Sunday, February 11, 2007

Yesterday's Battle of the Bands

What can we say about last night's Battle of the Bands at the 5th Ave. Presbyterian Church? Well, we won for one thing. More on that in a minute.

Opening the show, local church youth group organizers, "Black Guy White Guy," who nearly took the crown with their original song "Orange Pop is Good" and collection of just-learned AC/DC, Queen and Jimi Hendrix covers, sounded like the brothers of The Shaggs and covered their mistakes with constant smiling. Infectious!

We played after them and really nailed it. The audience, about 30 people in total--and a truly "all ages" one at that--tapped their toes to the sounds of our new songs "Cult Sleepover," "Brandy," etc., and also to our covers of "The Best Freak" by The Christian Pirate Puppets and "Solitary Man" by Neil Diamond.

(If you missed it, be sure to swing by our show this Thursday at Stain-- we're playing the same set again then)

Up next, a couple whose name escapes me, ate fire from sticks and shook it to the smooth, suggestive sounds of a mid-90s Michael Jackson CD being played on a small boombox at the foot of the stage. A possibly disturbed young man in a white blazer, blue camouflage pants and braces, who had found his way onto the stage during the "Black Guy" set and never really left it throughout the night, moonwalked, popped and locked throughout their performance.

Meanwhile, due to a last minute scheduling conflict of some sort, the high school punk band that was supposed to show up and play after the fire eaters never arrived, and, more importantly, neither did their bass amp. Another notable no-show, John Cottrell, stuck in Richmond on work duties, left his band, The Tender & Vulnerable, without his guitar playing chops or Lee Ving singing style.

But all was not lost, and the mighty Tender & Vulnerable, reduced to only two members and calling themselves alternately "The New England Knights" and "The Dairy Diaries," did their best and still did great. Were their songs--covers of 60s garage obscurities by the likes of The Stereo Shoestring and The Starfires--lost on the audience? Maybe.

After The T&V set, the audience voted and, wouldn't you know it, they voted for The Shamblers! We were given a gift bag of Superbowl party favors as well as a $50 American Express gift card for some reason, which I imagine we'll end up spending on private press hobo LPs.



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