lanternEP Review

The Lantern Parade: First Light  (self -released)


Out now

The Lantern Parade are Southampton’s most modest and under-rated band. Purveyors of  Soulful balladry and vaudeville country death songs, says Ged Babey. 

“Don’t you bloody DARE call us a ‘H*pster Soul Band!!!!”


The Lantern Parade are a bit of an odd bunch of raggle-taggle, arty bohemian types; vegans and lefties no doubt, who love festivals and micro-breweries…  They wear a lot of corduroy and shorts and hats … you know the type?  I’m not gonna call them that word, because that has become pop-cultural shorthand for twats and that’s not what they are at all.   (It was so easy when I was young, bands were either punks, mods or hippies… )

The Lantern Parade started unleashing their music on the public in December 2017 and the First Light EP marks the end of phase 1, with the departure of Dannie Holt -co-vocalist.  You won’t have heard the last of her no doubt as she has a great soul-jazz voice.

The first band you think of with shared male and female co-vocalists is the Beautiful South and the Lantern Parade aren’t a million miles away from them, but have a bit more verve and cover more bases musically.

The songs I imagine are built on James Inflames piano/keyboards, which can go from classical to Abba style to jazz… yet never dominating the song, just giving it a foundation.  A strong and versatile rhythm section support and a guitarist whose virtuosity is given free reign on the extended outro to Greater Love.  Aaron Davis’ languid solo-ing on Sinners From Saints recalls my guitar hero John Perry (from the Only Ones) instead of his Clapton-ish playing elsewhere.

My favourite of the four songs is the Man That Murdered Love – a Nick Cave type Country Death Song with accordion given an upbeat, vaudeville feel Marc Almond style. Paul Kenward is on fine, finger-clicking form vocally.

The Lantern Parade have a big soulful sound on this EP with three of the four songs being slow-burning ballads which range  from sounding like John Cale (Music For a New Society era) backing Corrine Bailey-Rae to, err… Take That circa 2006/7 ( Patience and Rule The World are actually great songs if you can disregard the fact they were written by a tory boy tax-evading egotist).

First Light is an ambitious and beautifully produced work by a talented collective of musicians.  Rather than capture the vibe of their live set, this EP seems to expand on it and showcase their top quality songwriting. A class act who just cannot be easily categorised.

“Honestly! Any mention of H*pster  Soul  and we WILL have you killed!!!”


The Lantern Parade  Facebook 

The Lantern Parade  Bandcamp  ‘Name Your Price’


All words Ged Babey

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Ged Babey is 56. from Southampton, has written since 1985 for Sound Info, Due South, various fanzines and websites, contributed to Record Collector magazine and was sole author of 'Punk Throwback' fanzine -the name of which was taken from an insult hurled at him by the singer with a young band he managed for a while. Ged believes that all good music and art has a connection with punk rock.


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