Morning Parade - Truck Festival, Steventon

Normally, the thought of ‘a barn plus music’ equals a scene of bootin’ scootin’ Billy Ray Cyrus wannabees grape-vining together in a local village hall near Bognor Regis. Not today though. For in the depths of Oxfordshire lays a festival-morphing farm that has turned this stereotype on its head, trading-in the cowboy boots for a far more suitable pair of polka-dot Wellingtons as worn by the youth. This, ladies and gentlemen is Truck, an intimate seven-stage festival which features venues in tents, fields, and of course, the all-important derelict barn. It is in this concreted cavern where the highlight of Saturday afternoon’s nuptials took to the...err ‘stage’. Dressed in black, and set to add to the subsidence was Morning Parade, an Essex electro-alt five-piece.

With electro-whisperings acting as a backing-track the lads walked onstage, turned the lights down, and cranked the atmosphere right up. As soon as all were accounted for, the quintet ignited their dance-floor beats and set to work through an onslaught of galvanized guitars coagulated with the technicalities of Coldplay, and the drums of Pendulum. With vocals not too distant from the haunted offerings of Ghosts’ Simon Pettigrew, vocalist Steve Sparrow softened the intensity of the bass and guided the melody across the treacherous corrugated roof of the venue, using his body as a way to discharge the static produced onstage. In fact, where-ever you looked the crowd were recreating the band’s jolted struts, generating enough thumps to make Bambi their new best friend.

‘Headlights’ and ‘Pieces’ also provided addictive whey-protein power trips, which managed to pack out the same rock undertones and fervent levels of synth and bass. Each track engineered a climax into a spasm of alternative splendour, accumulating into pitch-ure perfection that sent the bass ba-bowing its way across the Oxfordshire coun'ryside. Ooh arr. What never failed to impress was the diversity of Morning Parade’s audience; from littl’uns to real big’uns, it seemed that just about every representative of each cross-section of society was there. It just shows how great music comes without need for specification.

The real ear-pleasers (and numb-ers) came in the anthemic tones of both ‘A&E’ and ‘Marble Attic’. Both offered reverberated, swipe-a-second guitar-pickings that got broken-down into choral-ghouly wonders. Although they were synthesised to breaking-point, their ‘My Sharona’ attitudes caused yelps from the crowd as the excitement held in the stings of the instruments was determined to avoid getting absorbed by the concrete, and probably (dare I say it) the asbestos too.

Although it’s not exactly easy to perform in a half-derelict barn that still had a distinct, shall we say, ‘evidence’ of cows, Morning Parade managed not only to seemingly borrow the strobe-lighting from Muse, but also their presence. With every track came a crescendo of rock rioting, shaking the foundations with their perfect mega-bucket combo of dance, alternative, and electro. In fact, I think someone needs to put Mulder and Scully on the phone, Morning Parade are not from this world. They’ve evolved into a new species of reverberbrates.

If you think you’ll like the sound of Morning Parade go to where you can get a free download of their track, ‘Marble Attic’. Go on, it doesn’t cost anything after all!

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