Live Review: Parakeet, The Macbeth, London (06/08/13)


The side-project of Yuck bassist, Mariko Doi, and History Of Apple Pie drummer, James Thomas, Parakeet played their dreamy grunge in East London pub and gig venue, The Macbeth.

With their respective first albums, Yuck and The History Of Apple Pie firmly laid down their beliefs in 90s alternative and grunge music. Parakeet rarely veer from this course, but manage to place a glistening shine on their songs, which is sometimes lacking in the music of Yuck and THOAP, perhaps down to experience or perhaps down to luck. Either way, it makes for thrilling music.

Before Parakeet are allowed to amaze us, Bare Pale and Younghusband attempt to impress a steadily growing crowd. Bare Pale completely fit the bill with their take on slightly off-kilter grunge, and they’re most certainly worth checking out. Younghusband, on the other hand, play bog-standard indie rock, with, what seemed, unfortunately, little imagination and ambition.

Arriving onstage just a few minutes behind schedule, Parakeet hardly mutter a word, apart from the odd incredibly awkward ‘thank you’. Instead, they rely on their music to win the crowd over. Good strategy.

At times, Parakeet show the disconcerting edge of 90s bands like Sonic Youth and Pixies. There’s the distorted bass, explosive guitars and haunting vocals. It ticks all the boxes, doesn’t it? However, at the same time, Parakeet are capable of writing the complete opposite: perfectly-formed guitar-pop songs, that you just can’t help but dance to.

For a three-piece, they make quite a noise. At times, the noise they create verges on the likes of noise-shoegazers, My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain. Although clearly wearing their influences on their sleeves, Parakeet are capable of shaping their own sound, resulting in one of the most impressive live performances of 2013 so far.

What is most striking, is that despite being a ‘side-project’, Parakeet appear fully-formed and every bit as good as the bands from which they are formed, if not better. When everyone else wakes up and realises this, that’s when the real test will come. Which band will come first? Until then, let’s just enjoy this strong 90s revival in every waking minute.

Alex Neely

…Alex is listening to Longpigs – The Sun Is Often Out


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