Flamin' Groovies + The Cairo Gang at Moe's Alley, Santa Cruz @ Moe's Alley, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz [17 May]

Flamin' Groovies + The Cairo Gang at Moe's Alley, Santa Cruz

20:00 - 23:00

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Moe's Alley, Santa Cruz
1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz, California 95065
(((FolkYEAH!!!))) presents legendary rockers FLAMIN' GROOVIES with special guests THE CAIRO GANG (Emmett Kelly).

Doors 8:00 PM, Show 8:30 PM
Patio Menu by Jerk House Santa Cruz:


The Flamin' Groovies’ story goes all the way back to 1965, when the band began as the Chosen Few in their hometown of San Francisco, California. After a name change and a self-released 10-inch album called Sneakers, which sold amazingly well, the band caught the attention of Columbia Records, who signed them and released their first real album, Supersnazz, on the Epic label. Their next two albums were released on the Kama Sutra label: Flamingo, and the now revered classic Teenage Head.

Lead singer Roy Loney then left the band and lead guitarist Cyril Jordan moved the group to England, with Chris Wilson (formerly of Loose Gravel) taking over as front man. They continued their style of straight-ahead guitar-driven rock n' roll but this time with a more 60's rather than 50's influence. A few singles on United Artists, recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales with Dave Edmunds producing, followed in the early '70s. In '76 they signed to Sire Records, who released three true gems of power pop: Shake Some Action, Flamin' Groovies Now, and Jumpin' in the Night.

Shortly afterwards, Wilson moved to England and joined the Barracudas, and the Groovies continued into the early '90s touring Australia and Europe, putting out a fine-but-overlooked album called Rock Juice, and then finally called it quits. Jordan formed a new band called Magic Christian while Wilson released solo albums in Europe.

Jordan and Wilson reunited in 2013 and have been touring for the past four years, both nationally and internationally, and released their first single in decades last year on Burger Records, Crazy Macy.

In 2017, Jordan, Wilson and newly added bass player Chris von Sneidern and drummer Tony Sales for a tour in support of the band’s new album, Fantastic Plastic… Fans have been delighted with what is being called «a dream set list,» including original songs the band has never performed before onstage.

Photo: Greg Gutbezahl

«Emmett Kelly has worked under the Cairo Gang banner for 20 years now. While the group's origins date back to his high school music making, nothing was officially released until a self-titled debut appeared in 2006. The group's sound can evoke a near-Platonic ideal of mid-'60s rock 'n' roll, basking in the moment when garage rock attitude took on a proto-psychedelia shimmer. Their newest record, Untouchable, released by Drag City imprint God?, is as pure an expression of straightforward rock 'n' roll you'll find in 2017. Over its lean eight-song tracklist, guitars chug and chime, drums strut and swing, and Kelly's melodic dexterity satisfyingly soars. Kelly explains that the record grew from working with garage maestro Ty Segall.

»Kelly has played on Ty's records and been a member of Segall's touring band, The Muggers. Bringing Segall in to return the favor on a Cairo Gang release just made sense. «I felt like it was a good time to open up to others, you know? Ty has been a great support to me, both musically and as a friend over the past few years. He's a phenomenal drummer, so I wanted to cut the basic tracks with him playing live, just because his demos are the best.»

«Kelly, of course, has recorded and toured with plenty of artists besides Segall. (Will Oldham, Angel Olsen, Joan of Arc, and Beth Orton are just a few.) He's a highly sought session musician, a player whose touch can be found on many of the most significant rock records of recent years.

»A fascinating aspect to Untouchable is the diverse, behind-the-scenes influences that inform the songwriting. These include Pataphysician authors, the music of Gong and The Soft Machine, and questions about the subjective experience of time. «It's weird to think that you would perceive of time as slow or fast,» he continues. «The whole record mostly was about time. Because it's like, it's all about timing, every single thing that you do. You can't make anything happen, you have to surrender to the circumstance and also act accordingly.» His answers are a reminder that some seriously far-out shit often informs what, at first glance, appears to be straight up rock 'n' roll music.

Three years ago, Emmett Kelly returned to his native Los Angeles after a stint living in Chicago. Meanwhile, the live Cairo Gang rhythm section (Ryan Weinstein and drummer Marc Riordan) made the move out in January of this year. Kelly is looking forward to getting the lineup out on tour. «It's been such a strange road with the Cairo Gang. I've just done so much music with so many different people. The main thing in my life is this project so I really want to see it grow.» Mike Pursley, POPMATTERS
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