The Parrots, live at Soup Kitchen


Manchester’s Soup Kitchen basement has undergone a revamp recently, with a newly elevated stage and improved sound system – tonight’s sold out gig is shaping up nicely.

Opening we have Yowl, a five piece from Peckham who take the mundane and make it sound like a never-ending thrill. Garnering a reputation for their live performances, they attracted the attention of The Parrots and are accompanying them on six UK dates. They offer a blend of garage rock, posy-punk with more than a hint of early The Clash songs shining through. Standing out from their electric set are ‘Saturday Drag’ and ‘The Imminent Return’, with a clever use of their vocalist – you’ve heard of a multi-instrumentalist, this guy is a multi-vocalist with at least three different singing styles. They set the scene nicely and are applauded off stage by a rapidly filling venue.

The Parrots from Madrid, Spain are a trio comprised of Diego García (guitar), Alex de Lucas (bass) and Larry Balboa (drums) who met at university and began playing music together, noisily hacking out a place for their primordial, loose-hipped rock’n’roll.

Tonight, they open with ‘Let’s Do It Again’, an upbeat guitar number, channeling surf vibes and characteristic drawled vocals from Diego. ‘I Did Something Wrong’, a 2015 single, is next, slowly cranking up the intensity and the number of moving bodies. They add an additional guitarist – Danny from Alicante we are told – before the start of ‘Too High To Die’ from their debut album Los Niños Sin Miedo (Children Without Fear) which was released on Heavenly Recordings last autumn.

‘A Thousand Ways’ is a buoyant number with vibrant energy manifesting in every rotation of the repeated melody and as the interaction between band and crowd grows, you can tell these guys are really happy to be here playing live music to people who want to listen to it. ‘To the People that Showed me their Love While I Was Here’ from 2015 EP Weed For The Parrots is slightly slower tempo, but has a vibe so catchy that it doesn’t slow the pace any. ‘All My Loving’ follows with its chanted opening vocals and pounding drum beat.

Fan favourite ‘No me gustas, te quiero’ (I don’t like you, I love you) has an opening guitar riff so prevalent it generates an immediate cheer. The crowd chant along to the chorus merrily and the room buzzes. Crowd surfers take over, three on the go at one time in such a tiny space makes for an interesting sight, whilst the rest of the room works to float them. To conclude, they cover ‘Demolicion’ from 1964 by Los Saicos – a punky noise track with lots of repetition and attitude. It results in a bouncing front of stage and drinks flying with guitarist Danny crowd surfing off stage.

With the band members restored to the stage, ‘Somebody to Love’ is used as an encore and sees the show out in style, with Diego crowd surfing around for the duration, without missing a lyric.

The Parrots have an infectious energy that is a reprieve in what can be dark times, the fans flock to them and dance along unashamedly. They execute a superb live performance which penetrates a room and leaves smiling faces all round. Performances like that take a lot to top.

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Lover of all things psych and shoegaze and the mind behind Astral Elevator; constantly seeking new musical experiences in a world full of noise.