12 and I think Alex was about 14 or 11 and 13, something like that. But I think we’re only just getting good I have to say. It’s not as if you start writing and the first song you write is any good. I feel like we’re only just starting to write stuff I can hold up and go “this is actually any good whatsoever”.

M: Are you trying to tell me then that all the records that I’ve been playing, of yours, over the last however many years have been… T: are absolute bobbins. M: Well you’ve broke that to me gently, I have to be honest, I never even noticed.

T: That’s the point, it’s no disservice to any listener or anyone who’s ever got into our stuff, I just mean on a completely personal level. I feel like we’re only just starting to get good at all that stuff.

M: I know exactly what you mean because when I started doing this programme I was crap and now I’m just pretty crap. T: You’re consummate. M: You’ve gotta get better at things as you go along don’t you really. T: Of course.

M: Excellent stuff. You’re gonna do another tune for us right now then one later in the programme so what’s the next one gonna be Thomas? T: This is a tune called King Of The Kingdom.

M: Brilliant, Thomas White live in session with King Of The Kingdom… Just to other business for a moment if you don’t mind… “Alright Marc, I’m so jealous that you’re in a room with my guitar hero, Thomas White” (T: who said that?!) “Is it wrong to be a fanboy at 47 years old (M: so it’s not me) Can you ask him what’s going on with the Brakes at the moment and more importantly, will they be playing End Of The Road Festival as usual”. That’s from Ian in Cheltenham.

T: Wow. I can almost definitely say Brakes will be playing End Of The Road this year as we’ve played every single edition of the festival so far and Eamon, the singer in Brakes, he’s back over from America next week to play a show with British Sea Power and to do a week or so’s work on the new Brakes record. So it’s coming, it’s in the pipeline.

M: Just be patient. T: Just a bit of logistics to work out but we’re getting there. M: I need to ask you also (can’t go through everything) but Electric Soft Parade?

T: Me and Al have been in the studio for the last 2 weeks up in Bath, we’re working with the production team who made our first record with us, made Holes In The Wall with us and they’re now running their own little label. We’ve got I think 10 tracks down and it’s gonna be a 10 track album so we’re 50-60% there, just gotta bash some vocals on it, mix it and again, that’s on its way yeah.

M: Brilliant. Can I say to you Restlesslist? T: If you can. M: I do struggle, I really do struggle with it. T: Due to doing other things I’ve had to take a break from that but I still do writing with them, I still play on and wrote a lot of the new record. They’ve just finished their new album, Coral Island Girl, which is an extremely elaborate concept record, the kind of record that doesn’t get made these days anymore which I think is admirable in itself but it’s also great even just as a record, it’s an amazing album. They’re playing shows at the moment, playing the entire album start to finish, so if you get the chance, check it out.

M: Right OK, an excellent band… I did mention earlier on, is it right that you played guitar for Sparks for a while? T: I did, a while is a kind of loose time frame, it was only a day. M: Not that much of a while is it but you’ve still played with Sparks. T: Essentially their guy couldn’t do it and they had The Jonathan Ross show booked so I stepped in and played The Jonathan Ross show with them. It was great because they did a medley of their single at the time which was called Dick Around, we did a medley of that and This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us so I think I made my parents happy/proud for the first time ever.

M: You will have to be proud with that definitely mate. Right Ok you’re gonna do one more tune and then you’re going to skedaddle aren’t you with Heather and Adam Kidd. So what are you gonna do next then? T: This one’s called, I’ve Seen The Sunrise.

M: Fabulous, once again Thomas White live in session with Heather Urquhart and Adam Kidd and of course kid Alex on the camera there, you’ve got another career looming large there mate I tell you. Fabulous session, thankyou very much, great to see you. T: Cheers Marc, you too.

Screenshots from the Studio Webcam:

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Thomas White: Radio Reverb – Alex White: Mixtape no.2

Alex White has a new edition of First We Take Manhattan Mixtape Blog: “Hello and welcome back to my blog. It’s been a busy few months, hence the lack of recent updates, but here comes another playlist for your aural delight (I hope). Apologies in advance if you don’t like broadway bulls*** and cheesy 70’s pop music; this edition tends towards that direction” — First We Take Manhattan BlogSpotify

Thomas White interview on Radio Reverb 20th October – Listen Again: mixcloud.com/jeff-hemmings

Jeff Hemmings on Radio Reverb: This is an interview with Tom which I did quite some time ago (just after the release of A Quick One EP in July) and although one or two bits of it might sound a little bit dated, most of it’s still relevant now so hope you enjoy this.

This is Jeff Hemmings, Radio Reverb 97.2, I’m joined by Thomas White from Electric Soft Parade. We’re going to have a chat with him in a minute but first of all we’re going to play a song from the new EP – the song is called Lily… That was Lily, the new single by The Electric Soft Parade which is out now?

TW: Yeah, came out on the 18th of July. Update: The EP is now on general release in UK independent shops and online, check the stockists list here Your local shop should be able to order it.

What’s the EP called? TW: It’s called A Quick One.

What does that refer to? It’s not The Who is it?

TW: It’s a reference to A Quick One While He’s Away, which is a kind of Who mini opera and it’s a reference to A Quick One records which is the label that put it out, which isn’t our label. It’s a vinyl and download only label based in Paris who kindly are putting out our stuff for the time being, which is very nice.

It is yeah and it’s the first new release for quite some time isn’t it, I think the last album was…

TW: 2007. People seem to lose track of time. I’m quite good with dates but people seem to get very confused. Yeah, 2007, No Need To Be Downhearted.

Yeah and that was 4 years ago and you soldiered on for a couple of years after that but a couple of years ago I guess you kind of stopped doing The Electric Soft Parade didn’t you and concentrated on Brakes and your own project.

TW: Yeah we did a show… we supported Sparks in London in 2008 and we kinda thought, off the back of that, that would be a good one to bow out on for a little break. We’re not the biggest band in the world, it’s not a big deal, we’re not reforming, me and Alex never stopped working together in different guises. It’s just a matter of having a conversation and saying “let’s do it” again, you know and then this label popped up and wanted to help us out. It’s all just kind of snowballing along again.

You’ve just done a series of gigs at The Albert haven’t you where you played your back catalogue each gig.

TW: That was one of the most draining things we’ve ever done. You look at it on paper and you think one gig a month, even though we were doing odd bits and bobs aside from the show. It was like one show a month is the kind of focus; learn each album and then play them in sequence. You think 12 songs to learn in a month isn’t that much and then a friend of mine got married and he asked me to put together a wedding band for that… things started piling up. By the fourth one where we had to learn 11 brand new songs that none of us had ever played before, it was like “ah christ”.

