NO ONE will come out of lockdown unchanged. It has been an era of reflection and transformation for all – the perspective gained and lessons learned will not be soon forgotten.

For some musicians, it has been a time to hone their craft, without the pressing need to write, record, release and perform. Artists have been able to take their time, which is a genuine luxury in an industry where forward momentum is difficult to cultivate and criminal to ignore. When a band picks up speed, there would be very little sense in stepping back.

Parliamo spent the first few months of the pandemic mired in the same ubiquitous frustration felt by artists across Scotland. Writing tunes and coordinating over Zoom was simply not the same. A change was coming, though they did not know it yet. Band members began to absorb new styles and concepts, incorporating them into their writing. By the time they got together again, it was clear that things would not be the same again.

"It's still Parliamo at the core," singer Jack Dailly says as he takes The Weekender on the band's journey to their newfound direction. They began as teens with releases in 2018, with an EP and a handful of singles – now they are on the verge of releasing an eight-track album, having taken their sound into more rich and varied territory.

"…It's the same lyrical content," Dailly continues. "The same energy. I guess it comes with getting a bit older, and last year aged us all by about 20 years."

The pandemic may well have proved the catalyst for the sonic shift, but not the reason. Parliamo had always been a dynamic venture and change was likely as the band moved into young adulthood. All it really took was the opportunity to explore those latent aspects of their musicianship.

Dailly adds: "There's only really so much you can do with the formula we were using, and we were very young when we first started. I think some of the tunes were written when we 15 years old.

"Myself and Finn, who wrote most of the tunes, we just took a different direction during the first lockdown last year. We hadn't seen each other for a long while and then, when we did get back to writing we found both our songwriting style had changed in that time.

"It just happened naturally; there was no real conscious decision to move away from where we were. We both saw the change with the first song we wrote, then the second, and thought we'd just go with it.

"I don't think either of us had any idea about how it would sound with the band until we practiced again, but we all thought, yeah, it seems to work. Then we had our first gig in Edinburgh the other night there and it was great – pretty much the whole set was new songs and it worked well."

Any band which moves away from their source material may invariably encounter some resistance, but it was clear after only a short while that their fans would be on board with it. Their last three singles – Paul & Barry; Life on the TV and She's Only Human – created a bit of a buzz in of themselves. A positive reaction and one which came with a small degree of relief.

Daily says: "We were prepared for some people maybe saying: 'Whoa, what's going on here?' but it's been absolutely positive. They've been received so well, and we're so happy about that because we were going out on a limb a wee bit. It's not really a 'far cry' from what we'd been doing before, but it is a little bit different.

"My two very close pals, Nathan and Tommy, they've followed the band since the start; they come to all the gigs – god bless them. I remember showing them the new stuff and, at first, they were uneasy, but have massively come around to it.

"It's certainly not the worst thing in the world to try and do something a little bit different. And we'll still be playing the earlier songs in our live sets – 100 per cent. It would be absolutely ridiculous not to. We still love our older tunes. Just because we have this newer direction doesn't mean we've fallen out with those songs or anything. We'll still have Sweet, All Dolled Up, Youth and Six Ways from Sunday in the set.

"It's always good to see a band there is some real variation in the set. Some fast, some slow. A change of tempo, make it a bit of a roller coaster. So, we'll try to do that and make sure it doesn't feel too dull, or anything."


PARLIAMO: Andrew Haxton, Calum Simpson, Fraser Nicholson, Jack Dailly, Mairi Sutherland, and Finn Freeburn

PARLIAMO: Andrew Haxton, Calum Simpson, Fraser Nicholson, Jack Dailly, Mairi Sutherland, and Finn Freeburn


Another single from the six-piece is due in the weeks ahead, with the release of their mini-album shortly thereafter. It will certainly be an interesting prospect to see how the band approach their 'album tracks' given their newfound sound. Either way it will be a pretty special day for the young singer.

He says: "We're looking at releasing an eight-track mini-album – on October 7, which is my 21st birthday. So, a pretty good present, really.

"We have one more single to come out [to follow Paul & Barry, Life on the TV and She's Only Human] and we'll have four album tracks. That last single will be out in good time before we get out on tour, so hopefully everyone has had a chance to have a wee listen to it."

He adds: "We did them all with Kieran Smith, who guys by the name of GUY GALACTIC, and he's got a study in Broughty Ferry.

"He's a really talented producer and he really nurtured the sound we were going for. He's right into his R&B stuff – so with Paul & Barry he helped turn that into what it became. He was really integral to the new sound and we'd definitely be going back if we can.

Despite being a band most definitely looking forward, they are adamant that they will not forget where they are from. Dailly's words – "We're always going to be a Perth band, no doubt about it" – are confidently spoken and defiant. However, he feels more could be done to ensure they are not the last band to emerge from The Fair City.

In the not-too-distant past, Perth and its neighbouring areas formed T in the Park country. Town's and city's all around the area benefited from having the biggest festival on the country on the doorstep.

The icon fell, however, and in recent times there has been fewer opportunities for the arts and artists in the area. Party at the Park, a sister festival of Party at the Palace, was scheduled to take place in Perth but was scuppered by Covid.

The current situation is not an admirable one but it is something which Dailly hopes will be revisited by those with means as restrictions ease.

"It is a shame," he adds: "Perth used to be much better than it is – it's quite sad, now. The only venue I could list right now is Mucky's, which was the Green Room. But there used to be 44 and the Ice Factory.

"Perth is not what it used to be. Who can blame artists for missing it out when there isn't really a list of venues to get into? I guess there's not much of an appetite for live music in the area.

"You can do what you can with the band but, at the end of the day, we're not the ones running things. If someone, high up some place, or in the council or something, could just take the initiative and create opportunities and incentives for touring bands to the come to Perth, that would make a difference. Just a little investment into the music scene.

"It's a city of 50,000 people, with a lot of young, talented people but absolutely no platform for them. Many have had to look elsewhere for that opportunity. I look at Dundee being a bit of a home away from home, but that's just because there is an arts scene there – so, that's basically where we've had to go.

"Maybe if T in the Park was still going then there might be more of a bustling music scene around Perth and Stirling."

Parliamo's mini-album will be released on Thursday, October 7.

The band will hit the road with dates across the UK, starting with a set at this year's Sound City festival in Liverpool, and a headline show at King Tut's on October 17.

They are also on the bill at the EH6 Festival in in Edinburgh in late November, before travelling to Birmingham, London and Manchester, and finally opening for The Lathums in Dundee on December 4.

For all tour dates and ticket info, visit Parliamo on Facebook.