Electric Soft Parade, Koko, Fri 20th July

Pity The Electric Soft Parade. The Brighton four piece peddle the type of cerebral indie that has seen one past reviewer hail them as the future of student bands. Harsh labelling aside, whatever your take on them, The Electric Soft Parade’s (named after possibly the most self-indulgent of Doors albums) particular brand of think-rock was wasted on the crowd at Koko, most of whom probably woke up Saturday morning with hefty hangovers
to add to their A-level results angst.
 

And if The Electric Soft Parade haven’t sacked their publicist by today they need their heads examined. If you’re that bothered about your sound that you have to keep retuning between songs then you better be sure of your audience and their attention span, but coming on stage straight after a ragtag bunch of ball-breaking screamers like Kharma 45 was just plain unfair on the brothers White.
 
 
Grabbing the attention of teenagers in front of Koko’s stage isn’t difficult, but these little-known Northern Irish rockers trundled on with minimal fanfare, delivered a blast of their U2-inspired electro pop and proceeded to hold the crowd in something approaching rapture for the duration of their super-short set. And super-short it had to be: when your audience is more interested in tonguing the person next to them or comparing luminous rainbow bands, you’ve got to do like the SAS: get in, get what you want, get out . . . fast.
 
Once the headliners came on stage my mate remarked that everyone in the crowd looked young. Mark is 25. But if this thirty-something was a tad peeved you had to feel for The Eelectric Soft Parade’s Alex White who belted out great new single ‘Misunderstanding’ to a largely indifferent crowd and when he proudly teased us with the opening chords of 2002’s corking hit ‘Silent to the Dark’, I could’ve sworn I was the only one
singing and, it seemed, watching.

 

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