Gig review: Rain Parade at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Rain Parade at the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds. Picture: Duncan SeamanRain Parade at the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds. Picture: Duncan Seaman
Rain Parade at the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds. Picture: Duncan Seaman
The Paisley Underground veterans bring some California sunshine to soggy Yorkshire.

“Your weather is doing a number on us all day here,” observes Matt Piucci, behatted guitarist and co-lead vocalist of Californian psychedelic rock band Rain Parade. As the dark clouds outside glower on a wet summer’s evening in this corner of West Yorkshire, it is hard to disagree.

But the warmth of the reception from the couple of hundred fans gathered in the Brudenell Social Club’s Community Room is enough to put a smile on their faces.

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Veterans of the Paisley Underground, a gathering of early 1980s bands who looked back to the music of The Byrds, Beatles and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd for inspiration, and whose ranks also included The Dream Syndicate, The Thirteen O’Clock and The Bangles, Rain Parade have been enjoying something of a revival themselves, thanks to their album Last Rays of a Dying Sun, their first collection of new material in more than 35 years.

To coincide with a tour of the UK and Europe, they have also just released an EP, Last Stop on the Underground, and it’s during the newest songs such as Forgetfulness and Surprise, Surprise that the five-piece band sound at their most energised tonight.

For long-time adherents, there are plenty of treats too from their classic debut album Emergency Third Rail Power Trip and its follow-up EP, Explosions in the Glass Palace. Among the highlights are the chiming 1 Hr ½ Ago, one of a handful of songs sung by bassist Steve Roback, and a hefty version of You Are My Friend.

There’s a rare live airing of Sad Eyes Kill from Crashing Dream, their lone album for Island Records in 1985, and Piucci swaps places with keyboard player Derek See for a raspy rendition of Green, from Last Rays of a Dying Sun.

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They encore with the epic Kaleidoscope, with their three-part harmonies and interweaving triple-pronged guitar attack in full flow, then stop on afterwards to chat to fans. Rain it might have done for the band’s return to Leeds, but it certainly couldn’t dampen this particular parade.

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