The Tango Saloon is an experimental tango band based in Sydney, Australia. In 2005, fifteen musicians came together to record the self-titled debut album, which was subsequently released by Mike Patton’s Ipecac label. The band has since produced two more albums, Transylvania in 2008, and Shadows & Fog in 2012. The sound of the group can be generally summed up as being tango meets spaghetti western, but there have always been many other elements, such as film scores, rock, gypsy, jazz and electronics.
Performance highlights for The Tango Saloon include the Peats Ridge Festival 2005 and 2006, Peeping Tom support on the East-coast leg of their 2007 Australian tour, appearing on ABC’s Spicks & Specks in 2011 and Mondo Cane support at The Domain for Sydney Festival 2012. And of course many great shows at The Vanguard, 505, The Factory, Qirkz, Camelot and more.
- Julian Curwin – guitar, keyboards
- Marcello Maio – accordion, keyboards
- Sam Golding – tuba, trumpet
- Christian Watson – alto & baritone sax
- John Hibbard – trombone
- Leonie Cohen – piano
- Mark Harris – double bass
- Danny Heifetz – drums, percussion
- Jess Ciampa – percussion
- Shenton Gregory – violin, viola
- Svetlana Bunic – accordion
- Alon Ilsar – drums, electronics
- Luke Dubber – keyboards
- Martin Kay – clarinets
- Reuben Derrick – tenor sax
- Kory Horwood – double bass
- Jane Sheldon – vocals
- Elana Stone – vocals
- Ilan Kidron – vocals
- Mike Patton – vocals
In 2010, The Mango Balloon was born, a stripped-back chamber version of The Tango Saloon, with a lighter sound bringing lounge, exotica and continental jazz to the larger band’s tango/western blend. Aside from six members from The Tango Saloon, the recordings also feature special guests, bringing their own distinct flavour to the music – Volume 1 (2010) features Eddie Bronson on clarinets, adding a touch of klezmer to the mix, and Volume 2 (2012) features folk/rock/pop vocalist and guitarist Brian Campeau.