Parcels gift Leeds with electrifying disco-funk

The Community Room at Brudenell Social Club felt more like the set for our very own 1970s music video than a recently refurbished back room of Yorkshire's most famous working man's club.

Parcels. Picture: Antoine Henault
Parcels. Picture: Antoine Henault

With its sparkling silver backdrop, still glistening with the last flecks of Imbibe’s smooth, wurly-driven rock, the place was transformed and the crowd, primed and ready. The band however, decided to leave their Applause cue-cards at home, relying instead on a set bursting at the seams with passion and musicality.

In true traditionalist fashion the set exploded into life with the album’s seamless opening couplet of Comedown and Lightenup. Instantly we are exposed to their sumptuous blends of funk, folk and electronica as muffled vocal samples are usurped by trademark choppy guitar and synth combinations.

The room danced and sang through old favourites Older and Gamesofluck before landing at the feet of one of the album’s more subdued numbers, Bemyself. Often going under the radar amidst the band’s rhythmic metropolis are the angelic vocal arrangements. Accompanied only by understated bass and sporadic tambourine, it was a nod to music’s vulnerable side and a side to the band that offers an endearing dimension.

Perhaps the most striking feature when watching the Byron Bay boys is the feeling that no matter where you look, you are being given true performance. This was no more relevant than during the epic Everyroad. 10 minutes of utter brilliance. It was like being served all of your favourite meals in one go with no sensation of repletion. A sinister edged disco was followed by folk frilled eeriness before we dived into the most outrageous melee of synth wobbling and head banging dub-step the building is likely to have seen. The neighbours will have done well to keep their picture frames unmoved and car alarms unwakened.

Laced into Parcels’ appeal is their embracing and embodiment of the past. We were treated to a gorgeous vocal carved by bassist Noah Hill through Paul McCartney’s Every Night. It stands as a marker that you must be doing OK if Paul McCartney can sit amongst your songs so comfortably.

Wrapping up the set with their tongue-in-cheek ‘Credits’ the quintet graced the room one by one with a wave and a smile before leaving the stage and leaving a crowd wanting it all over again.

It’s not often you come across a band who seem to have got it as spot on as Parcels. Music these days rubs shoulders with insincerity and bite-sized entertainment all too often but this band have built their career on the opposite – they appreciate the beauty of the whole story. After a performance like that I expect to see their tales line the shelves of music lovers around the world for many years to come. That is how you do it, gentlemen. Very well done.