The Victoria – September 7
About two-thirds into Madrid rockers The Parrots’ headline show at The Victoria in Dalston, frontman Diego Garcia pauses mid-strum. “Hey London,” he starts, “I think you are having a good time! But I think the people in the front… are dying… so maybe if you could all step back just a little bit…” His claims, though, are interrupted by indignant cheers. “Oh!” he chuckles. “All of you are doing fine? Good! Never mind!”
It’s this sort of sweaty, riotous madness that The Parrots are capable of inducing straight from the storming set-opener of ‘Let’s Do It Again’. Fresh off the release of their impressing debut LP ‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’, the Spanish three-piece treat the joyously rowdy Hackney crowd to their sunny brand of garage-rock, sweet-sounding riffs mixed with lawless vocal anarchy. With The Victoria already having been warmed up by the stellar opening likes of The Orielles and Los Nastys, The Parrots bring the summer sunshine of Madrid with the distorted slacker tunes of ‘I Did Something Wrong’ and the ever so Mac DeMarco guitar-esque ‘Too High To Die’. The utter chaos of their live set is mirrored by the audience: there is a seemingly never-ending presence of circle pits, crowd-surfers surf their way with an astonishing level of buoyancy, and numerous bodies are upside-down, with legs dangling upwards in the air merrily.
The garage heroes’ cover of The Almighty Defenders’ ‘All My Loving’ is an obvious crowd favourite, as is ‘No Me Gustas, Te Queiro’ (‘I don’t like you, I love you’). Each and every song is dazzling live spectacle. The Parrots’ chaotic guitar fuzz, matched with Garcia’s joyful cries, is a wonder to behold; there is never a moment where any one of the three-piece stand still for more than even half a second. They are a fast-moving blur on the stage, each only taking a short breath between the first and last chords of each song.
By the time the end of the set approaches with ‘Somebody To Love’, the crowd is still writhing with energy. They show no means of slowing down, despite Garcia’s soft nudges that imply the night has come to its inevitable end. The song is supposed to be a calm one, meant to subdue the crowd but, of course, it has the opposite effect. The mobs are rowdier than ever by this point, and eventually Garcia goes “f*** it”, inviting half of The Victoria onto the stage for an enormous invasion.
It just goes to show that The Parrots’ palpable energy is unstoppable, unable to be slowed down and bottled. Just as the band are engulfed by a wave of fans crashing down on them on the stage, the three-piece manage a last battle cry of: “WEED FOR THE PARROTS!!!!!!!” It is pure poetry.