ESP BBC 6 MUSIC SESSION (click link) Electric Soft Parade on Marc Riley – hear the full interview and extracts of Lily, Number One, The Corner Of Highdown & Montefiore – Interview Transcript below photo.
M: British Sea Power and No Lucifer and I was playing air drums through that and I did realise the irony because there’s somebody in this room who did play drums for British Sea Power on that tune on many many occasions and so I probably should have just left it alone. The person in question would be Thomas White; hello Thomas White.
TW: Hello Marc Riley. M: Good to see ya. TW: You too sir. M: And so… Electric Soft Parade – blimey!
(Alex rubs his hands together) M: Ker-ching! Is that what we’re talking about. So of course Electric Soft Parade, we’ve had a long association with the band anyway and other associated acts; more of which later. But obviously Thomas and Alex White – the White Brothers (also known as) delightful to see you.
A: And yourself, thanks for having us. M: It’s a pleasure. Pretty quick turnaround wasn’t it really, you asked about the session about 3 weeks ago and Bob’s your flippin uncle. A: Absolutely. TW: Here we are. M: Here you are. If you would like to introduce the other members of Electric Soft Parade tonight please. A: Please do bruv. TW: I was gonna say go for it bruv. M: Could take a while this, couldn’t it. A: Let’s have a fight.
TW: Alright, I’ll do Andrew Mitchell; here’s Andrew Mitchell on guitar. Say hello Andrew. AM: Good evening. TW: That was good evening not hello, try again. AM: Hello and good evening. A: He’s got that Henry Kelly thing. TW: Mr Matthew Twaites on the bass guitar over there – Mr Damo Waters on the drumkit.
M: We’ve got the full quotient then. So what’s the first tune, it’s a brand new tune that you’re going to do for us isn’t it.
TW: We’re putting out an EP in July through a French label called A Quick One they’re based in Paris and they approached us about doing a single and we said let’s do a 7″ and a download EP. So that’s coming out on the 18th and we’re going to do 2 tunes off that and one from the… A: ether. TW: Alright fourth album, how about that. M: That’ll do and this one is called? TW: Lily…
M: Blimey, that doesn’t half cover it, does it. Electric Soft Parade live in session; that was fabulous. It was called Lily and it’s a brand new tune. Electric Soft Parade did a gig in December didn’t you.
TW: Yeah we did a show that we put on, me and Al organised it down in Brighton at the Concorde 2, we had Field Music, British Sea Power and The Chap, an amazing band from London and us lot played and I did a little set with my solo band but that was our first show in 3 years, that was the first time we’d graced any kind of stage.
M: And why was that. You were telling me before that the last gig you did in 2008 was opening for Sparks.
TW: We opened for Sparks at the Islington Academy as part of their Extravaganza – 21 or 22 nights they played every album in sequence.
M: Which album did you do. TW: We did Hello Young Lovers which is a very creepy album. A: They did it with different production every night – each show was completely different. TW: I spoke to them about it. They rehearsed for 4 months, 8 hours a day, 6 days a week.
M: Presumably a lot of the time they were playing tunes that they’d never done live before anyway because obviously bands have albums and don’t play every track off it. TW: They’re quite astonishing in that sense.
M: So what happened that night that made Electric Soft Parade think, “right, we’re going to take the foot off the gas here now”.
TW: It was the end of a long bunch of touring, we put the last record out in 2007 and then we toured that and did a lot of stuff in Europe and went to America for the first time. Obviously we’d been going as a band properly since about 2001 but we kind of had a little gap after our second record and then Brakes formed in about 2005. We’d basically done 4 years of solid touring – whenever we had a day off from ESP, we’d go out with Brakes. So it seemed like a good time.
M: It wasn’t directly the effect of America… there’s so many bands who go to America – and it is a big dream for a lot bands to go to America – and quite often they come back and they split up or go on a hiatus or whatever.
TW: People don’t say that about touring Germany; “we were broken by touring Germany”… I’ve never seen that really. It was just another tour and obviously amazing to go to America and see those places.
M: December was obviously a toe in the water, was that kind of a crunch, a real kind of important show for you because if you didn’t enjoy it what would’ve happened afterwards.
A: Well we got together because we were organising it so we thought we’d better get the band back together and do a show at least, for asking all these other people to do it for nothing for this charity. So we put it together and we were just kind of amazed by the reaction. Obviously it was a partisan crowd but what gig isn’t. It was great, the reaction, people seemed to really love hearing the older songs so we just thought, let’s put it together, book some gigs, do a record.
