Punch Drunk brings a unique sound

By Geoff Lee

April 26, 2016 12:00 AM

Punch Drunk Cabaret will be launching its new album Electrik Steam Show at the Legacy Centre in Lloydminster the evening of May 7. Left to right are band members Sean Watts, Randy Bailer and Terry Sawbones Grant.

Punch Drunk Cabaret members will be in their element when they roll into Lloydminster to celebrate the launch of their new album Electrik Steam Show.
The three-member band from central Alberta thrives on performing before a live audience and will do it again on May 7 at the Legacy Centre.
“We really consider ourselves a live band first,” said singer and manager Randy Bailer who noted that was something they wanted to bring into the studio.“This album is really a focus on the live show—we really wanted to capture that live energy that we have, which really comes from the audience response.”
Bailer describes Punch Drunk Cabaret as a rockabilly/steampunk swing act that’s become a festival favourite for all ages across the province.
“We literally have seniors who like this band and will come out whenever they can and we’ve had 15 and 16 year old teenagers as well,” said Bailer.
“We are veteran musicians and we’ve never played in a band quite like this where it’s such a broad spectrum of music fans.”
The uniqueness starts with drummer Sean Watts, who plays a pared down drum kit that he plays standing up.
“Every time we play there are comments that people have never seen someone stand up and play the drums so he definitely brings a unique angle to it,” said Bailer.
The bass player is Terry “Sawbones” Grant who plays an unconventional 12-string bass instead of the usual four string instrument.
“It has a pretty unique sound,” said Bailer.
The band has been together for six years this summer and they noticed from the beginning that people wanted to dance wherever they performed.
“That was really kind of the first reaction they had to our music,” said Bailer.
“We ended up playing in more special events and community halls where they could actually set up a dance floor.”
Punch Drunk Cabaret has found themselves performing at festivals with artists as diverse at the Road Hammers, July Talk and Kim Mitchell.
“There has been more opportunities to play with some of these bigger name acts,” said Bailer.
“It’s always good for a band like us—we’re just trying to increase our exposure.”
Bailer said they road tested the songs for Electrik Steam Show album for about six months before recording the ones that went over more consistently with a live audience.
They went into the studio realizing not everyone wants to dance, but almost everybody wants to participate in some way when they perform live.
“There’s a number of songs on the new album that actually has audience participation parts written right into them,” said Bailer.
Tickets are available in Lloydminster from Vintage Music and Relay Distributing.
The doors open at 8 p.m. with a warm up act by the Lloydminster group, One Cent Melons.

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