What’s happening? I’ve been hanging out on the dark web for a bit. Nah, that’s not true. I don’t even know how to access the dark web, but I am intrigued. Do you go to something like www.billyrocksphilly.darkweb? Anyway, I hear it’s a great place to buy personal identities and use them for nefarious purposes. It’s just like being on Facebook.
Truly, The Man has been ass busting me again, but I’ve been pushing back and getting in some good stuff. You already know that I had to miss the English Beat because of a damn snow storm, but a few days later the snow was basically gone and the Strypes were in town at Underground Arts. It was time to go see some fantastic rock ‘n roll.
You know it’s a good day when you snag free parking, there is no opening act, and a free seat is available at the closest table to the stage. It’s also good for me (but not the band) when the show isn’t sold out and it’s easy pickings to get that coveted spot in front of the stage. Rock bloggers are always afforded this professional courtesy. Or at least they should be. Ahem.
The Strypes are four Irish youngsters who play music that seriously resembles the early Yardbirds, Kinks, Stones or other “hard blues” ensembles coming out during the British Invasion of the early 60s. I think I first became aware of them watching Later … With Jools Holland. They kicked butt, and I was hooked.
In the picture below, you’ll see three each of Josh McClorey (lead guitar/vocals), Evan Walsh (drums), Peter O'Hanlon (bass guitar) and Ross Farrelly (lead vocals/harmonica). It’s not often that I can get decent shots of the drummer, and you might argue that these three aren’t decent, but you would be wrong. Enjoy:
I didn’t push my way into the middle of the stage in front, but hung out stage right. That put me right in by McClorey, and the guy can rip on the guitar. But let me tell you: the guy furthest away from me was the bassist, O’Hanlon, and he is one active hombre on stage. I mean, the guy was really moving, kicking his legs, headbanging and bringing it, all in elevator shoes, and for the entire 1:20 minute set. It was really something. And Walsh just brutalized his drum kit – but sometimes, he missed a beat or two. Farrelly needs work as a front man. He came out a bit sulky, but finally got into it. He has a good voice, but doesn’t move too well, and he needs to get over his “too cool for school” thing. Watch Jagger or Bowie or Mercury and understand what a front man can do even without a guitar hanging around his neck.
I brought the GoPro and got three videos. So why are there only two linked in this the post? Well, because your humble blogger is not immune from complete and utter stupidity. Here’s what happened. I’m close enough to the stage to see the band’s setlist, and I notice that Mystery Man is coming up. I love that song, so I get all set to video the tune. Did I get a video? You bet. What did I capture? Well, I seem to have held the GoPro a little differently than normal, and ended up with a nice shot of my hand and the dude standing next to me. It will make the BRP blooper reel one of these days. But hey, it’s not all bad because I did get two nice videos of 84 and Blue Collar Jane. Check ‘em out:
I also snagged the band’s setlist, complete with notes on the guitar that McClorey was using per song (Fender Telecaster or Gibson). But Setlist.com does such a great job with setlists, including links to the videos, that I figured it was easier just to point you in that direction. Here you go:
You have to admire a band that not only rocks their own very strong material, but also throws in a Beatles cover and plays a rousing version of Nick Lowe’s Heart of the City for its first encore. Nicely done, fellas.
The set time wasn’t overwhelming given that the lads have 3 albums out and it was Saturday night in the City of Liberty. But I had had a great but long day, and the 1 hour 20 minute set was ample enough for me to get my fill. The Strypes bring good energy, a garage-rock mentality that I love, and youthful vigor to a tried-and-true blues/rock formula. All in all, a worthy show and one that I’m glad I caught.
I’ve got a bit of a roll going, and next up it’s Yo La Tango at Union Transfer. You check back because I might even have some other cool things happening before that show. And be sure to do your sun dance so that spring hits hard here in Philly – I’m sick of the gray and cold! But I’m never sick of the fact that you took some time to hang out here at BRP, and I hope you enjoyed it. Remember to live fast! Later.
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.