Coming to you from Byron Bay in Australia, via Berlin, the five lads known as Parcels are quite the surprise package. Well, to me at least, who’d never heard of them until recently and was drawn in purely on discovering they hail from my favourite place in the entire universe. Clearly, I was the only one in the dark, with the Brudenell’s new(ish) Community Room fit to burst with a bunch of excitable pups eager for the show to get cracking. And, I was quickly enlightened as to why.
On seeing them you might not have picked their sound, more ‘70s drop out than Disco-looking (with the exception of guitarist Jules, the sharp-dressed George Harrison ‘a la Sergeant Peppers’ look-alike); although the silver glittery curtain hanging stage-wide like an oversized sheet of galactic Bacofoil gave a decent clue on what was to follow. Which, simply put, was an hour and a bit of fabulous Pop-tastic Disco Funk which had the place shaking its groove thang, getting on down and partying like it’s 1979.
There was no mistaking the Chic influence Louie (keys) and Noah (bass) had spoken of when chatting with them pre-gig about their sound. There is plenty more of the French about them - sure, there’s the obvious Daft Punk-produced debut single and tonight’s opener, Overnight, but many tracks played also brought Air’s Moon Safari album to mind and ear. With lots of Hi Energy hi-hats and hand claps, funked up guitar riffs and baselines, two sets of keys and some beautifully harmonized vocal melodies which cling onto your ear drums like honey, the crowd loved every second of this ‘70s style set. Close your eyes and you could have easily been on an illuminated dancefloor somewhere East-side (that’s New York, not New South Wales). Whilst no song outshone another, the fast-paced, lyric-less Everyroad seemed to sum up the energy present in the room; even the not so funky and quite different sounding Bemyself had its place in a set which never stopped building from the outset.
There were snippets of magic throughout, like when keyboardist Pat paid respect to the gaggle of folk up front who were singing word-perfect and almost (unintentionally) invited them back to his place; a slightly awks moment – for him, at least! And again when Jules and Pat joined the dancefloor during the penultimate song, IknowhowIfeel, which just about sent the place cosmic.
There’s no other way to put it. The Parcels delivered. I’d try and catch them before they’re shipped offshore.