with Leisure Kings, Kory Quinn & the Comrades
Spin Nightclub, 6308 Guilford Ave.
Saturday, March 29, 10 p.m., 21+
You wouldn’t know it hearing and watching The Born Again Floozies’ archaic circus music, but band foreman Joey Welch has participated in conventional ensembles before. Welch started The Floozies with the intent to do something different and satiate his love for Bulgarian and Irish folk music.
“That sort of primal thing; I like that,” Welch says of the tradition’s galumphing essence. “The thought of putting chunks of metal on the bottoms of shoes and stomping on wood is a great idea.”
The band got its serendipitous start many moons ago, when Welch’s then-girlfriend, now-wife told him she had tap-danced for years. He set about forming a new musical concept around her talents. Instead of a standard drum set, he dreamed of having “basically someone banging on shit” like glockenspiels and flat sticks. Instead of a bass guitar, he resolved to use a tuba.
And for his new group, Welch decided to play his guitar like a piano, a style he perfected while raising three children. He’d hit the strings with his left hand and pull off, striking them like hammers on a piano, while his right hand was preparing dinner and changing diapers.
“This is the approach I wanted to take for this band —take every aspect of a modern rock ensemble and move it just a little bit left of center,” Welch says.
Welch’s wildly innovative chef-d’oeuvre is fully realized on The Floozies’ debut longplayer, 7 Deadly Sinners. The album has earned national press attention, as well as an enthusiastic local fan base, with attendance at recent shows numbering in the hundreds, a pretty good draw for a collective that plays all original music. It helps that The Floozies’ sound endears itself to young and old and transcends settings — from nightclubs to public libraries.
“I’ve had bands that have been popular, and I’ve had bands that have not been popular at all — whenever we’d play there would be one person there scratching his head, looking at you like, ‘What are you doing?’” Welch says. “Sometimes I prefer the latter. But when there’s an audience there that you’re connecting with, that is fantastic. It feeds the music, and the music becomes something else.”