Freak Flag Presents
Bands: Peach Kelli Pop, The Fagettes, Great Valley, The Scamps
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Venue: Radio Upstairs (Somerville, MA)
The Scamps – The Scamps are a straight up fun band. KLYAMER Glen likens them to the Meat Puppets and I can definitely see that. Country mixed with pumped up rock and a slight leaning toward the bizarre. As I noted in the past, The Scamps play a fast set, with each tune rolling right through you. They open with “Stuck On You,” a catchy little ditty that I recall standing out to me last time I saw them all the way back in February of 2012 at the Middle East Upstairs. That was an intense performance, not so much from the band, but particularly from some diabolical rice krispie treats given to me from KLYAM buds, Atlantic Thrills. Goddamn, I had a love/hate relationship with those suckers (the treats that is). Mini psychedelic experiences aside, I remember “Stuck On You” being highly memorable, so much so that I thought it was a cover of a 70s hit song that for some reason I really dug. Long story short, The Scamps are a powerhouse band that will sonically punch you square in the balls, when you least expect it. http://scamps.bandcamp.com/
Great Valley – These two chaps from Brattleboro, VT are up next. They are quite different from The Scamps, and well all the bands on this bill. Though, they do have some definite pop elements to them like the other bands. Great Valley is kind of awkward and off kilter, but hey what two piece isn’t? Wait, did I say awkward? I meant off the hook. Certainly, some fun weirdo pop stuff here. They remind me of Sunset Rubdown and High Places in that mellow yet equally deranged sort of way. Unpredictable. Go on a trip with Great Valley here: http://thegreatvalley.bandcamp.com/
The Fagettes– The Scamps and Great Valley are kewl cats, for sure, but The Fagettes are a KLYAM reader’s kinda band. They dish out vintage rock ‘n’ roll that will make your head spin and your hips shake. I’ve been falling in love with their recordings, but the live show is a whole other monster. There’s five of them up on stage (is there a stage? I don’t think so) and it feels overwhelming, like they’re all gonna grab you or eat you, and maybe in a way their music does. Tonight is no different than my previous Fagettes experiences in that it is a sweaty, physical, and visceral performance filled with hit after hit. I know I sound like some jackass for saying “hit,” and you know what I am a jackass, but pop music is pop music to me and when I go to a show I like to hear my favorite songs, which are like pop hits in my little world. For the most part, Fagettes deliver, playing fast punk rock ‘n’ roll numbers like “Water, Tea, and Alcohol,” “Gonna Die Out Here,” and “I Wanna Feel Good,” with the last one really showcasing vocalists, Ryan Major’s and Melanie Bernier’s abilities to scream their lungs out. So glad, Fagettes play along side Peach Kelli Pop on this wonderful evening, since they are perhaps the most fitting Boston band for the bill. They have mastered and in some ways transcended the kind of garage rock, for lack of a better term, that fans of Peach Kelli Pop, Burger Records, Infinity Cat, and similar bands on or affiliated with those labels would seriously dig. That’s your cue to click on the bandcamp page: http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/
Peach Kelli Pop– Ohh boy, Peach Kelli Pop! I can’t tell you how ecstatic I was when I found out that Peach Kelli Pop was hitting up Boston. We saw Peach Kelli a couple of years back and it was marvelous. Just look at this video from Melody Matters: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-OQSlRc0kY). Those were fun times, but tonight is even better. Peach Kelli aka Allie plays guitar and sings with the rest of her band, bashing out a set chock full of bubble gummy rockers from both of her albums, which I highly recommend. Classics like “Do the Eggroll” and “Doo Wah Diddy” are instantaneous and fun to dance to – well that can pretty much be said about all of the songs. I loved hearing those songs before and they sound even better this time around.
In general, this performance is superior and I think the sound system at Radio helps out a lot, but I’m sure relentlessly touring over the past couple of years doesn’t hurt either. The set is like a quick injection of sugary pop goodness. Fast, catchy, rock ‘n’ roll; the songs arrive, tackle you, and then vanish. You’re singing along to “Panchito Blues” at one second and before you know it the riff to “ABC” hits your ears. Other stand outs include “Julie Oulie,” “Dreamphone,” and “Knockout.”
When the band is about to dismantle their equipment, the crowd demands an encore! To wrap up the show Peach Kelli unleashes a somewhat slower tune and a personal fave in “Lover,” I seriously can’t get enough of those “ooooo ooooo” vocals, alright I know it just looks like Froot Loops in writing, but you have to hear it! I can’t imagine not liking Peach Kelli Pop. What kind of sick, depraved individual despises this kind of music? Killjoys, curmudgeons, mean people, cops, metalheads, ehhh whatever I’ll shut up now, just listen: http://peachkellipop.bandcamp.com/
Normally, I would be posting a set-list here, but some joker took it before me. Doesn’t he know that I’m the guy that grabs set lists in this town?!
Big shout out to the masterminds known as Freak Flag. They put on this shindig and they put on TONS of nasty happenings in Boston and they’re the coolest DJs. Get yer grimey hands on their newsletter, it’s zick. http://www.freakflagboston.com/