Pela, BrakesBrakesBrakes, Electric Soft Parade

June 19, 2007

Pela –

It was all smiles at the final show of the Pela, BrakesBrakesBrakes, Electric Soft Parade US tour. The Pela boys are back in the city they affectionately call home, relieved to be across state lines, they say, headed to their familiar Red Hook waterfront. The BBB (or Brakes as they are known in the UK) and ESP will be crossing the Atlantic, finished with the States for now.

BrakesBrakesBrakes sing Clash meets Mission to Burma meets The Replacements, all with an acoustic guitar and the punk rock ethos of occasional 30 second caustically humorous rants (e.g. “Cheney” or “Porcupine or Pineapple?”). Throw in a Johnny Cash cover, some occasional Western twang and you’ve got the idea.

The BBB seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves, all winning banter and wit. While the genres collided, the band stayed consistent and convincing. Eamon Hamilton is as energetic and charismatic a singer as they come (sort of like Billy from Pela, come to think of it), and for some reason makes me think the band is from DC. (Maybe it’s the shaved head, the political edge, and the whiff of Gang of Four.) The White brothers (guitar, drums) should get paid overtime for their double roles in the BBB and ESP.

Pela took the stage as the headliners (though BrakesBrakesBrakes headlined on the previous night), into the welcoming arms of an affectionate F Train and the hometown advantage.

It’s been about two months and a US tour since their record release party in the same space, but our enthusiastic claim that these fellows are now the Brooklyn band to watch continues to be broadcast far and wide. (The National who?) Billy et al looked less than road weary, and endorsed the notion that more touring was still to come.

The set included many of the Anytown Graffiti favorites, starting with a breakout version of “Waiting on the Stairs” and “Tenement Teeth.” Missing were the gems from the near perfect All in Time, but hey, Pela still rocked the fuck out, and at the end of a tour can play whatever they want. It was the closing song of the tour, “Clavary,” with all three bands on stage banging various instruments and objects, that was the revelation of the night, leaving them singing la la la into the night.

BrakesBrakesBrakes – Porcupine or Pineapple

Listen: BrakesBrakesBrakes – Hold Me In the River from The Beatifik Visions. Pela – Lost to the Lonesome from Anytown Graffiti. Electric Soft Parade – various tracks stream here.


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