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Review | Tess Parks @The Hope & Ruin 28.8.19

Tess Parks photographed by Laura Cherry Grove


Miss rock 'n' roll babe Tess Parks delivered an effortlessly stylish set at The Hope & Ruin. From the land of Toronto, Tess Parks listens to her inner self to create music. Watching Tess Parks feels incredibly spiritual. A wave of contentment overflows as you find yourself just soaking up the present. Grateful to be in the company of great music, that magically makes you look inwards. This is reflective in how Tess Parks deciphers what song to play next, pausing to ask the audience if they don't mind a slower song.

The delay of Tess Parks' set was completely worth it. Equipment and instruments were meticulously checked as a hum of excited chatter filled the room following support from Brighton based, Dark Horses. Drawing inspiration from PJ Harvey and The Velvet Underground, Dark Horses played a superb set ahead of the headline act.

It is telling that Tess Parks grew up in a musically orientated family. Venturing to the UK at the age of 17 to study photography, Parks was soon back in Toronto following the end of her visa. Inspired by the possibility of creating music in London, back in Toronto Tess Parks called out for "sexy and talented musicians", resulting in a backing band known as The Good People. Compromised of Andrew McGill (guitar) Thomas Huntala (bass) and Thomas Paxton-Beesley (multi-instrumentalist), it's evident that The Good People share the same passion towards music as Tess Parks; displaying a great amount of passion as they rocked out on their instruments.

There is something hypnotic about Tess Parks music that is hard to pinpoint. A combination of a younger Patti Smith in terms of effortless style in music and appearance, mixed with a sprinkle of country-esque, psychedelic elements, set on a ranch in the middle of nowhere as the backdrop. It is incredibly easy to get sucked into the beauty of Parks' lyrics and husky sound, with the rings of the tambourine echoing throughout. The creation of music seems to come naturally to Tess, which translates beautifully onto the stage as she slowly moves her body to the tiffs and turns of the guitar drums and bass. All things lead to the assumption that Tess Parks was placed on Earth to share her talent and it's evident that the majority is eternally grateful.


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