Jack Carty

We had the pleasure of hosting Jack Carty at our place for a Parlour Gig recently. A reshuffle of the furniture allowed for 60 of our family members and friends to squeeze into the lounge room for what proved to be an unforgettable night.

Jack came into our home and we felt like we'd known him for years, chatting about footy, travelling, family, and of course, music. After our guests arrived, Jack was happy to chat and get to know everyone, even offering to help with the serving of food. The 'bring a plate' option worked well for us, and between the sushi, meatballs, pizzas, brownies and cheesecake, we had enough to feed everyone for a year!

Finally, Jack headed up to our makeshift stage strung with fairy lights and candles, and treated us to an amazing performance. For the next hour or so, Jack had us in the palm of his hand, not only with his music, but with the stories and humour that went along with his songs. Some songs were sad, some were happy, but all of them were performed to a hushed audience, captivated by his incredible voice. We heard all of his favourites, and even a couple of new songs - it was a shame our private, intimate concert in our home had to come to an end.

Jack put his guitar down and continued to mingle with our friends, many who had never heard him play before, but were now Jack Carty fans. The feedback we received from family and friends confirmed that this night was truly something special.

Parlour Gigs were a pleasure to communicate with, and were willing to answer any of our questions via email. We would certainly consider hosting a Parlour Gig again. It gave us the opportunity to connect the music we love with the people we love. We are so glad we decided to host a Parlour Gig in our home - it was a truly memorable and magical night.

Review by host, Liv

Gretta Ray

 

At the ripe old age of 18, Gretta Ray has blown us away with her musical talent and maturity, by releasing one incredible song after the other. Here she is, playing an intimate gig at a Church in Watchem last month for Parlour.

A huge thanks to Jarrod for hosting this event!

Want to host your own Parlour Gig? Check out our featured artists for your chance.

Oh Pep!

Oh Pep! are just one of those bands that, without fail, blow you away every time you see them, and their last run of house concerts with Parlour was no exception!
The new tunes Liv and Pep played were an exciting taster of the album to come and the news of playing Glastonbury is a much deserved accolade.
Happy birthday to their first album, Stadium Cake!

Huge thanks to Christina, Richard and Jennie & Jenni for hosting!

See who you can have play at your place
and host your own Parlour Gig!

The Audreys

I've seen The Audreys live before, but this Parlour Gig blew that one away. The intimacy of the venue - a cute little church hall, nestled in the rural village of Hurstbridge - was so special. We sat on the church pews, and down the isles, with banter passing from artist to crowd. They were to be in Wangaratta the next day, and my friend had come specially to see them from Wang! So he happily offered them a lift there - they had other plans, but was a funny exchange. I'm going to another Parlour Gig soon, they're intimate and wonderful! For me, the connection made with The Audreys, as well as her soulful voice, made me fall in love with them and their music all over again.

by Sharyn Mundy

Boy & Bear

Holy goodness, yes, absolutely I’m coming’.  When your friend asks you to come see Boy & Bear play in her living room you don’t ask any questions. By some elaborate means of what I could only assume involved the occult, she had secured one of the country’s most loved and well-bearded folk outfits to perform in the comfort of her own home, and my many years of sub-par banter had somehow scored me an invite. Needless to say, there are less pleasant reasons to drive to Gosford on a Sunday afternoon.

Fresh off a coast-to-coast tour of regional Australia stretching from Albany to Rockhampton, the Sydney quintet had agreed to share one more evening of smooth folk-rock glory with an exclusive group of fifty lucky punters. Witchcraft aside, we had Parlour Gigs to thank for the opportunity, a group facilitating pop up shows in homes around the country, offering a unique live music experience for fans eager to connect with their favourite artists in a more personal setting.

Unsure of what to expect besides an appropriate array of bunting, I arrive at Chloe and Sam’s place with an open mind and a cinnamon scroll as my ticket. There’s a palpable sense of quiet anticipation filling the open lounge room as the band are setting up, there’s a cool breeze easing the December heat and the prospect of a post-gig swim in the river below is on the cards. The crew at Parlour having created a perfect atmosphere with intentionally understated decoration; not attempting to convert the house into a music venue, rather creating a feeling that the band had just popped over for a Sunday arvo jam session.

