Studio 7, located on High Level road in Sea Point, Cape Town, is the brainchild of Patrick Craig who hosts a different artist/band in his living room each week and welcomes 60 ticket holders into his home to experience an event that’s pretty unique to Cape Town in terms of its conceptualisation.
I checked out their website before Monday night’s “secret gig” and what impressed me the most was their Wall of Fame. It boasts some serious musical talent for a concept evening that hasn’t even been running a full year.
Now Patrick’s been trying to get me to come out to his shindig for at least a month now and on Monday night, I finally caved. Plus I was so intrigued by the word “secret” being gooied around in reference to the band in question that my curiosity got the better of me.
SURPRISE, IT’S THE PARLOTONES.
En cue Giant Mistake jokes. Nah, I kid. I promised myself that I was going to attempt to be objective here.
Arguably the biggest band in South Africa when it comes to record sales and popularity (and I use the word “popularity” very lightly here because there’s a very obvious split when it comes to how the general public feels towards the foursome) The Parlotones don’t perform just anywhere. For anyone. Or for any fee.
What floored (har har) me, was the fact that they played Studio 7 free of charge to five dozen people, none of whom paid for a ticket. It was all a hush-hush email guest list kinda vibe.
They opened with ‘Beautiful’ and followed with ‘Giant Mistake’ and I’m sure someone saw me roll my eyes when Kahn explained that ‘Life Design’ almost didn’t make it onto the album, but was the song that gave them the most commercial success overseas. It was also used in a Suzuki ad. I smell free motorbikes. Kahn confirmed it.
In all honestly, when he’s not oooing and ahhhing like a bloody seagull, the Morbs has some decent vocal chops. Him and Glenn were churning out impressive harmonies, especially on the tunes from their upcoming album. Speaking of which…
‘Suitcase For A Home’ is going to be huge. I’m calling that shit now. It’s got an upbeat, folky undercurrent to it and is completely different to anything I’ve heard on ‘Stardust Galaxies’ or ‘A World Next Door to Yours’. Yes, I have actually listened to these albums.
Now because Studio 7 is essentially Patrick’s home located in an apartment block, there will always be a nosey fuckwit neighbour who will complain about the noise. Thankfully, the policeman that came to call happened to be a huge Parlotones fan and left without a word after catching a few songs.
After the barrage of new tunes came to an end – it’s rather refreshing to hear a Parlotones song that I don’t have preconceived notions towards – they closed with ‘Push Me To The Floor’ but when the MILFs got up and started swaying those semi-geriatric hips, I decided (a little too late) to draw the line.
Now I might be stating the obvious here when I say that I’m all about the underdog and for me, this night was not so much about The Parlotones as it was about Patrick Craig. This man’s taken something that started off as an impromptu jam session and has transformed it into an evening I have no doubt will grow into something lucrative and personally fulfilling for him.
I look forward to the next one.