|Featured Band (7): Morning Parade Aims For the Stars|
|Written by DJ Space|
|Wednesday, 08 December 2010 23:00|
"We'd like to play the first gig on the moon," Steve Sparrow the frontman of UK band Morning Parade recently stated. For the time-being at least Morning Parade will have to settle for more realistic ambitions though it is clear it has set its sights on being a stadium-band. "We have a rule," the band told the Guardian. "Whenever we write something, we ask ourselves, 'Can you see 100,000 people singing this back to you?' If not, we get rid of it. We want to be huge." Through its "anthemic, electronicised rock for the masses" and a newly released debut single, "Under the Stars," Morning Parade is truly aiming for the stars.
"They fit the niche marked 'robust indie with stadium ambitions, passionate vocals and penchant for rave-rock rhythms' like a glove," Paul Lester reported in the Guardian. "A Delphic with the common touch."
"We'd be lying if we said that wasn't our ambition," Sparrow told Spinner. "The first gigs that I went to at 14-years-old were like Muse at Docklands Arena and that was amazing. We like the smaller venues as well but want to write songs that fill arenas."
Formed in Harlow, Essex by Sparrow and bassist Phil Titus, the band's line-up consists of childhood friends Steve Sparrow (vocals, guitar), Chad Thomas (guitar), Phil Titus (bass), Ben Giddings (keyboards), and Andy Hayes (drums).
When asked about the formation of Morning Parade, Sparrow talks about his life growing up in Harlow. "There wasn't much to do and there wasn't much to aspire to," Sparrow explained to Spinner.
"It put us into a spell of drug taking and drinking too much and we then just started writing these songs that were kind of moody and we universally thought they could reach the kind of people that we wanted to hit."
"Youth" (opening verse):
"Sit and wish the world would settle down,
"We wanted to write big anthemic songs and take it back to the old school, really," Phil Titus confirmed. "We weren't hearing the music that we wanted to hear."
"It's down to the styles that we've grown up with. We've been influenced by Britpop and now with Andrew and Ben we've got a lot of dance influences and we're bringing that all together."
According to Sparrow, a concert the band attended with Faithless and Coldplay on the same bill became a significant influence on Morning Parade's musical direction. "Faithless totally rocked a festival crowd with 100,000 people jumping up and down," Sparrow related. "They were then followed by Coldplay who played to the same crowd but there was no movement and we were thinking, why can't a band do both? Why can't dance music encompass proper song writing? We try to mash all that together."
Morning Parade's biography states, "It's music with transformative power, with redemption at [its] heart."
"[They] craft dramatic, heart-on-the-sleeve anthems... fusing electronics with guitar parts and keys with self-assured emotion," Illegal Tender wrote.
"Their pulsating synths, energetic guitars and candid lyrics fuse to create a supercharged sound," Music-News reported.
"Their combination of yearning, gutsy singing, gritty guitars and trancey keyboards and beats somehow works," Paul Lester told Guardian readers. "Not that we like it particularly... but we can imagine it catching on."
"It's all about the songs, really," Sparrow clarified to Spinner. "The most important thing for us is the relationship between the lyrics and the melody but also having something that people can connect with rather than it being some random crap about girlfriends or whatever. We try to keep things about what everyday people experience and the things that we all think and feel. We really like the idea of mixing the rock element with the dance element."
Morning Parade's limited-edition 7" debut single "Under the Stars" was released by Parlophone at the end of November.
Although they have not yet been made available for download, an additional two 7' singles have been released to form a 3 x 7" set.
The single "Under the Stars" has received support across UK radio stations BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, XFM, Absolute, and Q-Music; with BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe championing the band on his website.
The official video can be viewed here .
"Their debut release, 'Under the Stars' was picked up on by Radio 1's resident tastemaker Zane Lowe and the track also made it to the soundtrack of TV series, 'The Vampire Diaries'," Spinner reported. "Along the way, they've been supported by Dutch radio station KX and there have been suggestions that if their music isn't in arenas by the end of 2011 then something has gone seriously awry."
A video of the band performing the single live at Cambridge Junction can be viewed here .
Morning Parade has been recording its debut album at studio 13 in West London, home from home to Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, and the record is expected to be released early next year.
During the past year, Morning Parade has supported, Feeder, Ash, Good Shoes, Reverend And The Makers, and Goldhawks. The band recently announced its first ever UK headline tour, which is due to commence in February next year.
A video for a live performance of the track "Pieces" can be viewed here.
Morning Parade are "most likely to... achieve mainstream infiltration," Paul Lester wrote in the Guardian.
"It's down to the songs," Sparrow concluded in his interview with Spinner. "Strip everything away and you've still got great songs that will last a lot longer than most of today's bands will. We're trying to be a band that writes good songs that will last".
Even though its music is obviously designed to infiltrate the mainstream playlists and will continue to gain significant media exposure, and in time Morning Parade may indeed come to be "huge," there is still something a little unconvincing and possibly dishonest about this band. Perhaps doubts manifest because naked ambition sounds in every note, which leaves an intuitive gut feeling that it is trying just a bit too hard to become the next U2?
"The Essex five-piece say they only write songs they can imagine 100,000 people singing along to. Sadly, this seems likely to happen," Paul Lester concluded for the Guardian.
Morning Parade takes itself seriously, but it won't be walking on the moon just yet. In the meantime this band can expect to play under the moon and the stars at arenas and festivals while it continues to reach for the stardom for which it clearly yearns.
Tue 14th Dec 2010 XOYO Shoreditch, London
|Last Updated on Thursday, 09 December 2010 12:00|