We’re in a good position in that a lot of bands go straight into the studio once they’ve written a new record and they don’t get chance to play it out live but we’re, for the first time in our career, ahead of ourselves in that sense. We haven’t recorded the new album yet. We’ve got it all demoed but we’re playing out and we’ve actually got a chance to really sift through the material and work out what works infront of a crowd and what people react well to and what they detest.

I went to the gig where you did The American Adventure. That was brilliant actually. That worked really well, I was really impressed.

TW: It’s such a strange thing because that record essentially got us dropped from our label at the time and we really fought to keep it the way it was. At the time it seemed like this idiosyncratic weird record and then the reaction was actually the best out of the 3 nights, out of the 3 old records that we played that was one that weirdly seems to have… I don’t know whether we approached it differently to how we did when we recorded the songs, when we recorded the album for real. I think we’re just a better band to be honest, we can just play better…

You did seem to be having a good time as well which always helps.

TW: With all the mad stuff that was going on, politically, with the band at the time, we kind of neglected the fact that the songs were actually quite fun, it’s like a really poppy album. It’s a mixture of, it’s nice to feel that those songs finally got the recognition, or rather finally got the reaction we’d always wanted. Also kind of sad that we weren’t on a label at the time that appreciated what we were doing. I think it’s some of our stronger stuff.

How do you approach music because you have tasted some success, your first album Holes In The Wall was a big seller, you got nominated for the Mercury Music prize and you got signed to a major label. So you had a bit of success with that and with Brakes you’ve been touring regularly, they’ve had some decent success with their albums as well. But now you’re almost starting again aren’t you, are you just doing it for fun maybe?

TW: Well no, it’s very strange, we kind of took a year or two out and the industry… it keeps changing so quickly and there’s all these things like Pledge and Bandcamp or whatever these things are called; they’re new tools for people to use. In the nicest possible way, we’re not really remotely interested in any of that. We’ve never really been interested in any angle on what we do other than just the tunes. It’s the last thing record labels wanna hear. That’s just who we are, we’re very very old-school people. We make a slight concession to maybe Facebook or something but that’s just out of absolute necessity because such a huge proportion of people are on it.

How do you approach music now because when you were successful at the beginning you were very young weren’t you.

TW: I don’t think our approach has ever changed; we’re still just guys hacking away at guitars in a bedroom essentially. It’s very hard to step outside of it. I don’t really pick apart my approach too much, I try and just do whatever feels natural, for whatever project. So with Brakes, it’s a harder edged thing and it demands more upfront energy and it’s a bit of a harder approach.

With the ESP stuff, the focus is much more on the playing, the melodies, making that really clear, it’s much more cerebral musically.

You’ve obviously got music in your blood, haven’t you. You and your brother Alex, Brighton born and raised aren’t you. TW: Yeah there’s not many of us.

You started pretty young, as brothers you were making music from a young age and originally you had something out as The Feltro Media. How old were you when that was released. 15, 16, something like that. It’s a long time ago, isn’t it, we don’t have to talk about it.

TW: We started doing stuff for real in ’97 so I would’ve been 12 or 13 and Alex was a year or 2 older. We did that for a few years and off the back of that… it was real weird the way we got signed. We sent a demo to XFM Unsigned, the show they used to run on XFM. A label heard it, it was a real kind of fairytale. We didn’t run round labels giving endless demo tapes, it was the first label that approached us, started making the record with us.

That label came from the old-school; Dave Bates and Chris Hughes, they had big success in the 80’s with Tears For Fears and Adam And The Ants and stuff. Their whole way of A&R-ing which I loved, I absolutely adored the way they worked; very very hands on A&R. That was just a pleasure, having people that you trust so involved in your songs and so emotionally involved in how the record’s going to sound.

I think we were really lucky because I don’t know any label that would operate like that; it takes full focus all the time from everyone at the label. Everyone was really working together on the record. It took a long time to make the first record but I think it’s probably one of the last records… I don’t know of any band that has that, I don’t know any bands personally who are signed and A&R’d in that way, real old-school…

There isn’t that development money anymore.

TW: No. I keep having this conversation with people; where is the next OK Computer going to come from. Not that I’m remotely a Radiohead fan, I don’t mind them, I’d never listened to them. It’s a different era when a band was allowed to get to their third album. To be fair, Radiohead’s first two records are kinda grunge, they weren’t groundbreaking at the time, they were fine, they had a hit with Creep, that kept them going. But the point is, they were allowed to get to album no.3. I don’t see that happening with anyone.

I can think of countless famous artists who probably would’ve been dropped… TW: In today’s climate.

People like Bob Dylan for instance. I think he sold about 3000 copies of his first album. There was a big debate at his record company, “shall we give him another chance or shall we drop him”. TW: Wow, I never knew that, amazing.

But he had a mentor, he had somebody who batted for him. TW: Someone fighting his corner. That’s the old-school nurturing of an artist. Throughout pop history it’s often the 3rd or 4th record where an artist hits their stride and really knows their craft and all the rest of it; all the cheesy A&R phrases but they ring true.

We’re in the studio this coming week (interview was recorded in July) recording another EP for the same label. We’re testing the water a bit. I think we’re going to go down the route of releasing 4 or 6 track EP’s, not spending a huge amount of money or time on the recordings and just keep the songs coming. We’ve worked out a way how we can do videos really cheap and we can tour really cheap. So we’re just going to keep going. There’s a lot of love for the band and a lot of people know about the band. It’s just about reaching them. As more and more people hear that we’re back on, we’re getting more and more offers and stuff. Like I say, it’s snowballing, who the hell knows. But the plan is really, do a few more EP’s, maybe a couple of one-off singles and then aim for a fourth record next year.

Good stuff. Well it’s good to see you guys back. Definitely one of my favourite bands. The Lily EP (A Quick One EP) is out now.

TW: It’s on iTunes or A Quick One Records You can order the 7″ from there. The 4 track EP is on iTunes (update: also see the stockists list here)

Good old-fashioned seven inch, yeah. TW: B***** h*** yeah, sorry I mean yes.

TW: Next February is the 10 Year Anniversary of our first record. So we’re going to do an extravagant one down here (Brighton) and play the whole record. We’re going to try and persuade Eamon to reform his first band, Brighter Lunch, who haven’t played since 2001; Eamon Hamilton, Matt Eaton from Actress Hands, John Farmer and John Griffin. People who haven’t been in a room together for ten years. We started out as massive fans of theirs, they’re like a proper band. We were in awe of them and they split and then Eamon kinda had a couple of years in the wilderness and Brakes got together so… we’re going to try and get them together for February.

