Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Spring Surf Classsic featuring The 427's, The Delstroyers and The Viking Surfers at Darrells Tavern 5-26-17

It was Spring; when one's mood is light, the sun is shining and all you need is an adult beverage and surf instrumental music. Oh yes, we had all that and got the latter right between the eyes.

It is our custom to present some of the great musicians we have here in The Pacific Northwest and beyond. Tonight we were lucky enough to have some local and some international talent all in one cozy place; Darrells Tavern. See Darrells Here:

We are so fortunate to have such a great venue, staff and ownership in the North-side of Seattle. Darrells has a superb sound system and engineer. Scott Walker can make even the weakest musician sound like a Diva. Speakers by Macaulay Culkin. The place was rocking tonight.

Tonight we were lucky enough to have 3 phenomenal instrumental bands with a flavor all their own. When there is only 3-4 members in a group with no singer to hide behind, you have to be an excellent musician.

The cool shoes of The 427's

The planning of this show was started as soon as the last surf show ended. There is a  tight circle of lovers of surf in the PNW. There are also lovers of just plain good music, so we always get a good mix of patrons to support the shows.

Here is Andre of The Delstroyers at The 2016 Surf Extravaganza.

You can read about that fun time here:

I heard the beauty and darkness that is The Delstroyers and had to have more. The Mercury 4 had also been asked to join the bill.

Chip of the Mercury 4, with his special guitar from the future.

I was on the search for another band when I heard The 427's, both on Fiberglass Jungle and on Storm Surge of Reverb in the same week.

The effect was immediate...these folks were only 450 miles from Seattle (as the crow flies) and They Were Great! Not happy to be named after a simple car, they were named after one of the baddest engines of the era. They had a sound all their own and they were rising stars. We had to have them play.

With the bill set (or so we thought), we started the arrangements. It wasn't as simple as we thought it would be. The current administration in Washington DC has decided that all foreigners are bad, and cannot come into our great country.

The 427's not only could not work in our country without special Visas, they couldn't even promote their own show at Darrells for fear of deportation. They had to beg, borrow, steal and rent their gear. They were most patient...I was most angry. I have never been ashamed of my country, this was a shock.

Then, without a hint, The Mercury 4 dissolved. It happens, I understand. They were great and there was a reason they lasted 17 years. Here is a link to The Mercury 4:

But the show must go on. I thought that maybe I would just let The Delstroyers and The 427's do a 2 band show, the culture is 3. The Delstroyers have a new disc coming out so they have a bunch of new music. I could listen to them all night. The 427's are a band from you think they have played to music loving folks that want to party all until the wee hours? Um, yes.

I knew that these 2 bands would fill the bill. Then The Vikings invaded!

The righteous owner of Darrells Tavern, our forever and always venue for our shows suggested we give them a listen. We did, we asked and they said yes! The Viking Surfers were awesome.

A fairly new band in Seattle, they were not even on my radar. It was a treat to see new blood in the Northwest Surf Scene. I was so grateful to have them step in 3 weeks before the gig.

I will explain more, but these folks, like all the bands on the bill tonight are destined for surf greatness.

Back to The 427's. They came into town on Thursday and no kidding, here is the room number at their hotel:

The 427's are: Rob Day-Guitar, Chris van Keir-Guitar, Eve Hell-Bass Guitar and Wrayne Ramone-Drums. As I said, they hail from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, our next door neighbor.

We had made plans early and they had the good sense to suggest we arrange a live in-studio performance at KEXP. I know the DJ for Shake The Shack, a popular, global musical presence playing Rockabilly, Vintage Rock and Roll, Surf and other great genres. Here is a link to DJ Mike Fuller and Shake The Shack:

I asked Mike, he replied an enthusiastic yes and an in-studio performance was scheduled the night before the show. I was lucky to attend and watch. Here they are getting ready for the show, The Shins shrine in the background.

The crew at at KEXP is well versed on how to treat and record a visiting band. They have top-notch talent and a killer facility.

Their 427's rocking, looking through the glass of the live performance stage at KEXP.

The 427's gave a great performance. Mike had some great questions and one of the many things we learned was that Eve, the bass player has her own Rockabilly band; Eve Hell and The Razors. See them here:

The interview at KEXP.

We also learned that Chris IS an actual surfer. He lives in Calgary, Alberta. One would think he was a easily a thousand miles from a good wave...but no. Chris surfs rivers.

Here is the trailer for a documentary called Surf Anywhere, truly amazing. The 427's wrote and performed the main tune:

Chris surf's rivers, no kidding! This is not Photoshopped.

I have known a lot of surfers, that he goes this far to find a wave doesn't surprise me. Real surfers are crazy for surf and most don't necessarily like surf music. Chris is indeed a rare and memorable fellow.

