Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On The Road with The Vandelles

On Saturday, August 6, 2011, a band I have great admiration and respect for - The Vandelles - played a show at Pa's Lounge in Boston - as part of the Deep Heaven Now IV music festival.

Having been invited to accompany the band for this road trip, I quickly whipped together my travel bag and hopped into the van that ace guitarist Christo Buffam was driving.

High tech equipment in hand, we were on the road to Boston.

Along the way, we acknowledged a personal fave town of mine.

Listen and watch - to the song that defines what the summer of 2011 is all about:

"Summer Fling" knows just where to put the "doo doo doo's." We all wanna have one, but it can be more if you want it too. The tone is dark and deep, with waves of Jas and Lu's voices cascading all over you. It's all anchored so solidly by Honey's tom tom thump. Christo's guitar atmospherics and melody lines over Jasno's wall-of-buzz complete the picture.

One of the festival locations was a club called "Precinct" (which not so coincidentally was below the police precinct there). There was another festival going on as well - complete with a huge mechanical dragon.

Its not something you expected to see!

People were allowed to sit on it and move its jaws via hand held wires.

Over at PA's lounge - the two Vandelles "diva's" showed up.
Charming, pretty, photogenic, talented - have I left anything out?
Oh, yeah - they are smart too.
And fun. They are fun to be around.

Notice in the lower left hand corner of this photo - drummer Honey Valentine brings her own cooling fan to shows. That one there is affectionately named "Fan Drescher"

Bassist/ super background vocalist Lulu Lapin revs it up, while Honey checks the tuning of her maraca and frontman Jasno Suarez gets show ready.

Road warrior and all around great guy (and super talented guitarist)
Christo Buffam riffs away!

The projections presented throughout the festival were visually stimulating and fully enhanced what the bands were doing.


This one created a "Terminator" like effect on Jas

The audience were totally receptive to what The Vandelles were bringing. Jas & Christo's twin-guitar attack is impressive, and the crowd lapped it up.

Lulu and Jas sing so wonderfully together. Its too bad the vocal mics were not at their best for this particular show.

Lulu captured at an essential moment.

Projected effects make for many interesting photos


Christo rocked - with or without shades

Honey V - hair a flyin'

Lu, Jas & Honey know what summer themes are all about.

Vic Firth sticks bring the ruckus

Christo takes his turn as featured vocalist

And the band plays on

How they sounded at this particular show:

Its a sound I crave.

Christo and his shadow vie for attention

Honey V - substance with style

Christo's pedal effects

More shadowplay

Color and light

Post-performance - we share a laugh

The girls and Crom - its a must do


Since it was a music festival - other bands of note who's sets I caught.

Endless Wave

Ghost Box Orchestra


Hi Tiger

Gospel Gossip
and the band that put on the whole event:

28 Degrees Taurus

Reuniting with the band was bassist/vocalist and songwriter Ana Karina DaCosta

Not only is Ana a talented musician, but she is a lovely person who's hospitality made the trip that much sweeter.

Ana let myself and a myriad of other band members crash at her house that night.

She has the cutest cat named Tigger

The view from my appointed couch

Tigger kept us all entertained

Furnishings as only a rocker would do.


Some links for those who like to click on things:


Anonymous said...

Great Review + photo's :)

DaveCromwell said...

You being a photographer, Anouk - I figured you'd appreciate them.

Ivanka said...

cool! love it! so, Dave you a got town named like you? that's really cool ) and so much nice photos ))
great review Dave))

Patricia said...

Another great review Dave!! Nice vids and cool pictures!

Help A Sister Out said...

WHAT Ana Karina reunited with 28 Degrees Taurus for the show!?? Now that is news! Also her cat's eyes are totally psychedelic. Looks like a great time.

DaveCromwell said...

Yeah, I got my own town, Ivanka. How cool is that?

Glad you like the pics and vids, Paty ;-)

Hey there HelpASisterOut - yeah Ana took their show to a whole new level. The perfect way to finish off the fest! And Tigger's eyes had us all captivated.

William said...

well dave, you were perhaps not embedded in the quite the way you would have hoped- but this wasn't half bad either! You are like the Christiane Amanpour of rock journalism but less douchey

-valis said...

Good stuff Dave. Looks as if the entire Fest' was outstanding, judging by the compilation.

DaveCromwell said...

Lol @ William !
"Christiane Amanpour of rock journalism but less douchey"

Hee, hee. Oh you and your "less douchey" theme.

(of course I love it).

Hey Valis - yeah, most of the bands that played are right up your alley. Its an event that you would definitely enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Hehe great travelogue Dave, most enjoyable.... so...writer, gig goer, photographer and now roadie ??

DaveCromwell said...

Hey Andy - if I have to carry an amp or two from time to time - no big deal. Whatever it takes to get the inside story.

Spike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Spike said...

"Summer Fling" is a beautiful song, and in the video I like it when the singers' heads are arranged around the margins. Great photos you took. I rarely hear live music, much less recent rock in small clubs, so I don't remember the wondrousness of light shows behind DARK stages since 1967! It looks like the tradition is quite alive.

Mr Smork said...

nice pics. and those girls looks like really fun gang to be around with camera. ;) seems like it was a really nice road trip, something like all writers must do.
that cat looks scary.
did you get to drive the van? :)
nice piece - easy to read - something i like. ;)

DaveCromwell said...

Dark stages with occasional light shows is what I do, Spike!

No, Mr. Smork - Christo wouldn't let me drive . . . well, its not like I asked him or anything. I was quite content to be the passenger.

Anonymous said...

Now that was fun to read! It's great to see a different approach to music journalism- with you becoming the part of the band & crew, Dave. I mean, spending a lot of time with them, seeing things from behind the stage and all that. It's refreshing to see you re-invent this blog every once in a while, throwing some unexpected entries that expand the rules of what people expect the music reviews blog to be about.

Vandelles keep on doing their job and hopefully they'll do that for years in the future. Great live shows are the best way to attract rock audience. And their shows are certainly of that quality.

DaveCromwell said...

If there's one thing I'm trying to avoid in *my* creative output here - it's static predictability. I appreciate you making a point to note that, eagle.

Yeah, this was a total "fun" trip. Much like my SXSW blogs earlier this year.

As for The Vandelles - their trajectory is still very much in the "upward" stages. I'm happy to be along for the ride.