Chapel Hill's The Popes Set Reunion Gig


Feb. 4 in Chapel Hill,
with Phil Collins opening.


By Fred Mills


Followers of the Tar Heel indie rock scene and aficionados
of good old-school style hi-nrg power pop were stoked last fall when legendary Chapel Hill band The Popes finally had their classic ’88
mini-album Hi, We’re The Popes reissued
for the first time in digital form, including bonus tracks. As the band’s John
Elderkin (currently of The Public Good) told us at the time, “We played
regularly in the late 80s and early 90s. The EP made a splash that surprised
even the band – Billboard gave it a rave review, Jon Pareles of The
New York Times
sent a note asking for more music, and the record debuted
on CMJ’s “Hot New Release” chart one spot higher than R.E.M.’s album
of the same week. We later released a cassette-only collection called Afar and several specialty releases, including a hard-rocking cover of Alex
Chilton’s ‘I’m in Love with a Girl’ that garnered national college radio play.”


Apparently the response has been wildly enthusiastic among
old friends and fans of the band, so they’ve decided to do a reunion show on
Feb. 4 at Chapel Hill club Local 506. Details
can be found at their Facebook page, and it’s probably one of those “event”
events that will sell out in advance, if the group’s popularity back in the day
is any predictor. The opening act is – get this – Phil Collins! Okay, okay, not
that Phil Collins, but rather the
Phil Collins of fellow NC band Satellite Boyfriend, which was also greatly
beloved it its time. A good time is guaranteed for all.

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