They played 4 tunes in the studio and it sounded great from where I was sitting. Here is a clip of one of their new tunes:

Here they are with the KEXP crew. Wrayne, Rob, Eve, Chris, Johnny, Maim and Mike.

At the same time the 427's were performing, Folklife was happening at The Seattle Center (home of KEXP). It is a celebration of great music, focusing mainly on local music; busking, old timey music and folk music. I got to see a lot of great stuff on the way to and from the studio.

Below are: The Georgetown Orbits, The Weavils, The Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble and Blubber.

On to the show. The 427's had asked me what time was load-in. Even though they had no gear, they wanted to help. They ended up helping each band change sets. Stout fellows.

 Here is Wrayne double fisting before the show.

Eve was doing the books while she waited to on the road.

The Viking Surfers and The Delstroyers loaned their precious tools to The 427's. I salute them for coming to the rescue of fellow musicians.

Natch'Yo Average Food Truck was on-hand to serve the most excellent food. I had the street tacos, dyno! See them here:

The Viking Surfers were up first. I had seen the videos and heard the clips so I was primed. They were so much better in person.

Here is a link to their Bandcamp page featuring 4 of their killer tunes:

The Viking Surfers are: Paul Rugland - Gitar, Marcy Rugland - Trommer and Kate Lint - Bassgitar. No not typos, this is the Norwegian spelling of their instruments. Paul is a direct descendant of a Viking. He is a native of Stavanger, Norway.

They had a unique sound and the Norwegian accent was definitely noticeable. Paul had imported some of the lively folk tunes from his country and set them to a surf beat. The results were fresh and fun.

The music was infectious and they got huge applause after every song. They were as happy as the crowd was. A happy band makes happy music.

Marcy of The Viking Surfers.

The Viking Surfers were amazingly good. Considering this was only their 2nd or 3rd time out, they were exceptional. I think the great arranging and careful crafting of Paul's native music is a cool sound that will be appreciated by the greater surf music community. I have already alerted the movers of the music scene. I think they are destined for a fun adventure.

Thanks to The Viking Surfers for filling in at such short notice. See them here:

One of my favorite local bands was up next. The Delstroyers are an upcoming sensation in the surf scene. They have a new and much anticccccipated disc that will be released soon. We got to hear a lot of those new tunes tonight.

As you can surmise, they play on the dark side of surf. My wife doesn't understand why I love this horror surf so much. This part of the genre is quickly filling up with marvelous bands like this.

The Delstroyers are: Andre Maguire on guitar, Scott Masoner on Bass, Todd Clinesmith on Percussion, otherwise known as: Dr. Gnarly Fingers - Guitar, The Giant Claw - Bass, Creep Beat - Drums. Spooky folks.

Creep Beat at play.

The place dripped with horror but somehow Lisa found a way to dance:

The chiller-horror theater was on full display as Andre blazed.

Scott took on an eerie glow as he laid down the bass lines.

This band pushes all my buttons and I was quite happy with my choices for the bill so far, yes, very happy!

We are looking forward to the new music by The Delstroyers. Look for them at Tiki Con in Portland and at Darrells in the fall. 

The 427's were taking the stage. It was a great moment, it took a lot of persistence on their part to get here.

Here from their Facebook post: Born out of a shared love of surf culture, tattoos, motorcycles, and hot rods, Rob Day and Chris van Keir created The 427’s as a throwback to days spent at the beach and nights spent on the strip. Formed in autumn 2013 and influenced by early 60’s surf music, spaghetti westerns, and film noir, The 427’s released their debut EP, “Surf Noir” in 2014, which was nominated for “Instrumental Recording of the Year” at the Western Canadian Music Awards.

Here is video clip of them doing their soon to be classic Fake Betty: 

This was a screaming great show. The musicianship and arrangements of their signature tunes are unforgettable. The performance was amazing.

Eve, meet Mikki!

The place was rocking, our lovely neighbors from the north captured our heart, eyes and ears. They played long and hard, and then just when you thought they were done, they carried on with a 5 song encore. This is why I see and sponsor live music.

Be sure to search out YouTube for their videos, they have a flare for the dramatic and don't restrict their artistic endeavors to music alone.

We were so fortunate to have The 427's play here in Seattle. The hurdles were formidable and they didn't blink. Thank you for coming to the states, we the people still welcome you with open arms.

Thank you again to Darrells and their great staff for letting us produce our shows at the greatest venue for live music in Seattle. Thanks to Dan, Emily, Damien, Levi, and Scott for treating our guests to a great show. See Darrells here:

Thanks to all who attended and love live music. And as always: