Ever since winning tickets to see the Saturdays at the iTunes festival a few years back I’ve always had a a soft spot for girl-groups; they’re like… Ok, they are my guilty pleasure. The caricature pouting with candy coloured lipstick. The designer clothes with a high-street twist. The big studded heels and high-waisted shorts. Their seemingly unbreakable joyous and effervescent personas. The way their membership in some way manages to (or at least attempts to) universally represent young women all over the country.
There is a beautiful consistency in girl-groups which I love. From the Spice Girls through to Parade, they serve as a reminder that even though the world continues to change some things, such as growing up, remain fundamentally the same. The same fears, hopes and aspirations we had in the 90s are in essence the same as they are now. Girl groups in many ways hold-up a glowing, diamanté mirror to the world showing us society as it was then and is now.
Parade, play their and part and it looks like they’ll do a sterling job of keeping the flame burning. They have all the key ingredients;
- Sky high heels yet one cheeky soul wearing trainers? Check!
- Coral coloured lipstick? Check!
- At least one blonde, one brunette, one auburn/ginger and one with short hair? Check!
- Joyous, happy and over enthusiastic aura? Check!
Joking aside, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to make good music. Parade have taken the wheel and built their group around it. And this includes so much infectious joy you couldn’t help but be swept away in it all.
Top 10 single Louder (no not that Louder, that was DJ Fresh, this is a different Louder) was a bouncy club number which has become synonymous with girl-bands and new single Lights Me Up takes the recipe and adds a bit more pace and umph. The highlight of the criminally short set the acoustic number which was a heartfelt piece utilising a touching piano accompaniment.
The way Parade share the vocal duties works well as they are all of a similar caliber; no one voice dominates the others. They all fit well and complement each other creating another attractive element to the wheel they’re remodelling; think of it as adding the shine to their alloys.
There is definitely a lot to Parade and I think they could develop into a girl-group worthy of some attention. They seem genuinely impressed to be song writing, it shows a side of them which is full of youthful innocence and is very endearing. If this enthusiasm flows over in to all they do, they could create a few special records during their time. I’m sure one of them is learning the guitar to add the live-acoustic-real musician element to their repertoire. Personally, I think it’d be awesome for one to learn the saxophone or something equally out-there for a girl group; break the mould, live a little! Seriously, how awesome would it be to see one them bust out a sax solo in the middle of a track, epic!
They already seem to have some dedicated fans too, shouting, screaming and knowing word for word songs I was hearing the first time!
Part of me wishes they’d have stayed around to sign t-shirts and take photos with the 10-15 Parade Dolls/Paradettes, who were there (one travelled from Scotland!). To meet them all would have taken about 30mins max yet the impact it would have had on those fans would have been immeasurable. If there is one thing up-and-coming bands can learn from Ed Sheeran (and another of my favourites, Eric Roberson) its to treat your early fans like an extended family. Say a simple hello to them while you still can. These are the people buying your music and paying to see your shows. You can learn masses from them and also build an even stronger fan based because of the actual connection. Small touches can make such a big impact and I think a lot of bands in their early stages really miss a trick by disappearing straight after shows instead of hanging around to meet the fans. I know music is about big business these days, still genuine people power can buy a lot of leverage down the line. While you only have a dozen or so people wanting to see you – say hello, make their day, and you’ll reap the rewards later down the line. [Update: To be fair I did disappear straight after the set (Tuesday is a school night after all), however apparently the girls did hang-out after getting change to meet fans etc. I have to give respect where respect is due and much kudos to them because a small thing like that will mean a lot to their already growing fan base – I knew I had a good feeling about them for a reason!]
I like Parade, its just with a set so short its hard to draw tell too much; I enjoyed myself and that is all I ask sometimes. They have bags of potential and I’m excited to see how they progress and develop. If they have not blown up between now and their next London gig I’ll check them out because the set did leave me wanting just a few more songs at least.
Parade, a new guilty pleasure…? Check!