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Electric Soft Parade : London Astoria

...touted as one of the saviours of British indie, but the highlights from the excellent debut LP 'Holes In The Wall' sound limp...

Electric Soft Parade : London Astoria

href="/artists/212812.htm">ESP[/url] have moved from fourth on the bill at one of NME's Carling Award shows in this sizeable venue to headlining. But while their rapid ascent and patronage from the likes of Radiohead is morale boosting, it's not enough to stop the band being crippled by nerves.


Between them, mainmen Alex and Tom White must thank us for coming about ten times. Such humbleness would be cute if it didn't affect the music - ESP have been touted as one of the saviours of British indie, but the highlights from the excellent debut LP 'Holes In The Wall' sound limp - 'Start Again''s choppy psychedelia in particular sounds muddy when it should sound mighty.


It soon becomes clear the band's problems are not entirely of their own making - Alex's amp cuts out during 'There's A Silence', and again during the epic set closer 'Silent To The Dark'.


It's a shame, but there are saving graces - new single 'Empty At The End' and the haunting 'Red Balloon For Me' offer ample evidence that other people's confidence in ESP is not misplaced. If only they had some of their own.

Alan Woodhouse

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