Da! and Tutu and the Pirates record release show

Da! and Tutu and the Pirates record release show

Saturday night was a special one for old school punk rockers as two of the city’s finest reunited for a special evening. The bands in question were DA! and Tutu and the Pirates and the occasion was that on Record Store Day, both bands had LPs come out full of unreleased and/or out of print material, with Tutu and the Pirates finally getting a record out three decades after the fact! Past reunions of old punk bands have been quite the special event in this city, so anticipation for this show was quite high.

Mickey, the only new band on the bill, played first. They were a bunch of fairly young fellows who apparently decided to form a Stooges/MC5 cover band. No, they didn’t actually cover their songs, just completely stole their sound. The singer also felt the need to get completely drunk before they played and act like the “wild and dangerous guy” who flails about, jumps off the stage, throws beer, and pushes people. He only succeeded in looking like a jackass with his forced shtick and he certainly wasn’t being shocking, original, or the least bit entertaining to perhaps anyone outside the annoying drunk girlfriends they brought with them. Thankfully their set was only about a half hour long, but that was a half hour too long. They were the 2010 equivalent of those “punk” bands they had on C.H.I.P.S. and Quincy.

Mickey
Mickey

Some dude who thinks he is Iggy Pop
Mickey

Mickey
Mickey

Chicago’s first punk band, Tutu and the Pirates,  soon took the stage and the crowd had swelled in size to fill the room. This was their third reunion show in the past decade and the band was in top form this evening. They came out dressed in different get-ups in a parody of the Village People, with Little Richie Speck in full Indian regalia including face paint.


Tutu and the Pirates


Tutu and the Pirates

The band opened with their classic, “I Got Zits” and sounded better than ever. As they played, many people in the crowd bounced up and down, danced, and sang along to the chorus. Little Richie Speck, quite the charismatic front man, pranced and danced all over the small stage proving that three decades later he is still one of the best entertainers in punk rock. After some witty banter they followed up with “No Head from Darlene” during which Richie pulled out a mannequin doll to aid him in his performance.

Little Richie Speck
Tutu and the Pirates


Tutu and the Pirates

After the fifth song, the drummer tagged out to another former Tutu drummer, Abner Normal! With him at the skins they played five or six songs including, “Idi Amin (their own song, not a Black Randy cover),” “Anarchy, Man” and they closed Abner’s run with, “I Want to Be a Janitor,” which is their most infamous song which of course meant that the toilet seat bass made and appearance and so did the plunger!


Tutu and the Pirates


Tutu and the Pirates


Tutu and the Pirates

After the toilet seat bass was shelved again, the original drummer, Tutu himself, came up on stage to a big round of applause and finished the set out with the band. This meant that every member of Tutu and the Pirates who did time in the band all participated which is a first, and it made the night that much more special. The band played a flawless and wonderfully entertaining set and if the show ended right there, it would have been time and money well spent, but more greatness was yet to come!


Tutu and the Pirates


Tutu and the Pirates


Tutu!

One of Chicago’s finest and rarest gems, DA!, reunited for the first time in nearly 30 years to celebrate their LP of out of print and unreleased songs. DA! was one of the most unique and hard to describe bands back in the day and were light years ahead of their time. They were sort of an arty post-punk band with a tiny bit of goth thrown in for good measure, but that doesn’t even really describe it accurately. Needless to say they were awesome and it is really great that now more than a small handful of people will have a chance to hear their music with the release of this LP.

Lorna of DA!
DA!

DA
DA!


DA!


DA!

The band, which saw the return of guitarist Gaylene, to Chicago after being gone for decades, opened up with, “Dark Rooms” which was on their first and only 7″ single. It sounded even better than the record which is no small feat and the band played it beyond flawlessly. Bassist/vocalist Lorna Donley is a striking front woman with a great voice. The band sounded well rehearsed and the song was so good that the recording of it deserves to be released on its own record right now!


DA!


DA!


DA!


DA!

Tutu and the Pirates are a hard act to follow, as how can you upstage them? DA! managed to equal them. They were just as entertaining in a far different way and played a flawless set that included amazing renditions of songs like, “Three Shadows,” “Time Will Be Kind,” and “Next to Nothing”. Each song sounded totally different from the last, and each one sounded great. After they finished the crowd wanted more, so they came back out and did a cover of “Now I Wanna Be Your Dog” with a 15 year old girl handling the vocal duties along with Little Richie Speck hopping on stage to sing backups. It was a fun way to close a very fun and special evening for the old punk rockers and fans in the audience. If you missed this show promptly kick yourself because something like this isn’t likely to happen again.

To see additional photos from this show, check out the gallery here.






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