Favorite

Live 

The Dread Crew of Oddwood, Surly Wench Pub, Saturday, July 30

There didn't seem to be any Somalis about, but there was a Capt. Jack Sparrow impersonator present when this San Diego pirate band returned to Tucson for a gig at the Surly Wench Pub.

'Twas a full-on pirate party, with all sorts of buccaneer pants, buckled swashes, striped bandanas and peasant blouses adorning many of the patrons who turned out. It was surprising that so many people have pirate costumes stashed away at home, but who was I to argue with the proliferation of saucily dressed lasses?

The six-piece Dread Crew of Oddwood is probably the pre-eminent pirate band, at least among those playing on dry land. Half the battle in creating credible pirate music is the instrumentation: an accordion and a concertina; a mandolin; acoustic bass; a toy piano slung like a guitar; and a drum kit that looks as if it were pulled from a trash can.

These guys nailed it throughout. Multipart vocal harmonies, some of them half-spoken, recalled a bawdy and drunken barbershop quartet, with the baritone growling menacingly. Along for the ride was a merch guy/cabana boy who stomped around the room, waving the Oddwood standard so energetically that innocent bystanders had to duck for fear of being smacked.

Much of the music was of Celtic origin—reels and jigs were the most popular numbers for dancing. The formula was fueled by performances so rambunctious that they were almost out of control, along with occasional deck-rocking choreography and oodles of terribly naughty songs, the most tame being the a cappella "Land Ho," a sort of an international travelogue of questionable sex practices.

Not all of the Dread Crew's tunes were dirty. Some, like "Queen's Decree," recounted historical tales of the seafaring life; that one was enlivened by each member of the band taking a verse. Another, "Earth's End," told the tale of Sir Ernest Shackleton's doomed 1914-1917 Antarctic expedition. And "Ocarina of Time Medley" paid homage to the Legend of Zelda video game, featuring songs that "cater to nerd-dom," said accordionist Captain Wolfbeard O'Brady. Guess you could say the same for brief musical quotations from Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" and "Careless Whisper" by Wham!

More by Gene Armstrong

  • Primer

    Tony Furtado
    • May 29, 2014
  • Wills Meets Reinhardt

    L.A.'s Cow Bop blends bebop and Western swing into a superbly danceable combo
    • May 22, 2014
  • Finding (the Eighth) Mr. Right

    Superb performances drive the '60s satire of Live Theatre Workshop's Loot
    • May 15, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Robert Rich

    Rich’s new album Filaments takes the listener on an inner exploration
    • Apr 2, 2015
  • Hometown Psych

    Tucson’s Myrrors play a home show with new album, new sounds and new directions
    • Mar 26, 2015

The Range

The Lowdown on Sonoran Brews

Saturday Sun Link Shindig: Free Rides, Concert and Activities

More »

Latest in Live

Most Commented On

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation