The Rat Beach Party
The C Note, Hull
September 1 & 2, 2018
The Rat Beach Party continues to create its own little universe.
Mike Weddle keeps this benefit for Hull music education and
excuse for a south shore road trip going in spite of the odds against it. It
is never less than a Felliniesque blast.
After the kid bands, the first adult act of my night is Kenn Rowell’s
Baghdaddio Experience backing and alternating with Poet Yvonne
Sotomayor. Rowell uses a pickup band sans rehearsal.
They admirably pull off a hot mess on Rowell's NY punk originals and stabilize
things on a few covers. Sotomayor’s poems alternated
between English and Spanish. Poetry is always a hard sell outside of slams and
library’s but Sotomayor didn’t back down with her mix of politics
and positive feminism.
View from the stage: Jiblantos are short their violin player.
This gave them a chance to rock harder and hotter and forces singer-guitarist
Brian Nolan to take more of the spotlight. He’s a gunslinger
with an interesting, angular, spazz jazz approach to his solos. That got ‘em
dancing. Nillson’s "Jump into the Fire" was a howling, sweaty
swirl of a blowout ending.
145 (Johnny Thunders Orchestra) cleanses the palate with some
hard rocking power pop. Tight, catchy and funny they manage to squeeze “wicked
pissah” into a chorus. They are having a good time up there and they want
you to join the party. They add Kenne Highland on guitar and morph into the
Johnny Thunders Orchestra for a romp through "Born to Loose" and "Can’t
Put Your Arms Around a Memory".
To my regret I missed most of the Crunchtime set. Hey, a man
has to eat. I got back just in time to catch jumped up run throughs of "Stick
It to the Man" and "Retro Girl" in all their twin guitar rave
Thigh Scrapers have used their recent frequent playing time
and recording with David Minehan at Woolly Mammoth to tighten up their sound.
The band has always made a likable, sloppy Johnny Thunders on Stones noise.
Vocalist Brian Young has been doing his homework on the job
and it's paying off. He's laid off on the cat scratch squeal and has found a
more natural vocal tone. The band’s mix of covers and increased originals
fell right into place behind Young’ newfound voice. Who says practice
doesn't make perfect?
The Thigh Scrapers share rhythm section of Sandy Summers
and Joe Moir with State of the Union. Rather
than tire them out, the back-to-back sets set them on fire. State of
the Union's set ricochets between exuberant Clash-like punk and the
power punk on their True CD. I'll fess up to being
a sucker for a big chorus and live, "Man Overboard" delivers. "Rain"
and "Juliet" aren’t far behind. Sandy Summer's
kicks it in the Thigh Scrapers but the girl really lit up State of the Union.
Sandy’s rolls are race cars and the pedal to the metal fire the choruses
like a dragster shooting flames and burning rubber when the light turns green.
Dennis Most and the Instigators jumped in right after the
pit stop. Most told the audience He’d be 67 of his next birthday and that
if he can jump around like a kid so could we, and proceeded to punk hard rock
the joint. The band kept the meat and potatoes punk tight and on point. The
Stooges medley at the end seals the deal.
Things to do on Saturday in Hull you're not dead: Try the Saltwater
Diner for breakfast. Don’t forget the under the radar, fantastic
Nantasket Beach and its funky, old-school boardwalk. Hit Jake's
on the water for pre-gig seafood.
The first band I see is high school band Kacie Grenon and the Last
Reach. Kacie held down the front with stories, emotive songs, and great
presence. The guitar moves with the mood and sounds good. He works the fan with
his hair. The bass player played keys and bass at the same time - not a bad
Jody Moore and the Kenmore Squares - Club Linehan a Go Go
plus Jody alternate tunes between Jody's cool covers ("Precious",
"When Will I Be Loved", "These Boots are Made for Walkin’").
It’s an AM dance party. Club Linehan followed a parallel
path with hard rocking takes on Beatles, Berry, and Lou.
Cal Cali and Glider took the midnight slot.
Al’s psyched-out guitar and Captain EasyChord’s
keys gave the mix of originals and covers (is this a hiring criterion?) a distinctive
push over the top. Bass player Mikey G. takes a turn on an
original tune that goes down well.
The hardest rocking (post) punk of the night came from Brave Noise.
It's only their third gig, they're missing a guitar player and they still kick
it. The remaining guitar player works his arm like a crazy piston to set up
the strum and grind. The tunes rock and rave with just enough melodic and harmonic
motion to keep them charging forward. A more concise, less experimental Fucked
Up come to mind. Pair them with the Von Trapp's, Koto and shots of tequila.