My wife Cathie and I have celebrated our wedding anniversary with music for the past 6 years. We have become huge surf music fans. One would think that a town like Seattle would not be a hotbed for what is identified as a southern California phenomena. But we have deep roots in surf music. From 60's Traditional Surf like The Ventures, to the 90's surf and frat rock of The Boss Martians, to the newest bands that are twisting the genre like Audios Amigos and Banzai Surf.
Here are one of those killer shows. This is The Boss Martians tearing it up at a show earlier in the year. You can see my review of that amazing show here: http://liveseattlemusicintheclubs.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-phantom-four-boss-martians-and.html
Cathie and I love to present this show as we get to hear new music as well as some of our favorite bands. There are so many great bands that it is tough to see all the music we love. Tougher to chose 3 bands to play at a show like this. This year we chose wisely.
We do have a few traditions. The globally famous local band, The 'Verb is always a staple on the bill. The have a unique sound that is all their own. Playing traditional surf in the most original way, we invite them every year, this was their 4th. They have a great sense of humor and a super graphics guy.
We LOVE the 'Verb! You can see a review of last years show here: http://liveseattlemusicintheclubs.blogspot.com/2015/11/santas-surf-spectacular-at-darrells.html
We also have the show in one of the best places to see live music in Seattle. Intimate and nostalgic with great people and ownership, Darrells Tavern is our home port. Above is our friend Marjie working the bar at Darrells.
The view from the bar to the stage at Darrells.
Djake Noose has been a fixture the last couple years. He is a DJ, host and has incredible knowledge of many music genres. His favorite is Psychobilly and he hosts his own show on Punk Radio (internet) on Thursday nights called Zorch Radio. You can connect with Djake here: https://zorchradio.com/
This year we got to present one of those iconic bands that have been playing great music for many years. They formed in 1998 and are still making sweet surf music. Their album; Codename: Aurora, was one of the first surf discs I ever purchased. I had heard The Mercury 4 on the iconic Shake The Shack show on KEXP in the late 90's. That was the beginning of decades of love for surf. We were excited to have them play tonight.
Here are The Mercury 4 2016.
The Delstroyers are fairly new on the scene, but they arrived with a boom! A definitely dark band, they drip with ghoul! They at played at my buddy's birthday party and we knew they had to be on this bill. You can read a review of that show here: http://liveseattlemusicintheclubs.blogspot.com/2016/06/tiens-50-year-run-with-verb-acapulco.html
Here are The Delstroyers.
A lot of friends and family joined us. Here are a few shots of our favorite peeps.
But now, back to the action. Djake was spinning discs when I walked in. The place was already getting crowded and we were looking forward to a killer show.
Djake has a yuge collection of 45's, EP's and discs. He has great taste and loves to thrill with a mix of new and vintage surf, psychobilly and raw rock. He is also a wonderful host, introducing the bands and toasting my wife and I.
The Mercury 4 was up first and stated promptly at 9:30. This is a good omen; the band was anxious to get on stage and there will be more time available to play encores, which every band did.
The Mercury 4 is: Chip Doring on lead guitar, Natalie Parks on bass, Jim Sadler on keys and guitar, and Marshall Scott Warner on drums. They have 2 discs and have recently begun to play live again. I asked them to play this show the first time I knew they were available.
The Mercury 4 have a sound all their own. They have a strong lead guitar and bass with a the keys adding both lead and background. Marshall on the drums is driving the bus and is both creative and technically superb.
Chip's guitar not only looks different it sounds different. The interplay between Chip's ethereal guitar and Jim's sharp keyboard, Natalie's heavy bass and Marshall's steady, no frills, but perfect percussion gives this band a one of a kind sound.
The Mercury 4 was everything we had hoped for. The crowd roared after every tune. I think they were a little surprised. They shouldn't have been. We surf fans are out there. I see the same people at every show. We are hungry for good instrumental music. The Mercury 4 was great and seeing them was a special treat.
Here is another video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tlp7KCfZ8Dk
I got a look at the play list and saw that they were going to close with one of my favorite tunes. Stratoliner Down is really the quintessential Hg4 tune with chip's sparse guitar telling the story of the crash of the big jet. The band works together to weave this tale of disaster. This dark and brooding tune pushes all my buttons. Unfortunately, they didn't play it...wankers! Ha1. They closed with 911, another dyno tune!
They killed it, the crowd went nuts with yours truly leading the cheers. We begged, pleaded for more and they obliged. Marshall was inquiring, probing then instructing, leading with a countdown; 4,3,2,1.
They played a three song encore that brought the place down. This was the first band and I was already spent! I was soaked and hoarse and the night had just begun. The Mercury 4 is world class entertainment. I had several people stop by my throne at the bar and thank me for providing a forum for this great band.
Here is the video link shot by my buddy Tien of 911: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tlp7KCfZ8Dk
You can see The Mercury 4 on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/The-Mercury-4-153108081386364/
Buy their music here please, I guarantee you will love: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/mercuryfour2
I have a penchant for the dark and horror/ghoul style surf. The heavy bass with the driving beat fronted by a strong, haunting lead makes me crazy. My wife doesn't understand. The next band makes me crazy.
