Take one part Blossoms, another part Chic and a hint of Tame Impala and what do you get? Why, Parcels of course! The five-piece Aussie band, have created themselves a unique genre of indie-disco-psychedelic-funk-electropop (it’s easier to grasp than you may initially think). They’ve recently released their debut self-titled album, a none stop continuum of stylishly upbeat indie-tronica.

On the first stop of their headlining European tour they stopped by Manchester Academy 2, an underrated venue that’s high ceiling helps to feel less claustrophobic than say Gorilla or Deaf Institute but it’s small enough to get that sought after ‘intimate gig feeling’. Nearly sold out, the venue was filled with mainly sweaty students buzzing for the nights gig. Parcels opened with the funky, gloriously repetitive ‘Comedown’, to a cheering crowd ready to dance. The stage was cleverly lit with five tall spotlights behind the band that changed brightness and colour according to the mood of the tracks; red or orange for slower numbers and purple and pink for the more upbeat tracks.

There’s an element of nostalgia to each track, especially when performed live; ‘Tieduprightnow’ is like listening to a vintage Chic track from 1979, and ‘Bemyself’ has elements of early Pink Floyd. You can tell they take these influences and update them with their own dose of electronica and performance. Watching them perform is fun in itself; each member looks like he’s having a good time. All that long hair shaking back and forth is infectious and it reflects in the crowd’s loud reception, “We’re loving your energy Manchester!” For the first half of the show, there were no breaks; instead each track beautifully blended from one to the next, like some old disco record.

‘Inknowhowifeel’ is an epic chill wave track that’s long instrumentals make the audience appreciate Parcels core talent for a solidly great melody. Their vocals are reminiscent of something out of a Beach Boys hit; beautifully smooth, subtle, unison voices that compliment each other. There’s no big Mariah moments here or trying to out sing one another, keyboardist Patrick and guitarist Jules’ voices always work together. ‘Gamesofluck’ is a sleek, vibrantly mid tempo number with a big powerful, head banging chorus that got the crowd clapping along; towards the end of the set it felt like we were at a festival when a couple members of the crowd got on their mates shoulders.

The night peaked with ‘Tieduprightnow’, a multi-coloured stage shone as bright as the track itself. As the show ended each member slinked off stage one by one, bowing out on the way. Teasing an encore with the stage still lit, there was no return for ‘one more song’ despite the cheers from the crowd, but with a gig as joyfully energetic as that, who’d need to?

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Parcels performed at Academy 2 on Monday 5th November 2018. Words by Tom Frodsham.

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