Last Tuesday, Jon, his son Louis and I went to see Parquet Courts, supported by Eagulls at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town. The place we used to call the Town and Country Club. I ask you, which is the better name? There was another support band, Goat Girl, but I’m afraid we missed them. Work and school!
We saw both a couple of years ago at Latitude. I only saw a snippet of Eagulls, because I had my sequence of Augustines, Parquet Courts and War on Drugs to prioritise, but Jon and Louis both really liked them. They were excellent again. Different to what I expected. More Goth and less rowdy. And the singer, George Mitchell, looked to me to have modelled himself on Bowie, Thin White Duke style. Could be wrong, but those high waistbands and floppy hair…
Parquet Courts were immense. They were always sharp, but now they were even sharper. When I first got into their music, it was the Strokes-like energy, coupled with a Velvet Underground sleaziness which appealed. Over time the Velvets are winning out, with an additional veering into the discordancy of, say, Sonic Youth, to keep it to New York analogies.
That Sonic Youth comparison is accentuated by the fact that guitarist Austin Brown is looking ever more like Thurston Moore, main man from the Sonics.
I was, of course, delighted that they still played the double of “Master of my Craft” and “Borrowed Time” and revived “Careers in Combat” from the “Light up Gold” album. The title track was the last song of the main set too. Parquet Courts don’t do encores – they are far too arsey for that.
And there was a good balance of songs through all of their albums. The hard, fast ones, and the meandering, discordant ones. They are truly a New York punk band. It was very loud – my good ear was ringing for quite a while.
But yeah, it was great rock’n’roll. They are one of the best bands around.
A few photos here. With my little digital camera. We weren’t near the front, where there was some impressive moshing, suggesting that they have begun to attract a younger audience – always a good sign! So they are a bit blurred, as they always are when lights are flashing. I’ve tried to make a virtue of that.
Sean Yeaton on bass, Max Savage on drums.