Dave Hosking and the boys ease onto the makeshift stage, commenting sheepishly on the slight awkwardness of welcoming us into someone else’s home, before launching straight into the syncopated grooves of ‘Limit of Love’, the opening and title track from their latest release. They take us on an unassuming journey through a set of refreshingly familiar tunes, the nostalgia of classic bangers such as ‘Blood to Gold’ stripped back and re-imagined for such an intimate gathering. What starts as subtle toe-tapping gradually evolves into a spontaneous dance floor as the set progresses, the pretence of a typical gig nowhere to be found.  

The show draws to a close but the good times continue into the evening, catching up with old friends made sweeter by a keg of the band's own ‘All Australian Ale’ creation, kindly supplied by Sydney brewery Akasha and aptly named, 'Boy & Beer'. The guys stick around to chat with guests on the balcony, overlooking the river as the sun slowly fades – friendly and humble, they seem as chuffed with the experience as we are. Parlour are onto something special, redefining the nature of live music with a focus on community and connection to create a show I’ll remember fondly for years to come.

Written by Matthew McAlpine
Photos by Rocket K
Video by Glenn Luck & Sam Hodgkins

Fraser A. Gorman

Fraser A. Gorman has almost reached the end of his Parlour Tour, with the last show this Sunday in Preston. I've been to two of Fraser's Parlour Gigs, one in Thornbury at Dave's place and at Julian's place in Cremorne (the latter featured in the video above) and both gigs were a bloody great time! Let's be honest, I'll probably be there again on Sunday.

Julian and his housemates crafted the perfect stage for Fraser; a blue bedsheet hung from an extension cord and a couple of shipping pallets from the construction site next door, beautifully haphazard in its appearance, but practically sound.
Much like Fraser’s music; an eclectic mix of ideas and an intriguing worldview combine to create something surprisingly profound, steeped in charm and wit.
Add in his solid onstage banter and Fraser hand delivers a show that feels like he’s been at it for yonks, an absolute genius at work in the 4x4(ish) m² courtyard amongst the confusing backstreets of Cremorne.

An absolute corker of a tour. Thanks for all the sausage rolls (watch the video ^).

WAMFest

l just happened to be back in Perth when l got the call. One of those classic non-paying jobs… Writing a review for a bunch of bands sitting under the ‘PALOUR GIGS’ umbrella, sheltering from the fierce West Australian sun as part of WAM Festival (Western Australian Music Festival)

The Parlour team ironed out the details over a body bash at city beach, followed by a sandwich at mum’s, and l am ready. Pad of paper, check. Pencil, check. Beer, light of course, check. Esky… or a wine cooler bag, check. Addresses and times, check. And transport?
When l lived over here, a while back now, one of my earliest and favourite gigs was a young band called the ‘GO-STARTS’ who used to play at the broadway tavern, often on a Wednesday night. The Go Starts was the fabulous DOM MARIANI’S first band, his second band ‘THE STEMS’ which he formed with Richard Lane played what I'd call a mixture of 60’s psychedelic surf punk pop, made quite a name for themselves not only in the west but all over this big country of ours.

Anyhow, l used to grab my mum’s bright green mini minor, not the white one with big flowers on the side… l think that was the car before.
I'd drive out to the broadway tavern with a couple of mates, religiously, every Wednesday night.
Many, many years later and here l am, in mum’s car but this time a Suzuki swift, driving out to see Dom jamming with a band called ’THE FLOORS’ and we’re in someone’s backyard, not Wednesday but a sunny Sunday afternoon!
The band is setting up under a back verandah of corrugated iron, with us punters settling into a varied array of chairs randomly arranged with care under a jacaranda tree, sipping our boutique beers. l think to myself where else in the world would a band get sunburned doing a gig but Perth…

