The Lantern Parade: First Light – EP review
The Lantern Parade: First Light (self -released)
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