Tess Parks: YES, Manchester

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Tess Parks

Tess Parks was in Manchester on Sunday night at YES, and Getintothis’ Conor Mooney was there to witness an accomplished display of her dreamy, downbeat psychedelia.

Tess Parks sent YES (The Pink Room) into a dreamlike trance on Sunday night, sporting an all-white outfit including a ‘Who the fuck is Liam Gallagher?’ t-shirt (as worn in the recent Please Never Die video).

Manchester’s own URF warmed up YES aptly with their melodic shoegaze on a bitter night in the city, and soon enough it was time for the main event.

Accompanied by a full band, the Canadian was free to channel all her energy into delivering her otherworldly, hypnotic vocals (and shaking her tambourine), in a style comparable to that of the aforementioned Mancunian, who she told Getintothis in a recent interview is one of her idols.

Opening with lead track Somedays from her debut album Blood Hot, which was released on Alan McGee’s label, 359 Music, Parks proceeded to weave and wind her disconcertingly droning, but captivating vocals around the floaty melodies, swaying gently and shaking her tambourine throughout.

She made her way seamlessly through the set, pausing only to imitate a crowd member’s Manc accent and sip her drink.

Though her tunes are distinctive, influences such as Mazzy Star, Oasis and The Brian Jonestown Massacre shone through pleasingly.

Take a look at Getintothis‘ top 100 albums of 2018

With three albums worth of material now to choose from, after latest release Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe, which was her second joint project with the Brian Jonestown Massacre man, the set-list was very well refined.

2015 single Cocaine Cat, which featured on her first record with Newcombe, I Declare Nothing, came second, followed by more of her effortlessly cool, idiosyncratic trademark songs such as Mount Pleasant, Life Is But A Dream and Right On.

With two songs left to go, she stopped to welcome surprise guest, local legend and ‘very good friend’ Paul Arthurs (aka Bonehead) from Oasis to the stage.

He added his well-known expertise on the guitar to the last two songs, Please Never Die, and set-closing foot-stomper Grunewald, making for an unexpected and fan-pleasing end to what was an already consummate performance.

Asked after the gig what it meant to her to be so well-received in Manchester, hometown of some her biggest musical heroes, Parks replied after a long, thoughtful pause: ‘Everything.’

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