Tell you what though, these ageing rockers… it’s as is if god has looked down upon them and said ‘ look, l know it’s been a hard life with fleeting fame and depleted bank accounts, so what I'll do is endow you with good hair, yeah… lots of long jet black rock and roll hair’.
So the band, they looked the part. The lead singer looking vaguely like he could have performed with the RAMONES or MUDHONEY, take your choice.
All dressed in black, with shades and of course the hair. The drummer, well l thought he stole the show with his head rolling as if it wasn’t connected to the rest of his body, and the way he kicked his sticks. He made me think of Keith Moon, he made me think of Elmo.
And then there’s Dom, sporting a cool set of shades reminiscent of Kim Salmon in his ‘Sin City’ days. And they had a double bass, a big thing… how cool was that!
Which again brought Perth connections home, didn’t Phil Kakulas play the double… didn’t we all when we were younger? l know l always wanted to, and that he thankfully still does

The wonderful thing about these gigs is the atmosphere. Like, l don’t know any of these people… l’m a blow-in but from the east, it’s all personal.
This isn’t a pub, it’s someone’s backyard and we’re all there ‘cause we love the music!
So, love the suburban vibe of this thing

Before l know it I'm chatting to Jai, then to Laurie whom dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, hat and glasses makes me think l’m chatting to Hunter S Thompson - but without the gun fetish.
But it’s better than that, he’s the sound guy… l love sound guys, they know everything and everyone. Before l know it l’m filled in on everyone who’s at the gig… over there is the lead singer from ‘TALL TALES’, never heard of them? Well pull your finger out and do some research! And then there’s Greg Dear! Dear Greg!

Of course, as a former West Australian my favourite bands were THE TRIFFIDS, THE SCIENTISTS, THE STEMS, THE TARANTULAS, THE VICTIMS, CHAD’S TREE AND GERMAN HUMOUR - with THE GO-BETWEENS AND THE SAINTS [both of whom l had claimed as honourary sand gropers]
and then there was the ‘HOLLY ROLLERS’. And here he is… in Rosie's backyard!!

Have l discussed the music? Well, l should shouldn’t l?
They played a muddy, bluesy, boogie-woogie, funky 70’s sound with a bit of stomp to it, a bit
Ted Mulry, but way cooler…
Hey l don’t know, I've never done a music review before, I'm just making stuff up here….
And that’s just the first band!

Meanwhile, a footnote….. which is kind of like important information to put you in the picture so to speak. These gigs happened a while back. Late 2016 to be exact, although l realise that really isn’t very exact as such but is about as exact as l like to get. Between then and now l’ve been working tirelessly on my review, which is the bit you have just read.
l saw it as an introduction, the preface, to put you in the mood for the review itself which would have been a cracker of a review… Probably would have opened up new career opportunities for me, it was going to be that good! But those guys at Parlour… They come over as being real nice and friendly… initially. But run a little late on your review… something as minor as a couple of months, things change... There’s one guy, goes by the name of Glenn, though l seriously think that’s just a cover… big hairy tough type, all bad breath, menacing looking [at least the hairy bit is true]. Try telling them about the artistic endeavours of writing the ultimate, consummate, linguistically superlative feat of a good review. It’s like pissing in the wind!
So I need to abbreviate. Cull and record. Phone it in before the printers ink it up… go to press.

So where was l?
We were there at the gig watching ‘THE FOOTS’ when it was decided we needed to get in the car and drive to see the next gig. l was unaware there was a next gig… but there was and it needed to be reviewed and l apparently was the man to review it. l sharpened my pencils and we struck out to find a bottle shop… for directions of course.

So we end up in another Perth backyard. Newer this time. More 70’s, as opposed to 1920’s
kid’s, trampolines, adults and beer, astro turf, bunting and large umbrellas.
Sometimes it’s just that simple. The band had started. Obviously, no one had rung them to tell them the reviewer was running late! The first thing that struck me was that while the band was playing on a little concrete patio, the drummer was playing from within the laundry. Sheer genius! You know that thing that bands have about drummers… Girl drummer?? Boy drummer?? Behind the band, or out in front of the band…?
well this band had solved all those issues in one quick and easy solution… put the bugger in the laundry. Like l said, genius.

