Live at the Soiled Dove Underground.
BY TIM HINELY
Afternoon shows are always a bit weird (I’m sure for the musicians as well, probably even more so) but even though I had had a late the night before at the SLF/Avengers gig I was not about to miss the Trashcan Sinatras who were hitting the stage at 1:30 in the afternoon. I’d already mowed the lawn (and my wife and kid were shopping) so my day was free. This particular venue is in the basement of a restaurant, kinda cabaret style, and it was maybe 2/3 full for this gig (should have been packed for these guys).
If I’m correct I believe they’ve been touring on different albums the past few years and for this tour it was their 1996 album A Happy Pocket and the much better 2004 record Weightlifting (I unfortunately missed last year’s Cake and I’ve Seen Everything tour).
For this tour it was vocalist Frank Reader (who mostly sang lead but played guitar on a few), John Douglas (who played rhythm guitar and sang a few) and Paul Livingston who was playing lead guitar while sitting down in a chair behind them.
They opened with the songs from A Happy Pocket, not a bad album but definitely not the quality of the first two, which were fabulous. Still the band brought the songs to life with Reader pouring every bit of emotion into it while John and Paul furiously strummed away (or is most cases strummed delicately). Reader telling funny stories and Douglas occasionally telling what the songs were about.
“Twisted and Bent” “A Pop Place” and the final two, “Safecracker” and “Therapist” were among my faves from this set.
After a 15 minute break they came out for 2004’s Weightlifting. In my opinion a much better record and the songs in this set much livelier and more dynamic. Cuts like “Got Carried Away,” “All the Dark Horses” the title track and especially “What Women Do To Men” were absolutely sublime. The crowd was mostly focused and attentive throughout the whole set.
These guys are all about song craftsmanship and are among the best in the business. In this intimate setting all of the songs beautiful intricacies and nuances came out. It was a really wonderful afternoon of music.
They don’t make it to our shores very often so when they do you’ve gotta get out and see them. I’m sure glad I did.