Monday, October 24, 2011

New Chapter For The Apartments


Peter Milton Walsh is The Apartments.

The Apartments releasing new material is rare. The Apartments gigging is rarer still. Tonight the reclusive Milton Walsh came to Melbourne's Toff to launch 'Black Ribbons', released by Chapter Music. The former Brisbane gentleman came out to sing... and chat.

Originally part of the Qld music culture that gave us The Go-Betweens and Ed Kuepper, who formed Laughing Clowns, (Milton Walsh spent fleeting moments in both those bands too), the melancholy poet has been mostly ignored here while gathering a respectable following in France.

The Apartments set was sparse musically but opulent in content. Backed with just a few players supplying backing vocals, trumpet, guitar and drums (former Moodist and current Lurid Yellow Mist, Clare Moore), the band swept through decades of romantic bittnerness. Inbetween songs Milton Walsh spun entertaining, tangental yarns that make the stage banter of Jarvis Cocker and Dave Graney (who was in attendence) seem like brief public announcements in comparison.

There were stunning versions of 'Sunset Hotel' (from 1985's The Evening Visits... released on Rough Trade), 'The Goodbye Train' (from 1995's Drift) and the new single. A tender reading of 'Mister Somewhere' closed the night and Milton Walsh left the stage leaving all those troubadour-come-latelies in his immaculately-preserved dust.

Listen to 'Black Ribbons', a duet with French singer Natasha Penot (of Grisbi); the Autumn Mix is by ex-Go-Between John Willsteed. Also here, a cover of 'Mister Somewhere' by This Mortal Coil and 'Help' from The Apartments first EP in 1979 (released on Able Label, also home to The Go-Betweens' debut 'Lee Remick').

Order 'Black Ribbons' here.
black ribbons (Autumn mix) by The Apartments

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