It’s not often that you get to see one of the best unsigned bands of your youth come back and play a reunion show. Even better when that band is the power house that is Paraffin Oil Shop. Seemingly on the brink of springboarding their way into the top flight with record deals waiting in the wings, it was announced exactly four years ago to the date of their comeback gig that the dream was over.
I had the pleasure of recording some of the band’s earlier material back in 2009 before I headed off to uni, armed with nothing but a dodgy copy of Cubase and two PA stands with a duvet draped over the top. We somehow managed to scrape a four track EP together in the basement of The Appo in Widnes and the resulting recordings were uploaded to Myspace. It is still to this day one of the most exciting and fun projects I’ve ever worked on.
Since then each of the four lads have had the chance to hone their craft with a multitude of other bands. Yarbo, The Wild The Youth, Jazzhands, Bisch Nadar, Coffee And Cakes For Funerals. The list can go on for quite a while but no matter what there would always be talk of ‘getting the band back together man’ and it almost became the norm to bring up the prospects of a Paraffin Oil Shop reunion. Every now and then there would be a setlist posted up on Facebook or rumours of a practice session being booked which would give hope to the many fans the band had gathered over the years.
Whilst I was stepping in to play piano on tour with Yarbo last year, it just so happened that all four members of Paraffin were reunited on stage in anger for the first time, albeit in a different band. With some spare time left over after sound check they decided to try out one of the old songs (whilst I tried my hardest not to fanboy all over the place) and, ignoring a few missed cues for obvious reasons, it seemed like they slipped straight back into where they left off. Eyebrows were raised and, just perhaps, maybe it was actually possible a come back might be on the cards?
One year later and it’s official. The poster goes up advertising the return of Paraffin Oil Shop, live at Leaf in Liverpool for Halloween. There was no way I was going to miss this and, after four years of waiting, I wasn’t the only one. The masses descended throughout the night in full fancy dress costume and a roaring response greeted the band as they burst into life, taking us all on a nostalgia trip back to the start of the decade. It’s often easy to get caught up in the past and only remember the good bits, but when it’s as good as this it’s not hard to see why.
However, now that we’ve finally had the ‘When are Para getting back together?’ question answered, we’ve been left with an even better one. What happens next?