The Parkinsons, Colchester Arts centre

Prior to the gig I’d read a review by a local BBC Yorkshire correspondent whose name thankfully now eludes me. His main complaint was lack of melody and too much noise, this proved to be utter bollocks within the first few bars of the first number. If by noise he means a hard on making wall of Rickenbacker induced feedback then he is right, but you can never have to much eh? And melody? A grotesque word at the best of times, think George Martin or whatever.

The Parkinsons glisten from the waist up like featherweight boxers as they throw themselves into the set with football hooligans of enthusiasm. The lead singer, teenage skinny with as much energy, charges into the audience staring ahead like a deranged lunatic, the mic lead runs out so he keeps pulling until the mic comes off. The answer? Hitting himself on the head with it, of course! Like a 5 year old Iggy he cavorts and thrusts just about every limb in to every part of the audience, jumping on the bar, climbing the lighting rig and shaking his arse like a monkey on heat.

The staggered viewers are entwined and rounded up in mic cable as the band coat the stage in phlegm, lager and sweat, It’s screaming mayhem and its fucking ace. Not only are they lapping up every millisecond second, they are believing in the music with a magnificent aura of love, warmth and appreciative opportunism. The confidence to back such bravado is drawn from a fantastic set of simply crafted tracks that are played with consummate expertise, they sit in the head in an simple manner and yes, there’s tunes in every track Mr BBC man but there obviously lost on you.

The anticipation is electric. The boundless energy and noise is almost to much as it rockets forward at bullet pace, pushed on by an awesome guitar charging out ferocious blues riffs and sing alongs with distant but beautiful ease. The guitar is masterful and I’m properly transfixed by him screaming the words to every track with grins and vengeance, that’s when he’s not lying on his back in the audience. It’s all over with smiles in under an hour and the encore is the latest single, then that’s it because the old but new drummer doesn’t know any more tracks.
Gig of the year? Oh yes, drink and drug fuelled punk excess at its finest, I actually felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Evidence my friends, should it ever be needed, that not only is Satan himself is into rock and roll, but that he will use it to posses the soul of all those brave enough to indulge. Thanks, just when I was beginning to lose faith.

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