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Slambovian Circus of Dreams ~ 2017 October 28 ~ Tupelo Music Hall ~ Derry, NH

... by Joanne Corsano ... joanne@picturelake.com

Band Personnel: Joziah Longo, lead vocals, guitar, harmonica; Tink Lloyd, accordion, flute, cello, sitar, floor tom, bell, melodica, percussion (gourd), ukulele, backing vocals; Kolson Pickard, trumpet, guitar, mandolin, backing vocals; Felipe Torres, drums, percussion; Bob Torsello, bass, backing vocals; Paul Silverman, keyboards ... also known as Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams.

Set List

Grand Slambovians - The Pan Within {The Waterboys} - Pushing Up Daisies - Look Around - Under the Milky Way {The Church} - Pluto's Plight - Good To Be King {Tom Petty} - Step Outta Time - I Know Where the Bees Have Gone ... intermission ... Brilliantly Dumb - The Ridge - Lost Highway - Very Unusual Head - Season of the Witch {Donovan} - Nights in White Satin {Moody Blues} - Freight Train Blues {Dylan} - Trans-Slambovian BiPolar Express ... encore ... The Invisible

Video

I Know Where the Bees Have Gone

Review

The six Slambovians tonight were dressed for the occasion. Tink had fairy wings. Joziah was dressed as a nature spirit with a little bit of Ent, with leaves covering his top hat and boots and eyes heavily made up. It's unusual to see Joziah without glasses. This was billed as mid-autumn Mischief Night, as opposed to the Hallowe'en Ball of prior years. The other musicians all sported elf ears and a variety of other Hallowe'en-ish gear. Drummer Felipe was a little bit elf, a little bit pirate. Guitarist Kolson was (I think) a werewolf. They all looked very mystical, and not very scary.

The music was a pleasing mixture of Slambovian tunes new and old, and a half dozen cover songs. The only particularly seasonal song was a very good rendition of Donovan's "Season of the Witch." My favorite of the new Slambovian songs is "Brilliantly Dumb." Since Tink plays percussion on this song (a floor tom and a lovely Chinese bell), she announced before moving to the back of the stage that she was going to "hang out with the rhythm section -- the cool guys." (Got that right, Ms. Tinkerbell.) The stage was decorated with pumpkins and skulls and colorful lights, and a video show played on a screen behind the band illustrating the songs. The video show was amazingly good. I heard that it was a group project contributed to by members of the Longo family.

Paul Silverman sat in on keyboards and added a most excellent musical element to many of the songs. Bob Torsello was on bass and backing vocals, and the big stage gave him plenty of room to move around. He likes to bounce around and dance while he is playing -- amazing! From where I was sitting (stage left) his bass was very prominent in the mix, and I really enjoyed listening to his creative and emotive playing (his bass line on "BiPolar Express" was fab). There was an additional helper tonight, Tristan, who served as guitar tech. He is the son of a gentleman named Dio who is helping to produce the upcoming album.

Many audience members were in costume. Superfan Marie illustrated one of the songs with a clever bee costume. The costumes ranged from elves and pirates to executioners and nature spirits. This venue has a good big stage, which is a real help for a show like this, but it is missing the charm and character of the old Tupelo Music Hall in neighboring Londonderry, which closed last year.

A Note About Sharkey

Sharkey McEwen, original band member and guitar master, was once again not present. I asked Joziah at the intermission about Sharkey, and in the second set he spoke about his absence, saying that Sharkey needed a break from the band to take a rest and spend time with his family. Many fans have been guessing and speculating about Sharkey's absence. I appreciate that Joziah said something about him at this show, but it also seems that it would be good public relations and a kindness to the fans to say something about the situation on their website and/or Facebook page. They could say something like this: that Sharkey is taking a hiatus from the band to work on other projects and take care of personal matters; that the band wishes him well with his future endeavors, and the door is always open for him to work with the band in the future; and that the band will keep the fans informed.

The good news about Sharkey is that he will be performing at the Circus' Christmas shows starting up at the beginning of December. And, as I write this review, Sharkey has a show scheduled for Friday, November 3, at the Towne Crier Cafe in Beacon, NY, performing with his 14-year old son Ben, who plays guitar. They are calling themselves "Sharkey and the Sparks" and billing this as their debut.

More Slambovians

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