Parasta­t­ic played at The Sebright Arms, an East Lon­don venue which is one of my top ‘most wel­com­ing’ pubs in Lon­don. The Tyne­side out­fit Parasta­t­ic, a band who came to my atten­tion via Radio 6 Music, when I just hap­pened to catch the tail-end of a track which deliv­ered an utter­ly euphor­ic gui­tar riff. I felt a ‘here’s a new addic­tion’ moment com­ing on. What is this, who are they, and when are they playing??

That track I lat­er dis­cov­ered to be called St Mary, from the band’s lat­est album out March 2015, Recall Fade Return. The Sebright Arms’  base­ment venue has a healthy turnout for the band. 


Parasta­t­ic gui­tarists Neil Caf­fery and Jon Gar­rard cre­ate a good con­nec­tion with the crowd. The band mem­bers have good syn­er­gy too, the gui­tarists tak­ing their place on either side of drum­mer Rachel Casey, who makes the most of the lim­it­ed range of expres­sion that being behind a drum kit will allow with some dra­mat­ic flour­ish­es. It’s also good to see the three of them smil­ing and look­ing like they are enjoy­ing them­selves up there on stage.

The band’s sound is that of a dense synth sludge of noise, on which a dri­ving beat coa­lesces, with lay­ers added on the top which dance and shim­mer and cre­ate a euphor­ic qual­i­ty. Vocals are woven into the fab­ric of the music. Parasta­t­ic know how to cre­ate vast sound­scapes, wide open spaces which can in a flash screw you up into a ball of ten­sion, before unrav­el­ling you again. Par­tic­u­lar­ly effec­tive are I Am the One and the won­der­ful St Mary – they wrap with Break­ing me Down.


I’ve lis­tened to Parasta­t­ic’s first album from 2012, Lost High­way, and it feels more vocal­ly dri­ven, with a dis­tinct­ly prog touch – Break­ing me Down reminds me of Emer­son, Lake and Palmer, only with­out veer­ing into prog­gy self indul­gence. (Curi­ous­ly, lis­ten­ing to Angel Sigh, the intro has the same feel as Under the Pres­sure on The War on Drugs’ more recent 2014 Lost in the Dream). Parasta­t­ic’s new album Recall Fade Return is a far more cohe­sive and con­fi­dent body of work and car­ries for­ward that dis­tinct­ly Krautrock influ­ence – Neu!‘s Hal­lo­gal­lo is a dis­tinct influ­ence on St Mary.

A lat­er num­ber, T.R.E.M. is a nervy, rest­less track which could have a scary tale to tell, laden as it is with echoey synth which builds and gath­ers pace.

Recall Fade Return is an album which deserves to be heard (and danced to), so here’s hop­ing that Parasta­t­ic get the air­play and expo­sure they deserve. Our ears and souls will be all the bet­ter for it.


All photography: Daniela Fleckenstein; Goodsoul Promotions;

WHO: In Vio­let, Parasta­t­ic, Kontakte
WHEN: March 30, 2015 WHERE: The Sebright Arms, London PARASTATIC 5


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