Monday, June 13, 2011

Transporters @ Honfest 2011: Satisfaction Guaranteed

Sunday, June 12, 2001
Honfest (TM), Hampden

Transporters freak the beat @ Hunfest

The Transporters are:
Joe Stone: Guitar & Vocals
Joel Denolt: Guitar & Vocals
Steve Caplan: Drums & Vocals
Nick Sypniewski: Bass

OK, I admit it: I went to Denise Whiting's Attila the Hunfest (officially known as Honfest) on Sunday - but only to support those land-of-pleasant-living troubadors, The Transporters. The Transporters play righteous retro rock of the classic Sixties variety, specifically British Invasion, Brit Beat, Merseybeat, Garage, Mod, Psychedelic and/or Nuggets-friendly songs that are sometimes called "Freakbeat" by retro CD compilers. We're talking Stones, Yardbirds, Kinks, Beatles, Love, Who, Small Faces, Byrds, Pretty Things, Them, Doors, The Seeds. Whatever you call it, it is the music Baby Boomers like Amy and I grew up with, so we're as familiar with these musical chestnuts as our AARP Membership card numbers. And from their opening Stones number, "Satisfaction" was guaranteed to one and all in attendance.

Starting at 4 p.m., The Transporters played two sets this day (one before and after a crowd-scattering rainstorm) and were introduced by their unofficial fanboy/mascot/stage dancer, Dave Cawley - yes, the same well-dressed "Man About Town" and dedicated flower of fashion you've seen featured in Urbanite magazine, tripping the light fantastic on the dancefloor at Soul Night and Reaction, and defying gravity whilst plucking his Hofner bass with local surf-rockers Garage Sale. Dave not only introduced the band, but also did some onstage dancing with the freakbeatin' foursome on their opening Rolling Stones number "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," replete with fey Jaggeresque hand-clapping. The Transporters might want to consider adding Dave as a full-time dancer - the "Fifth Member," as it were - a la Mancunian madcap Bez's role with The Happy Mondays.

Helter Swelter: "Memo to McCartney: you may be a lover but you ain't no dancer - not like me, baby!"

Like-minded musicians tend to gravitate toward one another like a band of, well, a Band of Brothers, and soon after spotting Dave Cawley, we ran into Skizz Cyzyk and then John Irvine - representing 3/4 of the mostly instro/all-mental Garage Sale (and we were sure GS guitarist Dave McDonough was somewhere in the Honfest crowd - probably "refueling" at the beer truck!). Skizz and John were there to support their other band bandmate, Joe Stone, who also plays in The Jennifers. Plus John Irvine was soon to join the Transporters on stage to add some brass to their Sixties sass. (More on that later...)

Slaughter on the Avenue: Joe Stone and Joel Denolt's twin-guitar opening salvo

The Transporters really had the crowd grooving with their opening guitar onslaught of "Satisfaction" (Stones), "I Need You" (Kinks) and "I Feel Fine" (Beatles), as shown in the video clip below:

Watch "Transporters @ Honfest, Part 1."

"That last song sounds really obscure," Dave Cawley commented. "Wonder if it was one of those little-known Liverpudlian beat groups?" Um, yes...

Joe Stone feels a whole lot better playing his Vox Phantom 12-string

Then the ever-observant Dave Cawley, noticing Joe Stone strapping on his 12-string guitar, shouted out, "Play some Byrds!" - to which six-string Transporters plucker Joel Denolt replied, "You've been looking at at set list, good sir!"

"Play some Byrds!" Dancin' Dave demands, spreading his wings to fly across the dancefloor

The band then obliged with Gene Clark's classic "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better," followed by The Outsiders' "Time Won't Let Me," as recorded in the video clip below.

Watch "Transporters @ Honfest, Part 2."

Joe "Heart of" Stone and Joel "Never a Wrong Note" Denolt essay the parts of Roger McGuinn and David Crosby during their Byrds homage

The one-man Transporters Glee Club continued to rally the troops as he called out for more retro rockers.

"Please sirs, can I have some more of your tasty licks?!" Dave beckons, his freakbeat appetite unsated

The band obliged, with a bevy of Boomer-friendly beats and sizzlin' Sixties sounds, as captured in the photos below. And note guitarist Joe Stone's uncanny resemblance to Jason Stratham of the Transporter action movie franchise; could it be the band is named after the movie and not in homage to the global transportion industry (am I smart or what?)?

There are but four Transporters, but on this day they had celebrity guest musicians sitting in with them, among them trumpter John Irvine and singer Jeni Jones.

Hey Chum, It's Time to Come Blow Your Horn!

You see, besides playing guitar in Garage Sale and The Jennifers, John Irvine is a Munsingwear Penguin spokesmodel and part-time trumpet player. John attended Hunfest with his photogenic girlfriend Kelly (as shown below)...

