They were grabbing more than moonpies and beads on Dauphin Street during the white-hot set performed by Quintron & Miss Pussycat at the Alabama Music Box in Mobile, Alabama. Touring partners in crime, San Francisco’s Ty Segall and Mobile group Wizzard Sleeve, completed the bill on a wild Mobile night.

High-level excitement is hard to find on most Monday nights, yet in a situation very similar to the events that led to witnessing the metal madness of Valient Thorr last year, I got a shot of déjà vu. As the sun was falling on the Pensacola horizon, uber friend Anna Karaski sent a text message about a must-see show that was about to go down in just a few hours at the Alabama Music Box in Mobile, Alabama.

With a cerebral cortex that melds parts of the dewey decimal system with a revved up supercomputer jukebox, Anna is an all-knowing music catalog of heart who has a keen sense of knowing where to find shows that can fulfill any musical taste. Saving the night with a few quick texts, She convinced me that the road trip would be worth it to see an awesome show.

The first wall in the triangle of sound was local outfit, Wizzard Sleeve. Born of reverb echoing vocals that would render a Fender Deluxe green with envy, a dark jazz/rock drumming attack and spooky overtones from dueling keyboard units, the Mobile band, comprised of Captain Beyonce (vocals, guitars, bass, microkorg) Benny Divine (drums, casio keyboard, vocals) and Bane de Creme (moog, vocals) loosened the buttons on the night about to unfold.

Hailing from the musically endowed San Francisco Bay area, Ty Segall and company (Emily Rose Epstein (drums), Denee Petracek (bass), and Charlie Moothart (guitar) branded the Gulf Coast flesh with their California garage rock. Strengthened by a solid touring schedule which included playing SXSW (The South By Southwest series of music and film festivals in Austin, Texas), the group heated the groove that set the mood for the headlining affair ahead.

With a sound described as “Swamp Tech” (a term that does not do their live show justice) it was time for the crowd to the experience the ride of a Quintron and Miss Pussycat show. Part mad scientist, (Quintron who was born Robert Rolston, is also an inventor with several unique creations to his credit) and part imaginative puppeteer, (Miss Pussycat, Rolston’s wife, also known as Panacea Theriac), the duo, who also own the Spellcaster Lodge in New Orleans, put on a vaudeville tinged extravaganza that was heavy on driving, non-stop musical mayhem that easily threw the Mobile crowd into a Mardi Gras level party.

Between the puppet show that started their set and very close to the last song of the night, I felt it. With a collective push of dancing bodies throughout the night, I was completely flush with the front of the stage and unable to turn around to see the mass of bodies behind me. What started as a brush of a hand, became the squeeze and pull of fingers on my butt. Pick-pocket or accidental grope? No, neither. The target was lower than my wallet and accidents don’t usually last that long. Judging by the small size of the fingers and the delicate care with which the squeeze was performed, I believe the perpetrator was a fun-loving lady who was caught-up in the moment. As Quintron and Miss Pussycat exited the stage, attempts to identify the guilty party went unfulfilled and the night reached its conclusion. Much like the celebrated leprechaun of Mobile lore, the suspect got away in the shadows of the Mobile night.

– Michael L. Smith
Related Links

Drum Buddy site. Quintron creation used by various musicians including legendary performance artist, Laurie Anderson
Valient Thorr rain metal on Pensacola Beach

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