Saturday, August 06, 2016

Melanie and the Midnite Marauders, Botrotters Union, Franks & Deans at Backstage Bar & Billiards Friday August 5, 2016

Of course, I didn't get any photos of ourselves (MMM) playing, but we had a good time opening for Big Daddy Carlos' Hayride. There was an insane amount of shows this night so we had a bit of a sparse audience, but still had fun playing our brand of high-energy honky-tonk.

(Nikki Del Quadro did get a pic of us, though!)

I haven't seen Bogtrotters Union in literally years, although I've always dug their unique take on traditional Irish music. It's not quite so traditional once it gets in their hands! They add some punk energy here, some atmospheric touches there and lots of interesting twists'n'turns. The line-up was a little different tonight than the last time we played together, including the addition of James Dunbar (formerly Caesar in the Time Crashers) on bass, but retaining mandolinist extraordinaire Kev and lead singer/banjo-man Marshall, along with Steven on electric guitar and Jeremy on drums. They are all skilled players and, with the help of some effects pedals, both mandolin and guitar supplement the sound with a variety of tones, from snyth-ish washes to angelic melodies to dual harmonic leads. Certainly more aggressive than their earlier sound, but a damn good time!

And speaking of good times, Franks&Deans closed out the night performing their punk-pop take on Rat Pack (and more) songs. With their tight, melodic punk rock backing and excellent three-part vocal harmonies, Hoss, Arpee, Rob and Pip always entertain and they even give the guys something to look at with their lovely dancer, Nickole Muse, who dons (and removes) various outfits throughout the set - and even does a routine with her hula hoop. They have a huge repertoire, including numbers such as "New York, New York", "Lady is a Tramp", "Dream Lover", "Over the Rainbow", "Hello Mary Lou", "You Rascal You", "Luck Be a Lady", "Bang, Bang", "Wonderful World", and even a somewhat bizarre combination of "What I Say" with "Holiday in Cambodia"! Nothing is taken too seriously and nothing is sacred, as they join various genres together whether they like it or not!

Thank you again to Backstage Bar and Billiards for a fun First Friday night!