I will let some images tell the prelude.
The Delstroyers are heavy surf lead by awesome lead guitar, bad-ass bass and stellar percussion. I loved them from the first time I heard them. They were playing on national and internet radio before I even knew they were Seattle based.
The Delstroyers are: Todd Clineschmidt on drums, Scott Masoner on bass and Andre Maguire on guitar. They played years ago as a group, changed members and reformed as The Delstroyers fairly recently.
The crowd was loving them, I watched Andre react with happy surprise at the response.
They use clips from vintage horror movies as a prelude to many of their tunes. This is Peter Lorrie's surf band. Their tunes creep and snake around your head, the horror!
They played all the tunes from their EP and then some. They also played some new originals. Hopefully they will be putting some new music together for our ears. Here is the hit list.
You can hear and buy some of their music here: http://www.thedelstroyers.com/
Here is my friend Lisa dancing to this killer group. Lisa is an artist and movie buff. She met her current beau at last year's surf bash, so very cool! Check out her art and movie efforts here: https://www.facebook.com/lisa.petrucci.63?fref=ts
I cannot say enough about The Delstroyers, you must see to appreciate them. The heavy vibe was infectious. If you can't see them be sure to get their music here: http://www.thedelstroyers.com/
Connect with them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/thedelstroyers/?fref=ts
Thanks to The Delstroyers for playing our show, they were everything I hoped and more.
Here is a clip of The Delstroyers performing Take Me to the Hell Hop. Thanks to Tien Doan for the vid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOd94PxTiDY
The merch table was busy with happy surf lovers. Thanks to all who bought swag at the show.
The crowd was up close and rocking. Here is my pal Tien up close...as he always is...all night. Tien is a huge surf fan and traveled to the Surf Guitar 101 Convention in Huntington Beach CA this year; quite the treat. He had a great birthday celebration that featured The Delstroyers among others this year too. Here is a link to my review of that show: http://liveseattlemusicintheclubs.blogspot.com/2016/06/tiens-50-year-run-with-verb-acapulco.html
One more of Scott blazing the bass.
The 'Verb was up next. Only a band with the presence and musical purchase like The "Verb could follow the two previous memorable experiences. For truly, that is what surf music is. It is sight, feel, emotion as well as sound. The lack of vocals is refreshing. Unless it is of course something like: da da do ron ron...
We have asked, and The 'Verb has said yes to every request Cathie and I have had for the last 4 years. We have been so lucky.
The 'Verb had very early success and they were a global phenom a decade ago. I talked with Jacob of the band at some length. It seems like he was a bit obsessed with surf music from an early age. He told me his mom used to drive him all over looking for records, guitars, amps and all related surf collateral. She took him as far as Portland for surf equipment. That was one cool mom.
The 'Verbs tools are something most surf bands would kill to have. This is vintage and well used equipment.
The Fender amps, pre-amps, reverb units and speakers are all vintage. Jacob told me they did sell some of the equipment years ago, but most is original and matching blonde.
Here Jake sits as he had a strap malfunction. But check out the beautiful vintage Fender equipment.
The Vox Continental keyboard and the Fender Jaguar, just a small arsenal of this killer band.
The 'Verb took a hiatus and all have other projects that they have worked on over the years. They have been playing more shows lately. You can see some of my other reviews of this awesome band here: http://liveseattlemusicintheclubs.blogspot.com/2014/12/zombie-transplanr-surf-party-at.html and here: http://liveseattlemusicintheclubs.blogspot.com/2013/12/aloha-baby-cathies-surf-spectacular.html
The 'Verb have a huge sound and presence. We have had them perform at my last few shows and they have always been a tough act to follow. They were followed by some of the best bands in the country, but somehow they linger in your memory at the end of the show. This year they were headliners.
Damn I love these fellows. Here is a link to another one of Tiens videos, one of my favorite tunes; El Capitan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGYjkVYidqg
Here is a link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theverbseattle/
Here is another clip from my surf brother Tien: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doTvfT-cXAc
You can tell from this clip that they are a party on stage. The place was rocking, again, to the incredible sound of The 'Verb! This is why we love these gents, it was late and the Darrell's was still jamming.
They were founded in 2003 and are the youngest old timers in the business. The 'Verb is Eric Cranfield, Jacob Dobner, Jason Aumann, Matthew Beck, and Michael Ball. Buy their killer music here: https://theverb.bandcamp.com/
They ended with a night ending encore that left everybody done and done. Well done. Another amazing set by one of the finest bands on the planet. Thanks to The 'Verb for playing our show. By the response of the audience, we weren't the only one that were blown away.
Please see your favorite bands live and buy their swag when you are in the house, support your local artists! These bands play for love and gas money, drop the dime!
When I left Djake was still kickin' the tunes, strong show my friend.
Thanks to Darrells and fine staff and ownership. This is one of the best places to see live music in the city, or did I say that already. See Darrells here: https://darrellstavern.com/
Besides wonderful adult beverages, Darrells provides all or of life's basic necessities.
And as always,