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Show Crush: Sidewalk Driver / Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys / Mellow Bravo / Streight Angular / This Blue Heaven at the Middle East

July 22, 2011

On Friday July 29th some of the most powerful bands in Boston will join together at the Middle East downstairs like some kind of rock n’ roll Voltron. Individually these five bands are forces to be reckoned with, so we can’t even fathom the mayhem that will occur when they team up. Oh, and we’re presenting it.

Fronted by the over the top Tad McKitterick, Sidewalk Driver play intelligent glitter-pop. He’s sort of what you’d get if David Bowie and David St. Hubbins had adopted a baby and moved to the countryside, but what keeps them from being more than a sparkly-dressed gimmick act is the fact that they don’t need the glitter and confetti and capes and makeup to be good, that’s all just icing on the cake. Tad sings like he’s made a deal with Satan and the band matches his flamboyance with intensity and raw power every step of the way. Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys isn’t a band as much as a collective of like minded outsiders frolicking in the band system. Or maybe they’re a cult, we don’t really know. What we do know is that their performances are marked with a barely constrained chaos, most times spilling from the stage into the crowd into some frenzied near orgy of steampunked bunny ears. Mellow Bravo are a goddamn American rock n’ roll band in every sense – loud, fast and drunk. They’ll drink you under the table before the show even starts, then while you’re seeing double, they’ll climb on stage and deliver a set of fiery, precise rock. Streight Angular, hot on the heels of their video release, offers up a frenetic mix of indie, punk and silliness. Lead singer/guitarist/ mastermind Al Polk is a whirlwind of early ‘90s neon and new millennium facial hair; trying to contain him, musically or otherwise, is about as easy as stuffing a wolverine into a shoebox. This Blue Heaven, who will be playing one of their final shows with current bassist Mark Desrosiers, play some of the most glorious, toe tapping pop out there. They give us a glimpse of some other dimension filled with shining lights and shimmering sounds.

Advance tickets are recommended, and to encourage you to get in on this goodness early, the bands are offering up some pretty sweet rewards. Sidewalk Driver is offering up a limited edition EP/ticket deal to anyone who buys in advance from their Bandcamp page; the Army of Broken Toys will be giving away a free piece of Walter Sickert signed artwork to anyone who buys a presale ticket, and Streight Angular is doing the same with t-shirts. If you play your cards right, you’ll end up with swag from just about everyone.

Middle East Downstairs
8pm / 18+ / $10 (advance tickets) or $12 day of show (why would you do that?)

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