I’ve got an old demo of Brighter Lunch so I’m going to dig that out. TW: Really? Dig it out, they were great man. A kind of weird mix of funk and country and punk…

A bit like Brakes. TW: Some of the songs were embryonic versions of what became Brakes songs.

Fantastic. Well thanks very much for popping in. We’re gonna play another track off the EP. What’s the name of this song?

TW: This is one of Alex’s which showcases his absolute love for Chicago – the band, not the city. It’s called Number One.

That was an interview conducted a couple of months ago but thought I’d play it out on air now because they are doing a gig in Brighton, they’re playing with British Sea Power at the Concorde 2 on the 1st of November and doing a tour of the UK and as Tom said in the interview, hopefully a big gig in Brighton next year.

Note: Whatever appears past here is an advert and not posted by me.

Electric Soft Parade: Radio 2 August 6th + Noel Gallagher support

Electric Soft Parade will be the support for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on their debut UK tour!! Edinburgh and London confirmed so far – more to come. The first run of shows have already sold out, but we’ll keep you posted as and when others get booked: Electric Soft Parade Facebook

Electric Soft Parade on Radio 2: Interview Transcript below.

INTERVIEW + SESSION INCLUDING LILY + IF I CAN DREAM ACOUSTIC (24 MB)

The original broadcast (above) was the best recording for the interview. The session tracks from the listen again sound OK though: LILY ACOUSTICIF I CAN DREAM ACOUSTIC

We are joined by Thomas and Alex aka Electric Soft Parade, hello guys.

A: Hello, how you doing. T: Good morning.

Good morning? Might be to you musicians, yeah. The time you roll out of bed, god knows.

T: How you doin’ Shaun? A: We camped here last night, just so we were here in the morning.

Just nipped off across the road for a livener?

A: Oh yes. Little glass of orange juice in the afternoon. T: Lady petrol.

Is that what they call it? That’s what musicians do I suppose isn’t it. It’s the afternoon, the sun’s over the yard arm. Badly Drawn Boy slipped over for a light livener as well.

A: Well it’s that thing of, you don’t do anything all day, you do stuff in the evening but you sort of prepare it at 4 O’Clock or something, you soundcheck and you’ve just got to fill the time.

Pubs are lovely places to hang out.

T: We were lucky we walked in to the particular one we did because Mr Timothy Spall was in there. A: Just hanging out. T: Just in there… random. Amazing.

That made your afternoon didn’t it? T: It absolutely did.

You’re on Radio 2, you’re speaking to a Sony Award Nominee. T: Yeah we heard that, Scott Matthews is a very lucky man.

Before we forget, we must mention why we played A. That song (Elton’s Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds) and B. The Eastenders drum fill at the end. A: It’s a classic fill.

Now from what information I’ve been given… T: I think I can guess this, I think I know this one.

You guys have a bit of form with those particular pieces of music because when you were young boys isn’t it true that one of you picked out the Eastenders theme tune on a piano. T: That was Alex.

A: I did yeah… well it’s the eternal question for me because I have perfect pitch (DJ: I’ve got good relative pitch but not perfect) A: Probably more useful actually because I can’t turn it off. I can be drunk in a club hearing some track and go “the DJ is playing it a bit too quick” or something, I can just hear that detail in it tonally.

But it’s that eternal question, basically my parents heard me playing this tune; working it out and going “that’s a wrong note, oh no I’ve got it, there you go”, working it out when I was about 3, so they say. But my question is, would I have developed as a musician the same way if they’d just gone, “shut up, we’re watching Eastenders”. Would I have developed the same way – I don’t know.

It’s an interesting philosophical point but then of course, Tom, you being the typical younger brother, you got a little bit competitive at this point. T: Yeah I got all jealous.

DJ: “He’s getting loads of attention for that so I need to pick up a Ukelele or something”. T: Or a tiny Martin guitar. DJ: It IS tiny, it’s almost Ukelele sized, the guitar that Tom is playing today. But also, that version of Elton John, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds; that was something that was played, was it, when you were very young?

A: We had The Best Of Elton John – I’m sorry – The VERY Best Of Elton John with the blue cover. T: Ah! With him with the sunglasses and the weird hat. A: And he does that song that you just played. All the rest of it he sings his standard Hollywood thing then he does this weird sort of nasal voice, it sounds like an impression. My Dad was like, “well that’s John Lennon, he’s doing John Lennon, it’s a John Lennon song” and we were like “who’s John Lennon?”.

My Dad went “right, this is ridiculous” and went and bought the Sgt Pepper tape and brought it back that night from work and we sat as a family and he just went “you’re listening to this record now!”. We just listened to it that day. I was probably about seven or eight.

DJ: It’s one of those things, it’s the ultimate indoctrination isn’t it, The Beatles especially if you’ve got a child with any musical bent whatsoever; hit ’em with The Beatles and it’s like… T: It’s just a whole world. DJ: A portal, isn’t it. With my little boy, when he was 18 months, I got so sick to death of showing him these Baby Einstein DVD’s that I just popped on the Elvis ’68 Comeback Special just on the offchance that he might like it and he was transfixed.

A: Another interesting reference there because we might be dipping into a little excerpt from that particular show at some point in the next few minutes. T: Is that where he debued that song? A: It was written specifically for that performance.

T: You’re tying up all these loose ends. A: It’s beautiful. DJ: I can’t believe I was only nominated for a Sony and didn’t win one. A: Nominated, what do they know? I’ll have a word, don’t worry.

Let’s cut the chat for a minute; we’ve let the cat out of the bag but we are going to play something from Elvis a bit later on. I say we, I’m not. Do you mind if I just put in a little vocal in the background? A: Whistle?

What are you going to play for us first boys?

T: We’re going to do a track called Lily off an EP we put out last month (watch the video)

DJ: This is Electric Soft Parade with Lily.

LILY Acoustic

DJ: Big chord finish, yes! What you’ve experienced there listeners was two kinds of ESP, The Electric Soft Parade but also the ESP between two brothers. A: Oh yes, ESP. We don’t look, we don’t need to. DJ: Extra Sensory Perception. That’s gorgeous. A: Thankyou. T: Thankyou Sir.

DJ: From the new EP, which is out now. A: Out now – A Quick One EP – named after the label that released it, very kindly. T: And a little nudge at The Who. DJ: That’s what I thought, are they doing something off A Quick One… T: While He’s Away.

