The Howler, Brunswick
Friday, March 7
When I heard that Norwegian pop sensation Mikhael Paskalev was releasing his album What’s Life Without Losers in Melbourne on the 7th of March, I rushed to the computer to pick up some tickets to the show at sweet new venue The Howler in Brunswick.
Before Paskalev hit the stage, indie ghost-folk trio Little May warmed up the eager crowd. Quickly snagging a front row place, we really enjoyed the really well-played set by the band dubbed by triple j radio as “the one to watch in 2014”. Other than a few minor bass amp issues that most of the crowd didn’t recognise due to the intoxicating harmonies, the girls from Sydney really blew me away with their unique sound. Little May is definitely a name to remember, as I have been told their debut EP is set to be released in the next few months.
When Paskalev did arrive at the microphone he kicked things off with a great acoustic version of ‘Susie’. The part-Bulgarian, part-Norwegian’s cheeky sense of humour was clearly evident through the whole set, kissing his guitarist and long-time friend Joseph on the cheek and introducing his song ‘Come On’ as a “song about Chris Brown and Rhianna’s loving relationship”, to which all had a bit of a chuckle, and even whipping out a trumpet.
As ‘Jive Babe’ began, everyone started to dance as it was close to impossible not to get down when the oddly written and crazily catchy song gets played. A handclap joined in by the crowd was a massive highlight of the night, along with Paskalev’s ridiculous harmonica solo in ‘I Spy’, which luckily lasted a bit longer than the short recording to allow room for two more choruses and the harmonica solo.
Back-up singer Billie Van, who has just released her own single ‘I Let You Down’, was outstanding, along with the rest of Paskalev’s interestingly dressed band.
Coming back by himself after the song ‘Dust’ for an encore, performing ‘Hey Joseph’, a song written about his good friend and how one day he will meet a girl and settle down, just showed off his self-confessed “romantic side”.
A brilliant live show, with Mikhael even hanging around to have a bit of a chat with fans afterwards.
Written by Oliver Friend
Mikhael Paskalev [live review]
The Howler, Brunswick