Fortune & Maltese & The Phabulous Pallbearers Live at the State Theatre
Hot damn, I loved this band! And here is some fantastic newly discovered live footage of them at the peak of their powers. Thirty minutes of amped-up garage rock remastered in “Trash-o-Phonic stereo sound.” Live in Kalamazoo, Michigan on February 5, 1995.
I can’t remember if I was at this show, but I might’ve been. I used to go see them whenever I could. Freddy Fortune and Michael Maltese with Nat Cromlech, J.C. Graves, and the greatest drummer of all time: Dusty Sexton.
Check out the video and if you’re not familiar with Fortune & Maltese, you owe it to yourself to dig into them. Unfortunately, none of their stuff is available for streaming yet. So go find their records! They’re out there. Actually, the studio recordings of most of this set are collected on Get Hip’s Fortune & Maltese and the Phabulous Pallbearers compilation.
The Sinatras perform “She Said She Said” and “I’m Neil Young” at Access Vision Studios. April of 1992, Battle Creek, Michigan.
This was the era when the Sinatras first blew my mind. You can see from this video exactly why Twin/Tone expressed an interest in them; they would’ve fit in perfectly there. They were so great, and they deserve far more recognition than they’ve ever received. If you’re not familiar with these guys you can read our big, long feature from 2006: The Sinatras: Kinda Like Love. And you should definitely check out their album, Life in Flames, finally released in 2009 after being tinkered with for more than a decade.
Back in February 2001, the month Glorious Noise was launched, I wrote about a Sinatras show in Kalamazoo:
There was a moment during an instrumental freak out at the end of their cover of “She Said, She Said” when I felt like I was in the presence of God, the very definition of my concept of “glorious noise.” […] They apparently have an album’s worth of material already recorded and almost ready to go. I’ve been hearing that for a few years now, and I’m not very confident that I’ll ever hold it in my hands, but I’m really hoping everybody will get their shit together and do what it takes to get this thing out soon.
Several years later, when we published Derek Phillips’ hagiography of the band, they joked about how their album is taking “20 years to get it done.” Well, after just celebrating their 24th anniversary as a group, the best band in Southwest Michigan finally got it done.
The album, Life in Flames, will be available on CD at the show at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo this Saturday, October 10. Glorious Noise will be there and will be happy to buy beers for any GLONO readers who seek us out.
I went to college with most of the Port Wine Lads. In fact, I sold them my barely used bass guitar after I gave up on it. Twenty seconds into this, you see the 19-year-old me pointing and declaring, “Yeah, that’s my bass.” Later, I dance like a hippy.
But enough about me. The Port Wine Lads had some good songs (and a few silly ones).