The Dawn Parade - The Dawn Parade

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Dawn Parade - The Dawn Parade
(Reviewed on Room 13)

'The Dawn Parade' is a 17-track collection of singles and the never released debut album from the band of the same name. Formed in 2001,the Dawn Parade built a cult fan base and recorded a Peel session, before calling it a day in 2005,leaving their debut album 'Impeccable' unreleased.

Beginning with 'Good Luck Olivia', which opens with a guitar intro straight from the MSP hall of fame, The Dawn Parade get points for having influences different from those usually trotted out by indie bands. Once the vocals begin things take a more indie turn, with Greg McDonald's voice sounding close to that of Luke Haines. After a strong start things improve further with 'Hole in My Heart' a punchy number with loveable lyrics such as "now I'm in a band I must be special", and "I cut my hair, I must be sexy and cool just like you".

'Morrissey's Tongue' highlights another influence, and will appeal to anyone who finds the line "Morrissey's tongue slipped into my ear" faintly erotic. 'Wider than the January Skies', is a slower break from the swift pace of the previous tracks, and whilst a change in pace is nice, this is the album's only real weak moment so far. The weaker tracks prevail for the next couple of songs, something rather inevitable on such a lengthy album. Things pick up again with 'The Craving', but this reviewer has a rather large soft spot for harmonica solo's, which bands never tire of taking advantage of.

'Into the Nightlife', builds on the melancholy tone of the album with a soft slice of regret sprinkled with self loathing, all dealing with one night stands and self hatred. This time the slower pace works more effectively to form a touchingly sad song.

Although this album may have benefited from including a few less tracks and deciding against beginning and ending with different versions of the same song, this collection is a good introduction to The Dawn Parade. It shows the listener exactly what the music scene is missing after their demise, and there really is far too little solid indie with intelligent lyrics. Perhaps the release of this album will introduce the band to some new ears, hungry for more than the image and style conscious scene can provide.

The Dawn Parade
The Dawn Parade
(reviewed in Rhythm & Booze)

When Rhythm & Booze was a paper based zine I used to receive loads of CDs by indie rock bands, there were loads that just passed me by, countless CDs that were played a couple of times reviewed and then forgotten consigned to a dusty corner of the former R&B office. But for every lost and forgotten act there would be a group who would grab my attention and not let go, unfortuantly a number of those bands have since disappeared, I often wonder what ever happened to the likes of Crazyface, Anti Hero and so on, bands that provided me a many happy hour in front of the computer screen.

One of the band's back in those days that really seemed to speak to me were The Dawn Parade, a band that seemed to be on the verge of something big, a band who released a number of singles that sat proudly on my hi-fi for what seemed like an entire age.

The Bury St Edmunds based band originally formed back in 2001 and released the stunning and memorable indie rock anthem Good Luck Olivia which instantly attracted the attention of John Peel and Steve Lamacq who championed the band on Radio One. The group played thier first tour (with fellow Rhythm & Booze favourites Miss Black America) in 2002 and from their it seemed that the world should have been their oyster. The band released their second single on indie record label R*E*P*E*A*T* and amassed a number of gigs all over the UK and further afield even tapping into the American market. Next the group recored their first session for the John Peel show and performed a number of showcase gigs for Sony Records. Unfortuantly this is where the story seems to sour, the band wore themselves into the ground and the band imploded. The band tried to regroup with a new line-up, they decamped to Wales to record their debut album with the help of Radiohead producer Chris Brown, who helped the band develop their sound from the rauccous guitar rock of their early singles to an epic string laden sound that oozed with emotion, but even then they weren't able to shake the tags of band who blew it in 2003 and they eventually changed their name to The Visions, the newly named band received loads of great press but the band hated the compromise and they eventually decided to call it a day.

Former record label R*E*P*E*A*T* desperately tried to persuade the band to release some kind of compilation to sum up the history of The Dawn Parade and after loads of discussion it was decided that they would release an eighty minute CD that comprised of the singles, Peel sessions and their never released album.

If you never got the chance to hear The Dawn Parade I would urge you to invest in this album right away, this is set to be a cult classic for anyone in the know. The CD is top and tailed by two versions of Good Luck Olivia, the first being the single version whilst the CD's finale is a feedback drenched tour de force live version taken from their Peel session, the song has always been a favourite of mine and to hear the two constrasting version is a real joy, the live version is simply breathtaking and I can only wish I had caught the band live. Elsewhere you get served up with the likes of the abbrasive Hole In My Heart, Morrissey's Tongue and the stunning and emotional Wider Than The January Skies, a song that almost brought one NME journalist to tears. Each of the seventeen tracks on here are simply incredible, they have everything from drama to bombastic explosions of noise. The lyrics pull at the heartstrings and paint a vivid and engaging picture of everyday life, the stories spun are captivating and you find yourself transported to "A country road in the heart of the summer".

It seems a great injustice when you listen back to the tracks on here and realise that The Dawn Parade never became household names and that we're not likely to hear anything more from the band, but at least we have this CD to saviour.

Rhythm & Booze Rating 10

Albums of the year # 2
("LA's only rock'n'roll newspaper")

The Visions a.k.a. The Dawn Parade The Dawn Parade

The best debut of the year brings with it a bittersweet taste, as The Visions decided to split before the album was even released. Packed with sixteen beautiful Britpop gems, The Dawn Parade sails and soars on the strength of Greg McDonald's incredible songwriting and sweet, syrupy voice. Is it too early to start a reunion chant?