Updated: May 24, 2021
Reviewed by Stephen Pennell
Here at King City we’ve had our eyes on North Parade ever since John Kennedy of Radio X described their debut single Birmingham as an ‘instant indie classic’. And with a title like that, how could they possibly go wrong? Our gaze only intensified when we saw them supporting Karkosa at Mama Roux’s on a memorably heady night immediately prior to lockdown, and we noticed that the plaudits were coming in from an increasingly wide variety of sources. Counteract praised their ‘jaunty, angular pop’, while Atwood Magazine noted “an ability to combine their own original ingenuity with the distinctive hallmarks of indie-pop.” Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson at BBC Radio 6 and Alex Noble of BBC Introducing are among a host of admirers, while I hope B-town’s top taste-maker Tim Senna will forgive me for saying he almost lost his mind over their monumental single An Accommodation. Don’t tell anyone, but I hear he stole the demo version from the BBC Introducing uploader (for personal use only of course), and had learned all the words by the time it was released a year later. They even had the legendary Roger Sargent (Libertines, Suede, Fat White Family) direct their music video debut for the effervescent, Sparks-esque swing of Keepthingscasual.
The quartet, formed in Birmingham and now resident in London, have delivered again with their latest release, Never Had A Monday, written by drummer Ollie Clark and frontman and songwriter Henry Plumridge. There are glossy synths, funky bass lines and charming, affecting vocals, and as a whole the song draws on the band’s influences, fusing elements from the pop and rock tapestry of the last few decades. The energy and vibe is overwhelmingly positive and the lyrics honest, intriguing and uncontrived, speaking to that uncertain period in life when the pressures of impending adulthood begin to impact on carefree adolescence. As Henry says: “I think without doubt this song comes from the oddly harsh confusion of your early 20s. I often found myself kangarooing between knowing for sure and not knowing at all. Which is also a pretty fair summation of the songwriting process."
It’s a process that North Parade display an increasing mastery of with each release. Judge for yourself by clicking on the link below.