Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Parquet Courts fill London's excitable sold out Sebright Arms

22 March 2013, 11:52 | Written by George O'Brien

Punk-inspired bands are on the ascent, championing a rebellion against the world of synth-pop and corporate dance. The UK have the likes of Palma Violets and Splassh, but something more exciting has appeared from across the pond. Parquet Courts are the latest guitar-wielding excitement to emerge from the rich punk heritage that is New York.

Just as The Strokes, pioneers of this sound, make their comeback, this Big Apple four-piece are causing a bit of a stir. Having released a debut album, Light Up Gold, with great aplomb in the US and with an acclaimed SXSW performance in very recent memory, their UK shows were much talked-about affairs.

Following a show opening for The Men the previous evening, East London’s Sebright Arms played host to their final outing in the country. The basement was packed as the band wasted no time setting out their stall. There is an almost juvenile angst about the sound they projected, as the lazy impression they give off is juxtaposed by an effortless tightness, best highlighted in the dejected ‘Stoned and Starving’ – The Strokes influence particularly audible as buzzing guitar churns along below a top-end, improvised-sounding riff.

It is rock n’ roll in the true sense of the word; through themes of the songs themselves to carefully coordinated chromaticism. ‘Borrowed Time’ is a highlight, with its elongated stops and starts, languid vocals and relentless splashing cymbal. The band energetically fly from song to song but the interaction we do share is laid-back.

A couple of album tracks perhaps go too far off-piste, as shouting and jamming may only appeal to those in attendance that remember thrashing cheap guitars or smashing drums themselves; not for everyone’s taste but there is something satisfying about seeing and hearing it done alongside the more carefully crafted parts of the set. Similarly a lengthy jam, shows impressive stamina, but could have been cut down to make room for the band’s more intuitive sounds.

Nevertheless, the succinctness and unity between players, alongside genuine songwriting ability make this early live show stand-out. Retro, rebellious and in-your-face, Parquet Courts are certainly one of the front-runners in this emerging scuzzy movement.

Parquet Courts return in May playing The Great Escape before a headline show at London’s 100 Club.

Photograph by Sara Amroussi-Gilissen taken at The Shacklewell Arms, 20 March.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next