Loose Lips sink ships, and as a band name ignite a frenzy of double entendre interpretations. We had the fortunate pleasure of playing with Media’s newest super group the Loose Lips for 2 shows this past weekend and basking in the after glow of being thoroughly entertained I wanted to put up a post about it.
I guess it was about a year ago we went into Jeremy’s house to practice and he was working with a guy named Jake who had cut a bunch of material on an iPad. The sounds were in a vain of hip-hop I had personally not found interest in for a while, but they were damn catchy and I was amazed at what Jake had done with just his voice and an iPad. While we were there, Jeremy was putting his tasty jam touch on the original tracks and added to the richness of the mix with addition of live bass tracks. Over the next few months I remember learning that every woman I know in the area knew who Jake was, he went to Hawaii for a while and Jeremy had continued to build out the musical session with new configurations in the studio for tracking and the compilation of a full live band to support the music that included, ours truly, Bundy on drums.
I missed one of their first performances as a band at Love Park but was excited to share our first gigs since February with the ensemble last weekend. The first of those took place at Picasso’s in Media FRI 06.01.2012. It was a typical night for an R3 Band show, it rained buckets, and we found ourselves setting up for the first time in the back of Picasso’s where the new stage and sound system had been put in. This was a Lips gig and we were second on the bill after Ken C from Cherry Hill who did a great job solo acoustic. I can’t remember his last name but he had met the Loose Lips recently when he was backed by a full band with horns. Making the trip to Media in the rain with just his guitar surely gained him some new fans who will catch the full act in the future. During the load-in and setup I met Ken and some of the new members of Loose Lips and the club started filling in with a healthy Friday night turnout.
The first new member of the Lips I met was Tom who introduced himself as Lead Vocals and Guitar. I tried to picture what lead vocals meant within the music I had heard previously from this act along with where the hell I knew Tom from. Turns out he works at a local coffee joint I frequent so I must have seen him there in the sub-conscious moments of sensory intake prior to wake up coffee ingestion. Without the connection to the coffee joint, Tom has that universally familiar look of a young man enjoying life and making music with a cigarette hanging from the smile on his face and 2 beers at a time in his hand. As a mix of new and familiar faces continued to fill the venue including Jake who was recognized by every woman I spoke to who asked for confirmation that it was him.
Bundy took to the the traps for his first set of the night with us, R3 Band, and we had a sweaty ball playing that room for that crowd. The back door off the stage was handy for letting air in and spit out into the rain instead of onto the floor of such a classy place. There are also some fabric covered pieces of foam on the back wall that probably help with the acoustics and made for good padding when I lost my balance and smashed my sweat covered brow into them as if it was on purpose. We made some new friends and fans after we wrapped up and gave Bundy a chance to change his t-shirt while the Lips were making it to the stage. As a time traveler I wouldn’t be surprised if he went home, had a smoke and a cocktail, pet his cat, grabbed a bite and took a shower and came back without anyone knowing he left the venue.
As the group assimilated on the stage I noticed they were 6 pieces strong with a lead guitar player named Mack and female vocalist named Chelsea. Jake was the last to take his location on the stage and assumed his post with mic and iPad in hand. He kicked off the set with a prelude of electronica from the iPad and with authority the band exploded on cue and brought the crowd to it’s feet. The show was supposed to start at 10PM but at this point it was close to mid-night and the crowd was completely trashed and partying.
The first of Tom’s new lead vocals I took note of was a melody over Jake’s rhymes that brought depth to the number beyond what would otherwise have been labeled a rap song. He stood poised and confident up font visibly having fun with an interactive stage presence with Jake as if they were 6 foot tall brothers of another mother with psychic brain waves in a one hour ping pong volley. Chelsea added rich harmonies to Tom’s vocals with passion that infused the music with soul that can not be contrived. In some newer material Tom demonstrated his vocal range with falsetto melodies that engaged Chelsea in some more harmonic sweetness while Jake kept the vibe going on stage like Bez from the Happy Mondays until the window of freestyle opportunity opened which he took with commitment. The salty old rhythm section of Jeremy and Bundy kept is steady as the dance floor stayed full of smiling rump shaking faces until they were done. The rain subsided and we all had Saturday to rest up before it was time to do it again on the deck of Joclyn’s for Sunday Funday.
At about 3PM Sunday, the beautiful day went into shadow and the rain came back again. It cleared up by 4PM long enough for the outside show to go down. We all got there about the same time except for Chelsea and the course was set for fun and smiles in the sun. My first trip up the steps with gear I was greeted by Tom clad in pink sunglasses, a smoke in his smile and 2 beers in his hand. Jake showed up moments later and the onstage dynamic between him and Tom manifested in general shit shooting and the crowd started rolling in. I spoke with Mack a bit in helping him get set up with my guitar rig and was surprised to find out he had just met the rest of the guys 2 weeks ago. Loose Lips played first and the rain helped buy the time Chelsea needed to make it to the venue and join the group for the show. She must not have had any time to eat before the show because she would take breaks to work on a cheese steak and had a smoke in her hand throughout the performance. That added to the vibe and took nothing away from her soulful voice. Jake’s mic was a bit hot but made it easier to take in all of his crass lyrics which brought smiles and laughter to a crowd that would have been offended if not delivered by his character. I sat back and smiled as well and took every bit of the show in and was completely entertained. I was really excited to watch Bundy and Jeremy play such a supportive role in a cool young musical outfit that I hope will find the same commitment from the members as Jake has with his delivery of rhymes and what ever else he does that makes him recognizable to every woman in the area.
I am not sure when we will play again with the Loose Lips but I will certainly take every opportunity available to watch this cast of characters grow and entertain. They have breathed new life into my appreciation of what it means to play music with a group of people along with being young, having fun, partying and not giving a fuck. Rock on Loose Lips – I am fan!