@ WOOLLY MAMMOTH
Reviewed by: Alexandra Ainsworth
Brisbane’s Woolly Mammoth Alehouse is already a steaming mess by the time Parcels walk on stage for their 10 PM set. The floor is filled with a mix of teenage fans as well as an older crowd, all of which have pressed themselves up against the stage in an effort to get a glimpse of Byron’s next best thing.
The set starts with an extended instrumental, a chance for everyone in both the band and in the crowd to warm up before the official tracks start coming out. Myenemy is the first song off the blocks; the first few bars of bass, soon accompanied by synths and drums, wastes no time in showcasing the band’s full range of talents. It’s a quick intro before Parcels launch into their satisfyingly smooth vocals, barely audible over those from the crowd. The band present a tight set-up that, as casual as the mood may be, is one that only comes with hours of practice. It’s no secret that the band’s claim to fame is their collaboration with hyper-famous mentors Daft Punk, but Parcels still manage to wriggle free from the shadow and present a fresh and entirely original collection of work that they can call their own.
Having relocated to Berlin in 2015, Parcels’ European influences are strikingly obvious, as the band offer a tracklist that differs from anything we’ve been hearing on our shores. They’ve tapped into an open market, and if the packed out venue is anything to go by, everyone is interested in buying what they’re selling. Funk basslines, smoothed over by shared vocals and pulled along by bouncing guitars underline most tracks. It’s admittedly a trope that can prove to be somewhat repetitive, but no one in the room seems to be complaining.
Parcels use the sold-out gig as a chance to showcase some new material: a couple of slower, more vocal heavy tracks that work to slightly break up the set. The hyped up crowd, however, seem slightly disinterested, impatiently waiting for the beat to pick back up. Luckily for them, it doesn’t take long. The band pull out lead single Overnight near the end of the set to the squealing delight of the room, who launch straight back into shredding up the floor.
It’s close to the end of the night, and it’s only then I notice that very rarely does the music ever stop. Most songs are tided over by extended synth or bass solos, or by looming voiceovers muttering the type of monologues you’d expect from black and white foreign films. Only once or twice do the band have a complete break in-between songs, and they use the brief opportunity to humbly thank the crowd for coming. It’s obvious that when the five-piece are on stage, they’re enjoying every moment of it. It’s a palpable sense of unadulterated euphoria that moves from the band to the crowd, and arguably back onto the stage.
The set ends with an encore of Comedown (which is, ironically, anything but), and as the crowd slowly file out of the room, dabbing their foreheads of sweat, I can’t help but think that this will probably be one of the last times I’ll be able to see Parcels in such an intimate space before they’re shot into super-stardom.