I was pretty chuffed to receive an email from Brunswick based blues man, Tom Dockray after our launch the other week. Inspired by images of our launch, Tom wanted to transform one of the bedrooms of the share-house he inhabits into a venue for one night.
His set-up was simple. Some cheap tea-light candles, some fairy lights on the floor.
You don't need much.
A small crowd of Tom's friends gathered on Sunday for a magical evening. I actually didn't know anyone at all when I arrived. But I quickly realised it mattered not. Within 2 minutes, I had a beer in hand (thanks Tom), and was settling down on a pillow on the floor for the evening's performance.
First up was Patrick Wilson. His soulful voice (reminiscent of early Van Morrison) really sounded huge. We all like reverb, and Patrick genuinely seemed to be enjoying the way his big voice bounced off the walls of the White Room. His songs were excellent. Plenty of stories about love found and love lost. Even a murder ballad. Check this guy out.
In between sets, people topped up drinks, while Tom played a few 90's numbers to lighten the mood - Spice Girls, even Christine Anu's 'My Island Home' made the playlist. Very nice Tom.
Next was Baby Blue. Though claiming that she 'doesn't do this kind of thing very often', she seemed perfectly composed as she began her set in the White Room. Her quiet and understated voice worked beautifully with her delicate and at times, very funny songs. She also played a beautiful old Parlor guitar which suited the alt country feel of her music. Check her out.
When Tom Dockray kicked off with his up-beat, finger picked blues, it was really cool to hear people in the room singing along to his songs. By now the sun had gone down, and the tiny tea-light candles cast a pretty spooky, but very fitting, shadow on the wall behind him as his feet shuffled to his music. His songs are dark and dirty - songs about murder, criminals, outlaws - that kind of thing. But it all works so well. Especially in this setting. Check out 'Comedown Town'.
The final act for the night was the remarkable Monique Shelford. I spoke to her just before her set and her talking voice was barely audible. She was noticeably a little worried about the prospect of headlining this little house gig. Almost like magic though, her beautiful, full voice arrived in all its melancholy splendour. Monique's moody, sensual soul music was the perfect way to end a beautiful night. Check her out.
This evening I was reminded of the magic and importance of Parlour. Talking to Tom about our mutual love of house concerts in between sets he said, "This is the future." I couldn't agree more. There is a movement happening. Music is coming home.
Parlour's mission is to connect artists and music lovers like never before. And we are on our way to doing that.
Thanks for having us Tom!