“It’s always good to be in the house of god,” guitarist and vocalist Andrew Savage remarks as he gazes up at Church’s grand stained glass window behind him, before launching into another rough-and-ready cut from their back catalogue.
This is Parquet Courts, the Texan rock band who’ve released their 6th album this year and have now found themselves in a renovated church. Their back drop is simple, just a white sheet draped behind them with their scarves hanging over their amps.
They open with ‘Total Football’, leading single from Wide Awake! and then smoothly into ‘Dust’, of previous album Human Performance. The energy is ebbing and flowing in the room; at times it seems like the crowd isn’t doing the band’s more fast-paced moments justice.
It takes a while to get everyone engaged, but high points come from the always-seamless combination of ‘Master of My Craft’ and ‘Borrowed Time’ from Light Up Gold and title track from their newest release ‘Wide Awake’. The vigour of the latter lights up the room, as they bring out an extra percussionist to add another layer of groove as other vocalist Austin Brown leaps around his corner of the stage.
Their penultimate song ‘One Man No City’ transforms into an extended jam as bassist Sean Yeaton rhythmically nods and shakes his head with some kind of grimace that holds you in a trance, and Brown goes to town on a whistle solo that instantly sparks cheers from the crowd.
It took a long time for the band to warm up to this setting, with some drops in how the crowd responded, but overall it was a diverse set that showed off their 7-year, 6-album career with style.
Header image via Variety