Tess Parks live at Lido: Review

Tess Parks’ return to Berlin took place on a cold night in April.

If you weren’t the lucky person to win our free tickets to the affair: never fear. We have a run down of the show right here for you.

You know those nights where it just seems like nothing’s going to plan? That’s how it felt like this one was going to go down. We entered a room that seemed to have its air-con turned up to eleven (seriously, I’ve never stood in a venue packed with 400 people wearing my coat and hat before). When Tess Parks finally arrived onstage, it took the sound team roughly the length of the first one and a half songs to get her mic to work. The evening did not have the makings of a classic.

Parks and her five-piece band, jointly clad in plain white tees, growl into action.

That aside, what ensues from the stage from here on makes up for the event’s comical beginnings. Parks and her five-piece band, jointly clad in plain white tees, growl into action. “It’s good to be back,” the singer drawls, between sips from what reveals itself throughout the show to be an apparently never-ending glass of wine.

The songs are a mix of foot-stomping garage rock and more bluesy, slowed down numbers. Parks’ laconic vocals are given a solid platform by the band, who pause only for the occasional quip from the singer between songs, “Germany… this is where words are different, right?”

…the darker, more sultry tracks are the show’s highlights.

‘Somedays’, still somehow the only single Parks has released, gets a warm reception, but the darker, more sultry tracks are the show’s highlights, with the psychedelic feel of ‘Life is but a Dream’ a particular stand-out. The singer’s performance is eccentric. She occasionally tears up a stage prop (a bunch of flowers here, a rubix cube there), scattering the pieces around the stage (the tambourine, thankfully, is just given a good bashing). There are times this veers towards the distracting, but the overall solidity of the songs means that the show draws to a close triumphantly.

Tess Parks is certainly no less of an enigma to us than before, but her captivating style and clear song-writing knack leave us wondering hopefully if that long-awaited second album might just arrive sometime soon.

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