More info on A Quick One at the ESP Myspace Please post any messages on the ESP Facebook

DJ: There’s going to be another EP out before the end of the year, is that right? A: Yes indeed. While we’re here and people have noticed we did one so we thought we’ll do another one. Might as well do it if people are up for it. We’re doing a kind of Rock EP next. DJ: Are you? A: ROCK! T: It’s kind of ridiculous, it sounds like 30 Seconds To Mars crossed with Big Star.

DJ: Is that Jared Leto? I became emphysemic then just thinking about Jared Leto… A: It’s pretty painful isn’t it. DJ: He makes me breathless for all the wrong reasons. T: It’s all just about tuning your snare drum as high as it’ll go and screaming.

DJ: But Alex is it actually sometimes painful then to be a musician if you’ve got perfect pitch, if one person has got just a slight… do you feel like walking up to somebody’s bass? T: You understand it better than most people, that’s exactly what it’s like; soundchecks and guitar tunings, any frequency that is slightly out of whack.

A: I don’t have it so bad, I can adjust, I can try and ignore it I guess because you don’t have a choice a lot of the time. There’s Opera singers that are tuned in to absolute pitch as they call it. They can’t sing if it’s slightly out, they can’t sing in tune. DJ: The whole Orchestra; “That’s it! Scrap this!”

Ben noticed this when we were listening to the EP downstairs; he maintains that it sounds a little bit like Jim’ll Fix It, the theme tune, the beginning of the song sounds like the beginning of the theme tune to Jim’ll Fix It.

T: Have you guys got it there, can we hear a little snippet? (“we haven’t got it actually”) A: Come on, BBC, you should have it, it should be on archive, what’s up with you?

DJ: I can do a vague impression of Jimmy Savile which is a different thing. I would’ve said that you’re a little bit too young for Jim’ll Fix It. A: Do you know what, I wrote a letter to Jim’ll Fix It, this is a world exclusive, I’ve never told anybody this. I wrote a letter to Jim’ll Fix It when I was about eight. I was obsessed with the News, I don’t know why. I was obsessed with Nicholas Witchell. T: Make of that what you will. A: No not in any weird way I just loved the way he read the news. He’s now some Royal Correspondent but he was my man, he was the news guy for me.

I wrote to Jimmy Savile: “Please fix it for me because I want to read the news with Nicholas Witchell” and I genuinely believed that if I just wrote him a letter he’d probably go “yeah we can do that”.

DJ: (impersonating Jimmy Savile) “We’ve got a letter here from Alex who’s in The Electric Soft Parade and he says that he wants to read the news with Nicholas Witchell” (A: Imagine if I’d been in Electric Soft Parade, 8 year old: “this is our new single”) A: So that never happened but one day… DJ: Those dreams were dashed.

It’s nearly 10 years now since you guys first burst onto the scene. T: It’s more than 10 years since our first single. It’s 10 years next February since our first record. DJ: Because I remember playing Silent To The Dark, which must’ve been the end of 2001, start of 2002. A sort of hackneyed and obvious question but a lot happened at once didn’t it. You got a Mercury nomination, World tour, you were on Jools Holland and all this biz. Is that just “great, it’s happened, thank god we’ve had that experience” or is it difficult for a very young band to have that experience so young because you think “I’ve got to replicate that, I’ve got to try and reach those heights again”.

A: I think different people handle it differently. Some people just go mental and can’t deal with it. It’s such a mill, isn’t it, such a weird sort of experience; being in that world at that age. I wouldn’t change any of it really to be honest. It’s brilliant. There’s been ups and downs but we’re still here. We’ve got no money and no support really from anyone at the moment compared with back in the day. We had this big record label and a team of 50 people working and just money… just endless funds to do things. Now it’s kind of a bit more homespun. But people remember that thing if you’re a big band in their heads and they sort of take you a bit more seriously.

I know a lot of musicians in Brighton, friends who’ve never had a deal, they’re twice as good as we are but they’re just not respected in that way. We’ll always have that. DJ: It’s a benchmark. A: We don’t trade on it, every band says that, but I think this is our best stuff now, I think we’re at our best, we’ve got the live band really good, we’re really comfortable doing what we do.

DJ: Do you think as well with what’s happened to the music industry in the last 5 or 6 years, it’s kind of been decimated by a lot of different things. A: The whole thing’s changed. DJ: In a sense it means that musicians coming into it now, have in a good way, less expectations. It’s just nice to be able to play music for a living rather than maybe when I was a kid it was like, “yeah, we’re gonna get signed and then we’re going to be multi-millionaires”.

T: The whole formula’s disappeared, it’s not the same. A: I think it’s good because when we started out you get signed and there was this team of people laid on to do all the work basically and you just sort of turn up and say hello, that’s about it. Whereas now bands are a lot more savvy to the social network aspect of everything and all the rest of it. They’re a bit more clued up about the industry – having to do things yourself and not rely on publicists and whoever it is to do stuff for you. I think that’s a good thing really because it puts the power back and the workload back on the band.

T: All the stuff that a label would spend the first year of a band’s career doing, a band can now do before they even get signed, for nothing. A: Absolutely.

DJ: On’t T’Internet. T: Did you say T’Internet? DJ: You should try it people. You type WWW (dot) and then you put just about anything in there and there’s a page comes up. It’s weird and brilliant. A: Like a book page? DJ: You can read it or you can click on things, sometimes a video comes up. It’s mad, you should try it.

T: Has anyone ever worked out how big the internet is? All I’ve got to go on, I think it’s on Brass Eye where someone described an area of internet the size of Ireland and I’ve never heard anyone other than that refer to the actual physical size of the internet.

A: Have you seen the map of the internet? T: It looks like the universe.

DJ: I printed it off once, it was a lot of pages. You couldn’t cancel it, it just kept coming. But just to go back briefly, we were talking about the very start; Eastenders, Elton John, The Beatles. What other music informs your playing, what other touchstones are there for you.

A: From the very start, personally, again it was Jimmy Somerville. I’m not joking. I was obsessed with the song Read My Lips (TW: He was great, he’s still great) there was a single out in the early 90’s. I was so obsessed with him, my Dad took me to see Jimmy Somerville. He (Thomas) was too young to go. I was ten. My first ever gig I went to at The Brighton Dome. He was a big gay icon, there were all these 40 year old gay guys just kinda like: “why is a 10 year old kid here”, what’s going on? And me like “why are all these people looking at me, I love Jimmy Somerville”, shutup.

DJ: I did enjoy Don’t Leave Me This Way (A: Communards yeah) T: You Make Me Feel Mighty Real. A: They’re all covers though aren’t they.