The band was ‘RALWAY BELL’. The sound was sparse, down-on-your-luck country.
Imagine you’re driving your rig from Kal to Leonora, your wife’s left you, the banks put a hold on your visa card, your Johnny Cash CD keeps jumping no matter how many times you give it a lick..  and you do like to give it a lick. And the fuzz have just pulled you over, which neatly brings me to the lead singer. He’s a texas ranger, and he’s pulled me over on my highway; he’s kicking my tyre’s, chewing gum, looking at me through his mirrored sunglasses… him and a couple of jet black crows looking for a dodgy tail light.
This is the greatest persona since Iggy… the lone highway cop… fronting a band in a Perth backyard with the drummer in the laundry. l say again… genius.
And of course every great frontman has his foil in the lead guitarist. l swear l have never seen a person in whiter jeans than this particular lead guitarist. l think there may have been some sort of OCD issue with bleach. l make a note to speak to him in person, maybe throw him the line about has anyone talked to him about putting his life story in print… get him to loosen up,
get his tongue wagging.
Tell you what though… you just couldn’t eat a lions club sausage-in-white-bread-with-tomato-sauce-and-mustard from out front of bunnings in jeans that white, the risk would just be too great! There are stories here l can feel it. Stories that need to be told.
Then there was the slide guitar guy….so so ‘TRIFFIDS’… so Evil Graham Lee… so Perth.
These guys need a manager l’m thinking as l’m told we are off again, back to the earlier gig.
Am l living the dream? Driving around the outer-inner suburbs of Perth with a couple of light beers in my mums wine cooler with two bonafide Melbourne groovites in a hired honda!

We arrive to absolutely no fanfare what so ever, these Perth dudes play it cool… l dig that.
l pulled up to be greeted by my new mate Laurie, still with his finger on the pulse.
Mixers are the way to go, they know what’s happening , who it’s happening to and when it’s going to happen. You can always spot the mixer… They’re the ones in loud Hawaiian shirts looking pre-occupied. Laurie who with his shirt, glasses and hat reminded me of Hunter S Thompson without the gun fetish, was now pointing out all the rock celebrities in the crowd. But l was here to see ‘DATURA 4’… Dom, Greg and the band.
They’d just taken the stage and they had a girl drummer… and even better than that, she’s wearing a ‘BIG STAR’ t-shirt. She’s hitting those cymbals like it’s personal. l’m so in its not funny! And the sound… well it was like tasting a good, well-aged red with your lobes rather than the lips.

l’ve got notes taken on the day but l’m the first to admit that by this stage they were illegible and it’s hard to extract any coherent meaning this far down the track.
But l do get strong memories of feeling like l was watching the love child of ‘THE TED MULRY GANG’ with say ‘HOWLIN' WOLF’ with some ‘FATS’ to lubricate the action.
Strutting boogie, funky, rock love… is there such a thing..? Should this be a category at the ARIAS? l at least think so. ‘DATURA 4’ would be up there on my shortlist as hot favourites
and as we left they were beating out ‘CREDENCE’S’ Suzi Q
How good a day is that!?

Tim O'Sullivan

Residual

Residual put the finishing touches on what was a huge 2016, with a stripped back, intimate Parlour Gig on 3rd of December, nestled away in their hometown of Geelong.

Last year, Residual went from strength to strength; with sold-out shows, a regional Victorian tour, a hugely successful residency at The Workers Club in Melbourne, were voted #1 in 5Why’s '5 of the Best Local Live Acts of 2016' and named in Forte Magazine’s '20 Bands in Regional Vic Who Killed it in 2016'. What better way to top it off than a Parlour Gig in their hometown!?

Performing for competition winner, Abby and her enthusiastic friends, the band opened the back-yard show with Haunt and played crowd favourites, as well as merging the worlds of Chet Faker and Taylor Swift with their well known cover of 'Shake It Off / Talk Is Cheap'. The small but energetic audience eagerly sang along to the dulcet, strikingly powerful tones of vocalist Sam Burtt. 

