LIVE: The Chandler Travis Philharmonic @ The Linda, 11/20/10

November 26th, 2010, 3:00 pm by Sara
Chandler Travis

Chandler Travis

One summer day, I was idly reading Metroland. I noticed a review by Paul Rapp about a band showing up at an Indian restaurant – in Clifton Park, no less – and doing a one-off show on the deck after appearing at Caffe Lena.

Who were they? I had to find out more.

My chance came on Saturday, November 20, when the Chandler Travis Philharmonic came to The Linda in Albany. Having never heard of them before Paul’s review, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard a couple of songs, and knew there was no way of pinning them down to any one genre, but that didn’t prepare me for what may be one of the more unique concert experiences I have had.

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The first hint I had was of a very tall and thin, blond cross-dresser wandering around the nearly full auditorium in a purple sequined blouse. Turns out my first guess was right, this was Rikki Bates, the band’s drummer.

As The Linda’s Howard Glassman introduced the band, trombonist Bob Pilkington, attired in a Riddler shirt and Cat-in-the-Hat-style lid, gave him bunny ears as he passed behind. (Looks like this is going to be an interesting night). As the rest of the band filed on stage, they looked more like they were heading for a slumber party than a concert.

It was clear from the first song, “Everything Can Go Wrong So Easily,” they may not have taken themselves seriously, but they certainly respected the music. The evening was a stroll through almost every style I can think of. From a little alternative Dixieland (“Mid-Morning In Moscow”) to reggae (“Work It”), they had it covered.

Unlike most concerts, where the music is the central focus, the visual aspects were equally part of the show. There was so much going on around the stage, it was hard to know where to look. The “June Trailer Dancers” (otherwise known as the horn section) were so entertaining – whether they were playing or not – that is was almost impossible to keep from watching them. Besides Bob, there was also trumpet player Steve LeFebvre and sax/clarinet man Burke McKelvey.

On the other side of the stage, pianist Phil Clements was using his piano bench as both a seat and a go-go dancer platform, while founding member Dinty Child (accordion, mandocello, mandolin, vocals) stood on his amp to gain a little altitude.

Despite the controlled chaos, Chandler Travis remained the center of attention. Arriving on stage in a silk robe, which, along with the rest of his costume, he changed a few times during the night, ably assisted by Fred Boak, the Singing Valet. In fact, he had so many layers of fleece lounge pants, it’s a wonder he didn’t pass out from heat stroke. Through his vocals and rhythm guitar work, he kept the night moving, occasionally pausing briefly to set up the next song with a little story behind it, such as the ode to his neighbor, “Anne” or his rant from years of playing in bars, “Drunk Angry People, Shut Up.”

After an hour and a half show, it was clear he was in no hurry to leave as the encore was not a quick play-a-hit-and-leave, but more of a nice wrap up to the evening. After all, since they were already in their PJs, what was there to rush for? Several of the night’s songs were from the new CD “Chandler Travis Philharmonic Blows,” previously reviewed on Nippertown, and the encore was no exception, with the audience participation song “Fruit Bat Fun” (complete with visual cues, ala follow-the-bouncing-ball) and “The Day The Casuals Went To Sweden.”

As their Facebook page says, they “put the harm in philharmonic.” It’s great to see that Spike Jones is alive and well and living in Cape Cod.

Review by Ed Conway
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Meanwhile, the Chandler Travis Philharmonette – the slightly downsized version of the Philharmonic – is slated to invade Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs at 8pm on Saturday, March 12.

THE CHANDLER TRAVIS PHILHARMONIC SET LIST
Everything Can Go Wrong So Easily
That’s What She Said
This Is Home
Sometimes I’m Happy (King Pleasure, among others)
Grand Route St John
Gotta Let Go Sometime
Born to Disappear
Drunk Angry People, Shut Up
A Camel Passing Through the Eye of a Needle
Ticky Don’t Do That
Goodbye
I’m Chandler’s Butterfly
Mid-Morning in Moscow
Graciously
Boogie Woogie King (Jimmy Liggins)
Celery Stalks at Midnight (Will Bradley/Ray McKinley)
Work It
Anne
Never, Neverland (from “Peter Pan”)
Don’t Blame Me
Eje Ka Jo (Jimi Solanke)
Bob What’s-Is-Name
ENCORES
Fruit Bat Fun
The Day the Casuals Went to Sweden
Crab Napkin

Steve LeFebvre and Rikki Bates

Steve LeFebvre and Rikki Bates

The Chandler Travis Philharmonic

The Chandler Travis Philharmonic

6 thoughts on “LIVE: The Chandler Travis Philharmonic @ The Linda, 11/20/10”

  1. Hey there Ed –

    This is Fred the Singing Valet, checking in to fill in the question marks in your setlist:

    Everything Can Go Wrong So Easily
    That’s What She Said
    This Is Home
    Sometimes I’m Happy (King Pleasure, among others)
    ??? <- Grand Route St John
    ??? <- Gotta Let Go Sometime
    ??? <- Born to Disappear
    Drunk Angry People, Shut Up
    A Camel Passing Through the Eye of a Needle
    Ticky Don’t Do That
    Goodbye
    I’m Chandler’s Butterfly
    Mid-Morning in Moscow
    Graciously
    ??? <- Boogie Woogie King (Jimmy Liggins)
    ??? (Will Bradley/Ray McKinley) <- Celery Stalks at Midnight
    Work It
    Anne
    Never, Neverland (from “Peter Pan”)
    ??? <- Don't Blame Me
    ??? <- Eje Ka Jo (Jimi Solanke)
    ??? <- Bob What's-Is-Name
    ENCORES
    Fruit Bat Fun
    The Day the Casuals Went to Sweden
    ??? <- Crab Napkin

    Thanks for the review!

    – Fred.

  2. Greg says:

    Hey, Fred, many thanks for your assistance. It’s damn hard to take legible notes when you’re having so much fun at a CTP show. We have made the appropriate corrections.

  3. Denise says:

    What A Fantastic Show from the Chandler Travis Philharmonic at The Linda…and what a wonderful review…Thank You CTP for sharing your music with Albany and Thanks to the Linda for hosting and to Nippertown for this great coverage -Denise & Rich

  4. Duane says:

    Chandler Travis and what ever band he is fronting is always a special treat. Seriously,Chandler is one of the hardest working and most talented people in music. He’s Cape Cod’s “Hidden Treasure”. If you were lucky enough to catch him at The Linda or anywhere,consider yourself whole. I love The Linda and the atmosphere,the perfect place to catch the CTP. Thanks to Howard Glassman and the gang for a great evening. I’ll be back!

  5. Ed Conway says:

    Thanks Fred, it was such a wonderful time. Thanks to everyone else for reading.

  6. Lawrence Clarke says:

    Hi,

    Pretty well written review!

Comments are closed.