LIVE: Pears / Fair Do’s / Ariel Salad @ The Parish, Huddersfield

By Liam Knowles

The Parish in Huddersfield is one of the UK music scene’s best kept secrets. Despite it being essentially a barn behind a pub, it regularly gets big name bands stopping off for one-offs, and has started to become a regular touring spot even though Leeds and Manchester are both so close. New Orleans punk rockers Pears are currently out with Rise Against and Sleeping With Sirens, playing to huge rooms, but they couldn’t resist squeezing in a performance at this intimate little gem of a venue.

Openers Arial Salad do a pretty solid Jawbreaker impression for a band who are a little on the young side to remember Jawbreaker, and this easily wins over the gradually growing crowd of punters. By the time Fair Do’s come on the room is getting pretty damn full, and their super-technical skate punk goes down an absolute storm. Brian from Pears later says that musically they’re one of the best bands they’ve ever played with, and given that they sound like Protest The Hero covering Propaghandi songs, it’s hard to argue with him.

In our interview earlier this evening, Pears vocalist Zach Quinn said that tiny shows like this are his favourite because there’s an intimacy and energy that’s impossible to replicate in larger venues. From the second the band bursts into ‘The Flu’ it’s easy to see what he means. Pears’ intensity is palpable as they hammer out their quirky, hard-hitting punk rock. Most of the material comes from 2016’s ‘Green Star’ and the crowd positively erupts at the likes of ‘Hinged By Spine’ and “I Love My Kennel”. There’s also a decent few songs from ‘Human Movement’; the split with Direct Hit! that came out the same day as this show.

Pears are clearly a band who don’t take themselves too seriously. After announcing they’re going to do a cover, guitarist Brian Pretus plays the intro riff to Limp Bizkit’s ‘Break Stuff’ which went on a little longer than any of the band members seemed to expect. They then play their actual cover; a totally straight version of Green Day’s ‘Basket Case’ that fits the band’s sound perfectly. The between song banter is on point, particularly bassist Erich Goodyear’s impressions (Austin Powers and the bad guy from the first Men In Black film, in case you were wondering) and it’s clear they’re having a whale of a time. That said, there is a moving moment where Zach speaks openly about his mental health and journey to recovery that makes their performance of ‘Great Mt. Ida’ that little bit more poignant.

You could put money on the fact that every single person at this show had a fantastic time. Pears give an intense and energetic live show that’s funny, charming, and real; everything you could possibly want from a punk rock show. Unfortunately they don’t plan to be back on these shores til 2019 at the earliest, so if you missed them this time round you should be seriously kicking yourself.