The Dials, Bang! Bang!, Creepin’ Charley and the Boneyard Orchestra
The Melody Inn
Thursday, Feb. 10
The Melody Inn isn’t shy about booking out of town acts. This can sometimes end in low attendance, espcially if the show is poorly advertised. Happily, a large crowd turned out for Thursday night’s offering of Chicago bands The Dials, Bang! Bang!, and local favorite Creepin’ Charley and the Boneyard Orchestra.
The evening started off strong with The Dials. This band is an example of pop-punk gone right, with a catchy blend of angry vocals and softer New Wave keyboards. Fronting the band was diminutive guitarist/vocalist Patti Gran, a sort of punk rock Minnie Mouse, who managed to make the band’s songs about rage and disenchantment seem almost cute.
Playing second was fellow Chicago band Bang! Bang!. This trio had definite glam leanings but seemed to fall just short of pulling it off. Bassist/vocalist Greta Fine showed plenty of energy, but her vocals didn’t quite live up to her attitude. Frontman Jack Flash showed some muster at times, but at others his singing was half-hearted.
Ending the night was Indianapolis band Creepin’ Charley and the Boneyard Orchestra. When they took the stage, it was clear who the crowd was there to see. This band, headed by vocalist Shelby Kelley, is a must-see for any fan of local music. Kelley’s vocals have the growl and rasp of Tom Waits, something many vocalists try to duplicate, but in Kelley it’s never forced or contrived. Creepin’ Charley’s sound is rock ’n roll that refuses to live in one of rock’s many subcategories. The band’s performance was strong and dynamic, although back-up vocalist Angie Walker’s voice, which provides a lovely, smooth contrast to Kelley, was sometimes lost. The audience, however, was never disappointed. They demanded an encore. It wasn’t hard to see why.