Gig Review

Electric Soft Parade
Plus Chris T-T, Actress Hands
Southampton, Joiners
29th April 2007

Electric Soft Parade       Chris T-T                    Actress Hands           

Going to a gig, and every single band blowing your socks off... That just doesn't happen enough.

The first band on, Actress Hands, are from Brighton and on first impressions, just look like a pub-band with a synthesiser. However, when they start playing, you know that they made it out of the pubs years ago. Raw talent that took me by surprise and captivated me.

It's quite mellow rock really, even when everything kicks in and your ears want to bleed from the volume, you'll still be feeling relaxed, nodding your head and tapping away; and the fact that the front-man has a good sense of humour to fill in between songs, is a bonus. The vocals range between the singular bassy tangle, and three voices at once culminating in a great sound, that accompanies the Stroke-like indie melodies well. Stand-out tracks were "Never Run" and "Come The Summer Days." Watch out for the forthcoming album for sure, "Show Madeline" seems very promising indeed.

Next up was Chris T-T, a singer-songwriter with his accompanying band (that have no name, but he suggested Meatwood Flap.) The opening track, "King Of England," is quite a dark song in all honesty, with a mighty sense of atmosphere considering it doesn't really get anywhere. But that's not important. What followed were tracks laced with awesome lyrics, and that's probably the most noticeable thing about Chris T-T. Songs about Giraffe's taking over the world and learning to fly, songs about people with seven hearts that explode when love is felt (aptly named "Seven Hearts.") Behind him, the keyboardist would bop away gently, the bassist just chilled out and played away (thinking about cheese, wine, and God knows what else,) and the drummer was just going a bit mental. I think he tried smuggling drugs into the venue, but stupidly stashed them in his bloodstream.

"You don't want to know the things he's chewed on over the last few days" remarked Chris.

Electric Soft Parade are just two brothers, who invite other musicians on stage with them to play when they perform live. Tonight, if was the front-man of Actress Hands, Matt, and two other guys, also both called Matt. Showcasing songs off of their new album "No Need To Be Downhearted," as well as older songs, which I myself wasn't familiar with. If the performance was anything to go by, I'd say the band have mellowed out since starting out. I'm undecided whether that's a good or bad thing, but either way, the set that was played was awesome.

The texture throughout the gig fluctuated beautifully, from the gentle up beat piano intro of "Cold World," to the thick and unforgettable riffs of "If That's The Case Then I Don't Know."

Another band with a sense of humour, we're onto a winner. The two brothers would mock each other's playing, complain they're in the wrong key, and make more in-jokes than you can shake a stick at, but it's all good fun.

"Everyone here got a drink? Wait, does anyone not drink?"

One man says yes.

"Oo I bet you're having fun."

There's no way in hell you'd have to be drunk to be enjoying this show, so much talent, so much humour, so much enjoyment. You can just stand there and absorb it all, and not feel the urge to run around in circles, jump up and down and punch your neighbour in the side of the head. This is the kind of night that gives live music a good name, this is what it was made for.

Review By Thom

 Electric Soft Parade

Alex White
Tom White
Matthew Twaites
Mathew Priest
 Chris T-T

Chris (Vocals)
 Actress Hands

Johny Lamb (bass)
Matt Eaton (guitars)
Phil Sumner (keyboards, brass)
Joel Gibson (Drums)
 Band Related Links
Electric Soft Parade Myspace
Chris T-T Myspace
Actress Hands Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?