Buzzed Bands Podcast, Ep. 2 w/ Cold Blood Club

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Phenomenal Handclap Band Played Santos

Kenya stopped by The Phenomenal Handclap Band show at Santos last week.

The Phenomenal Handclap Band
Record Release @ Santos Party House

Cluster fuck at the door over RSVP reduce priced admission vs. actual free comps aside - added to the one hour delay on the door opening - getting in was worth the wait. First time at Santos. But when I saw the Greek columns, neon lighting and heard the techno beat thumping out of the sound system, I thought I'd walked into the wrong place. It was interesting. I half expected people to be handing out glow sticks and blowing bubbles. But the place was filled with preppies and hipster kids. Sort of good-naturedly bumping their heads along in time and tapping their Chuck-clad feet.

We all knew by then, of course that this was the day a legend died and I was half expecting an all night MJ tribute via mixed and mashed Jackson classics. What I got was an eclectic combination of dance beat boogie I'd never heard mixed in such a way I didn't quite know how to respond to. Featured DJs Tim Sweeney, Mike Simonetti, Tim Love Lee, Smallchange, and Amir were responsible for this. One of them spun "The Way You Make Me Feel" and that got the crowd jumping and singing.

Well, after what seemed like five hours to me, TPHB finally emerged from behind a black curtain engulfed in a modest cloud of smoke. Dressed to the nines in hippie-hipster garb complete with tambourines, long hair and bell bottoms - they got right down to it. The set was phenomenal, yeah. The sound was fantastic. Santos has wonderful acoustics in that place. Keyboard, bass, guitar, drums - put through the paces. Solos out of this world like you couldn't believe. How cliche and silly would it be for me to say I wanted it to be Woodstock in there? They were the perfect blend of dance rock, funk, soul and disco. Some slow, some earth-shatteringly fast paced, they plowed through jams like "Testimony" "Baby" and "15 to 20".

The band called for a moment of silence for Michael, which would have been a complete respectful success if some asshat hadn't shouted "Fuck Michael Jackson" into it. The offender was hissed into submission and the show went on.

The actual complete make-up of TPHB is something like 20+ with contributions on the album being made by members of rock ensembles the likes of TV On The Radio, Mooney Suzuki, and The Dap Kings, to name a few. The self titled debut album is chock full of funk meets psychedelic rock cuts like "You'll Disappear" and "All of the Above". The band is currently on tour in the UK, which include a number of popular festivals such as Wireless, O2 and Latitude. The Brits will probably eat it up because they love anything different (read: refreshing) from that post punk brit rock they're used to over there.

Cheers and good luck to The Phenomenal Handclap Band.

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