Saturday, September 14, 2019

Thee Swank Bastards and the Unwieldies at the Thunderbird Lounge, Friday September 13, 2019

I've been to the Thunderbird Saloon a few times over the years but it has been numerous moons since the last time I got there and they have recently been making some changes - rearranging the interior, updating the decor and bringing on the Huntridge Tavern's Kate Alexander to manage the place (while still working with the HT). It looks like they are planning on having a variety of live shows as well as karaoke, and with cheap drinks and food available, along with a real stage and PA, this has the potential to be a hip new place.

I made it out this  eve to check out our friends Thee Swank Bastards and the Unwieldies for Kate's birthday and a pre-Halloween party (not sure what made them do that a month and 1/2 early, but costumes are never a bad idea!). The Bastards were up first, tonight's edition with the Heximers - Clay on drums and Denise on bass - backing up Jesse's flyin' fingers on his surf guitar. Wanderin' Jesse also debuted a new wireless system, freeing him up to go wherever he wanted throughout the club. Their set is primarily made up of surf classics mixed with a few originals and a reverbed Black Sabbath medley! Jesse is a terrific guitarist, with plenty of speedy, tasteful licks throughout and Denise is truly coming into her own on the bass and is groovin'n'movin' throughout the club while Clay keep the swingin' beat behind them all. Always a fun time!


 Of course, I have ranted'n'raved about our pals, the Unwieldies, innumerable times, as they are one of the city's premier acoustic acts. Of course, with 5 acoustic instruments, most going through the PA, it can take a little time to get things set up, but once the Un's got goin', the sound'n'mix was quite good. Tonight we were treated to the full line-up with Dani'n'Rob leading the gang on vocals, guitar and bass, along with Richard on dobro, Jack on violin and new cat whose name escapes me on drums and banjo - sometimes simultaneously! They rely primarily on their terrific originals from their albums, but also do some nicely arranged covers like the Pine Hill Haints "Never Gonna Die", Elvis Costello's "Veronica" and Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean"! There were even some new songs tonight because they just cannot stop themselves from writing!



Sorry for quality of the photos - I guess I didn't get close enough for my flash to make any difference, but the stage does have plenty of lighting for your average peepers.

In any case, a super fun night from a new venue that I hope will keep bringing in cool, quality acts like this evening.