park hotel Lexington ltw

Park Hotel caught the attention of the few that saw them during the summer festivals last year. Keith Goldhanger goes for another look.

It’s wintertime and as we gather around a warm open fire with our hands wrapped around our hot lemon and ginger home remedies, some of us are dreaming of the summer ahead and also remembering the one just gone: standing in fields, basking in the hot sun and dodging the odd shower, watching stuff you may not have seen before would be worthless if it’s not followed up. Therefore a midweek gig having another look at one of the previous summer’s highlights wasn’t a difficult decision to make.

Park Hotel happened to be performing in a field at last year’s Standon Calling. It felt like it was just after breakfast. We’ve no idea what time it really was but it got us away from the bar (definitely breakfast then) and they were the cause of a sudden outburst of mid-morning dancing. Ed from Stats was on one guitar (he’s not with them this evening but he’s on the poster to be around on DJ duties tonight) and we are suddenly reminded that we haven’t seen him around for a bit (debut album out soon, brilliant when caught live at Rough Trade East one afternoon just before lunch last month and still on the list of bands we need to catch up on).

Those of us there saw a performance from Park Hotel that we expect to see again one day, in a couple of years time maybe but on a bigger stage, probably after dinner and possibly after our bedtime and with more lights, a couple of glitter cannons, even more cowbell and some bubbles.
Loads of them.
Trust us, you can’t beat dancing around to music like this surrounded by hundreds of bubbles.

The front two individuals in Park Hotel (Tim Abbey and Rebecca Marcos-Rosa) sing the same songs at the same time, slightly veering off every few seconds to take over control of the song and leave the observers in the room wondering how these songs manage to glide seamlessly from start to finish, whilst also taking time out every so often to have a little dance. Take one voice away and this wouldn’t work – you hardly notice the guitars over their shoulders, the dual vocals are faultless and we’re reminded that this is similar to the disco foot-tapping happy and uplifting noise that West London’s Jungle have been making recently. It’s as danceable as Friendly Fires, add a hint of Talking Heads, a pinch of The Scissor Sisters and that’s all you need to know for the time being.  These are songs that already make us feel we’ve been listening to them for years.

The music Park Hotel are playing us at the moment we imagine will soon be performed in front of more people that we have here in the packed out Lexington this evening. We hear the same set of songs that impressed last summer and tonight we get confirmation that they really are one to take note of. Now that a few of the tunes have become familiar, tonight is the night we punch the air with delight and can already imagine ourselves dancing to this on the slopes of the Glastonbury Park Stage one day (don’t read anything into that please). You’ll probably find yourself dancing to these tunes one day whether you’ll realise it or not.

Tonight is the launch of the five-piece band’s Nothing To Lose EP: a set of tunes to sound track the forthcoming summer that fans of LCD Soundsystem may enjoy as much as those now getting their dancing shoes polished for nights out with Confidence Man.

Dance rhythms, cow bells and great songs to sing and dance along to: another act worth catching whilst there’s still room on the dance floor. Bring your own bubbles.

Words by Keith Goldhanger. More writing by Keith on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find Keith on Facebook and Twitter (@HIDEOUSWHEELINV).

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Keith Goldhanger -- Spent the '90s as a frontman with London noise merchants HEADBUTT - spent the '80s in 'Peel favourites' BASTARD KESTREL. Spent a few years mashing up tunes and remixing bands as HIDEOUS WHEEL INVENTION. Is often out and about getting in the way of things and bumping his head on low ceilings - Will give your band the time of day but will dislike any band that balances full pints of alcohol on the top of guitar amps (Not keen on lead singers that wear hats either).


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