By Opheli Garcia Lawler
Parlour Tricks performed at the Chelsea Market this past Friday, September, 18th, in a small space, yet they drew in a large crowd. The event was hosted by Paper Garden Records, and in a small corner in the middle of one of the wide halls of the markets, a tangle of cords, drums, mike stands and guitars formed an oasis. At exactly 8 pm, Lily Cato and her harmonizing band members took to the tiny stage area and opened with one of their older more country western styled songs. Lily Cato’s voice has far reaching range, and as she crooned she seemed to draw some inspiration from the stylings of Shania Twain.
The next few songs built themselves in tempo and changed genre. The performance was watching the stylistic and lyrical development of Lily Cato, while her band supported and enhanced her visions with strong background vocals, and instrumentals that never overpowered the knockout delivery of Lily’s crooning.
The harmonization of the band went past music. Each member had on shiny gold shoes, and the ladies, who all sang, all coordinated dance moves and hand gestures which added emphasis and energy to the show. When asked, Lily said their appearance was a work in progress:
“Overtime, definitely we had to work on [our stage presence]… I watched an old video online, and it wasn’t bad, but it was so stiff, and once we started to have more fun with the music, everything else started to fall into place.”
The close space also allowed for observation on the band’s dynamic. Even if there were minor flubs in dance coordination, or an incorrect note played, the group seemed to have a cohesiveness and a “go with the flow” attitude, an overall demeanor that showed they were in the show together. That is an important asset to a band that is dominated by a woman who could easily steal most spotlights.
“We went to the New School [NYU’s] bitter rival…and we started playing together and the more I wrote the more I started to hear a different harmony. And the boys tried to sing, but it didn’t go so well, and that’s when I knew I needed two more band members.”
Those two members were Darah Golub, and Morgane Moulherat, each extremely talented vocalists in their own right. Brian Kesley plays bass guitar, Terry Moore is on drums, and Angelo Spagnolo plays guitar.
The show ended with a mashup covers that were was pure fun. Afterwards the band lined up to sell their own merchandise, signing copies, and receiving many hugs. As a band that formed while all six members attended the New School, here in New York City, they had many people who came up to them that had been following their work long before they started going on tours to London, which they are slated to do in the coming week.
On the small spaces and and the growth of the band Lily Cato said:
“I feel like we’ve played, in the time that we’ve been together, we’ve played in every possible space [and] configuration. For a while when we started playing bigger spaces we didn’t know what to do, because I was so used to whipping an arm out, and hitting one of them.”
Overall the show was a small but sweet success, nestled into the corner of a usually bustling market. It is certain though, is that Parlour Tricks belongs on a much big stage, because with artistic vision and development like theirs, they will soon be playing for much bigger audiences.
Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Highlighter Staff Columnist. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org