Saturday, May 2, 2009

Henry Clay People, Residency Show #4 (4/27/2009)

Photo by Scott Schultz

When will they be back?

A lot of Henry Clay People news was made
over the last two weeks, and Monday night was no exception. THCP are really going to make a run, and I don't see how it won't be successful. They signed with a new management company and are going to be playing Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits later this year. And supposedly there were "a lot of important people" at the show to check them out. On top of that, Joey and Andy quit their jobs on Monday and said they are starting a tour in Washington, D.C. this coming Monday without giving any more details. It turns out this tour is opening for Ben Harper and the Relentless 7. Great news.

Onto the show . . .

I was pleasantly surprised by Young Love's dance-rock. It's odd, though, that this is a band from the former frontman for Recover. But I suppose if Gabe Saporta can do it, so can Dan Reyes.

I was also surprised by The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, who are now female-less. I thought they had replaced their departing female with another. I didn't stay long or pay close enough attention, but it sounded like their musical style had also changed towards more energetic, straight ahead indie rock.

As for The Henry Clay People, their set was a barnburner. I haven't been so entertained in a long time. It was the "covers" show that was supposed to happen last week, but I didn't bring my camera because I didn't know. I've learned my lesson. For photos taken by others, see here and here.

I knew something was up before their set when I saw extra mics on stage and Ross from The Broken West tuning a guitar. But I had no idea what was about to happen. THCP came on in full costume: hats, feather boas, velvet frocks, sunglasses. It was quite a spectacle. The Damselles, a local female doo-wop group, joined the band on stage for a most of the set and added a new dimension to both the originals and the covers. Adam from Fol Chen and Hunter from Flying Tourbillon also made appearances.

Covers included "Roll Away the Stone" "Proud Mary," and to close, of course, was "Honky Tonk Women." The band was very well prepared -- the covers sounded great; no sloppiness.

As for original Henry Clay songs, they played three brand new ones that they had only played during the residency, as well as the new classic "Working Part Time," which they played after announcing that they had quit their jobs.

In all, it's the end of the era of THCP as a "local band" (even if they were the best local band in LA), an era that I had the privilege of being part of for the past few months. Now the rest of the country will have the opportunity LA has enjoyed. They will be missed, of course.

Here's a video towards the beginning of that era: THCP playing "Fine Print" three years ago at the Echo.

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