Michael Gaster has cooked up something very cool with his Quarantine Concert Series recently. A great idea that he quickly put into motion once he saw that musical events were being canceled around town due to the COVID-19 outbreak. His mission statement: “To bring unique live performances to audience members who cannot attend live events, and to provide a stage for performers without one.”
Saturday will mark the fourth concert of the series with members of Reverend Bro Diddly and The Hips – or in this case specifically, Reverend Bro Diddley and The Rips, as it will be Ty Thompson and Jhovana Aguilar performing a self-described two-piece variety show that rings of punk energy and fuzz.
Do Savannah spoke with them recently to get their take on the current environment and to talk about this unique concert that they will be performing:
Do: I think the online streaming idea is a great solution to the current situation we are in with COVID-19. It’s not the same as being on stage performing or experiencing a live event in person, but I think it keeps the community alive and thriving albeit in a different way.
Ty Thompson: It should be a lot of fun. I met Michael Gaster over at the Tybee Post fairly recently and knew I would want to work with him in whatever capacity he had to offer. I think he was acting fairly quickly in response to what’s been going on when he said he wanted to put together a streaming / quarantining show so some groups can still get some shows in…it’s gonna happen at the Black Box Theater on Tybee this Saturday. The original idea was to do two shows: one with my one man band and the other with The Hips. But the drummer and organ player from The Hips had to back out because they are quarantining themselves for health and family reasons, which is totally understandable so Jhovana and I just decided to give it a try as a two piece.
There’s gonna be some cover songs and some originals that we don’t normally play as a five-piece. I think the sound in general is a lot more garage-punk when it’s just the two of us. But it’s gonna be a kick drum, a snare drum, two guitars and one of the guitars has two outputs so we’ll run one of the outputs to a bass amp to add in a bunch of low end so it’s gonna be a little whacky and she’s gonna do some percussion as well and maybe even some organ… it’s gonna be a like a two-piece variety show.
Do: That sounds great
Thompson: It does SOUND great (laughter) but I have no idea how it will be… the thing about doing a live-stream… it’s just right there on display – mistakes and everything, but it’s a ton of fun. We’ve been here a couple of hours practicing for the first time ever as a two piece. It should be fun or fun-ny! (more laughter)
Jason Bible did one (Friday) and it seemed to go well. CC and Pat from Lyn Avenue are doing an unplugged thing this Friday and we’ll be the fourth one on Saturday.
Do: I look forward to checking out this streaming show - it sounds cool. Jhovana, what’s your take on all of this?
Jhovana Aguilar: I’m excited… kinda nervous thinking about being on the internet. I think the idea of being on the internet live seems scarier than it does being on stage … but it sounds exciting and fun and it’s something that is completely new for us.
Thompson: Yeah, We’ve only been a band for six months but we keep kinda biting off just a little more than we can chew
Do: But that’s how you grow!
Thompson: Yeah, exactly…we will definitely (expletive) up on Saturday, no doubt about it, but it will be fine. You know, it’s rock-n-roll anyway.
Do: It’s rock-n-roll and I think most people watching are supportive of this idea and maybe a little more lax in terms of “judging” a performance than maybe they would normally be
Thompson: Yeah for sure… I don’t think it’s even about people seeing a mistake or something. I think all that comes down to this weird sense of perfection that I feel like I need to have sometimes, which isn’t even congruent with rock-n-roll… Rock-n-roll isn’t supposed to be perfect – it’s more about the vibe and energy. But yeah, at some point you just say, “(expletive) it! Here we go!!!”
Just the other day, Revered Bro Diddley and The Hips had to cancel their upcoming show at El Rocko due to the executive order by Mayor Van Johnson and they’ve canceled a handful of shows since St. Patrick’s Day.
Luckily, the band is not their main source of income. But it is for a lot of people which is why the community must do our best to support musicians and others in the industry because they are all out of work for the foreseeable future. People talk about the service industry as that is an obvious one. Lest not forget that our society needs music and culture!
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