Wednesday, April 17, 2013

First Listen :: Welcome Pariah

Welcome Pariah

Words: Dave Beech

For years now bands have been trying to emulate and recreate the cultural explosion that was 1990s brit-pop. From Oasis to Happy Mondays, from Pulp to The Stone Roses, whoever their influence, the same energy, the same furore has never been encapsulated. Often I've given that over to the same reasoning that I give to why contemporary Punk doesn't have the same resonance as that it stemmed from; the moment has passed; situations have changed. Bands can't spend their careers chasing the Zeitgeist of 20 years past. That is until I heard Welcome Pariah.

Hailing from Southampton, the band have managed to achieve what their peers struggled to; they've managed to effortlessly distil the essence of brit-pop without once ever sounding forced or contrived. Their latest single 'Neither Here Nor There' blends nostalgia-tinged Brit-pop jangles with 60s inspired waves of surf-pop psychedelia in a fusion that's nothing short of infectious.

Beginning with a intro that's evocative of 'Waterfall' by The Stone Roses, the song takes you on a journey over several decades, making it apparent that they weren't lying when citing The Who and The Beatles as some of their influences. Often this can lead to a record sounding archaic or well-trodden but Welcome Pariah have managed to keep their music resoundingly fresh.

John Waghorn's guitar and vocal work is consistently excellent throughout the entire track, the solo in particular is is reminiscent of two generations of guitar music and ends sounding particularly like The Who. Not only that but the solo steps the pace of the song up from the almost-dreamy verses that float along in tandem with the songs John Squire-esque hook in to a fast-paced clamorous conclusion. The song ends somewhat unusually with the solo giving way to a sample which in turn gives way to a few seconds of gentle guitar.

Countless bands have tried it, almost none of have succeeded. Welcome Pariah have not only encapsulated the sound and aesthetic of their influences but they've managed to eschew feelings of antiquation or archaism that so often plague bands indebted to their influences. They've taken two much loved genres and generations mixed them together in an amalgamation of sound and spirit before adding their own unique spin and calling it their own. A must listen for anyone who fancies a nostalgia-trip worth taking.

Welcome Pariah play the following live dates:

25th – RMA Tavern, Portsmouth
26th – This Feeling Club Night, The Macbeth, London
27th - The Essex Arms, Brentwood

10th – This Feeling Club Night, Cellar, Southampton
11th – Pulse Festival, Sunnyfields Farm, Hampshire
17th - Lennons, Supporting Catfish and the Bottlemen, Southampton
24th - Coburgs, Ryde, Isle of Wight
25th – The Tap, Sandown, Isle of Wight

08th - The Adam & Eve, Scooterists For Heroes, Birmingham
14th- 15th – March Of The Mods Festival, Santa Pod Raceway, Wellingborough
21st - The Fiddlers Elbow, Cool Britannia, Camden, London
29th – The Good Ship, Kilburn, London

19th - 21st - Tonefest, Dorset
26th - Gabefest 5, Hampshire

02nd – Frolic Fest, Kent

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