They are a phenomenon who, since their self-released debut album in 2003, have risen to the top. Their fans, referred to as “The Parly Army”, are as loyal as apostles; the band’s appeal and the love they get from their supporters have been on show over the past two months while the supergroup have toured their home country to launch their latest album, Antiques and Artifacts. The album, though it may be familiar in sound, is also a departure from their last release, Stand like Giants.
A lot of that has to do with some newfound freedom for the four – the band is managing itself. Brothers Paul Hodgson (guitar and keyboard) and Glenn (bass, piano and backing vocals) agree the album was a great way to regroup during the launch tour.
“Usually our schedule is so busy, but we got some time to rehearse the new album during the tour,” says Paul. With three legs covering Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, and with rest periods in between, Glenn says it is a great way to learn the new album. It also introduces Antiques and Artifacts to their loyal followers. Glenn believes the tour is one of their most successful they have done locally, and it’s not the end.
They’re planning a small-town tour in September. The is planning an international tour to the UK, Europe and Dubai from November. August marks one of the band’s bigger shows, when they perform for the first time in five years at Oppikoppi.
The gig was one that they decided to schedule their lives around and The Parlotones were one of the first groups announced for this year’s line-up. “We get to make our own decisions, while before we often were told where to go and when to be there,” says Paul.
“Now we have more freedom,” adds Glenn. Although their most recent blitz around South Africa was heavily focused on Antiques and Artifacts, expect a lot of their older stuff for sets at venues such as OppiKoppi.
They remain a band that puts its audience first and at a festival such as Oppikoppi, who wouldn’t camp in front of the stage to hear the clarion calls of Colourful, Honey, Should We Fight Back or Push Me to the Floor?
Their smooth sound this time around is also because of the ease the group felt recording Antiques and Artifacts at Theo Crous’s Bellville Studios. Paul says when you find a fit at a recording studio, you go for it.
“It’s very sterile and timed and when it doesn’t feel like it, you’ve got something.” The relationship with Bellville Studios mean they got to lay down the sounds they wanted. Not surprising, then, that they plan to record the next album at the same studio.
However, that might be at Bellville Studio’s “second home” in America. But what’s next? Glenn is quick to reveal that frontman Kahn Morbee has already written 20 new tracks, but they’re focusing on Antiques and Artifacts right now.
So, there’s even more to come from this great group.