Cute Couple: John & Kelly

...and later hit the stage to blow trumpet on several numbers with The Transporters. That John: he's flexible, just like Munsingwear casual apparel! Clearly John's horn-iness wasn't sated by playing "Lonely Bull" with Garage Sale during last weekend's Tunes @ The Tower gig up the street at the Roland Water Tower. And while I was disappointed that the Young Man with a Horn didn't play any selections from the Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass songbook (despite my repeated shout-outs for "Lonely Bull"), he did the Transporters proud with his sassy brass on the Arthur Lee & Love classic "Alone Again Or," aided and abetted by Jeni Jones shaking her maracas.

John Irvine: "I should warn you: I play a mean 'Little Spanish Flea'!"

Joe Stone: "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you John Irvine. And take it from me, this guy really blows!"

The sound of trumpet and maracas filled the air - and still no Herb Alpert songs!

John thinks to himself: "All those years of listening to Chuck Mangione records is finally paying off big time!"

John Irvine: "Hey guys, I also blow a mean 'Tijuana Taxi'"

Jeni Jones just wants "Somebody to Love"

After shaking her maracas during "Alone Again Or" (as shown above), Jeni Jones rested her wrists and proceeded to stir the crowd with her voice when she essayed the role of Grace Slick to sing Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To Love" with the Transporters.

The crowd was shaken, then stirred by singer Jeni Jones

At this point, Dave Cawley decided to rest his legs, taking his place in the VIP seating area in front of the stage, where he took a seat next to Joe Stone's girlfriend Sarah.

"I go out with the dreamy guitar player!" Sarah Hilton gushes

"Oh yeah?" Dave Cawley retorts, "Well, I go out with the Utz Potato Chip Girl - see?" "Ha! Everyone knows she's seeing Mr. Boh," Sarah snorts.

"I find their work very pleasing, aesthetically that is," Dave Cawley muses from his perch in the plush VIP Seating Area (far from the maddening crowd). "They have a very appealing weltanschauung."

Cooling off with a cold libation, Dave strikes his most suave "I'm Harrison Ford - get to know me!" pose

Then, the Transporters really turned up the heat in their "Soul Kitchen" (The Doors), before "Pushin' Too Hard" (The Seeds) as they neared the end of their first set, as shown in the following video clip.

Watch "Transporters @ Honfest, Part 3."

Near the end of the Transporters' first set, the first drops of rain started to come down, which forced us inside to Woodward's Antique Collectables, where I busied myself debating whether to buy another very clean-looking copy of The Raspberries' Fresh LP for $4 (you can never have enough Fresh Raspberries!) while Amy looked for yet more vintage clothing.

"I like shopping for clothes!" says Amy, in her 9th Life Plumbing Skirt

By the time we looked out again, a torrential rainstorm was pouring down and we had to wait it out as we watched nervous vendors frantically move their wares inside or pack up for the day.

Apres les Deluge

After the deluge, we ventured out again just in time to see the start of the Transporters' second set. Much of the crowd had scattered, thinking the gig was a washout...

A dedicated few in raingear stuck around

...but for those who stayed, the highlight was cleary the Dave Cawley Dance Party. Usually seen only in the Midnight Hour at the Sidebar's Reaction! parties and Soul Night at the Lithuanian Hall in SoWeBo, Dave's terpsichorean twinkle toes were on full display for all to see in the suddenly bright-again late afternoon sunshine, as the Transporters' musical missives seemed to trigger an almost Pavlovian urge in Dave to put his body into frenetic motion.

Watch Dave Cawley and Sarah Hilton tear it up dancing to the Yardbirds' "Over Under Sideways Down" and The Who's "Run Run Run."

Dave goes Over...



and Down, dancing to the Yardbirds!

Will he go round in circles?

Following Dave's lead, girls in the audience went wild, dancing in the streets like crazed maenads!

At the conclusion of the Transporters post-deluge set, Dave and Sarah gave the Transporters a standing ovation.

"Well played sirs!" Dave bellowed. "I raise my cup to thee and drink thy health!"

Also Observed: Hons, Nuns and Buns

Girls just wanna have...nun???

"These sisters thought today was Nunfest," cackle some Honfest Hons

The Sisters were having Nun of those lascivious short skirts: "Spread yer cheeks and take your bun-ishment!"

This babe - in taut form-fitting lycra - obviously thought it was Bunfest

And that, music lovers, is the Living End of this tale.

Thank you, Transporters, oh timeless jingle-jangling troubadors of yore! Like the Pied Piper, you led us on a musical journey down Memory Lane to Happy Days and Good Times.

Related Links:
Transporters66 (MySpace)
Transported (Accelerated Decrepitude)

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Anonymous Baltimore Nightlife said...

It's always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I'm sure you had fun writing this article.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Top Music Charts said...

I had a great time reading some of your post.. keep it up and hope to read more great stories ahead

9:44 AM  

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