Some names can be deceptive, and some may serve to dissuade you from giving a band a fair shake. The uninitiated might be forgiven for flicking past Mice Parade in the CD racks or listings pages, fearing wearisome twee affectations, but hold up; it’s only an anagram. Adam Pierce, letters unscrambled, is and has been Mice Parade across eight albums and many collaborations since 1999, and his warm, textured and experimental hybrid of post-rock, electronic patterns and chamber-pop songwriting rewards a little patient attention.
As with Caribou/Manitoba, Pierce has embellished Mice Parade’s sound gradually from earlier all-instrumental albums, to a point where 2007’s Mice Parade and the new What It Means To Be Left-Handed are characterised as much by his hushed vocals and poppier melodies as the familiar layered, rhythmic acoustic strums, propulsive drumming and vibes which now back them. The elements of Chinese and African instrumentation Pierce has featured going back to 2001’s Mokoondi remain too, along with his thirst for collaboration with the likes of Jim O’Rourke, Múm and Laetitia Sadier, and the new album’s an intriguing listen for this reason. Live, Mice Parade promise an all-out double-drummer take on Pierce’s intricate, mixed-live studio project, and it should be cracking. Think Tortoise, Eno, Can, Jim O’Rourke, Caribou etc.
FatCat labelmate Silje Nes shares the bill with Mice Parade on this tour. With a voice not far removed from past Mice Parade collaborator Kristin out of Múm, it’s easy to imagine the Norwegian’s spooky, music-box pop working wonders alongside them. All laptop flurries, looped acoustica and spindly, cooed vocals, she comes across like an unmistakably Scandinavian take on Juana Molina’s densely involving sound.
Huw Evans’ H. Hawkline alter ego has seemingly undergone a few stylistic changes of late; early gigs saw him methodically finger-picking solo acoustic gems, later joined by a handful of local notables to create an excellent, folk-goes-krautrock noise. Last time I saw him, playing with Wickes a few weeks back, he was playfully bashing out fully-formed, if haphazard psych/kraut-flavoured pop songs worthy of Martin Carr. Whatever you get here, it’ll be dead good. Have a listen to ‘Gelly’ here: http://www.trackinthebox.co.uk/h-hawkline-gelly
Finally, Cardiff-based folk songwriter Jon Fazal opens this one up early doors, and the suave and erudite DJs are none other than your Joy Collective pals. Say hi, buy us drinks, compliment our shirts. Go on.
10 Feet Tall & Loose present:
& Joy Collective DJs
Monday 11th October 8pm
10 Feet Tall, Cardiff
Originally the solo project of Adam Pierce (Swirlies/ Mum), MICE PARADE have now expanded into a whopping 10 piece band!
Showing a boldly inventive take on post-rock/electronica, their last album was described as merging folk-tinged electronic with ‘Loveless’ era MY BLOODY VALENTINE.
Throw in the rhythmic subtlety of CAN and the melodic experiments of BRIAN ENO but with a modern twist.
Mice Parade will have released their new frolicking, giddy-paced album ‘What It Means To Be Left-Handed’ by the time they play this show!