“This is our first UK tour and you guys have been legends!” keyboardist Patrick Hetherington grins to a sea of adoring fans, the abundance of lights bouncing off the elegant glitter backdrop behind.
Aussie-born, Berlin-based Parcels are the band on everyone’s lips right now. Rising to prominence over the past year with January’s critically-acclaimed Hideout EP, a Daft Punk collaboration and their distinctive groovy sound, it’s no surprise that the quintet have managed to sell out every one of their UK dates. Their 70’s-inspired funk beats have helped Parcels fashion their own little world that seems to be growing in popularity by the second – and after witnessing them live, it’s clear to see why.
Standout single ‘Myenemy’ is a thundering bass-heavy opener, Noah Hill whittling away at his instrument with both insane talent yet incredible ease. Infectiously groovy, it’s impossible to not dance along – and it looks like the rest of Sound Control’s attic is thinking the same. It’s apparent from the get-go that the five are having a blast; they’re so tight, so clean that their live energy is incomparable.
With its old-school feel reminiscent of Jamiroquai, ‘Allaround’ sees Parcels similarly whip up a frenzied audience with a light-show that demands the utmost attention. By the time ‘Hideout’ rolls around to slow things down a touch, its whirring synth notes transcending us to another dimension, both the crowd and band appear to be on cloud nine.
When a set’s this strong, it’s difficult to pick out a highlight. Perhaps it’s ‘Older’, its faultless vocal harmonies calling to mind the likes of gospel choirs alongside Anatole Serret’s syncopated drums. Or maybe it’s ‘Overnight’, Parcels’ most popular and impressive song to date that’s arguably the most fun live. Whatever your favourite, it’s clear that the five have curated a set to please everyone, throwing out an array of songs to suit moods both excited and relaxed.
If you’re you a firm believer that a live band should leave you speechless, then Parcels are your new favourite group. It’s rare to see Manchester moving this energetically on a Monday night – but by bringing the party to the UK, Parcels have undoubtedly given everyone a night to remember.