Parquet Courts returned in typically quickfire fashion this year with their fifth record proper since 2011, Human Performance.
As if that wasn’t enough, it followed a wonderful earworm of an EP, Monastic Living, which landed a matter of months before. Synopsis… There really aren’t any other bands around treating our ears to such consistency and potency in equal measure.
Their return to Manchester’s Gorilla live venue is steeped in joyous nostalgia after a date with Hookworms there a couple of years ago that blew the roof off. This occasion turns out to be just as euphoric, verging on all-out, unbridled frenzy at its height.
Human Performance feels like a slightly more measured record than the 1000 mph garage-rock of Light Up Gold , for example – but overall this does nothing to calm down the velocity of a set that touches on each phase of the band’s short but prolific career.
Some kind of club night happening later on in the venue means there is a strict curfew of 10pm. As a result the show comes in at just less than an hour. Odd favourites such as ‘Stoned and Staving’ are omitted, but the quartet still manage to rattle through 20 punk-infused bangers that have a packed-out and very sweaty audience delighted they chose this over The Stone Roses (bassist Sean Yeaton does play around with a very quick snippet of ‘Fools Gold’, however).
The band are always personable and thankful to an adoring crowd, but if tension lies anywhere it appears to possibly be between Yeaton and singer/guitarist Austin Brown. We can’t completely work out what they mutter to each other before an explosive start to ‘Bodies Made Of”, but it looks a bit cranky.
Not that anyone in the audience gives a damn about such trivia as the crowd-surfing kicks off and pints start to fly. During a firecracker of a crescendo there are revellers stage-diving and Yeaton’s mic stand takes a tumble, but proving they are as conscientious as they are hedonistic, it’s almost instantly returned by a kind soul down the front.
There’s no encore, but as is often the case Parquet Courts will be back in town to do it all again in just a few months. They’re a juggernaut of a band that back up their relentless enthusiasm with catchy tunes, wry whit and a deceptive slacker exterior. Rejoice in the best Brooklyn has to offer.