They talk about seeing cast members of Aufwiedersehen Pet. T: It’s kinda weird because I watched that film, Still Crazy, I watched that the other day, he’s fantastic… A: He’s great in that. DJ: I interviewed Guy Pratt the other day in the back of a taxi, the bass player for Pink Floyd and people like that. Now he’s a stand up comedian. He let slip that he actually wrote Ain’t No Doubt with Jimmy Nail. T: PRS rollin in.

DJ: Speaking of PRS, someone who needs a little bit of PRS is Elvis Presley. No longer with us, that’s the sad truth. But we touched on it before, the Elvis ’68 Comeback Special. Obviously big fans of the man.

A: We worked with a friend of mine, Sam Devereux years ago. I was in the scouts and he was a bit older than me. He was quite obsessed with Elvis and kinda wanted to be him and he worked out that I could listen to records (the perfect pitch thing) listen to things and appropriate the arrangement pretty quick. So he’d play me these things with 50-piece Orchestras and just go “play that on the piano” and I’d have to get all the parts in on the piano. It was a really good education actually.

So I got into Elvis through that, just kind of never looked back. Amazing. He’s so overlooked as a performer and as a singer. Just a classic individual.

DJ: You’re right. He’s culturally everywhere but musically, what he did, he’s sometimes overlooked. A: I’m sure it’s been talked about a lot but the Winehouse thing, it’s exactly that. She has this aura of stuff around her and actually, she’s a really good singer. Let’s not forget that. It sounds really obvious but let’s go and listen to the records and respect that because that’s actually the point. Not the drugs, not the tabloid aspect of it. It’s about the tracks and she can do it. DJ: It’s about the music.

DJ: Well you boys are about to play one of my favourite Elvis tracks. It’s from the ’68 Comeback Special, it was written especially for the ’68 Comeback Special. Who’s going to be Elvis here?

A: I’m afraid it’s me. T: ALVIS! A: I usually don a pair of shades… DJ: It’s a shame you’ll never get to hear my verson of it but there you go. A: Oh come on. T: Can we have a little snippet? DJ: (sings) I’m more of a “pub Elvis”. A: That’s pretty good. I kind of just do it as me. You have to imagine the Elvis bit I guess.

DJ: So here we are, this is Thomas and Alex, Electric Soft Parade’s version of If I Can Dream by Elvis Presley (watch the video)

IF I CAN DREAM Acoustic

DJ: (as Elvis) Thankyou very much. You did him justice man. You did him justice guys. T: Cheers Shaun. DJ: We’ve got him in mind now, the black background, the red letters, the white suit. A: That’s it. T: That’s the one. DJ: The great story behind that is they wrote that about 2 days before the live broadcast – The ’68 Comeback Special. A: It was rush written exactly for it but it was a reaction if you do the maths, the dates, Martin Luther King was shot very recently before and certain bits were verbatim quotes from the I Have A Dream speech (watch the original)

DJ: Beautifully done, Thomas and Alex of The Electric Soft Parade. The single Lily and the EP A Quick One are out now. There’ll be more from the boys. Keep your eye and ear out later on in the year. Apparently, you’re playing at The Pure Festival at The Garage on the 24th of September.

T: We did actually have some remarkably good news for us. We are allowed to talk about this, a world exclusive. We have the incredible honour – we’ve basically been chosen to support Noel Gallagher at the first run of shows he’s doing with his High Flying Birds. We’re confirmed for Edinburgh and London so far. They’re all sold out (please check the ESP Facebook for further show announcements)

DJ: Well listen, enjoy and thanks very much for coming, Thomas and Alex. A: Thankyou very much for having us, cheers man, appreciate it. DJ: Thanks guys.

Thomas White interview, Brighton and Hove Community Radio, 6th July

Listen Again/download from this page at archive.org (if the link doesn’t work at first, try it again)

Here’s some quotes from the interview with Mike Rawlings, listen to the full show above. The Yalla video footage is now unavailable.

My guest today is none other than Brighton’s finest; the amazing, the wonderful, the strangely attractive Mr Tom White. TW: Oh please.

The reason we got Tom in here today – if you’re Brightonian you will know Tom – he’s a lynchpin of The Electric Soft Parade with his brother Alex, he plays bass for Clowns which is a band I’ve been championing for the last few weeks. He plays lead guitar for Brakes who are utterly awesome and if it wasn’t so much swearing in their songs I’d be playing a lot more Brakes.

The reason I played Walk Like An Egyptian is because our Tom went to Egypt for 6 weeks. Not only did he do a radio show on national Egyptian radio 4 hours a day – was it daily or weekly?

TW: It ended up being a few times a week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

And he also wrote, composed, recorded an entire album just on a travel guitar and a MacBook. And not only did he do that, he did videos for all of them. They’re on youtube, aren’t they.

TW: Yeah I posted them up on youtube – there isn’t a release for it yet. I just thought I’d get it out there, see what people thought, you know.

Cool. You’ve been playing it live, how’s that been going?

TW: It’s been beautiful. The record is just acoustic guitar and then me multi-tracked on vocals so I figured I’d get a few friends involved to replicate all those parts live. It’s been bizarre, interesting and very sweet of everyone to get so involved and get into it like that. It’s been nice.

I saw one, dear listener! TW: DEAR LISTENER!!

I was in the audience for Monday night down at the Albert but it was brilliant. I really, really liked that. And I liked the guy with the cello that was on before you.

TW: Yeah, Adrian Oxaal. That was an interesting guy actually, he played guitar for a band called James in the late 90’s and he’s gone on to do session work, he teaches and various different things down in Brighton.

I went up to him after his set and congratulated him and said I thought he was really good and that I thought it was a violin but he was really small. I don’t know how funny he found that. Have you got a tune for us, would you like to play us a tune?

TW: We’ll kick off with a tune that’s been pressing my buttons lately. I actually saw this woman, she’s a girl called Janelle Monae, I saw her on the TV at Glastonbury (DJ mentions her quiff) The quiff was amazing…

Youtube: JANELLE MONAE – OH, MAKER

My special, special guest today is Mr Tom White. You just ARE music, basically. I’m not going to embarrass you by asking you how many instruments you play; you play keyboards, you play awesome drums (I said I wasn’t going to say awesome) TW: AWESOME!!

You play wonderful bass, without wanting to embarrass you – you and Sir Damo Waters are bass and drummer of Clowns. That is one of the best rhythm sections I have ever heard. It’s certainly the best rhythm section I’ve ever had in the back of my car.

TW: Do we get a whole drumkit and a bass amp in the back of your car though or are we just miming.

