Years ago, in the late 90s and early oughts, Jimmy the Pickpocket and Mad Wilcox were in a band called A Midnite Choir. Back then, long before bands like Gogol Bordello and Devotchka brought “gypsy punk” to the masses, there were only a small handful of bands in the Pacific Northwest that shared a love of accordions, banjos, drinking and songs about bad behavior. Here in Seattle, the Choir, Circus Contraption and bands like Black Cat Orchestra were representing. Down south in Portland, there was The Dolomites led by eccentric accordionist Stevhen Iancu.
Stevhen would sit on a toilet while playing accordion and would also deep fry food inside a garbage can on stage much to the delight, or sometimes disgust, of the front row. One memory that always sticks out is a bill we shared with them at Satyricon in Portland with Reverend Glasseye. Stevhen also enjoyed breathing fire and when the club cut The Dolomite’s sound and then refused to pay them, Stevhen poured lighter fluid on the bar and proceeded to light the bar on fire, resulting in 2 foot flames and a very surprised bartender, who promptly handed over the cash. Ah, the good ‘ol days!
Stevhen eventually left Portland for New York City where he played briefly with Reverend Glasseye and early incarnations of Gogol Bordello and Balkan Beat Box. A consumate itinerate, he would then go to Japan for a couple years, then back to the west coast and now, he’s been spending his time down south in Mexico.
Well, he’s coming back to the Emerald City and we’ll be together once again. This is going to be a great show, comprising three generations of accordion-fuelled, punk inspired chaos as Eastern Washington upstarts Jipsea Party will be making the trek from Wenatchee to open the show.
We’ll be performing at Lo-Fi Performance Gallery for the first time and couldn’t be happier to be reunited with an old friend as well as sharing the stage with new ones.
Advanced tickets go on sale at noon today so pick yours up as space is limited. Also feel free to RSVP on the Facebook page. This’ll be a good one kiddies.