Finally, I found a music addition to ring in the New Year! Ever since January, I had been patiently waiting to see a good show to brag about. As chance would have it, last week a new band helped me sate that craving. These guys and girls were actually supposed to meet with me before the New Year; however, we never were able to get around to it. Luckily, an opportunity came for us to finally meet at Rockwood Music Hall during its Communion Club Night. I caught them for a little bit right before their performance that night and they gained me as an immediate fan. Not only are they superb people, their music is fresh ear candy for 2015.
I met with this astounding crew who call themselves Parlour Tricks. Recently voted New York’s best pop group of 2014 by the Village Voice, Parlour Tricks do not fail to impress. On this night, the New Yorkers offered a glimpse into their unique and original sound. Before I get into our chat, let me give you a little background. They are a six-piece band with a wonderful set up. Formerly known as Lily & The Parlour Tricks, lead singer-songwriter Lily Cato takes the spotlight. Three fellas take the helm with the instrumentation with three ladies who grace us with their overwhelming voices supported by Supremes style choreography. Brian Kelsey (bass and keys), Terry Moore (drums) and Angelo Spagnolo (guitar) make up the dudes. As for the ladies, they consist of Lily Cato, Morgane Hollowell and DeeDee Golub (gorgeous women all). Together, they bring a stunning musical flair that is perfect for a chilly night in New York City.
I arrived early at Rockwood, which was a good thing considering I had to wander around the block to get into the guest entrance. Almost slipping on ice along the way, I made it safely to the door. Once inside the venue, tons of New Yorkers were happily drinking and wandering around the place going to and fro from the 3 different stage performances that night. Rockwood even had some acts playing on a projector for guests to enjoy as they entered. Brian was the first of them to greet me as I sat on a barstool. With a big grin on his face he welcomed me to the space and informed me that they are no strangers to Rockwood, they are regulars there. Next came DeeDee, who with her astonishing smile made me feel right at home. Before you knew it, the entire band came swarming around me and said hello! We sat around one of the bar tables and we began chatting. Coming from all walks of life and from various places, the team that makes up Parlour Tricks found a community with each other. It was plainly obvious that these guys and girls loved hanging around one another. Throughout the interview they were constantly laughing, beaming and trailing off onto other stories and antics that made them a unit. One antic in particular, that seemed to pop up both in the interview and in their performance, was the use of the shaka sign. Bearded Angelo was no stranger to it and was always the one to make us all laugh.
Parlour Tricks are classified under the genre pop rock, but they are more than just that. Between the six of them, they adopt an eclectic palate. “We have so many similar music tastes yet we are so different. We are always trying to piece together the things we like and mix them together,” remarks the glamorous Lily. Even though it may sometimes be a struggle, the results are perfect. From Terry’s drumming to Angelo’s guitar playing, iconic music is made. Every tune offers a unique collaboration of funk, pop, rock and a sliver of other classic genres like blues and jazz. If one listens carefully, Parlour Tricks breaches a genre divide that includes a bit of everything. More on this later when they come on stage.
Parlour Tricks have been frequent visitors to the East Coast and the Southern United States over the years. They will be at SXSW this year and are constantly playing out. An ideal next step would be to venture out west and claim the hearts of the Cali folks. For now, the band tends to stay local; in fact, one of their craziest shows was in Central Park in the freezing cold. “We were completely underdressed and had to try our best to perform well,” shares the lovely Morgane who seems to have a happy go lucky nature about her, which makes her instantly likeable. Angelo chimes in, “however, it would be awesome to perform at Madison Square Garden while it is empty,” which raised the eyebrows from Terry with chuckles from the others that followed. When the company is not jamming they are visiting art galleries, making documentaries and simply loving life. We moved onto the Super Bowl and how they all loved Missy Elliott’s performance. Brian confidently helped me figure out that the giant lion / tiger that Katy Perry was riding was actually a puppet. For those of you who are wondering, Jon Stewart and Martin Short had an argument on the Daily Show on that point and I brought it up with Brian who cleared it up. Sadly, before we could go into more detail, the group had to go prepare for their set. With pats on that back and thank you’s, Parlour Tricks prepared to do what they do best.
I was more than eager to see this show. Cramming my way through the tight crowd, I made it to the bar, grabbed a drink and patiently waited for Parlour Tricks to entertain. First to arrive to the stage, which was tinted red thanks to the wall behind, were the men who began to tune up their instruments. A short while later the ladies, all garbed in gorgeous black dresses made their way on the stage in front of three microphones. Lily had a different dress on with a very sexy ‘v’ cut that made way for an elegant diamond necklace that had all the fellas in the audience fascinated. Before you knew it, they began to make music magic.
Most of their music starts with a chill groovy tune that almost ties into a form of a psychedelic escape. I closed my eyes many times and got lost in a dreamland. Almost as soon as you enter that dream, Parlour tricks takes you on a thrill ride of rock and pop. The boys are totally engulfed in it all while the ladies keep it classy and seductive. Every single one of them was in sync and you could not help but be in the mood to dance a bit. Listeners alike were stuck in a trance that immediately sent them on a soul jam through a vast coolness. Parlour Tricks were a force to be reckoned with that night. My favorite song of theirs, that I was overjoyed that they played, “Lovesongs,” is a perfect example of the band’s style. No matter what, your foot starts tapping in a second. “Lovesongs” was on repeat for me the next day, as I kept thinking about how well they performed it live. Lily’s epic voice captures you while you glance over at DeeDee and Morgane dancing with smiles plastered on their faces. DeeDee may have been one of my favorite performers of the night because she always smiled while she was singing and you could just tell she was having a blast. The fellas jam away in a passion that makes you want to join them in rocking out. All the folks that evening were bouncing around and sharing the passion, I guarantee it. Oh yeah, towards the end of their set, Parlour Tricks did a cover of Nine Inch Nails’, “Closer,” which made me fall in love with them even more. What a show!
All in all, Parlour Tricks are New York City’s new favorite band that you must see. Yes, I may be biased, but these guys and gals have a bright future ahead of them. Take a listen and become addicted. Hopefully, people will get to see the fun and happiness that they share through their art. Feel free to dance along! Parlour Tricks are a breath of fresh air for 2015 and I for one am very excited to see where they go.