On Sunday, August 2, 2015, Parlour Bells enjoyed the distinct honor of performing as the supporting act for a newly reformed Culture Club featuring all four of its original core members (Boy George, Mikey Craig, Jon Moss, Roy Hay) at Boston’s Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in the City’s thriving Seaport district. In a strange coincidence, Parlour Bells singer and principal songwriter Goddamn Glenn learned about the booking via group text message as he was making his way to the Pavilion to catch The Smashing Pumpkins / Marilyn Manson concert 5 days before the Culture Club show would take place. The 2014 Boston Music Awards nominee for Live Artist of the Year, Parlour Bells leapt at the opportunity to open for the iconic, New Romantic legends most famously known for their hits “Karma Chameleon,” “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” “Time (Clock of the Heart)” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya.”
The band welcomed its cadre of faithful photographers to the event and helped secure them access to the Pavilion’s photo pit as a token of thanks for all their coverage over the years. Below are some of the photos from Kevin DeLue, Coleman Rogers, Mike Oliver and Adam P. Salsman.
Parlour Bells delivered a 45 minute set to the gracious and receptive Blue Hills Bank Pavilion crowd. Press from both The Boston Herald and The Boston Globe were in attendance and said of the band’s opening set:
Parlour Bells…a great pick to open for Culture Club and I recommend Live Nation consider the glam demi-gods provide support for any Bowie, Morrissey or Jane’s Addiction shows that come along. — Jed Gottlieb, The Boston Herald
Boston’s own Parlour Bells treated the crowd to a short but lean opening set of theatrical glam rock. Taking a picture of the audience, frontman Goddamn Glenn instructed everyone to say the evening’s unofficial motto: “I’ll tumble for ya.” — James Reed, The Boston Globe
After the performance, Parlour Bells greeted their new fans near the merch area, where they also said hello to Boston DJ and local rock supporter Anngelle Wood, who took in Parlour Bells’ set before jetting off to her shift at 100.7 WZLX where she then kicked off her Boston Emissions program with a block of 4 Parlour Bells songs in celebration of the evening.
Afterwards, the band took in Culture Club’s fantastic set stageside, and then spent some moments chatting after the show. Backstage, Elvira “Mistress of the Dark” even made a surprise appearance.
During one memorable exchange, Parlour Bells gave legendary frontman Boy George the task of choosing the Culture Club song the band should cover in the future. His response underscored his authenticity and integrity as a songwriter as he suggested that the band cover a lesser known (albeit clearly cherished) song called “Love Is Love” from the 1984 pre-Internet singularity computer/human romance sleeper Electric Dreams. George relayed that while it was a favorite, the song hadn’t received a great deal of attention or airplay over the years. Glenn made a point to queue the song up upon returning home and instantly understood how perfect it was for the band to cover.
Parlour Bells would like to thank Culture Club, their crew, the staff of Blue Hills Bank Pavilion and Live Nation for being tremendously accommodating and helpful to the band, for this historic opportunity, and for a night we will never forget.
When we set out to make our first video, we had the pleasure, and urgency, of knowing exactly when it would need to be done. Michael Marotta, the celebrated music editor of the sadly missed Boston Phoenix (who got right back at it by founding the comprehensive Vanyaland online music magazine)
The journey to the end of the night would take us to alleyways, conveyor belts, a warehouse, Radio bar, Trina’s Starlight Lounge, the streets of Davis Square, and gave us the opportunity to work with a diverse cross section of the Boston music community. To say that we have a cooperative, collaborative arts community just doesn’t say enough.
So, Parlour Bells would just like to thank:
Gene Dante, Mary Widow, Roger Metcalf, Douglas Sherman, Malik Haddadi, Kate Sweet, Neehmias Afonso, Meaghan Sinclair, Meghan Chiampa, Autumn Pincus, Andrew Wilson, Michael J. Epstein, Sophia Cacciola, Clark Sullivan, Katrina Galore, Michael Oliver, Leesa Coyne, Rick Kotowski, Richard Bouchard, Douglas Orey, Bridget Leahy, Emily Diggins, Janelle LaMarche, Kristen Scioli, John Langton, Elvis Collins, James Johnson, Phil Fleming, Peter Moore, Sarah Rabdau, Leah Principe, Adam Bouchard, Porcelain Dalya, and Darren McDonald, Trina’s Starlight Lounge, Radio, Anytime Limousine, Great Scott, Michael Marotta, Derek Kouyoumjian, Patrick Mussari, Garth McMurray and Charlotte Sweet. You all helped us get this thing done just in the nick of time.
Michael Marotta world premiered the video on Vanyaland in conjunction with MediaBoss TV, and we had just enough time to edit a few extra hours of b-roll to loop during the DJ sets for the celebration and Parlour Bells show at the pill later that night. We performed two short sets, with a break in between to screen the video to a live audience.
Written and Directed by Glenn di Benedetto.
Filmed by Roger Metcalf and Glenn di Benedetto.Produced and Edited by Glenn di Benedetto.
Additional Post Production by Roger Metcalf.