These Geelong-based boys bring an incredible dynamic to the larger stages, which translated beautifully to a smaller space, allowing the audience to soak in the energy, Residual have become known for. The usual banter between Burtt and guitarist Andrew Rankin was a welcome addition, making the audience laugh just as much as they sang. What a way to end the year!

Merryn Jeann

Merryn Jeann singing on Gooch street in Thornbury one breezy Sunday, November afternoon seemed typical of Parlour, it was intimate, slightly haphazard, and unique. As we were rolling into the gig, housemates Coco and Doug brought out huge bowls of homemade curry and salad for everyone to enjoy whilst they chilled and chatted amongst an array of rugs, cushions and sofas clustered around the spot where Merryn would sing.

A fire pit made from the basket of a broken washing machine was a complimentary sight as it lay next to a satellite dish full of ice and beer. As Merryn commenced she was laughing and talking with us in between songs and sporadically introduced Steiner pal and violinist Elle Shimada and trombonist (Fresh from Berlin) Cèsar Ralleyguieb who improvised alongside her, with a playfulness that made it feel as though we were sitting in upon a few musicians hanging out together in their lounge.


Merryn's vocal acrobatics were astounding to me, and her subtle and imagistic lyrics were complemented by the offbeat nature of the gig. Listening to Merryn do a mash-up cover of Kanye and Kendrick in the backyard of an old dentist's office turned share-house in Thornbury isn't how I'd expected to spend my evening, but, thanks to Parlour, it was. Everyone in the audience had that rapt expression you see on people's faces when they find something beautiful in a thrift store. It was out of the way, it was surprising, and, thanks to Merryn and Coco, it was a perfect gig, the kind you don't come across very often.

Words by Rose Barnsley
Video & Photos by Monique Pizzica

Amistat

Jan and Josef of Amistat are a couple genuine Parlour favourites. Host, Jess stumbled upon them busking at Vic Market one day and when she saw they were touring with Parlour jumped at the opportunity to host them.

Aside from a drop or two of rain, it was a perfect evening with some brilliant music from the gents of Amistat.



 

Mick Thomas

Host: Shaun Thomas, Cremorne, VIC

Mick Thomas has been a mainstay of Australian music since the mid nineteen eighties, having released more than twenty records over his career as a solo artist, and with the band Weddings Parties Anything. On a Sunday afternoon at Green Street in Cremorne, the local legend with a colloquial, folky delivery entertained an audience which was representative of many demographics.  Though the sky was tinged with an ominous grey, the rain thankfully held off for the length of his performance on the stained timber deck by the pool in the backyard.

The smell of barbecuing burgers wafted through the residence as afternoon drinks flowed, and a jubilant feeling hung in the air. The house, a gorgeous combination of modern and classical architecture, offered a terrific venue for the performance. The high ceilings, exposed brick and wooden beams across the roof melded perfectly with the uniquely Australian tones and local referencing of Mick Thomas' performance. Deep maroon leather couches in front of a fire place in the lounge provided a comfortable reprise for attendees, the sound from the stage still distinguishable.

The gathered audience absorbed the performance with great respect - the beauty of a Parlour event is not only the intimacy of the show, but the lack of conversational noise pollution that tends to hamper live gigs in traditional venues. A hush stillness and absorption in the set seemed to sweep the outdoor congregation, and every face present was enthralled by the warm, lush tones of the accompanying violin, the gentle, smoky timbre of Mick Thomas' voice, and the spine-tingling two part harmonies throughout.