If you can’t, I’ll get a bigger car…

You and your brother, you are incredibly musical, what are your earliest memories of music, what first got you?

TW: Well as the story goes, you know how family stories kind of gain different angles, different bits of information, over the years they get embroidered and they become more elaborate as the years go on. The story goes that my brother was about three and since we were born my Dad always had a piano in the house and the story goes that my brother heard the Eastenders theme tune and aged three he went over to the piano and picked it out. If you imagine a little kid going (hums theme tune) he got it wrong the first time then found the last note. My Dad was like “Wow!” so from there he started learning the piano at about four.

He was about six or seven, I was about four or five and I was like, “I want to do it as well”; typical jealous younger brother. He picked up the violin as well and started having lessons on that so I picked up the piano and did the same. Aged about nine or ten – up until that age music is a thing that’s on in the background, you don’t understand it and then you have that eureka moment, I’m sure most people do, where they hear that first record. Usually it’s The Beatles or Elvis or something kind of really really mainstream, just something that catches their ear.

For us, my Dad had an Elton John Best Of. I can remember exactly, we were in the car, we were on some little family day out and Elton John’s cover of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds came on and he does a weird kind of impression of John Lennon. My brother was like “why is he singing in a weird voice Daddy?” and my Dad was like “he’s doing an impression of John Lennon”. We were like, “who’s this John Lennon guy?” being 8 years old.

My Dad got this tape of The Beatles, one of their early records and the rest is history. That was that moment where we both kind of went “oh, hang on…” Then I guess there’s the next eureka moment where if you’re learning an instrument, that first moment you hear a song and you suddenly realise you can divide the whole sound you’re hearing up into separate instruments. For the first time you kind of break it all down and you hear the piano, bass, drums and guitar and you realise how it’s pieced together.

I guess we just got fascinated by that and spent a lot of our teen years picking records apart and learning how to play our favourite records. I’m sure a lot of musicians learn how to play music by doing that; by falling in love with records and then deconstructing them and putting them back together themselves.

Then we got a 4 track and we’d do covers of songs. I think it’s a fairly standard route that a lot of musicians go down, that’s pretty much how it went for us. Anyway I’ll stop yabbering…

It’s very interesting. Have you got another tune you’d like to play us?

TW: Yeah this is an American band called Fun. Fantastic band. This record came out last year, it’s called Aim and Ignite. This is just an incredible song, my brother really got me into this. This is for Alex, this is Fun with the first track off their album. It’s called Be Calm.

Youtube: FUN – BE CALM

That was utterly beautiful… very intriguing mixture of Queen and Beirut. Do you happen to know the record label. TW: Their record was self-released in the UK.

Anybody who liked that we advise you to tap in fun. Now one of the things I do like to have on this show, I like it when Lyricists – and Tom is a Lyricist – read poetry because music is only one half of a song, you’ve got the Lyric as well. Tom’s going to read us a poem by EE Cummings, so in your own time sir, take it away.

TW: This is a poem by EE Cummings and as my Father tells me, it’s an “eye poem” in other words it looks like it rhymes when you look at it but it doesn’t sound like it and as all his poems don’t have a title this one doesn’t either. It’s from his Selected Poems, Faber paperbacks.

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail
it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea
love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive
it is most sane and sunly
and more it connot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

Absolutely beautiful, EE Cummings untitled poem. One of the things that’s great about Tom is that he’s a phenomenal bass player as is this guy, check this out, I don’t need to tell you who this is because you’ll know, the greatest bass player that ever lived.

Youtube: THE BEATLES – THINGS WE SAID TODAY

Utter brilliance, that was of course The Beatles with Things We Said Today off the third album by them, Hard Days Night. The thing that always gets me about them is normally in the industry they talk about the difficult third album, which means that a band starts out, is on the road for 3 or 4 years before they get signed, they build up a backlog of songs, they pick the cream of them for their first album, they’ve still got a few left – all those new experiences for the second album but the third album is known in music circles as being the difficult album. With the Beatles their third album was the first one that was all self composed, less than 18 months after their first album, they were putting out 2 albums a year, incredible band and we love Paul McCartney, we do love John Lennon as well but poor old Paul McCartney, he gets some stick and he doesn’t deserve it, his bass playing is unbelievably good.

Anyway, Egypt, how was it – what were you doing out there?

TW: I got there in mid September last year and it’s still getting on for 40 degrees every day at that time of year. Infact I was there for 6 weeks and by the end of the trip it was only down to about 35 degrees. It was really really hot. So I spent a few days acclimatising myself. I was staying with my friend Claire out there and she put me up or rather put up with me for 6 weeks. So I got settled and then it dawned on me how long 6 weeks actually was. When I booked the trip I was like yeah, 6 weeks… it suddenly dawned on me that it was quite a substantial amount of time to spend in the same place so I got used to the idea of basically being a local and got my bearings and then after about a week or so, I started writing.

It’s very easy to be spurred on by being in a new place, that really gives you a new angle on things. So I got used to the place and got settled and I started writing and I got into a really nice routine where I’d get up in the morning and just sit about and watch a bit of TV and just kind of doodle on the guitar and maybe record down a minute and a half, two minutes of an improvised thing, a couple of bits that I’d written, just record something everyday. Then in the evening I’d go out to a bar and sit and write lyrics and ideas.

Then the next day I’d go and flesh out those ideas and maybe record some vocals. I just went like that for a week and a half. Then I realised I’d recorded 10 songs that really held together. I think any musician will know that the further apart you write things, the harder it is to make them gel, to make them hold together on albums and such like.

The smaller the amount of time you spend on something, the more concise it often turns out and the more it holds together. So I basically spent the first couple of weeks doing that then thought, what the hell am I doing, I wanna have a holiday.

So I went snorkelling and if anyone’s ever been there; Dahab – Sharm, that coast on the Red Sea, the snorkelling and diving is just phenomenally good and just absolutely beautiful. We spent a night staying in these little Bedouin huts on the beach. It was amazing, glorious weather, the most beautiful people as well, really nice.

One of the things that struck me about the Yalla! stuff is it appears you’ve gone a few thousand miles away from home and it’s given you perspective on home because a lot of those songs appear to be about Brighton.

TW: It’s the whole thing of being a songwriter, you can’t really choose what you write about. If you let yourself write, if you don’t control what you’re writing, often you’ll write about the strangest things and yet in the most foreign of places I found I was writing about pretty much a distillation of what I missed or how I imagined how things were back home being however many thousand miles away.