M: And so you’ve done a residency. A: Yes indeed, we just finished it last night actually. It was the 4th one, we did an entire set of new stuff. We did the first album the first show, the second album second show, third album…
M: And on the fourth show you did the next album which isn’t out yet. It’s not quite Sparks 21 but I still salute you for it.
A: We’ll get to 21 maybe, we’ll see… M: You’ve got to keep going now, you’ve got the momentum.
M: And so you were talking about the vinyl that’s coming out on the French label and so where are you regarding an album? Have you written enough tunes to actually make an album.
TW: It’s been written for a while but it’s like that with any band, you may think you have a whole album written and then 6 months down the line you’ll have written new songs that use up the places of older songs that you kind of got a bit sick of. We’ve got a solid bunch of tunes now. We’re in that rare position where we have actually got a chance to road test them and see how things go down. Last night…
A: There was a lot of brandy involved. TW: Yeah brandy onstage!! Always a bad move man. M: You’ve arrived, obviously.
M: Can you tell me, what is the main difference between say Maximalist, the album – you came and did a blistering session in here with your brother… what would be the main difference between that and Electric Soft Parade? TW: Not much really, probably Matthew Twaites and he was in the choir anyway.
MT: I’m not allowed to be in Tom’s solo band. M: You can’t be everywhere can you. Let’s be honest, you overshadow him and you’re the good looking one. MT: It’s been eating him up for years. M: Ooh what have I done?! Right OK we’re gonna have I hope another tune from Electric Soft Parade… TW: No, I’m off! A: You’ve offended him now.
M: Right OK, do you want to get to it fellas, do it now. A: Yeah let’s do it. M: Might as well, seeing as you’re here. A: I’m going to use your lovely little piano, this reminds me of one I used to use at school. It also features a lovely squeak which you can’t get out of any other piano.
M: I tell you what, it’s either that one, or the one in the other studio, that Sparks did This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us on in about 1995. Anyway by the by, get to it. A: Lovely. This is called Number One.
(Number One Live)
M: Oh you know, good to have ’em back, Electric Soft Parade live in session with Number One and I have to say Matthew, I thought you were particularly great on that…
M: Okie Dokey… oops a daisy mate (at a stray chord from the band) As you can probably hear, we’ve got Electric Soft Parade in the room. Hello! So you’ve got some gigs coming up
TW: We’re doing Bristol Croft on the 23rd as a cheeky little warm up to the night after when we’ll be playing the Last FM stage at Truck.
M: Excellent. Who else is on the bill on the Truck Festival.
TW: I think on our stage we’re playing with Maps & Atlases, Pete & The Pirates and Pinky & Perky. M: Mad on Pinky & Perky me. Who do you like better, Pinky or Perky? TW: Saint Etienne, they’re playing as well… M: You prefer Saint Etienne out of Pinky & Perky. Right that’s fine, that clears that one up. TW: They’re the 2 guys in the band aren’t they. M: Absolutely.
M: We can’t talk about all the different bands that you’re in or associated to but hands up who’s in Clowns? Right OK, 3 of the 5. MT: I was. M: Yeah we know what the story is… MT: Jealousy, insane jealousy. M: He can’t handle it can he.
M: Who’s in Restlesslist? Matt, yeah! Tom put his hand up but then put it down again. TW: Auxiliary. M: You’ve got a concept album in the making haven’t you Matt? MT: Yeah, 4 years in the making. M: I can’t wait for that. I can feel a session coming on and possibly the sack. MT: Nearly did it last time didn’t we.
M: Right so you’ve got one more tune and it’s an epic 6 minutes long; what’s it called? It’s going to be off the next album.
TW: It’s called The Corner Of Highdown and Montefiore and it’s about the house that me and Alex grew up in…
(The Corner Of Highdown and Montefiore Live)
M: Wow that was absolutely unbelievable, Electric Soft Parade live in session. Tom do you want to say the title of that one? TW: It’s called The Corner Of Highdown and Montefiore. M: That was remarkable, really was amazing. So thankyou very much for coming in fellas and I need to say Andrew on guitar, the Hazey Janes as well of course and you’ve got an album coming out before too long. AM: Yeah, October. M: Brilliant stuff, I think we’ve got all job done haven’t we. Thankyou very much…