The arrangement of the space was terrific, and attendees clearly found delight in revelling in the festivities. A true sense of community ran through the crowd, with many a smile being exchanged throughout. Children, teenagers, young adults and middle aged people were all made to feel welcome, allowing for an inclusive and homely experience. The inherently pleasant, laid back nature of a performance such as this was rather apparent. Even as the hush diminished in the back room, taken over by chatter, the deck remained a place of enthralled onlookers, who hung on to Mick's every word, and fell into the embrace of his gently plucked guitar. The occasional glimpse of a V Line or Metro train whizzing past the fence and the map of the Melbourne Botanical Gardens inside served to add a thematic tinge to what was a uniquely Melbourne performance.

Mick Thomas, somewhat grizzled and weathered with striking blue eyes and stubble dotted with distinguished grey hairs, came across as easy going and friendly, the type of bloke you'd love to have a beer with. But as he sings through his lamentations on life and desire, he bares the soul of a poet - finding the delightful or the tragic in the pitfalls of every day life, and seeking the poetic in the prosaic. Even after his decades of performing, Mick's voice sounds crisp and strong, as if he hasn't aged a day since the eighties.

A lyricist who clearly draws his inspiration from his own life and the people around him, the jokes he slips in about Westpac or Eddie Maguire don't escape the audience, who chuckle at each uniquely Australian reference. From having a friend making serious coin working in the mines to getting drunk on a Jetstar flight, the experiences relayed in his songs were all tangible, familiar and resonated with the audience. Sipping on a can of VB, the anecdotal stories Mick told between some of the songs were candid and delightful.

Although the blanket of grey clouds became thicker and somewhat more menacing throughout the show, the jubilant nature of the audience and the friendly intimacy of the performance did not waver for a second. You couldn't ask for a better Sunday afternoon than a backyard barbecue accompanied by a seasoned performer like Mick Thomas.

Quote From Mick Thomas: "The most difficult thing about our show at Green Street was finding a park and getting out through the maze of one way streets and cul-de-sacs. Everything else was easy. The gear seemed to want to work, and the crowd was receptive and spirited. If we wanted a drink or something good to eat that was no problem either. It makes you wonder why at some gigs everything seems so damned hard."

Review by Andrew O'Connor

Video by Sam Rankin

The Grapes

This evening at Nigel’s place in East Brunswick, we would be treated to a live performance of somewhat Australian music royalty. Ash Naylor of 90’s indie rock band, EVEN and alt-country singer-songwriter Sherry Rich, also of garage rock outfit Girl Monstar, joined forces in 1999 to form the psych folk pop duo we'd see tonight; The Grapes.

The merging of Ash and Sherry as The Grapes combines an effortless, jangly 90’s folk pop, with 60’s and 70’s garage, psychedelia, folk and country rock, which is so satisfyingly nostalgic.
The Grapes 1999 self-titled album is such a brilliant landmark for Australian music of the 90’s, it was such a privilege to see theses guys play live.

Jordie Lane & Clare Reynolds

Host, Kath told a story of the first time she heard the Jordie Lane song, ‘I Could Die Looking at You’. She was in a clothing store and when the song came on, everyone in the shop stopped in their tracks and listened. When the song ended the lady at the counter, still in a daydream from the charmingly romantic song, broke the silence, “Imagine someone singing that song to you…

Much like that story, Jordie and Clare Reynolds stopped the whole room in their tracks.
Such a powerfully talented musicians, songwriters and storytellers, Jordie and Clare took us through a journey of old and new tunes, including songs from the latest album, Glasshellland (which ‘A Piece of Land’ in the video above is on).

Jordie is cruising around the country on tour with Parlour for the release of the album.
Definitely pick yourself up a copy.

Melody Pool

Parlour ‘Super Host’ Kath was at it again a couple weeks ago, with yet another house concert to add to her belt. And boy, does she know how it's done!
A crowd of around forty in Kath’s lounge room sitting, listening ever so intently to the perfectly crafted lyrics of Melody Pool.

Melody released her second album, Deep, Dark, Savage Heart earlier this year and it’s raw, honest and incredibly powerful. The title track of the latest album is in the video above to give you a taste of what Melody is capable of. 

"After a few months of feeling underwhelmed, Parlour reignited my love of playing live, and reminded me of the magic of sharing songs and stories with an intimate audience." - Melody Pool