So I was in this amazing place, beautiful sunshine and I was writing about dreary, grey Brighton, rainy Brighton. But you always romanticise the other, whatever you don’t have, whatever situation you’re not in. Obviously there’s a lot of the place I was at in the record and there’s a hell of a lot of thinking about Brighton and putting the last few years of my life into perspective.

Did you get any kind of feeling that there was an impending revolution ‘cos last September would be before the revolution.

TW: I was there September/October last year then I went back over New Year and I was there til the second week of January this year. The weird thing is there was no hint of there being any kind of uprising. I left and about 5 days after suddenly there was all this stuff kicking off over there. I was down in Dahab, it’s a very small town, only 4000 people, there was still not a hint of anything on the TV and the news. I’ve got my own theories about it but maybe shouldn’t share them on live radio.

The army are in control now, aren’t they.

TW: It seemed very weird that our news corporations over here were so interested in it and the west wanted a piece of it and we seemed far too involved for something that was supposedly a national uprising generated by the people of a country. It seemed very weird that we were so involved but you can go on the internet, you can read up about it if you want to know the truth about it and about America’s involvement, the same with Libya, very much the same thing happened there.

Shall we cheer ourselves up with some BB King? TW: Go for it!

During the last track Tom was just saying how much he liked BB King so this is for Tom. TW: He taught me how to play guitar basically, alongside The Beatles and Elvis. BB King was one of those early influences.

He was born and raised in the epicenter of the blues and then he took it forward into the 20th century. This is BB’s Boogie by Mr Blues Boy King.

Youtube: BB KING – BB’s BOOGIE

Yeah proper, proper blues that, BB King with BB’s Boogie that’s I believe what you’d call 1940’s jump boogie. TW: Jump blues, jump boogie yeah.

They also played: BONFIRES ON THE HEATH – CLIENTELE

A wonderful song by Tom White’s solo project, Yalla! recorded in Egypt last year… I’LL SEE HER AGAIN

If you tap in to youtube – YALLA – you’ll get all ten of them on youtube. All written, played, sung and videos produced, shot and edited by Mr Tom White.

Have you got any more gigs coming up?

TW: Clowns are playing the Bull and Gate in London this coming Monday. Electric Soft Parade are doing Truck Festival later this month and we’ve just booked something else but I don’t know if I can announce that just yet.

Don’t worry if you tell me I’ll announce it next Wednesday. So Bull and Gate, Kentish Town, London, Monday, what time? TW: About 10pm – Clowns Facebook

That’s definitely worth it, I’ve been playing a lot of Clowns in the last few weeks. TW: Thankyou Mikey.

Oh I love ’em, I love Clowns, I think they’re an absolutely fantastic band and I genuinely love Yalla! I think it’s a wonderful album infact it’s so good I’m going to say please play us another one.

TW: Let’s have another one. This is called KING OF THE KINGDOM

There you go, King Of The Kingdom, brilliant. We are running short of time and I want to squeeze in some new stuff and there’s 10 Yalla! tracks to do.

Very briefly, your other band, with your brother Alex, The Electric Soft Parade. How old were you when you got signed.

TW: I was 16, he was 18.

Wow, were you still at school?

TW: I’d just finished my GCSE’s and I’d done about a week at college when the label that were courting us – it was a label called DB records – they were based in Chiswick at the time, it got to the point where I was about to start A Levels and they said look, you can either do this or do that and my parents tried in vain to stop us just going full steam ahead into a record deal. We thought of it like “might not get the chance again” you know.

And there’s an Electric Soft Parade EP out soon?

TW: Yeah we’re putting a 4 track EP out, it’s called A Quick One and that’ll be out later this month. More information on our Facebook and online if you want to check it out.

And also it was an Electric Soft Parade gig the other night on Radio 6?

TW: Yeah we did a show on 6 Music – the lovely Marc Riley – LISTEN HERE

So if I play that EP does that mean I’ll be the first person to play it or will Marc Riley have pipped me to it?

TW: We did play two tracks off it on his show, not the actual record.

Next played from Yalla! DREAMT I DWELT IN MARBLE HALLS

Absolutely beautiful… so without further ado shall we have another track.

TW: Why not, this is called LUNGFUL OF AIR

Proper beautiful lovely that is… A real heartfelt thanks to Mr Thomas White for being my special guest today. TW: Thankyou Mikey.

It was lovely to have you. We’re going to play you one more Yalla! song, so what’s this final song?

TW: This is called thankyou very much Mikey for having me…

They finished with: THAT HEAVY SUNSHINE SOUND

Electric Soft Parade on Marc Riley 30th June

ESP BBC 6 MUSIC SESSION (click the link) Electric Soft Parade on Marc Riley – hear the full interview and extracts of Lily, Number One and The Corner Of Highdown and Montefiore – Interview Transcript

Fan Recordings from the audio stream: Lily and Number One will be on the upcoming EP, ‘A Quick One’, out July 18th – The Corner Of Highdown And Montefiore on the fourth album.

INTERVIEW PART ONE

LIVE SONG: LILY

INTERVIEW PART TWO

LIVE SONG: NUMBER ONE

INTERVIEW PART THREE

LIVE SONG: THE CORNER OF HIGHDOWN AND MONTEFIORE

INTERVIEW PART FOUR

The Session/Interview in 2 larger parts below:

6 MUSIC SESSION PART ONE (15mb) — 6 MUSIC SESSION PART TWO (9mb)

Webcam Images












THOMAS WHITE INTERVIEW ON JUICE RADIO

The show started at 7pm, Thomas came on just before 8.30pm. Listen again from this page: mixcloud.com/TonyMarksNewMusicShow

From Electric Soft Parade we’ve got Thomas White in the studio, hello Thomas.

TW: How you doing sir.

You’ve literally just arrived and we’re chucking you straight on.

TW: Straight in at the deep end.

That’s how we roll.

TW: Perfect, suits me.

So how’s things with Electric Soft Parade because you did a gig late last year with Brakes, which is the other part of you and Alex’s band, and also with British Sea Power as well. That was a charity gig at Concorde 2.

TW: Yeah, there was a bunch of us involved. It was our first show as Electric Soft Parade in 3 years and we just got a really nice response so we’ve booked a residency at a little place called The Prince Albert in Brighton and I guess that’s why I’m on the show isn’t it… The irony is, it sold out last week. It’s only a tiny little pub but it sold out well in advance; all really encouraging. We’ve been working the last few months on new stuff, it’s all just starting to happen again, which is kind of scary because we’ve been a band now for 10 years. But yeah, all just really exciting.

You must’ve known the demand was there, that people wanted to come and see you. There’s obviously a lot of love for you and the band in Brighton and there has been for a long long time.

