Near Death Experience, the four-piece psychedelic rock ‘n’ soul band from London, have been busy over the last year. And that’s despite the frustrations that have come with lockdowns and the closure of venues where they were developing their fan base. I know this because Ian Whiteling, NDX’s growling crooner of a lead singer, tells me so by E-mail in advance of publishing this piece.
“We’re keen to start off by re-igniting our Ealing Live sessions, where we host weekend evenings in local Ealing pubs featuring us plus new and original artists,“, says Ian. “This was going well before the pandemic struck. Pub goers loved it as an alternative to the usual covers bands and the bands that played were paid properly.”
I make a mental note to head out to Ealing one weekend in the future. NDX would appear to be doing things properly over in West London. I’m struck by how much I miss random live music nights in pubs and bars such as this. Thank goodness light does appear to be at the end of a long tunnel.
“We’ve started creating beautiful things for our fans,“, adds Ian. “From personalised made to order CDs to art prints from our band visuals by Pedro Takahashi, as well as launching a range of T-shirts, one by one over the next few weeks.”
Yep, can’t fault the endeavour of a band who take advantage of the time we’ve all currently got to develop their merchandise lines.
But most importantly, NDX have also been productive in their recorded output. “We’ve worked hard, getting together when we can and I think our run of singles from Conquer in late May to Everything this year have been some of our best work.”
It’s that single, Everything, that I choose to feature on Sonic Breakfast this morning. It’s a sparky, soulful number that chugs along with a funk-fuelled rhythm. The psychedelic tones add a vintage feel though this never descends fully into derivation for things that have gone before. Ian’s vocal, reassuringly immediate, encourages us all to think big, to open our minds and to all reach out to the ‘places’ we’ve never been before. It all adds up to a pretty neat whole.
Best not take my word for it though. Have a listen yourself. Thursday’s have just got more cosmic, yeah.