Saturday, January 18, 2020Light Snow -5°C

Dukes of the Archipelago + Parlovr @ Bar St. Laurent 2

Posted by Olivier / January 27, 2008


Thursday night was cold all over the city. But in the barely heated St. Laurent Bar 2 on St. Viateur, I actually had to keep my winter gear on as I watched the Dukes of the Archipelago and Parlovr perform. While I will be the first to admit I am a West Coast coward who puts on an impossibly large jacket at the first hint of cold in November, I was not the only one in the bar still wrapped in my jacket. And the lead singer of the Dukes himself remarked that it was so cold outside he probably couldn’t have been convinced to leave his house even if his favourite band was playing.

poster3.jpgIt was no surprise, then, that there were only slightly fewer people on stage over the course of the night as there were patrons in the crowd. Both bands tried their best to make the most of the situation with spirited performances, but I couldn’t help but feel that neither group was at the top of their game. Parlovr may have stolen the show from the headlining Dukes, with their reckless style surprisingly entertaining and toe-tappingly good at the same time. The fact that the keyboardist also simultaneously plays a guitar, managing rarely to hold on to both instruments, pretty much sums up the chaotic charm of Parlovr.

Dukes of the Archipelago had some good moments for their part, but it seemed that this larger, five-piece band was at times struggling to justify their size relative to the small group of freezing people watching them. The band was best when the third guitarist stopped providing a somewhat redundant third guitar and switched to his horn, accordion, and other instruments, giving their music an orchestral, Beirut -esque sound that seemed more befitting of the number of people on stage. That the Dukes were occasionally punching below their weight was made more evident in contrast to the spryness of the three-member Parlovr. However, it was nice to see that, if the Dukes were perhaps a slightly bloated band given the circumstances, each member of the group is there because the band is an organic concoction of friends and confidantes. I am sure that their chemistry would provide better results in a more charged venue.

If anyone out there has been to a packed show at the St. Laurent Bar, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how it is as a venue, especially on a night when I wouldn’t have to drink my Grosse Biere with gloves on.

Photos from Dukes of the Archipelago and Parlovr myspace



Jer / January 28, 2008 at 10:38 am
Thanks for braving the cold to review the show. You do sound like a bit of a west coast baby though, cuz seriously, after one or two grosse bieres, does something as silly as temperature even matter? Nope. Just rock.
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