TW: It’s kind of weird though because the last time we came in to Juice to chat to you was in the run up to that show in December and we really had no idea how that gig was gonna go and what the response would be. We thought really, in a bit of a tizz, we booked a bunch of other bands thinking we wouldn’t be able to play that show just on our own. It turned out the response was fantastic and really gave us confidence in what we were doing again. It had been so long and bands just come and go, don’t they. We had this kind of sneaking doubt that no-one would really care what we were up to or who we were anymore but it wasn’t the case.

Nice to know that was proved wrong. Going into that gig, in aid of Martlets Hospice, when you went into that gig was there any thought in your mind at that time, “we’ve got to get the band back fulltime”, or was it literally just, “we’re only doing this as a one off and let’s see what happens”.

TW: Well me and my brother, we’d deliberately taken a couple of years off from the band. We got to the point where we had about 20 new songs that we’d written and demoed. We both kind of liked the idea of bands just “doing what they do”, regardless of fashions coming and going. It’s great when a band just sticks to their guns and essentially never stops. A lot of the bands we love do that; bands like Guided By Voices, tons of bands. Regardless of how their career fluctuates, they operate as a band regardless of the rest of the world, pretty much. We kind of figured we’d have another pop at it, it’s all going tickety boo isn’t it.

There’s literally nothing to stop you, you and your brother, you think “why don’t you just make more music”.

TW: We’re going to crack on with a fourth record. It’s very early days, we’re still getting used to playing together, playing these songs. On Wednesday we’re playing the whole of our first record which is quite a big deal for us. A lot of those songs are more than ten years old now and it’s like playing songs written by someone else, it genuinely is. So quite a strange experience. We spent the day rehearsing today, infact the reason Alex isn’t here chatting to you guys in radioland is ‘cos he’s back home doing his homework, or he should be anyway. Rifling through Lyric sheets and all the rest…

Make sure he doesn’t screw up on the night!!

TW: I will warn people now. We’re gonna have to have music stands with Lyric sheets on, ‘cos it’s not gonna happen. It’s a big undertaking doing a whole record in sequence and aside from that, we’re doing our entire back catalogue over 3 months so it’s a lot of stuff to learn but we figured we’re at that point where we need to do something like that to kind of draw a line under what we’ve already done and start afresh.

You’ve got your guitar round your neck there, Thomas, we’d love you to play a live track on the show, so tell us what you’re going to play for us.

TW: Do I not even get a soundcheck?

We can do a soundcheck if you like or we can just go for it.

TW: I did a tour late last year supporting a band called The Levellers who are from Brighton as well. When I play on my own I generally don’t like to play my own songs, just ‘cos I write songs with a very specific arrangement in mind, with specific instrumentation. So a lot of the time if I play acoustic, I’ll cover other people’s songs, which I think is an underrated thing to do anyway. I think more people should be open as to what their influences are. Anyway, enough of my yacking… This is a Bill Callahan song and it’s called Vessel In Vain.

That was absolutely beautiful, Thomas White on Brighton’s Juice 107.2. Thankyou very much. That was just sensational, loved that, amazing. You’re here to talk about your band, The Electric Soft Parade, who are doing a… TW: A very silly thing. DJ: A silly thing? No, a beautiful thing, a wonderful thing, a thing we’re all grateful for; you’re going to be playing the last 3 albums in their entirety at The Prince Albert – a monthly residency that you’re doing. And then, you’re starting again from scratch almost, starting a new chapter in the lives of The Electric Soft Parade.

TW: Yeah on the fourth one, like I say we’ve written a bunch of new stuff. We’re gonna play as many new songs as we can fit into an hour and see how they go down. A lot of bands feel the same in the sense that the Album/Tour cycle happens pretty much the wrong way round and we want to kind of “right” that. Pretty much every band makes a record; writes it, records it and then tours it. Surely the logical way round is to write stuff and then tour it, see people’s reaction and then record the thing but it never happens that way because of how the industry works. We’re not signed to a label at the moment so we really do have that privilege for the first time, so we’re going to damn well do that.

Good for you. You’re a pretty prolific songwriter aren’t you Thomas; 3 Electric Soft Parade albums, 3 Brakes albums, two of your own Solo albums. Have you got dozens and dozens of tracks or albums tucked away somewhere waiting to get released?

TW: At this point I’ll quote the great Robert Pollard. Infact I’ve referenced Robert Pollard twice in this interview already; Robert Pollard, the singer-songwriter from Guided By Voices, there’s a great quote. He’s notoriously prolific. Legend has it he’s got a suitcase somewhere in his house with 10,000 cassette tapes full of songs that he’s written, you know, just reams and reams of stuff. There’s this great quote, he says: “I can write 5 songs while sitting on the toilet and 3 of them will be good”.

What a beautiful image.

TW: I’m not quite that prolific and I don’t write songs on the toilet.

That’s good to know.

TW: I get busy and if I find myself idle I do write quite a fair bit but also, being brothers in a band, we’re extremely honest about quality control, it’s like nothing gets past either of us.

Is Alex like sometimes “Thomas that was crap!”

TW: We can be our own harshest critics ‘cos it’s fine, we’re never gonna insult eachother, we’re brothers. It’s a good balance, it’s a good thing.

And do you ever fall out in a big way?

TW: We did today actually, we were arguing about something extremely boring and musical which no-one in radioland is gonna be bothered about, it was just such a specific thing. We had a little teensy falling out but it was all fine 5 minutes later, you know.

So you’re playing on Wednesday night, you’re playing at The Prince Albert. You are literally playing your first album, Holes In The Wall is getting played in its entirety.

TW: Yeah we’re gonna do Holes In The Wall with a couple of B-sides. We put the feelers out of Facebook and asked if anyone had any specific requests and there was one B-side which a lot of people mentioned from that era so we’re gonna do that as well but essentially it’s the record as it was.

And then a month later you’re gonna do the second album then the third album…

TW: Then we’re in Summer and we’ll just be on the beach having the time of our lives with everyone else, eating cockles and mussels and whelks.

Let’s play a track from the first album, Holes In The Wall. We thought we’d go with There’s A Silence, which seems a good choice.

TW: Take it away me…

Thanks very much Thomas White on Brighton’s Juice 107.2. The gig is sold out on Wednesday which is frustrating but make sure you get the next one. Cheers Thomas.

TW: Cheers man.

If you’re lucky enough to have tickets to The Prince Albert on Wednesday night you’re in for an absolute treat, the whole album being played in its entirety.

HOLES IN THE WALL LYRICS/AUDIO/VIDEO