Saturday, May 17, 2014

Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs at The Satellite, 5-16-14 Concert Review

Holly Golightly performing "Escalator"
I’ve been digging Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs for several years now. Sunday Run Me Over was on my list of the best CDs of 2012, and their new album, All Her Fault, is one of my favorites of the year so far. But I hadn't had a chance to see them in concert until last night, when they played at The Satellite in Silverlake.

It was a good night of music all round. The first band was a trio called The Singles, and they definitely had an early rock and roll vibe, particularly in the lead vocal line. My friend immediately said, “Buddy Holly.” Yes. And there was a bit of early Elvis Costello thrown in too. And no, we didn’t pick those two because the lead singer of The Singles wears glasses. It’s the sound, the sound.

They were followed by Chantal Claret. I met her briefly during the first band’s set, and she seemed kind of sweet. So having never heard her music, and based solely on the minute or so I spoke with her, I was expecting something more in the folk realm. So I was quite surprised when she and her band took the stage. Well, can I call it a band? I suppose so, though the only musician on stage was a drummer. The group was Chantal, the drummer and two female backing vocalists. The rest was a recorded track, though for the life of me I couldn’t figure out who was controlling it. I didn’t see a computer anywhere on stage. But boy, they were seriously fucking fun. I was so happy during their set that I was actually laughing. I usually couldn’t care less about dance moves on stage, but these three singers had some good moves, and their joy was palpable. A very nice surprise.

And then it was time for Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs. They started on time, which is great. Clearly I’m getting older because stuff like that is important to me now. I don’t like waiting around for a band to start. But while they were setting up, I spent a little time explaining to the girl next to me that Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs are two people. “So there are two people in the Brokeoffs?” “There are two people total.” “So it’s Holly and two people?” “No, two people total.” “There are two people in the Brokeoffs and Holly?” “Sure.” This girl had had a bit to drink. In fact, a good portion of the audience had a good deal to drink, and so were quite vocal. The problem is that when people are drunk, they’re not at their peak with regards to mental faculties. So the stuff they were shouting was mostly beyond retarded. Again, I know I’m getting old, but seriously, folks, if you’re an idiot, keep it to yourself.

Holly and Dave responded to some of it, but let most of it pass by. To let people know they were ready, Holly said, “Here we are.” Adorable. After their first tune, Holly asked, “How is that for sound?” The sound isn’t great at this venue, at least not up front, which is where I was. The vocals are never clear enough for my taste. I’m not sure why.

Dave then introduced the next song by saying, “We’re going to do a domestic violence number for you,” and they launched into “My 45.”

I figured they’d do a lot of tracks from their new CD, All Her Fault, but they did only a couple from that album.  The first was the lead-off track, “SLC,” one of my favorites. Before they started it, Dave talked about how Holly hurt her foot. Holly added: “I kicked a door. I kicked a door really hard.” There was a bit of a false start to the song, as Holly didn’t think it sounded quite right. (Later in the set, after “Escalator,” Holly said, “I just worked out that it’s your bass drum that’s out of tune.”) The other song they did from All Her Fault is “Pistol Pete,” after talking a bit about their horse rescue efforts.

They also did a couple from No Help Coming. Dave introduced “Burn, Oh Junk Pile, Burn” by saying, “We’re going to do a song about our piece-of-shit neighbor.” And he dedicated “Get Out My House” to anyone who’s had a house guest who wouldn’t leave.

I've always enjoyed the sense of humor in their material, and it was wonderful to see how that came out too in their stage banter. There is something very relaxed about their approach to performing that I really appreciate. It helps give the show a more intimate feel, like these guys should be playing in someone's living room or on a porch or something. It was fantastic to finally see them in concert, though I do wish the show had been a bit longer. Including the encore, their set was just over an hour.

Set List
  1. Crow Jane
  2. My 45 
  3. Devil Do 
  4. SLC  
  5. When He Comes 
  6. Escalator
  7. Black Night
  8. Burn, Oh Junkpile, Burn 
  9. Get Out My House
  10. Bottom Below
  11. Pistol Pete  
  12. Time To Go 
  13. Getting High For Jesus
  1. Whoopie Ti Yi Yo >  
  2. Boat’s Up The River
Here are a few photos from the night:

The Singles
Chantal Claret
Holly Golightly
Performing "SLC"
Performing "Escalator"
Performing "Boat's Up The River"

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