Live Review: Frontiers/Morning Parade at The Bodega Social Club – 23/02/11

On Wednesday 23rd February, the usual rag-tag bunch of Bodega Social goers (myself included) were treated with the option of seeing an intimate performance from highly rated Nottingham band Frontiers, and the headline act from Essex, Morning Parade, before the night descended into the usual chaos that is ‘Electric Banana’.

Having grown accustomed to seeing swathes of hip young things and faux-50s socialites tread the boards in the top floor of The Social, it was delightfully refreshing to see people from all generations crammed into the place for once, each clambering to catch a glimpse of the cosy stage.

With a gig supporting We Are Scientists the next day in Camden, It would have been forgivable for Frontiers to have played this set with one eye on tomorrow; saving 10% in reserve, making sure everything went right, efficiency over the spectacular etc. (Similarly, having had the pleasure of seeing the quartet before, my expectations were set decidedly high to begin with). Thankfully, this was certainly not the case. From the off, theirs was a reverb-soaked performance of excitement and maturity beyond their years. The pounding bass and powerful drums complimented the frenetic, soaring guitars perfectly, from the opener ‘Yesterday’s Child’ right through till the usual Libertines-styled set-closer of ‘In Pursuit’. Though the set was disappointingly short, a new as-of-yet untitled song was introduced, and if it really was only a ‘6 out of 10’ performance as singer Alex Noble so bashfully remarked, then the future appears very bright for one of Nottingham’s finest.

At first hearing, Morning Parade provoked mixed emotions with their unique sound and style. From a personal perspective, the best way to describe them would be as if someone had taken one cup The National, one cup Chapel Club, and a dash of, I jest not, 90s house music….

Yeah, I know.

Granted at first, the sound of sweeping guitars and intricate indie rhythms over a disco-inspired synth did seem a slightly odd juxtaposition, but with each passing song it became increasingly more apparent that this was a band making a bold statement in style, following that up with fantastic musicianship and heartfelt conviction. Big choruses, excellent stage presence and catchy riffs were there in abundance. If anything, it all seemed a bit too perfect and polished for a live performance; the excitement and rawness of Frontiers was slightly lacking here, but by the end everyone was bobbing their heads and singing along with vaguely the right lyrics. And with a supporting slot on tour with The Wombats in the pipeline, I’m sure we’ll all be hearing a lot more from Morning Parade in the near future.  A great end to a fabulous gig.


Alex Condliffe

…Alex has been listening to: Foo Fighters – ‘Rope’…


Leave a Reply