Parquet Courts: ULU, London – live reviewParquet Courts

London ULU

25th June 2014

Our second review from Parquet Courts recent show at London’s ULU.

Parquet Courts are a band with a lyrical chutzpa that seems to be sorely missed in a lot of new music. They have attained a somewhat lazy tag of being slackers in the mould of Pavement when in reality they have more in common with the Dead Kennedy’s. They’re arrogant/ambitious enough to recognise such confining labels which is possibly why they omitted their most well known song, Stoned and starving from the set. It would go some way in explaining why their new release Sunbathing Animal is heavier than its predecessor Light up Gold but they will no doubt disprove such accusations with a curveball release next year. Besides, it’s refreshing to be kept on your toes whilst most groups repeat a winning formula.

The set up in the Union venue resembled a school hall and the sound was pretty poor marring the delivery of the band’s lyrics. Not that people seemed to care. After opening with Ducking and Diving, guitarist Austin Brown played the role of headmaster, admonishing the crowd for being stationary. One solitary crowd surfer later and people were going nuts, provoking security to earn their money. Master of my craft sounds like an outtake from Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation with its unlikely refrain ‘Forget about it…’ ringing round the room like a group session of primal therapy.

Even without the clarity of fully hearing what was being sung, the noise emanating from stage hit the cerebral cortex as well as the gut. The gig was relatively short but what should you expect from a band whose albums make the Ramones seem indulgent?

Although this band isn’t the most original – they channel their influences without venturing into pastiche. Armchair analysts might scoff at such obvious comparisons to Jonathan Richman, Velvet Underground et al, as they smugly listen to this month’s new synth wielding saviours without falling asleep. Bollocks to them. It’s always reassuring to see a new generation of crowd surfing brats who don’t need the approval of analysts to get their rocks off, proving the best gateway bands are still highly addictive.


Parquet Courts Website is here and they’re on Facebook (or rather that’s not them but rather someone else doing it for them) and they don’t do Twitter.

All words by Nathan McIlroy. More writing by Nathan can be found at his author’s archive.

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