Pourparlour + Albert Salt + Tom Milek – The Toff In Town (21.09.11)


Catcthing the last few songs of Albert Salt’s set was one of those special live music moments when you realise you’ve just walked in on something incredibly amazing. Albert Salt does the one-man-band thing very well and his eclectic arrangements that involve a hedonistic mix of jazz, classical and electronics were a pleasure to witness. He is an obscenely talented man who possess a healthy dose of charisma and charm with his genteel manner winning the crowd over. Now would be an excellent time to jump on board his band wagon.

Local troubadour Tom Milek plays integral, heartfelt tunes that are brimming with whimsy and adolescent nostalgia. There is a strength is his music that unfortunately is not done justice by his live persona. Milek is earnest and softly spoken but he lacks the intensity and vocal prowess to really impress. Big props to the man for playing his heart out in spite of a cold, but this is one artist who would greatly benefit from a backing band to bulk out the arrangements and make the music more interesting as his solo performance was rather underwhelming.

Once upon a time there was a band called Drugs In Vegas who completely evolved their sound and their band name to match their new musical direction. Now playing under the moniker Pourparlour, Michael McKay and co. are all grown up and have thrown some banjo and mandolin into the mix to the extent that their live show was almost unrecognisable as the band I saw playing a support slot at the Workers Club over a year ago.

Live Pourparlour have an engaging presence and a poignant, sweeping sound that was intensified by their vibrant energy. The band are all good musicians and their mix of shoe-gaze and melodramatic balladry made for a pleasant set. Highlights of the show included cracking renditions of “Everything Is Better”, “Studying Clouds” and a charming Bob Dylan cover that was dedicated to their friend Samuel who had recently been involved in a car accident. To complete their tribute some of his artwork was on display in the band room, which made for a very moving moment.

All in all Pourparlour put on a solid performance that was entertaining and fun. They have a good sound and are definitely a band I would care to see again.