Sunday, March 7, 2010

Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams - March 6 - Blackrock Performing Arts Center

Ed and Nancy gave me some tickets to this show, I had never heard of this band with the full mouthful of a name, but it sounded like fun so off we went. This band, I'll just call them GM & SCoD, are led by Joziah Longo on guitar and vocals. He's an entertaining fellow who provides a running commentary between each song, sometimes even talking over the beginning of songs ("We take a long time between songs, that's one of the reasons we're not famous."). Joziah's wife, Tink Lloyd, who plays a variety of instruments but mostly accordion. She also is a very accomplished player of the theramin (does that make her a "theraminist"?). The theramin is often used by musicians simply for novelty or as a sound effect, but she was able to truly make music with it. The lead guitarist is Sharkey McEwan, he uses the slide a lot and he is quite good. The rhythm section is Tony Zuzulo on drums and Chen Longo on bass and keyboards. Chen also happens to be the son of Joziah and Tink.
So what kind of music do these guys play? Well their web site calls it "punk-classical-hillbilly-Floyd" and I certainly won't argue with that. You can definitely hear a sound similar to early Pink Floyd, especially with Sharkey's slide guitar work. Joziah's voice at times sounds like Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. Their songs are very entertaining and original. They didn't do any covers, but they started one of their songs singing the lyrics of "Pinball Wizard" to the tune of "Folsom Prison Blues" (it works!) and their encore was a combination of the Christmas song "Angels We Have Heard on High" and Van Morrison's "Gloria", which was quite clever.
The Black Rock Center for the Performing Arts has a beautiful little theater that seats about 200. Perfect for someone like the Seldom Scene (who will be there in a couple of weeks) and a solo acoustic performance, but with a rock band like GM & SCoD you need room to move around and dance. Not to mention the fact that the average age in the room must have been about 68.
I look forward to seeing GM & SCoD again, they would be perfect for Floyd Fest. And I hope to go back again to the Black Rock, to see a musical act that is more suitable for the intimate theater.

I've posted a widget to the side of this entry that you can use to listen to some of their songs, give it a try, they're fun to listen to! And thanks to Ed and Nancy for the tickets!