The Euclid Tavern was packed with friends and fans. The line-up was excellent—some of the very best of what was going on in Cleveland and the Rust Belt at that moment: the O.G. line-up of Biblical Proof Of UFOs, Downside Special and Philo Beddow from Michigan, in addition to the Duvalbys.
My apologies if I missed any names—my brain has seen better days. (Please contact me. I’d appreciate your help remembering.)
Mason “Jar” Boor reviewed the night’s proceedings in The Rocker:
It was nice to see huge bunches of people out to support one of Cleveland’s finest bands, the Duvalby Brothers, on the occasion of the release of their first CD. But there were a few other bands that played on this bill and I’ll talk about them first.
The first two bands that played are both barely out of the crib, and both are making some awesome sound. Biblical Proof of UFOs are an instrumental power trio that are already giving bands like Craw and Primitive a run for the money. I think where BPUFOs stand apart, and perhaps above in the local “heavy prog” scene is their sense of melody. The rhythm section grooves like hell, but they are grooves that almost anyone can rock along with, and not stand there scratching their heads. But we must have noise, and the guitarist provides plenty of that. At times though, I had trouble picking the guitar out of the mix. I think a thicker guitar sound might help, but I’m no expert.
Downside Special are also newbies to the scene, as a band anyway, even though individually they are quite the veterans. Quazimodo, dimbulb, Sissy … heard of ’em? Well, combine them in a blender, throw in a bit more classic rock, maybe a bit of T. Rex or some Stones, and you have a Downside Special. They rocked, maybe a bit too long for a 4-band bill, but people were still yelling for more.
Ann Arbor’s Philo Beddow made a welcome return to a Cleveland stage. It’s been almost eight months since they’ve played here, and unfortunately, this was probably their last show. They still rocked, doing a sort of Quicksand meets Craw kind of thing. I’ve accused them of being a bit too stiff and scientific sounding in the past; however their set on this wild Friday night was anything but. It’s too bad they can’t hold it together and get another CD out, because they’ve really got something going. Unfortunately, I think they all want to get real jobs. Screw that!
If this evening’s set was any indication, the Duvalbys very well could be one of the few Cleveland indie bands to make big waves beyond the Lake Erie shores. Maybe the limb I’m on is too thin to support the weight of this claim, but hell, I’ve been wrong before and I’m still alive.
All I can say is see this band while they’re still playing out once a month. The last four or five shows they’ve played have all been stunning. And now with the release of their disc The SleepyTime Medicine Band, you can take that great Duvalby sound home with you.
What is it they do? It’s so damned original. I have a hard time putting words to it. Sleepy yet awake, lazy yet angry, relaxed yet furious, sometimes all in the same song. To quote a review of an up-and-coming band from Athens, GA, the Duvalbys make music that sounds as young as the fields, yet old as the hills.
There’s also the U.S. Rocker album review by Damon N. Smith:
The Sleepytime Medicine Band
I spent last summer renovating a midtown warehouse. For a few weeks I overheard some rehearsals in the space above me. I found out later that it was the Duvalby Bros. providing better noise than my circular saw. One year passes, I come home from work, and my roommate has the brand new record in his hot little hands. It goes on, and I damn near fall over backwards. This is a beautiful, honest record. I could go on about great dynamics and unpredictable harmonies. I could go on about Charlie’s bass ebbing and flowing just so. I could go on about how Joey and Buzz wrap guitar lines around each other as well as Lloyd and Verlaine did. I could go on about Beetle putting everything where it belongs. I could go on about Buzz’s impassioned vocals. But I won’t. I have a feeling these guys would laugh at me if I did. I’ll just say that this record speaks to me. Who can ask for more that that?
These next photos may be from a different show—I’m just not sure. (Please contact me if you can recall more info than I.)
Though I suppose it is possible the Duvalbys changed clothes for the encore? And the entire audience did as well?
I do know that these pics are also by Karen Novak and provide a nice coda to this post, as this is how so many Duvalby Bros. shows DID end: with Will Scharf or some wingnut hanging from the rafters. It still impresses me.
I love that electric look on Buzz’s face in the last photo too. RIP.
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