Retro Rockers Channel Groovy Garage & Brit Invasion Vibe
(Friday, September 12) - Though I had to get up early for work the next day, the Joe Squared lineup this night was too good to resist: the hot-rocking garage/surf/mod combo Garage Sale, their surf-instro soul-mates The Tritons, and the debut of a band called The Transporters - the latter featuring Jennifers' guitarist Joe Stone.
Joe Stone (left) and The Jennifers
I only got to stick around for the first two acts (sorry Skizz, Big Dave, Dave McD and John-I!) and while the co-ed Tritons (featuring poet Jenny Keith Ciattei on guitar and hubby Chris "Batworth" Ciattei - he of Plow, Little Gruntpack, Furniture Falling Down the Stairs, The Bobwhites, The Soul Gamblers, etc., etc. - on drums) were tremendous, I'm here to gush about the new kids in town, The Transporters.
The Transporters spun fun '60s singles jingles
The Transporters, nattily attired in sports coats-and-ties and living up to their "cool old sounds played in cool new ways" advance billing, played nothing but retro Garage nuggets and British Invasion cover songs - - and it was crowd-pleasingly delightful! We're talking Kinks ("Till the End of the Day," "I'm Not Like Everybody Else," and the fairly obscure "Gotta Get the First Plane Home" from Kinks Kontroversy and "Holiday In Waikiki" from Face To Face), The Who ("Run, Run, Run"), Les Fleurs des Lys ("Circles"), Yardbirds ("A Certain Girl," "Heartful of Soul," "Over, Under, Sideways, Down"), The Them ("I Can Only Give You Everything"), The Standells ("Good Guys Don't Always Wear White"), early Stones ("The Last Time," "19th Nervous Breakdown") and their ilk. They even threw in Love's psych remake of Bacharach-David's "Little Red Book"!
My friend Dave Cawley calls this style "Freakbeat" but I hate this made-up term for vintage Sixties guitar rock (why does everything have to be a catchphrase? No sir, like China's stance on Taiwan, I refuse to official recognize it!) Let's just say the tune-age met the crowd-pleasing criteria of fuzzy guitars, snarly vocals and a stomping beat.
Anyway, when I got home it made me immmediately start digging out my old vinyl and start playing the originals again, including the Yardbirds' Roger the Engineer, as this 1966 LP featured my fave song "Over Under Sideways Down" - a song you never hear covered by anybody. (Roger The Engineer also featured the Jeff Beck guitar-boogie workout track called "The Nazz Are Blue" - a song that provided the name for Todd Rundgren's old band Nazz; of course Beck's tune took its name from the old Lord Buckley Jesus-of-Nazareth routine "The Nazz"). Later I started spinning my old Stones singles, Kinks komps and Nuggets. So thanks, Transporters - you transported me back to happy days of yore and helped reaquaint me with my record collection!
By the way, straight from Joe Stone, here's the official set list from Friday night's gig at Joe Squared...and Joe assures there's more where that came from!
Transporters Set List:
a certain girl
till the end of the day
holiday in waikiki
little red book
I'm not like everybody else
heart full of soul
I can only give you everything
sometimes good guys don't wear white
over under sideways down
run run run
19th nervous breakdown