It’s late May, just shy of winter and Tilly Riches from Shoreham is decorating. Her much loved weatherboard home is due to be renovated and the family have decided to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new with an event unlike anything they have had before. Tilly has booked local musician Jack the Fox to support Melbourne crew The Teskey Brothers through the Parlour online booking platform at her home – and the buzz is palpable. There are hay bales, lanterns, tea lights and the fire pit in the yard is ready to roar, egg and bacon rolls are set for brekkie the next morning (for those who will be camping overnight) and her full-time musician partner Justin Lewis (from Jack the Fox) has set up the acoustics. Ready, set, go.
Fast forward to June and I ask Tilly and the founder of Parlour Matt Walters what’s the verdict on all this in-house musician ship. Is it the way of the future and if so, how successful can gigging really be inside someone’s home and not in a traditional pub or club setting? (You do realise that Aussie icons Crowded House decided to play acoustic sets for industry insiders and small crowds at ethnic restaurants and in record stores to get noticed instead of doing large and expensive tours in the 80s?)
Accomplished singer/songwriter Matt explains. “I realised there was a gap in the Aussie music industry and decided to look for a new music model. Many musicians are tired of playing in the traditional forums and deserve to be paid like all working artists. We ensure each artist receives a minimum of $300 per gig while the average is $550 for a 45-60minute session. Gigs are safe and the audience are there to listen. There are often no PAs so the music sounds raw and really beautiful. It’s a win/win situation for artists and hosts and has been well received Australia wide.” Tilly continues. “We had a cap of 70 people and sold 50 tickets (of which the artists get 90%). We supplied food but you can ask people to BYO drinks and bring a plate. It’s flexible and lots of fun. I’d definitely do it again.”
“There are no bouncers or excessive drink prices either”, says Matt “and all you have to do is log on to our website, sign up, fill in a form and find a musician in your area. Once they accept, you get your tickets and start preparing for your gig. It’s that easy. Plus you get to hang out with the musicians after they’ve finished playing.” “And the party can go on for as long as you like”, says Tilly.
To book your next in-house Parlour gig just log onto www.parlourgigs.com and get the ball rolling.
Sounds like a sweet deal.