The Moon, down an alley opposite Cardiff Castle is located in the heart of Cardiff. Womanby Street is a vital part of the local music scene and has been thriving better than ever since the threat of closure. And that thriving alley is where tonight’s show is located.
There are a few bands playing tonight – Stone Cold Fiction, Mudlark, Democratus, Incursion, Parallaxis and Today, They Are Older. Arriving at around half seven, the first band is in full swing and filling their surroundings with the noise emitting from their amps. You can even hear it outside, where some are gathered to hear what’s going on. The first few bands are exactly what’s needed to get you in the mood for a night of heavy music, and good laughs. In between sets, I get to catch up with the Parallaxis guys, who are sincerely some of the nicest guys to come out from Southampton. They stand in the crowd supporting and enjoying all the music that tonight brings until that is, they are the ones on stage.
Beforehand, there were a few comments of nervousness, but as soon as the Parallaxis guys take on the stage, they look as if that is where they belong. With a total of five members, the small Moon stage can’t fit them all on, resulting in the singer, James and bassist, Dan in the standing area in front of the stage, but they take it on the chin and take advantage of the space throughout the show. Opening with ‘Malice,’ Parallaxis grip the attention of the room with ease due to their difference in tonight’s show. They get themselves used to their surroundings; the stage and the few dozen eyes glaring at them in anticipation. All of a sudden, the music really kicks off, and the protective layer that held the energy within Parallaxis bursts into life.
One of the most notable things about Parallaxis’s stage presence is their chemistry as band members, glueing together outside of the music they’ve produced. On the forefront of the stage is guitarist and electronics, Ash and his counterpart guitarist, Ben. Behind them, Ewan is tucked nicely into the back with his drums. It’s easy to see how and why they get along as a band so much, previously joking and chatting and overall supporting each other to prepare them for the show. Every now and then, singer James and guitarist Ash share a few smiles throughout the set, and, being the frontman, James really lets himself get comfortable and shows another side to the band by pulling off some old-school dance moves and dad dancing. As the band moved on to the second song, ‘Clarity,’ they really took it in their stride, proving that they are who they portray themselves to be. It’s one thing to have the contrast of aggressive and soft vocals on a recording, but pulling it off live with visually no issue of doing so, is something else. They nailed each and every song – and if there were any differences, the overall fascination of this extraordinary band in front of me, covered it up. With them sounding almost exactly like the recordings, Parallaxis is everything you would expect live. ‘Dissension’ was one of the show’s highlights where the guys really let the music channel through their bodies, with a passion for the music visually available.
With The Moon being a relatively small venue, and a Wednesday night where next doors Fuel paraded a tour bus in front, it was a somewhat quiet show with a few dozen bodies standing in the crowd. It felt like a very intimate show, and the way that Parallaxis performed the music to us allowed us to really immerse ourselves and enjoy it. But it’s easy, after seeing the band live, that somewhere down the line, they’ll be filling rooms and causing mayhem. Their pugnacious music having that extra kick live than in the recordings, with visuals of the band really displaying their emotions, with the bass reverberation climbing up through the soles of your feet and through your body. Not to mention, the electronics and guitar at the start of songs such as ‘Home’ and ‘Dissension’ really gave it that other-worldly feel, and it was a very surreal atmosphere of anticipation, excitement and enjoyment. Euphoric, if you will.
It wasn’t all about latest release, Dissonance though. Parallaxis brought one of their earlier songs – ‘Behind Your Eyes’ – back to life during their time on stage and was well received by the crowd, causing bodies and feet to move involuntarily. There were a few people sitting down, and others stood outside, but in the end, a majority of the crowd stood in front of Parallaxis’ stage and enjoyed what they were getting. It could be because Parallaxis stood-out from the lineup with their different approach to the post-hardcore genre, or it could be because Parallaxis were interactive with the crowd by talking to us, making jokes and letting themselves be themselves instead of a generic hardcore band. Their confidence on stage grew the more and more they played which resulted in a jump-and-twist from Ben himself whilst manning a guitar with both hands and not once losing rhythm or concentration.
Parallaxis continue their tour, hitting The Pit in Swansea before heading back towards Southampton, Hastings and Basingstoke. If you get a chance to see Parallaxis live, then do so. You won’t regret it.