Darkbuster at Harpers Ferry, February 17, 2008
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have their “Hometown Throwdown.” Dropkick Murphys can be counted on for a big St. Patrick’s Day shindig every year. And Darkbuster have their “Hometown Throwup,” an eight-night stand with an affectionate wink and nod in the general direction of the Bosstones that kicked off last Sunday at Harpers Ferry. Led by 42-year-old rabble-rousing singer/guitarist Lenny Lashley, Darkbuster are punk traditionalists — no ska, no bagpipes, mostly revved-up guitars (this time with a couple of horns added) and plenty of irreverent attitude. They opened this year’s “Throwup” with “Hometown Loser,” a self-depreciating anthem sung by the gruff Lashley. “A hometown loser/A punk/A boozer!”
The set, dominated by shout-along choruses, concluded 70 minutes and 20-plus songs later . . . just before Lashley asked (and received) a shot of whiskey from the crowd. As the capacity crowd filed out, the band hung at the front bar and band manager Kevin Patey remarked, “There’s no gimmick.” That is, Darkbuster are what they appear to be.
They haven’t had a new CD since 2005’s A Weakness for Spirits (Dumb Trumpeter). And they didn’t play any new material Sunday. They have been in the studio with David Minehan working on a third CD, but as Lashley said pre-set, “No rush.” In the meantime, they’ll embark on their first European tour March 19, and they may play an acoustic set at one of the Dropkick Murphys’ St. Paddy’s gigs at the Paradise.
Sunday’s set — augmented by saxophonist Tommy Quartulli and trombonist Eric Bridsen — was a merry rush of buzzsaw riffs that included a fuel-injected cover of Steve Miller’s “Space Cowboy.’’ There was nothing revelatory, nothing extraneous. Lashley proclaimed “Not Guilty!” in the song of the same title. “Drive responsibly, live responsibly,” he told the crowd. Then he broke into a wide grin. “Sorry, I’m lying.”
: Live Reviews
, Dropkick Murphys
, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones