I played the Klinic in Madison with The Dorothy Heralds last night. It was our first time playing there and I was pleasantly surprised. The sound was okay, but the people really made it worthwhile. The staff were all very nice and accommodating. I have to mention the decor as a stand out attraction. The bar area is done up in this pseudo-fifties style with diamond steel plating all over the place. So it winds up being this sort of weird psychobilly sort of vibe.
Fermata opened the show and they're showing improvement each time I see them. More than anything else I think I like their writing. Yes, they're all individually very talented, but there's something about the songs and arrangements themselves that resonates with me. Hope to see them more in the future.
Spin Spin Coupling were up next and I was duly impressed! I'd never heard them, nor did I know that they ran with not one, but TWO bass players and TWO guitar players! Talk about a wall of sound. Good vocal harmonies and catchy songs with big chorus'. The effect of their six-string bassist doubling guitar lines in the same octave was very cool also. May have to steal that idea... hmmm.
Last night was our first show with Mark Heise, drummer from Madison's The Selfish Gene. We only had three rehearsals with him and he performed brilliantly. The band as a whole had a few rough spots, but nothing that seemed to bother the crowd too much. In fact, we wound up playing until closing time to a fair sized crowd. Since the band knows so many tunes after playing a bunch of cover shows, we started to whip out some old favorites. Songs like "I Want Candy" had people doing the hand jive, but the really interesting story is about "99 Luftballons". Les Crews and his wife were on hand for the show as well as a few friends of theirs. They had just finished judging a battle of the bands at Verona High School and apparently one of the bands covered the Nena hit. So they took our rendition as a sign that they were in the right place . Funny how that happens, two totally unrelated bands in two totally unrelated venues play the same tune on the same night to the same audience. I'm just wondering where the kids at Verona High School heard the song. Considering they couldn't have been more than one or two years old when it came out. Not quite synchronicity really, but close.
Enough about last night, we (TDH) are playing the Hat Trick Lounge with EZ Street West tonight in St. Paul, Minnesota. I'm looking forward to being back in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. Just as long as I don't wind up driving back home to Madison after the gig like the last time I was there. (Zornfest @ the Walker Arts Center) For those of you that won't be joining us tonight, Michelle's group Two Timer at the Pitcher's Mound. Check them out if you can, great time and great guitars! (*Yay for guitars!*)