Poundshop Parka- Live At Rak Studios
Reviewed By Duzzy Clayton
Hot off the heels of the band’s debut EP namely, An Air Balloon Over Tooting Broadway, (Read Review HERE) Poundshop Parka is back with a new album, but this album is not like any other, this is more a Live studio album which makes a change to your usual produced overworked studio album, this album is actually quite cool because you can hear some of banter and talks between tracks as its all recorded live and almost gives that feel that it was recorded all in one go and the producer just left the tape running between takes, which I thought was a nice fit and gesture.
The album itself is called Live at the Rak Studios and even though it is live, which is normally not the best quality or different compared to actual studio recordings, I can feel safe in saying that either Pete’s vocals are just on point and or the people who did work on the album are just so good that every song on the Live in Rak studios album is top-notch quality.
Because this is a live album, Pete Devaney who is the vocalist for the Poundshop Parka, opted to go into the studio on his own but under the band name Poudshop Parka, although he wasn’t alone as a brilliant musician by the name of Darcy Winter joined him in some of the songs which I thought was a nice touch and she accomplishes his voice beautifully, I don’t know much about Darcy but after hearing her voice on this album I am definitely going to check out more of her stuff, I particularly like her contributions to the cover track that she duets with Pete of Beatles’ Blackbird, and the track namely, ‘Room’ although all the songs she appears on are awesome.
Another cover track off the album that really sounds good is ‘Pink Floyd’s See Emily Play’, and whenever I hear anyone cover a track, I always ask myself two things, did the artist do justice to the original and did the artist make the song their own? Both, I can safely say Pete achieved especially with this track.
This album has a total of 12 songs, including 2 new original songs and 4 covers including Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Arctic Monkeys.
Even before I knew they cover an Arctic Monkeys track, upon first listening to the album, I instantly thought to myself WOW Pete, has the voice of Alex Turner of The Arctic Monkeys, which is also quite weird because after interviewing Pete (Read HERE), Pete speaks fondly of recording at Rak Studios and said Arctic Monkeys actually recorded at this very studio just a week before, so maybe this studio just has the ability to give off that sound and make you sound like Alex Turner, or Maybe Pete just is as good as Alex Turner and Arctic Monkeys, I seem to think its the latter.
Listening to the album, another musician that comes to mind of what this album sounds like is, Rodriguez, and songs off the album Cold Fact, I am not saying Poundshoparka is copying anyone and I hate to compare, but that is just what comes to mind as I listen to this album. So perhaps fans of Arctic Monkeys and Rodriguez would appreciate this album.
I must confess I am 6 songs in as I write this review and track 6 namely Park Bench kind of put a lump in the throat, I think it’s a combination of the lyrics, Pete’s voice or just the guitar playing but it definitely touched a nerve somewhere in my emotions, music is funny that way and can make you feel emotions you didn’t even know you had or were expecting.
If you expecting hard hitting drums or even bass then you will be disappointed because the whole album is just Pete (sometimes Darcy Winter joins) and Pete’s guitar or piano but I can assure you, it is not a boring album by any means and you will be entertained from start to finish, you will be moved to tears by the talent and emotion or passion of the songs but I can promise you something, you will be left with a smile on your face, and even laugh at some of the in-between takes.
I can picture myself listening to the album over a lunch with family or friends and having it play in the background or if I just want a moment of clarity and peace in my life, then I would pop on this album.
I cannot fault anything on this album, I mean yes it is live, you do pick up on a few mistakes like for Eg, Pete had to stop playing as he started the song track 2 namely Am Why, because he forgot the words and had to sing it too himself quick and then started again, but that is the uniqueness of this live album and I am glad they left it all in, defiantly makes for interesting listening.
If I had to be a critic to Pete’s or Darcy’s voice, the productions of the songs are how the instruments are played and sound, I can’t fault any of that because all of that is top notch.
I think each song’s lyrics are awesome that kind of take you on an emotional journey from happy to sad back to happy and then just feeling mellow, there is something for every mood on this album.
Normally when I do a review, I include which songs stand out the most for me and I tell the readers to check out those tracks, but for this album, I am going to urge you to listen to each song from start to finish on the album, as like a Pink Floyd album, this album is something to be enjoyed as a journey as each song comes on. I do however like all the covers on the album and how they are to be made to sound like Pete’s own rendition of the songs, I would like to also say T. Rex (A tribute I think to Marc Bolan ), which is a fitting way to end off the album.
I would like to congratulate Pete Devaney, Darcy Winter and everyone who worked on the album, it truly is a masterpiece of music and I am for one happy it is in my music collection and I think our readers would enjoy it in their collection also and for this reason I urge you to get hold of this album and thank me later