LIVE REVIEW: Parades @ The Gaelic, Sydney (08/04/11)

Parades | photo by Chris Familton

written by Chris Familton

There were some strong connections between the two bands gracing the stage at last week’s Last Night gig. Little Scout has been produced by Parades’ drummer (and solo artist in his own right) Jonathan Boulet, while Little Scout’s Kirsty Tickle has played with Parades in the past. There is doubtless a bunch of mutual respect is at work when the two head out on the road together.

Brisbane’s Little Scout are a typical modern indie band with streaks of pop running through their restrained and often delicate songs. With two front-women they came across as a well balanced band both in gender division and their nicely weighted mix of twee sensibilities and more muscular engagement from the rhythm section when required. There were echoes of Grizzly Bear as well as the current group of songstresses like Blasko, Throsby, Seltmann and Bowditch. When the Tickle sisters opened up and let their harmonies flow freely they showed they possess some undeniably catchy and well constructed songs.

Parades have developed a reputation for live shows built on intensity, intricacy and no lack of emotional outpouring. That reputation was enhanced by a set that covered a wide spectrum of mood and a healthy enthusiasm.  There were electronic-heavy pieces that segued into relentless surges of tightly reined rushes of frenetic post punk. It was those contrasts that defined the best moments of Parades. They never let a musical moment outstay its welcome and by the same token they don’t overact and reduce their songs to fast changing overflow of ideas.

Jonathan Boulet’s work behind the kit was impressive whether he was working alongside sequenced beats or delivering frantic krautrock drumming. In many ways his drumming defined the way the cause and effect guitars and the watertight bass all locked in together. They ended their set with the brilliant single from last year – Loserspeak in New Tongue. It’s overlapping vocals and sparkling guitars sounded like Dirty Projectors and Wild Beasts battling it out in adjacent practice rooms while the song they were celebrating the release of – Water Stories – again highlighted Boulet’s drumming and showcased how clever their writing has become, thankfully without a whiff of smarty pants showboating. In summary, Parades killed it and the crowd were swept along and responded with unabashed smiles and copious applause.

this review first appeared in Drum Media

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