The Nancy Druids At Radio Bean May 18 2015
Words by Tim Lewis.
I, finally, had a great night seeing music last night. It seemed like a staggering set of bad timing has caused some conflict with every show I’ve wanted to see for the last month or so. The last band I saw live was Marillion on April 26. Maybe I was working late and the band were on early. Maybe the band were on too late, or at a reasonable time and my work start time was unusually early. An all too classic example is last Saturday I got home late from my parents, did not have time to walk to Pine street to see Vedora‘s album release show, talked a friend into driving so we would have just made it, then his headlight was out and he did not want to take a chance of getting pulled over. It’s been constantly stuff like that and was set to happen again last night. Fortunately, the thing I had to do right after work took less time than I thought, and I was able to make it down to Radio Bean to catch the full set by The Nancy Druids, who helped immeasurably by going on a couple of minutes late. I was wearing the ROUGH FRANCIS Burlington Vermont t-shirt and got a shout out from Urian Hackney during the walk down, which set a nice tone for the evening. I was in and settled when the three-piece unfurled some beautiful new songs. With Sean Toohey on guitar and vocals and Ann Mindell on drums (half of the classic Burlington band Envy) they were joined by John Franklin on bass, and they had me blissfully happy from the first note. I was hoping the songs would have an Envy/Red Telephone vibe, maybe a little older and not quite as ferocious, and that is exactly what we got. The small but dedicated audience, including Ryan Ober, Amanda Gustafson (who helped take some of the vocal feedback out of the mix) , and others, really appreciated the set of all new songs. They started a bit mellow, but soon settled in to a set of songs with gorgeous soaring melodies, and some solid rock and roll. Sean has a tendency to find some notes that just make you smile then lets them shimmer upwards for a moment before moving to the next part of the song. There was a lot of that happening in their 45 minute set. Ann’s drumming varied weights, power and speeds to support the beautiful songs and John’s bass kept the structure intact and occasionally wandered around some of the songs in a fun way. Sean mixed in some heavy crunchy chords and some searing solos that filled my heart with joy. One song sounded like a Britpop song with a Zeppelinesque crunchy middle section. One song had Sean bring the guitar close to different amps to alter the feedback sound. All of the songs were good and I’m sure once I get to know them, several will get stuck in my head. Around the third song in David L. Jarvis popped in for a while. We chatted a little between songs, then he went outside for a moment and brought in and gave me one of his paintings. Unfortunately for him, he had to leave early and missed a few songs, but I enjoyed them for him.
After they wrapped up the set, I said a quick goodbye. I really hope this is the beginning of something and they play a lot of shows in the future. It was a windy walk home, but I got the painting home safely, and just need to find a place to hang it. I’m sure I will find a great place soon. I’ve missed a lot lately, but am getting back on track.
This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog, https://timstriangletribune.wordpress.com.