It makes sense that Santa Barbara, with its dreamy coastal atmosphere and world-renowned waves, would give birth to some substantial surf-inspired indie rock. This past Tuesday at Velvet Jones, local bands Clean Spill and Sun Daes teamed up with Encinitas-based group The Gloomies to bring the reverb.
I.V. band and opening act Sun Daes delivered a high energy set, with frontman Max Goldenstein’s vocals filling the room against the backdrop of upbeat surf pop rock. A Morrissey with a bit more growl, Goldenstein, clad in a shirt emblazoned with lobsters eating french fries on it, sings with a kind of uninhibited rawness. It was a pleasant reminder that I.V. is continuing to produce the kind of bands that we want to listen to.
Following Sun Daes was Clean Spill, a band of Santa Barbara natives, surfers and friends who knew how to provide a good time on this typical Tuesday evening. With what seemed like the majority of the audience there to see them, it became clear from watching their fans sing the lyrics to their songs as well as assemble a brief but spirited mosh pit, that Clean Spill has a solid hometown following going for them. Pat Curren, lead singer and son of pro surfer Tom Curren, addressed the avid crowd halfway through their set to say, “Best Tuesday ever,” before jumping into the band’s song “Montezuma”. Their sound is part Strokes, part Real Estate, and is easy on the ears to say the least. Despite their quiet paradox of a band name there is something straightforward and refreshing about Clean Spill.
Speaking with bassist Geoff Shea after their set, I asked what it was like to be playing a show in their hometown on a Tuesday evening. “Strange,” he said, explaining that they were between two tours at the moment, having just wrapped up a mini tour in France and prepping for their upcoming east coast tour with 80’s dance rock band Kitten. The guys hit the road in July to spread their Santa Barbara-bred tunes from coast to coast.
Ending the night was Encinitas based band The Gloomies, who kicked off the initial leg of their California tour with their first stop in S.B. With self-proclaimed “dirtjazz,” that walks the line between Endless Summer guitar riffs and grittier indie rock, The Gloomies concluded the night on a mellower but nevertheless surf-infused, reverb heavy note. They will be swinging back down through Ventura to wrap up their tour on June 3rd at The Garage.
It was a night with a quirky backbone to it, from the moshing to the guy wearing overalls and pigtails in the front row. At the end of the evening, the spirit of S.B.’s local music scene lead by two of our very own bands transformed Velvet Jones on an average Tuesday, giving the locals a chance to hop around not only to good music, but to their friends, both in the crowd and onstage.