Show Review! by LENS & EARJOY

Sideshow Tramps, Vagabond Swing and Nick Gaitan's Umbrella Man
Friday Nov. 26th, 2010
Continental Club - HTX

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Nick Gaitan's Umbrella Man

   LENS: Vagabond Swing took the Continental Club stage this past Friday, after Nick Gaitan and The Umbrella Man started the post-Thanksgiving weekend off to a small, but eagerly responsive crowd. With the Sideshow Tramps headlining, the anticipation had already been growing all week for some fast-moving, dance-induced, body-flying…which the Tramps are famous for. Even early on, there was a quality to the applause that was laced with energy, and as if on cue, the aroma of the barbecue stand won me over with one tiny tale about "whiskey" and "strength". 
    For Vagabond Swing, to follow-up an award-winning Houston favorite, and then perform before another award-winning Houston favorite is not an easy place to be, but I had heard they had roots around Lafayette, and two studio tracks promised that their gypsy style was well-matched for the bill.


    When I walked back in from my sandwich, Vagabond Swing had commandeered the venue with a rather impressive momentum, 'The Good The Bad and The Couillon' was enticing and there seemed to be an expansive energy occurring between the band and the increasing crowd. The drummer was standing up and urging them with loud ravings, and they immediately responded with a roar. The dual horns rose out of a slow and gaining rhythm, and as the tempo increased in the room, the mandolin added a chiming accent...and by the time the upright bass and drums kicked in, the place has gone completely bananas. As if taunting the uprisal, the band went into the next song without any delay, and the swirling room responded by reversing direction.


  EARJOY:What was seemingly the sound of a freight train rolling out of swampy backwoods railyard quickly shifted tempo as if pulling into an upbeat Carnivale style jam out, followed with lyrical ringmaster style demand by vocalist/drummer, Roy Durand, "ATTENTION EVERYONEEE..." as him and Jon Stone on vocals/mandolin alert the crowd of a hiest with the rest of Vagabond Swing just as convincing. As I looked around the crowd for a bit I realized that had this been a real hiest Vagabond would have walked away with bags of jewelry and cash, the crowd was convinced. Now, not a soul would leave the room even for a smoke, the crowd was in a world of their own provided by Vagabond Swing.


EARJOY:By the time the trumpets started roaring the well orchestrated 'Soundtrack To An Untimely Death' to end the evenings set, the fans(I say fans because what was once a crowd evolved into fans) were not ready for the set to end. As Hayden Talley was getting funky on the Upright Bass, Weebor, Jesse and Jon all seem to be shooting smiles of appreciation over at recent addition Steven Pilcher tearing up the Trumpet. Being a Local Live Music junkie seeing a band form is something I take great honor in being a part of.


LENS:As I walked through, Geoffrey Muller from the Sideshow Tramps watched intently from corner-stage. Nick Gaitan, smiling with friends at stage-left, was clearly enjoying the show, and upon my arrival at center-stage, Felipe from Los Skarnales mentions to me how much of a blast he is having. I got swept up in my own personal camera frenzy in the front row for a bit, and soon realized that some members of the crowd were completely entranced, and that I was surrounded by a rhythmic mass of smiling faces. We all seem to be independently drifting somewhere beautiful at the same time through this strangely hypnotic music.

LENS:During the moment Vagabond Swing hands over the stage, I realize I probably should have had three sandwiches...

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EARJOY:Soon into the Sideshow Tramps set we realized the show wasn't over for Vagabond Swing as Trumpet master Josh LeBlanc slowly walks on stage and takes position next to Geoffrey Muller. Now folks, this show is becoming one of the best Musical bills I have attended in quite some time.As im Lost in The Sideshow Tramps rockin out I saw a few more of the Vagabond members start removing their instruments from the cases on the side of the stage...



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