A couple of weeks ago I was in Seattle for a series of work meetings, and by happy coincidence, a South African band, the Parlotones were in town. They fill stadiums in SA, so seeing them in a smaller venue was an opportunity not to be missed. Here they are at the World Cup opening ceremony.
I pinged my mate Mark, and we headed out to the Showbox SoDo. Not only was this a smaller venue, but they were warm up band for Blue October.
If a South African band plays anywhere, the Diaspora emerges. Seattle was no different. There was a small but raucous SA crowd mingled in with the Seattlean, who were keen for Blue October (who are indeed good too).
The Parlotones played a short set, mainly from the current album, but by the end they had converted the Seattle audience into fans. They rocked. I predict that they will have a number one on the US charts before very long.
The band is now a firm favourite of mine. Their music is very tight, tinges of OMD and The Killers, REM, Radiohead, maybe a faint whiff of The Cure too, but somehow their own. The lyrics are often clever, and some of them quite dark. Welcome to the Weekend, in particular, strikes home, but this line from “Should We Fight back?” is well and truly stuck in my head.
Sip it slowly sweetness sometimes tempts us into the silly
Choked by cherry chocolate charm in a chariot of phony
I’m going to be seeing them again, this time in Stuttgart, this Saturday. As they are main act, I’m hoping they will have a longer set, and will dip into their older albums too. As per Seattle, there will be Diaspora contingent. We will be loud, louder than bombs.