“I spilt my drink on the first song” Lily Nussbaum said with a laugh. Yes it was that kind of Tuesday night at Mercury Lounge, as Lily and the Parlour Tricks got everyone rowdy enough to dance around to their gritty pop tunes in the later hour of a school night. The venue was pretty packed for a stormy summer night. Not surprising though, Lily and the gang always seem to bring a crowd wherever they perform here in the city. They’ve steadily built their live show and reputation to the point of becoming one of NYC’s more popular unsigned bands. The Lower East Side venue was their spot of choice for their only show in their hometown this summer, and they didn’t disappoint.
I’ve seen this band a handful of times over the past year and a half, but until this show, I hadn’t seen them since CMJ last fall. They’ve made some noticeable changes since then, including some new instrumentation into their arsenal, including drum/beat machines and synths. The three girls- Lily, Morgane, and Darah have always carefully coordinated their matching outfits, but the fellas have seemed to join the party as they donned matching leather jackets for the event. We’ll see what Joan Rivers and the fashion police have to say about this one but in my book they looked good to go.
As good as the band has been in the past, this time they showed energy and on-stage charisma I hadn’t seen before. You could tell they’ve grown as a unit and as performers, most likely picked up from time spent on the road as of lately. As they blew throughout their array of fm friendly songs I could also tell the band has revamped some of their older originals to have more of a pop-feel to them. Hearing them almost sounded like a new band, with tempos and instrumentation that they hadn’t used in the past bringing older songs a new life. It’s clearly a new sound the band is ready to use to take on the pop charts. The band played until just past midnight, and the eleven-song set consisted of songs they’ve been chipping away at for years in ‘Little Angel’, ‘Choke’, and ‘Gone’, mixed with some of their newer singles in the ballsy, power bass-riff driven ‘Belle Gunness’ and ‘Requiem’.
While the ladies of the group provide the sight for the drunk eyes to watch every show, the fellas who provide the instrumentation and the heavy contrast to the female vocalists have earned the right to take a step into the spotlight and show what they can do as well. The third song in the set, ‘Bukowski’ featured a dark and grungy guitar solo from the band’s axe man Angelo Spagnolo. The ladies even gave the boys their own stage to perform a 3-piece group solo which was nothing short of mastery wrapped in madness. It was great to see the other half of the machine show how talented and tight they are.
Article by Tom Shackleford