Electric Soft Parade: Round Table July 2007

Round Table Transcript – 5th July 2007

Listen from this page: Thomas on Round Table Presented by Steve Lamacq.

S: Tom White from Brakes and Electric Soft Parade is with us. How was your Glastonbury?

T: Muddy, stating the obvious. Saw some great stuff though, it was a good weekend.

S: New single which we’ll talk about later on…

ATHLETE, HURRICANE (single)

T: I kinda thought it sounded like Editors playing Listen To What The Man Said by Wings…

S: Is that good or bad?

T: In a good way. They’ve got their own studio, they recorded it themselves, that’s sweet. That’s how we did our new record. They supported Electric Soft Parade back in 2002 actually on one of their first tours of the UK, and they’re really nice. I have to say I’ve never checked out a whole album. That’s alright. What can I say. There’s a lot of stuff around at the moment that sounds like that. It’s a popular sound, so that’s obviously why they’ve changed it up a bit.

S: It’s certainly not Wires, I think it’s a change.

T: It’s certainly not Wire either… The production was sweet, in terms of them recording it themselves. It sounds great. I’m going to give them a six because we played with them and saw Steve the drummer at Glastonbury, a friendly bunch, maybe the record’s sweet.

S: Are you going to give an extra point to everyone you met at Glastonbury?

T: Yeah, well, alright, seven. I met them twice at Glastonbury.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS, SHOW YOUR HAND (single)

S: Tom White, I think you should start with this because you’re a Super Furries fan, are you not?

T: They’re one of my favourite bands of all time. What can I say, they know what they’re doing.

S: They share an appreciation of well appointed melody, but at the same time, very much like Electric Soft Parade, there’s always a bit of a twist, whether it’s in the lyric, or in the music.

T: They’re just constantly inventive, Sean O’Hagan probably arranged the strings on this, I don’t know if he did but he’s done the last couple of records, he’s a total influence on us as well, The High Llamas. They know what they’re doing. Classic pop, they’re just nailing it every time. Every album, they’ve hit a standard since the beginning of their career. They can do no… Ten! Simple as that.

S: They can do no wrong says Tom from ESP.

T: I’ve got to say the artwork’s always been a big part, the Pete Fowler stuff earlier on, almost as much a part of it as the music for me.

S: In the studio, mark out of ten – we’re starting with a ten.

T: It’s ten all the way, it’s brilliant.

CRYSTAL CASTLES, CRIMEWAVE (single)

T: I thought it was pretty good, pretty slick production, I quite liked the fact that they managed to get a vocoder out of tune, in places, managed the impossible. I don’t know about the song, but I don’t think that’s probably the point with a record like this. So yeah, pretty good… I’m going to go six.

S: What else are you listening to at the moment?

T: I had on On Returning, the Wire compilation on my headphones the other day. Constantly listening to Mission Of Burma, they’re my favourite group of all time.

S: Is that because of the intensity of their sound?

T: They just fuse jazz drumming, avant garde feedback guitar, clunky Who-style basslines, Guided By Voices vocals, just brilliant. I tell you what I’m looking forward to, the new Robert Wyatt album. I can’t believe he’s done a record. I’m just waiting for that.

S: I tell you what I’m looking forward to is when they televise this programme eventually because you did the actions for all the things the Mission Of Burma were doing, you got the drums, the jazz…

T: I can’t help myself.

Kate Nash: I’m really listening to Emmy The Great loads at the moment. T: I saw her with The Mystery Jets, she was great.

RILO KILEY, THE MONEYMAKER (single)

T: It was a lot more rock than I thought it was going to be. I really liked Rabbit Fur Coat, the Jenny Lewis, Watson Twins record… that was kind of… the roomy drums, again, the intro was sweet and then the song kind of just chugged along and maybe that’s the point. It’s certainly more rock than I’d been lead to believe by reviews and stuff.

S: It just didn’t sound like a Rilo Kiley record. It didn’t have the stamp of their identity.

T: Her voice is great, I thought the guitar line following her voice was pretty good… I’m going to say five, only because they’re affiliated with Bright Eyes and Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney’s playing with them now.

S: So now it’s not just people you met at Glastonbury festival, it’s people who are affiliated…

T: Alright, four then. S: I’ll take your first offer, five.

GRAHAM COXON/WELLER, THIS OLD TOWN (single)

T: Er… S: I saw you almost air guitar at one point.

T: I thought the first chorus had some really interesting chords, kind of sounded a bit like Television. But I think if you’re going to do a tune that kind of speed and that kind of pace and feel, it’s got to be a minute and a half shorter than that, do you know what I mean. It’s got to just do a thing and then get out, you know.

S: Not a fan of the three and a half minute mid tempo tune?

T: We’re probably guilty of it a bunch. But if we did it, we’d at least try and introduce some kind of absurd stuff to keep people like us interested.

S: Paul Weller and Graham Coxon, it’s This Old Town, there’s a track by each of them as well… T: What are the other tunes like?

S: Do you know what I haven’t had chance to listen to them so I don’t know. We’ll give it some marks out of ten, so Tom you’ve got to start. T: Six.

THE HEAVY, THAT KIND OF MAN (single)

T: It was the kinda tune where everything happens in 4 bars and then a Led Zeppelin type thing and just builds momentum from that and they’re from Bath, we’ve spent a lot of time in bath, love it. Pretty sweet, never heard of them before. I like the production with just 14 guitars, the jungle of stuff going on.

S: It felt like there was a lot going on without feeling too over busy.

T: It was good. I think I heard some horns in there as well… I’m going to say eight, for a brand new band yeah.

SMASHING PUMPKINS, ZEITGEIST (album)

T: I can’t abide the lyrical cliches and I think heavy music’s just moved in far more interesting circles recently like with Comets On Fire and Sunn O))) and Boris and Earth and heavy music’s just beyond that now, that’s just treading water… It’s four for me.

S: So we’ll add up your marks, I don’t think there’s anything to touch Super Furries and The Heavy, both scored 32 points. It’s a tie. Don’t forget there is a new ESP single, Misunderstanding. When’s it out Tom? T: 23rd.