The First Concert in the Centre 64 Spring Series – The Love Bullies: Saturday March 21, 2015.
I didn’t really know what to expect. The Love Bullies – Shantal Vitals (guitar, vocals), Kevin Herring (Telecaster guitar), Joni Brent (Bass guitar, vocals), Caroline Connolly (lead vocals and flute) and Paul Jahn (drums) were completely unknown to me. When I interviewed them in the Green Room my first thought was “they have to be kidding”. The big hair, boots, and the polyester fashion statements from a bye gone era were enough to prompt that thought. Well, of course, to some extent they were kidding but once on stage their vintage pop music persona and musical chops were enough to make one sit up and take notice. On appearances alone I thought they were going to be a girl vocal trio doing frothy pop stuff and I suppose that’s what they did except there was a lot more musical muscle in their performance than I expected. Until they launched into the the old Peggy Lee standard Fever I didn’t realize what a musical treat we were in for. Caroline Connolly’s lead vocal was spot on, Joni Brent’s bass guitar was rock solid, and guitar duo of Shantal Vitalis (well brought up ladies are not supposed to be able to play like that) and Kevin Herring were a solid team. Tucked away in the back Paul Jahn on drums played a superb supporting role for all the action up front. They were not too far into their first set before they had the audience up dancing. The night was a mix of vintage popular music from an era that slightly predates what we know as Classic Rock. Classic covers of the era included These Boots Were Made for Walking (Nancy Sinatra), Shakin’ All Over (the original Canadian cover was by The Guess Who), Stupid Cupid (the Connie Francis hit of 1958), Mr. Perfect, I Love You Baby (covered by just about everybody way back when), Cadillac, UFO, plus a number of original songs that included Bomp, Tunnel, Friday Girl, Twang and Sayonara. None of this music was, or is, of great social significance and it is not meant to be. It doesn’t change the world but who cares. It just turns out to be great fun. Once again the Centre 64 team has turned up another winner. The down stairs Cabaret venue was sold out (and then some) and the setup was perfect for the audience and the dancers. The next concert in the series on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 will feature Guy Davis and take my word for it he is the real deal and should not be missed. In the meantime here are some images from a fun filled night ……. just ask the dancers.