With all of the anticipation over, and the jet lag over, and the food lag over, Sunday was like a fun day at the county fair. More folks to meet, chat about music, where we are from, where the good food is, and ….. The Arf Society doesn’t go easy on the lineup for either of the three days on Zappanale.
The first act was the Zappin Buzz band, from Switzerland. These giys play in a straight hard metal style, and were the most insane act of Zappanale 16. They had actors working out to some of Frank’s raunchiest material. The “Broken Hearts are for Assholes” routine included actual assholes! Nuff Said! By the end of the set they were in nothing but thongs and it was about 17C outside and breezy with light rain. That, for those of you keeping score, is true dedication. Jim Cohen saw them off appropriately bu dropping his pants in tribute. God Bless America!
Sunday includes the NDR Big Band and the band Bogus Pomp from Florida. One person I met asked me “NDR? Do you know what they usually play?” and when I said no they said “SHIT!!! The worst SHIT!!!”. They play for TV and Film and Radio and they manly play old standards, swing music, and probably traditional German music. I also heard that when they first attempted Zappa they were … hmmm…not so good at it. Well, wherever they got the magic beans from, they got them for real. They played some excellent arrangements and medleys and managed to really deliver them with power.
Bogus Pomp was the feature act and they have quite a reputation. I’m not going to completely rain on their parade. They are really good. They have all of the parts they need to knock out the hardest Zappa material, and they have a killer mallet player. I think that some of the band guys were taling a litle smack because it was going around that they were saying things like “all of this is just a lead up to us, and we are the best band here”. So even if they were, the hype was not being appreciated. And the truth is that they came out a little flat and sounded like they were reading charts, not playing music. The upside is that by the halfway point they seemed to have it worked out. I really enjoyed their set but I have one concrete gripe: The guys in the band wearing Bogus Pomp T-shirts! C’mon! Can you get any cheezier than wearing your own merch at a gig? My feeling is that if you are the best, the crowd will tell you that you are the best. Maybe it is a holdover of my punk rock ethic, but wearing your own merch just screams “poser!”
….to be continued soon….
edited for spelling