Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Astaires, John Fallon and Kaleidoscope - the Bunkhouse, April 22, 2013

Psyche-pop is definitely not common in Las Vegas, so this show, promoted by local scenestress Teresa Kidder, with help from man-about-town John Fallon, was a fine change of pace for our local scene. Hopefully, we will see a growth of 60's-inspired outfits and gigs in our future.

For now, we have our fave teenage garage group, the Astaires, kickin' out the three-chord, fuzz-ridden jams. Young, sharp-dressed, and over-flowing with piss and vinegar (or underage drinking, maybe), the Astaires do their best to tear up any place they play. This night there were a few technical and tuning issues which slowed down the set, and the fact that this was an early show - they started before 9:00pm - meant that the crowd was still arriving during their set. This was the last gig with drummer Ron Paul, so let's hope for bigger and better things when the newest line-up is revealed.

Ex-Steppes John Fallon helped to organize this night and for his set he was backed by son Cromm (Astaires lead signer/guitarist) on bass along with Rob Campanella (ex-Brian Jonestown Massacre) on guitar and Nelson Bragg, from Brian Wilson's band, on drums. Rob and Nelson are Steppes fans who have covered John's tunes in other configurations, so they were a super backing band. The set was relatively short, but filled with cool Steppes tunes, the Stones' "The Last Time" and plenty of fuzz licks and feedback! Bragg is a stellar drummer and added some spectacular power to the party and Rob pulled out hip, melodic guitar lines.  Unbelievably, the four never had a chance to practice together, but they thrilled the crowd (that had filled out by then) and left them wanting more!

Kaleidoscope was a 60's psych band led by singer Peter Daltrey, somewhat in the mold of Syd Barrett-led Pink Floyd, but highly original. He has gathered together a group of stellar musicians to replicate the sounds of the records, including Rob Campanella again, this time on bass. Unfortunately, I don't have everyone's names, but there was a remarkable female drummer (found her - Cheryl Lynn Caddick), a guitarist/keyboardist (who played a Mellotron along with a second keyboard I didn't recognize) and an acoustic/electric guitarist (Christof Wolfgang Certik). This tight conglomeration was able to bring these psychedelic sounds to our humble Bunkhouse - with plenty of vocal and instrumental harmonies and a wide array of interesting and intriguing tones.

As I said, there is not much of a 60's/psych scene in Las Vegas, but regardless, those who were in attendance will be sure to remember this night of fine music!