On Sunday October 23 at the Toff In Town, revered pop romantics The Apartments play their first Melbourne show since 2007, launching their first release since 1998, new vinyl single "Black Ribbons".
It's true - the man about whom the Go-Betweens sang "Don’t Let Him Come Back" is back! The resigned beauty of Black Ribbons, presented in two distinct versions, is ﬁrst evidence of the return of cult-hero songwriter Peter Milton Walsh, the sole constant in the Apartments since the band formed in Brisbane in 1978. After a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spell in the Go-Betweens, Walsh released debut Apartments EP The Return Of the Hypnotist in 1979, then headed to New York and London, playing bass for the Laughing Clowns on their second album Law Of Nature in 1984.
The Apartments’ 1985 debut album The Evening Visits...And Stays For Years, was recorded in London with the help of members of Orange Juice, Everything But the Girl and the Triﬃds, for esteemed UK label Rough Trade. It's a classic of grand, literate and incisively emotional pop, wtih signature tune Mr. Somewhere later covered by 4AD supergroup This Mortal Coil. The Shyest Time single followed in 1988, lifted from soundtrack to Some Kind Of Wonderful by teen-ﬂick auteur John Hughes.
Walsh next returned to Australia, forming a new Apartments and releasing a series of acclaimed albums, including Drift (1993), A Life Full Of Farewells (1995), Apart (1997) and Fête Foraine (1998). Due to Walsh’s increasingly reclusive nature, the Apartments' career has been marked by more silences and disappearances than the usual band routines.
Yet he was lured out of musical retirement in 2007 to play the ﬁrst Apartments shows in Australia since he originally left the country for Europe. He then took the band to France in 2009, where they still enjoy a devoted following, playing a handful of rapturously received dates including a sold-out show in Paris.
Now, suitably reinspired, Peter is now at work on a new Apartments album, with Black Ribbons a tantalising ﬁrst glimpse of riches to come. In only their third ever Melbourne show in more than 30 years, the Apartments will launch Black Ribbons in stripped-back trio mode.
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