The Band I'm introducing this week is Abney Park. If you liked the tech of Wild Wild West, or was fascinated by Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, or Jules Verne, or happened to catch the Movies like the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen or, recently, Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr., the appeal of these people will be obvious. They are like one of the great continuing Movie Serials meets Metropolis, with a mix of Music styles, instruments, and a solid rhythm. I intend to provide updates about what they're up to...they ARE, after all, a continuing Adventure Story that also happens to be a Band...a very GOOD Band.
They're something that might only happen in America. They're loved by all ages and by folks wherever the Ophelia brings them to earth. They are tough and thoroughly 'Indie' to the core. On their MySpace page, where it lists Label, they have "none-WE keep all the money..."-and ain't that America, friends?
Abney Park is from Seattle, WA, though they're beginning to create a stir around the planet. Abney Park is one of the most creatively unique experiences I've had since I've been doing this. I've spent every spare moment I've had listening to their Player List, Watching their Videos, and reading the Blogs and Write-Ups. These people are fun. They're family friendly and fiercely loyal and helpful to their growing community of followers.
They describe themselves conversely as "Steam-Punk" and "Post-Apocalyptic Nostalgic". There has never been anything exactly like this. I just caught the new Sherlock Holmes Movie this weekend, and this Band AND the Music could fit into a Period Holmes Plot. I seriously think someone should look into building a Movie around them. They are all characters in a play they live in with their airship:Ophelia, in a plot that seems to be unfolding as they go.
Abney Park comes from an era that never was, but one that we wish had existed...a mythic time where airships waged war in the skies, and corsets and cummerbunds were proper adventuring attire. They've picked up their bad musical habits, scoundrelous musicians, and anachronistically hybridized instruments from dozens of locations and eras visited in their travels, inventively throwing them into one riotous dervish of a performance. Expect clockwork guitars, belly dancers, flintlock bassists, middle eastern percussion, violent violin, and Tesla powered keyboards blazing in post- apocalyptic, swashbuckling, Steampunk musical mayhem.
The following is an excerpt from Dan Cederman's Tour Blog:
NYE Show at the Edison LA
(From Bass Player Dan Cederman's Blog
Jan. 3rd, 2010 at 10:11 PM
Well we finished our first show this year, and I'm going to try and keep up with my tour blogs that I started so long ago. The end of last year got so busy with shows and the new album that I had difficultly finding the time to post them :)
This years first show was at the Edison in downtown LA. I know Ive said this before, but the Edison has to be one of the prettiest venues that we've played at since we started touring. Granted, Whitby was awesome, and some of the effects we have had at other shows have been great, but when it comes down to a total immersive steampunk experience, the Edison is still at the top. But I digress....
We arrived at LAX on Thursday afternoon only to find that all of our CD's and other merchandise went to Tuscon, AZ. Now I know there can be some confusion at the airport but Tuscon / LA? Anyway, we were lucky it was that bag and not anything we needed for the show or else we might have been screwed. From LAX we went straight to a quick sound check then to the Hotel for a nap. Anyone who saw our first set, knows this short sound check bit us in the butt, because once the house got going, we had really low stage volume, and had to tweak the monitors quite a bit during the first few songs.
Our first set was pretty mellow, with a lot of the slower songs requested by you guys on Roberts blog such as Dr. Caligari and a new version of Hush. We took about an hour break before we came out for our midnight set. During that time I ran back to the Hotel to see if the bag made it from the airport, but they said it would arrive at 1:30am. That wasn't very helpful...
Our second set had a lot more energy, and the crowd was pretty pumped as we neared midnight. Once the ball dropped, we cut into "Clockyard" and started playing all of our faster songs from the new album. Unknown to me, during the next two songs, there were commercials for Verizon and Match.com playing behind us. It seems that they forgot to shut down the TV broadcast after the ball drop.... Took away a little of the atmosphere.
Just before we ended our set, I realized that we almost forgot about James and his fiancée. You see, James came up to us during the night and asked if he could propose during our set. We said yes and brought him up on stage. It was obvious that James was a bit nervous, as no one could really hear what he was saying. But once he went down on one knee the crowd went wild.
And she said, "yes", which was a bonus.
Anyway, the night went on and things got a bit hazy (Just look at some of the photographs.) But all in all it was a great start to 2010! Hope to see all of you on the road over the next few months.
The new Album has been released:
The Further Trials and Tribulations of Abney Park
released December 1st, 2009
1.Under the Radar
3.Until the Day I Die
6.Throw Them Overboard
10.The Clock Yard
11.Too Far to Turn Back
The Current Line-up:
The Dread Captain Robert-Vocals and Lead Mayhem
Nathaniel Johnston-Amberic Violin, etc.
Kristina Erickson-Tesla Powered Keyboard
Dan Cederman-Bass and Tour Blogger
Jody Ellen-Vocals, Belly-dancing, ethereal presence