You’re always in for a good show with Jeffrey Lewis. This time round he was touring with Peter Stampfel who I’d never heard of although, it turns out, I do know a couple of his tunes, more of which later……
First act was Wind Up Birds whos ranting style reminded me of someone but I couldn’t quite put my finger on who. The tune ‘In a Yorkshire call centre I used to weep on my knees’ was a winner.
Next up was a quite extraordinary electro 3-piece act who provided epic length dance tunes that built up and up and up in a krautrock stylee. I thought they were called KP at first which seemed to fit as they were NUTS but they were actually KXP from Helsinki. Would happily see them again and look forward to getting their stuff!
Jeff and Peter took the stage with Fanic Rozycki (a member of the wonderful Wave Pictures) and Jeffs old drummer (I thought I recognised him from another band but after he went through a huge list of bands who I’d never heard of let alone seen, we decided it must have been with Jeff). After a dodgy first tune, where just for a minute I thought Mr Lewis might have lost his midas touch, the band rose to the occasion. There was obviously a lot of mutual love and respect on stage that shone through. Jeff: “Some folk songs are around so long that other folk singers improve them” Peter “They get around so much they end up with STD’s and herpes” Funny as anything
Jeff told stories of how he first heard Peters band ‘The Holy Modal Rounders‘ on a late night psychedelic radio show and how Peter was the first person to us the word psychedelic in a song. They had us laughing with Stick your ass in the air and ruminating on the nature of time as well as grooving to ‘Surfin Bird’ – AWESOME! There was Jeffs continuing story of the fall of the Russian empire and a song about Peters bottle tops collection with accompanying scanned in images of some great examples
The songs that i knew were ‘Griselda’ which Yo La Tengo covered on the wonderful ‘Fakebook‘ (which, looking at the liner notes, features Peter Stampfel on another track ‘The one to cry’) and a track off the Easy Rider Soundtrack, a film which Peter mightily slagged off! They played for a good two hours including an encore “The Cribs say ‘we don’t play encores cos we’re not wankers’ (in a remarkable accurate accent) but I guess I am a wanker….sometimes”.
Three wonderfully different acts. One amazing evening Thanks to all involved.
Bob the Chiropodist
Thanks to Tony for some of the pics