Perth and Kinross isn’t exactly known for its musical talent. But with the arrival of Parliamo, that could be about to change. Since evolving from a rapturous five-piece to a silky sextet, the band recently signed a mini-album deal with Modern Sky (The Coral, The Latuhms, Crawlers). The fruit of this deal is out now, in the form of ‘The Parliamo Manifesto’. It’s an EP with a baggy aura that carries a Damon Albarn-esque, tongue-in-cheek likeability with odes to the Chuckle Brothers (‘Paul & Barry’) and Marlena Shaw (‘Echo In My Chamber’) ranging throughout.
But what is Parliamo’s manifesto all about? “Our ethos is just for folk to have a good time,” says lead vocalist, Jack Dailly. “That will continue to be the main reason we do the band until we stop.” From a personal perspective, having shared stages and been in the audience of Parliamo’s early gigs, anticipation, energy and sheer joy flowed in every droplet of sweat that ran down your forehead. Jack’s Ian Curtis style dance moves, matched with his Scots style wordplay, were key early trademarks as the band’s anthems documented the hope and brazenness of youth.
Fast forward a few years, there’s now an undeniable maturity to their craft, which is showcased on the new EP. “The new songs tackle darker subject matter than what we’ve previously released,” Jack explains. “It’s a bit more visceral and darker. But we still want to have a laugh with it. We’ll never get too serious.” Tracks like ‘Catholic Guilt’ showcase this darker dynamic while ‘She’s Only Human’ wouldn’t go amiss paired beside Kula Shaker’s ‘Hush’ with its enthralling energy.
Yet, perhaps the most important new dynamic to Parliamo is Mairi Sutherland. “Bringing Mairi into the band is the best decision we’ve ever made,” says Jack. “Having male and female vocals together in an act, you don’t see it too often – but it always sounds good. Like The Beautiful South; all their songs are great because they just intertwine with one another. That’s what we wanted to do too.” As well as honing the band’s artwork, vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar, Mairi’s addition sets Parliamo apart from the bloated, stereotypical crop of UK indie boy bands and gives the band an edge that others lack.
Jack has inherited a rich musical palette from his parents. He dons Parliamo’s songwriting duties alongside lead guitarist and flatmate, Fin Freeburn-Morrison. “Me and Fin have got tunes coming out our arse,” Jack laughs on the pair’s productive writing process. But their move to Glasgow, with the others still in Perth, has also been pivotal. Not only has it found Jack regular gig-work in a local pub, but it has also allowed the band to expand their fanbase beyond Tayside, highlighted perfectly by their sweaty, sold out headliner at Glasgow’s King Tut’s last month. “It was probably the best night of my life,” says Jack, and having sadly missed out on a SXSW appearance last year due to Covid, savouring special gigs like this is the least the young band deserve.
There’s an endearing charm to Parliamo’s makeup that you can’t help but like. Their new EP is easily their best work to date and right now they’re doing Tayside, and Scotland, very proud. “Signing with Modern Sky was the biggest dunt ever,” says Jack. “It was the natural next step for us. We want to make sure that we’re steadily growing and improving all the time. We’ve seen growth in the band… and as long as we’re on an upward trajectory, we’re happy.”
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‘The Parliamo Manifesto’ is out now.
Words: Jamie Wilde
Photo Credit: Rory Barnes
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