Back in 2002, and still in their teens, Tom and Alex White released their debut album as Electric Soft Parade, Holes In The Wall. The album was an immediate success, making the Top 40, and included a
couple of hit singles in ‘Empty At The End’ and ‘Silent To The Dark II’.
It was subsequently nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and the band were named Best New Act by Q. Even more remarkably, Tom was only 17 and Alex 19 when it was released… “We started doing things for real back in 1997 when I was 12 or 13,”
says Tom White (including releasing an album under the name The Feltro Media) “We sent a demo to XFM Unsigned on the radio, and a label heard
it and signed us.”
But despite such promising beginnings, the band never quite fulfilled their potential – their second album The American Adventure didn’t do well enough for their label at the time and they were subsequently dropped. Soldiering on, they released The Human Body EP in 2006 before issuing their final album to date, 2007’s No Need To Be Downhearted. And in the summer of 2008 they played their last gig. “Off the back of that show with Sparkes we thought it was a good one to bow out on… But we’re not re-forming, Alex and I never stopped working. It was just a matter of having a conversation and saying, ‘Let’s do it’.”
After a series of low-key gigs in Brighton last year, and a couple of Noel Gallagher supports, the band have essentially reformed even though they never officially broke up, the brothers continuing to work independently but also together as members of the acclaimed Brakes. They even released an EP, A Quick One, which amply demonstrated their penchant for classic indie-pop, full of melody. “The industry keeps changing – all these new tools for people to use, but we’re not really interested in all that, we’re only interested in the songs… It’s probably not what record labels want to hear, but we’re very old school people… we make a slight concession to Facebook because such a huge proportion of people are on it… we’re still essentially just a bunch of guys hacking away at guitars in a bedroom… There’s a lot of love for the band, and things are snowballing again. Hopefully we’ll do another album this year.”
This one-off gig celebrates the tenth anniversary of the release of Holes In The Wall. It’s original brew of psyche-pop, epic rock, experimentation and more downbeat acoustic songs is nothing short of brilliant. The NME gave it 9/10 at the time, and deservedly so.
Electric Soft Parade, Saturday 4 February, The Haunt, Brighton