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!