John Mitchell: The Nostalgia Factory

It Bites/Lonely Robot man launches his new label with a covers EP.

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Given that his Lonely Robot project is in full swing, God knows how John Mitchell found the time to co-found a new label (with record company owner Chris Hillman) and record its first EP.

But that’s exactly what he’s done with White Star Records and its inaugural title The Nostalgia Factory – four heartfelt covers from different artistes, all with proggy roots, in their own ways. It’s headed by the title track, the Porcupine Tree song, which sets an assertive, 90s ‘nu-prog’ impression before the Flying Colors-style cover of It Won’t Be Easy (the theme from short-lived 80s UK sci-fi show Star Cops). Ex-Touchstoner Kim Seviour provides backing vocals on two tracks and her pretty, crystal-clear strain runs against Mitchell’s earnest, breathy tone, which thrives on Phil Collins’ Take Me Home, complete with Collins-alike upbeat, world-meets-new-age percussion. A delicately brooding cover of ELP’s C’est La Vie wraps things up, climaxing with almost Walking In The Air-like passion, before ending quietly. Yes, it’s a pretty short EP and yes, it’s a covers collection, but it’s a good one. The label will be properly judged on its first LPs, but for now, this is a tantalising taster of White Star’s line.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.