Surplus 1980, ReCardiacs Fly, Cash Pony at the Starry Plough

Today, we look back at a recent performance with bands ReCardiacs Fly and Surplus 1980 at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. The “Plough” has become a frequent location for my more rock-intensive projects. And it’s usually a good experience with beer, good food, and an appreciative audience. We were joined by the band Cash Pony, who opened the evening.

[Cash Pony.]

They had a more psychedelic sound, but still quite intricate and rich. I was particularly having fun with the heavy effects-laden bass and the appearance of an electric sitar in some songs.

Then it was time for ReCardiacs Fly to take the stage. For those who are not familiar with this project, it is our tribute to the UK band Cardiacs. This was our first show with our new lineup featuring Steve Lew on bass and Mark Clifford on percussion. Both of them fit right in and picked up the songs quickly. This now means we have two “Marks”, though guitarist Marc Laspina spells his with a “c”:

[Mark and Marc (and Moe!). Photo by Mark Murrmann.]

Overall this was one of our best shows to date in terms of our playing and energy on stage:

[ReCardiacs Fly. Photo by Mark Murrmann.]

Here you can see Polly Moller and Chris Broderick out in front and getting into their respective characters from the original Cardiacs. The music is still as loud and complicated as ever, but with more practice it becomes more fun to play and add our own voices to it. You can hear a bit of the performance in this video:

No sooner was ReCardiacs Fly done then I had to turn around and get ready to play with Surplus 1980. Steve Lew and Moe! Staiano also pulled double duty in both bands. Surplus 1980 is a post-punk band, with lots of heavy, loud, but metrically complex parts. And we have three guitarists: along with Moe!, there is Melne Murphy and Bill Wolter. Tom Scandura rounds out the group on drums.

[Surplus 1980. Photo by Mark Murrmann.]

It was a relative short set, but we played it well, and I had fun adding embellishments to the music with not only the main keyboard but a vintage toy piano. Indeed, the toy piano closed our final song Ed Saad with a repeated riff.

[Surplus 1980. Photo by Mark Murrmann.]

It was a grueling night in some ways, playing with two heavy rock bands, but it was a lot of fun to have both of them together that night. Hopefully we will get a chance to do it again sometime soon…