The Wolfeboro Lawn Chair Drill Team
July 4, 2017
The WLCDT seldom tours so catching one of their
random shows is a minor event. They are a big band. They go in
for that old school, sort of matching outfit thing. Given the
date… This band is a well-oiled machine, between the SPF 70 and
the Jean Nate the air is pungent with expectation.
The Drill Team employs a massive wall of similar instrument
- like a Glenn Branca no-wave experiment on vacation at the lake.
They touch on a variety of styles and are surprisingly melodic.
Their vintage, snazzy, plaid instruments sparkle and dazzle in
the bright well-managed light. Their instruments are right out
of 60’s garage. It’s clear that, massed in their practice space,
their instruments are more punk than I’ll ever be.
Their performance is equally expansive and ranges across a variety of rock archetypes. There is a hint of prog as they perform a single long piece broken by thematic variations. Post punk avatars Wire, may well have been referencing them on their album The Drill. The instruments snap into formation with military accuracy. They wear their red, white and blue ironically without irony. They bring the crowd to their feet with a technically challenging, over and behind the head group solo. I suspect that Kennee Highland caught them in some mid-west college town in ‘73 opening for the Stooges and he would be still be impressed. Can the President confirm?
At one point, the players sit on their instruments. Its a discordant big butt solo punctuated by nonchalant, tightly choreographed, body re positioning - arms and legs akimbo left, arms and legs akimbo right. During the finale, “Domino”, a boiling hot rocker, the group lifted their instruments on cue. The soloist clicked his knock-off Flying V plastic wedge into the player next player to begin a percussive cascade that passed smartly through the band.
In keeping with their Residents like obscurity,
the performance was short, sly and vaguely disorienting. It was
over quicker than a New England Summer. The band moved on up the
road leaving the large, all ages crowd sweating and smiling.