Cub Country live at the High Dive


Last night was an especially nice evening. Nic and I hopped in the car and headed to Seattle, taking advantage of the lovely border traffic and unpredictable rain, to check out Cub Country’s first West coast gig.

Jeremy Chatelain (JTB, Handsome, and part-time touring bass player for Helmet) turned his one time side-project into his main focus, and has started playing some shows after migrating from East to West. Last night, Cub headlined a four band lineup at the High Dive in the ‘Attle. Also on the bill were Jeremy Burk, Conrad Ford and Band of Annuals (all the way from Salt Lake).

In a pleasant surprise, Nic and I tagged along for dinner with Cub Country, mostly because the new bass player Pete Bush is standing in our upcoming wedding. None the less we were happy to go and over some tasty Thai food, we talked about the significance of Helmet and playing the one-string bass, mouth bands and proper urinal etiquette.

We headed back in time to catch the Conrad Ford set. Conrad Ford is a Seattle based band that seemed to have more instruments on stage than should legally be allowed to play, but all contributed nicely to a mellow, country influenced set that was highly enjoyable. Peddle steel, keys, drums, guitar and melodica’s all found there way into the set. Front man Andy McCallister’s rough voice will hit home with fans of the Silver Jews (at times on the recorded work – it starts to sound like a less raspy Tom Waits style), but the lovely contributions of April Sather and Jordan Walton really help fill out his gentle strums and soothing delivery, while never overpowering the lyrics.

The band is heading into the studio soon to record their album, and if the 3 song sampler they were selling and the set they delivered are any indication, it’s a record I’m really looking forward to hearing. All the bands were good, but Conrad Ford really impressed me.
MP3:: Invoice

Finally Cub Country took to the stage. It seemed weird to only see three people after the last two acts littered the stage with people, but what the band lacked in numbers, they more than made up for in sound. The three-piece rocked through songs from both Cub albums, and included a nice upbeat version of Painted Flowers. Jeremy and Pete used nice harmonies to replicate the double-tracked vocals fans hear on the studio recordings, and the large drum sounds James was thumping out really pushed the set along. It was the band’s first show, so I sort of expected some looseness, but the songs sounded great, especially The Salt Islands and High Uinta High.

As the band plays more, I’m sure they will get into the more electric side and open up the set list (or the stand up bass - as they stuck with the acoustic guitar and electric bass), but one thing is for certain, the band really looked like they were having fun playing. The crowd really enjoyed the set, yours truly included and hopefully this trio will start playing a bit more often. It was some "super qual" material.


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