Wednesday, 6 November 2013

live review: Parquet Courts / Eagulls @ Mono, 31st October

Despite heavy reverb obscuring much of George Mitchell’s between-song speech, body language and delivery indicate the vocalist is not in the best of moods. It seems the culprit is a snarl-up on the M6, and as Eagulls kick off their set 25 minutes later than scheduled, the traffic-induced irritation is writ large. But, from a punter’s perspective, the aggravation brings its own silver lining, with Mitchell’s extra-surly demeanour amplifying the palpable tension at the core of the Leeds quintet’s noisy post-punk squall, underscoring its raw impact.

Parquet Courts, by comparison, exhibit a more playful disposition, introducing themselves from behind cardboard emoticon masks. “WOOOooooOOOh! We are a Parquet Courts cover band! Happy Halloween!” the four-piece joke, their faux-ghostly wails subsequently echoed in the copious feedback that judders forth at regular intervals.

A hesitant start aside, the set proves as scrappy and charmingly effective as their lo-fi costumes, barrelling along with rough-edged élan and shout-along lyrical smarts. The lickity split energy of tracks like Borrowed Time receives a suitably enthusiastic reaction, while coupling the deadbeat drawl of N Dakota with its Light up Gold partner Stoned and Starving makes for a dynamic finale. Forget the aforementioned masks: this Halloween, Parquet Courts came dressed as one of the most exciting live acts around, and found the guise a perfect fit.

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