Back You are here: Home Reviews Gig Review: Mikhael Paskalev @ Alhambra Lounge 4/3/2014

Gig Review: Mikhael Paskalev @ Alhambra Lounge 4/3/2014

High off his recent success in Australia, Norwegian singer-songwriter Mikhael Paskalev popped his Brisbane cherry on Tuesday with an intimate show at Fortitude Valleys Alhambra Lounge.

Paskalev, whose star has been on the up and up ever since the release of his hit single ‘I Spy’, had simply advertised his opening act as ‘special guests’. Not knowing what to expect when I entered the venue I was greeted to a humongous crowd all politely listening to Little May.

The Sydney trio treated the audience to a heady mix of light pop and indie groove. Carried by the insistent, galloping drum line the band produced a sound reminiscent of The Waifs and Angus and Julia Stone. Having already released a number of singles; Little May played with the slickness of a band twice their experience and reassured the crowd in their decision to turn up early.

After an unusually long sound check Paskalev trundled on stage looking like Bruno Mars decided to up and become a hipster. Although the stage was set up for a whole band Paskalev began with an acoustic number off his latest album ‘What’s Life Without Losers’.

Suddenly all the fuss being made about this little know Norwegian made sense, Paskalevs vocals were absolutely on point and it was mind blowing to hear a live song that sounds identical to the recording. Well, it would have been identical if there wasn’t a group of hard-core fan girls screaming along to every lyric. Unfortunately, this was an ongoing occurrence throughout the night.

After his first song Paskalev brought his full band on stage to begin the more upbeat portion of the night. It wasn’t until his fourth song, a track called ‘Brother’ that Paskalev started to unleash the ska-ish, soul influence flavour that is so prominent on his album.

Then it was the song everyone was waiting for; ‘I Spy’ made the more despondent members of the crowd light up and made those fan girls go absolutely, freaking nuts. It was an awesome song, heavy on harmonica and crowd sing-alongs but after it finished the vibe in the room seemed to lessen a little.

His backing band really supported Paskalev and created the rounded sound that made the music shine. Although the music sounded polished and perfect I would liken the whole experience to eating wafers. It’s extremely enjoyable but you come to realise that there is no real substance behind it all. The whole show seemed to be run off a script, a well rehearsed script, but a script nonetheless. 

Mikhael Paskalev’s album is to be released in Australia on the 7th of March and if you dig the album make plans to catch a show in the future because rumours are flying that this may not be Paskalev’s only visit to Australia this year.

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