One of the best shows I have seen this year happened this past summer. It was the second show at Spartanburg South Carolina’s Hub-Bub The Showroom. The Showroom is a wonderful venue for a live show. The P.A. sounds excellent and it carries an atmosphere that displays shows ranging in art, films, poetry, exhibits and live music, from regional to national acts. If you ask me, it’s one of the finest places to see a show in the historic city of Spartanburg SC in these old hillbilly’s eyes. The Showroom used to be the old Gilbert’s Shoe building and, for years as a young lad, I would purchase many pairs of discounted Converse All Stars.
• Rick Miller (Vocals, Guitar)
• Dave Hartman (Percussion)
• Mary Huff (Vocals, Bass guitar)
• Tim Barnes (Guitar)
The gathering spot hosted Southern Culture on the Skids on the muggy, hot Friday evening of July 27, 2012. I was there to represent Outlaw Magazine along with help from some true professionals in Mother Shutter (April Brit-Kelly) and Brian Kelly Multi-Media (who are to thank for the rated “A” for Awesome photography and video footage of this deep fried, zombiefied night).
The opening band was Graviton and they played a short set that put me in the mind of Man or Astroman? mixed with the kings of Budget Rock the Mummies. It was all instrumental songs that gave off a surf rock vibe mixed with The Munster-like organs. I hadn’t check out the band until the day of the show but I will dig into the catalog for sure and encourage you if you want to expand your musical taste to give them a listen.
After purchasing two Budweisers for each hand (in case one broke down), I ran into the dynamic duo of Joanie Wycuff and Lindsay who came “straight outta” Compton and who, by the way, were victims of last year’s S.C.O.T.S on stage chicken flinging incident by yours truly. They appeared to still be recovering from being slung with Church’s fried poultry. (We wish them a speedy recovery). The show began with “Too Much Pork For Just One Fork” as Spartanburg’s premier listening room quickly filled up with folks. The set featured cuts all the way back from the Dirt Track Date album, to one of the newer records, Zombiefied.If you don’t know anything about the band they have been around since 1983, hailing from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The band sound is that of a bastard child of B-52’s, mixed with Dwight Yoakam’s Twang and Dick Dale’s surf rock guitar.
A show always involves crowd participation, and this year yours truly got to do a Kazoo solo (which was purchased at a Snidely Sidewinder and the Unrepentant Uke boys show, so thanks fellas!). A long time friend of the band, a fella by the name of Larry Easler, was in attendance and gave the band a Coconut Monkey before the show that was placed on stage.
I asked Larry about the monkey and he said, “I have collected coconut monkeys for years. Mostly, they were made into banks with a slot cut on the back and a plug on bottom. I think that they are one of the quirkiest throwbacks to Southern vacations and tourism in the sixties and seventies. When I was a kid, we would go to Florida and someone in my crazy family would always bring them back, along with other crap…er… souvenirs made from sea-shells, sharks teeth, etc. Heck, you used to actually buy baby alligators back then! This one was unusual in that instead of the usual *bank* design, it is actually an ash tray. It also bears some vague resemblance to Rick (Miller) in a goofy, twisted sort of way. I just thought that somewhere in the aura of the Coconut Monkey, there might emerge a SCOTS song…who knows.” I think that ole Monkey had some Voodoo in it because I lost my keys twice that night.!
It is always a party with S.C.O.T.S.
They went through the vast catalog from the Chapel Hill Band who has been around since 1983. I found it cool they mentioned playing many moons ago the now-closed Dawg Gones venue, which back in the day was the place to play in Spartanburg.
It was one week away from the bassist Mary Huff’s birthday. I made a request to Rick Miller for the everyone to sing her “Happy Birthday.” The crowd then had a chorus serenading the redhead’s ears to wish her the happiest of birthdays.
The night ended just like a typical night of a S.C.O.T.S. event, where everyone gets on stage and tosses fried chicken to the audience. I was already on the stage, so as people hopped into the madness, I was passing out pieces of the 8 piece box as the psychobilly twang masters did their thing. The room was no longer safe as the forecast called for deep-fried chicken raining from the stage. After the encore, the lights came on and a guy with a broom was sweeping up the remains of some poor ole chicken.
So, what we learned on this special evening was…Southern Culture on the Skids in Spartanburg’s The Showroom sounded first-rate as always. The band knows its roots and really knows how to get you to let your hair down. Larry’s monkey had some voodoo in it causing me to lose my keys and it was a deep fried, zombified time for sure.
Just another day at the office for Southern Culture on The Skids.
~ Jason Robinson
Jason Wallace Robinson hails from Spartanburg, South Carolina. He’s a writer, storyteller, philosopher, single father raising two children, music lover, dreamer, joker. He writes to speak for the Common Man. He enjoys football and driving around in his ’96 Chevy Lumina adorned with an American Flag and decorative bird offerings.
By April Britt-Kelly
Mother Shutter Photography
Photographing Musicians, Bands and Events
“Like” Mother Shutter Photography on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mothershutter
Follow The Mutha Shutter on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheMuthaShutter
“I’ll shoot you!” Mother Shutter
Vidoe by Brian Kelly Multi-Media:
Outlaw Magazine. Country, Rock and Roll, Blues, Folk, Americana, Punk. As long as it is real, it is OUTLAW. Overproduced mediocrity need not apply.