By Christian Pisasale
Before beginning this article I would like to clarify that this is not an exhaustive list. There are not only 5 reasons to host a Parlour gig this summer. Maybe there are 6? Maybe there are more than 6. Unlikely. There are 6 reasons. Why am I only writing 5? Because Matt Walters, founder of Parlour and universally accepted tall human, told me to. Odd? Sure. Matt knows perfectly well that there are 6 reasons to host a Parlour gig this summer. He was emphatic that I only write 5 though. I don’t know why. He seemed very stressed when he asked me to write the article. A stress born out of the realisation that this summer is surely going to be Parlour’s biggest. I can say that without being hyperbolic because this will be Parlour’s first FULL summer since launching last January. As 2015 reaches it’s inevitable end, we ask that you take a moment and reflect on what surely is PARLOUR’S BIGGEST YEAR EVER (once again, only been running for one year). A year of only highs, Parlour has seen everyday nobodies (like you) transform into somebodies the moment they chose to become a Parlour host.
Below are the only 5 Reasons why YOU should host a Parlour Gig this Summer.
1) Express Yourself:
The most beautiful thing about a Parlour Gig is that no two are ever alike (that is of course unless you deliberately attempt to replicate the gig in spite of me). Each event captures the character of both artist and host. Want your guests to relax atop couch cushions and feast upon a combination of Indian styled tapas whilst sipping on your interpretation of white sangria? Just do it. Now, add the haunting harmonies of 3 piece Avaberée or, maybe, the sun is shining in a very particular way this summer and you’re in the mood for some of Dane Tucquet’s alt-country submarine blues. Ultimately, a Parlour Gig is a shared expression. Instead of heading to Fonda Mexican (again), you can join the growing Parlour community who are painting different portraits every night. Let your imagination run wild. Personally, I know that I’ll never forget attending my first Parlour gig where Jess Ribeiro captured and silenced an excitable bunch who had gathered in a backyard somewhere in Northcote. The hosts had designated their bathtub as a makeshift esky and freshly baked, homemade pizzas were being handed to guests on wooden boards. As the afternoon disappeared and the sun set, a very special, almost symbiotic relationship formed between artist and audience. I’ll take that night over another Adobo Chicken burrito.*
2) Show off your holiday gifts!
Summer is indeed the festive season. Be you religious. Be you non-religious. Whoe'er you be. One thing is for certain, there will an exchange of gifts. We here at Parlour want to encourage you to use your gig as a sort of show and tell. Whether you’re showing everyone a killer sleeper move on your new yoyo or wearing that pair of denim overall’s that you very incorrectly thought would look good on you, a Parlour gig is a space for sharing. Share new stories, share old stories. Make use of those newly purchased festive jumpers by recreating December 25 again on January 25. Ask Parlour for an artist specialising in carols, we’ll find you one. If you’d rather choose to celebrate the multi-nationality of Australia on January 26, then why not host a Parlour gig and very specifically request your artist to not play any John Farnham. The choice is yours.
3) Guilt Free Gigs!
Facts are facts. Being a musician today is both a blessing and a curse. Not only has social media and music streaming facilitated widespread distribution of an artist’s music but it’s also provided equally as much space for other musician’s to share their work. As downloading, education and production becomes easier to access, the music market has become super-saturated with new content. For us, the audience, this is an amazing thing. We’re given the opportunity to discover a new musician everyday. Unfortunately, this super-saturation breeds a sad reality for musicians; choose to incessantly and shamelessly self-promote to survive or hope that you’re one of the lucky few to be happened upon by the right person. The even sadder reality is, after selling yourself for your music, you will likely never turn enough of a profit to even consider music as a part time job. For many, playing music live reaps the same rewards as would a hobby.
The Parlour community is made up of musicians and creatives alike. Those who have shared the aforementioned sad reality. Those that want every musician to be appreciated for their work and accordingly rewarded. When you host a Parlour gig, the overwhelming majority of ticket sales ends up in the pocket of the musician. Alongside this financial benefit, the musician is playing to an intimate crowd of people who have bought tickets, not because they have given into relentless cajoling, but because they genuinely wanted to.
Parlour is an exponentially growing community. Attend one Parlour gig and you’ll likely attend another. It’s addictive. It encapsulates those comforting things in life. Eating, drinking, listening to music. Look around at a Parlour gig and you’re not staring blankly at a sea of anonymous heads blocking your view, rather, they’re the faces of friends. Don’t stare at them for too long though. Honestly, stop staring. Whether you’ve known these people for a number of years or simply a number of hours, a Parlour gig is a space for connections to be made and explored. What better time to share drinks with friends and enjoy live music than in the brilliant warmth of a late summer afternoon or evening.
5) Music… makes the people… come together!
In this short article I’ve spent more than enough time preaching about how wonderful a Parlour gig can be. Words have been said. Most have been meant. Stories have been told. Some true. Ultimately, a Parlour gig will speak for itself using as few words as possible. When you first experience live music in such an intimate setting, it’s stunning. For those brief few hours you are a part of each artists story. Strip the music back, take away the luxuries musicians can often find themselves trapped in and the space encourages artists to expose themselves. Maybe they experiment with a new way to play their most recognisable song. Perhaps they want to play without being amplified. Maybe they welcome you into their genius and explain how their writing process works. Every Parlour gig promises to be an individual experience. It’s all about the music. When you host a Parlour gig, you provide your guests with an alternate platform for listening, understanding and appreciating the processes of music (all while eating pizza on some comfy seats with your mates).
Make sure you act quick and book your Parlour Gig this summer.
*For the record, I really like Fonda Mexican.