The Figgs, T.T. The Bear’s Place, December 1-2, 2006
Mike Gent may be best known around these parts as the singer/songwriter/guitarist in the Gentlemen, a band who’ve been headlining clubs for the better part of a decade now. But that group of bar-blasting Stones and Costello obsessives were only ever really meant to be a side project for Gent, who first came through town fronting the New York–based Figgs, a band he formed in high school with drummer Pete Hayes and bassist Pete Donnelly — a band who went on to score a messy major-label deal and then were hand-picked by Graham Parker to back him on several tours. Both the Gentlemen and the Figgs may use the same basic tools of the trade (guitar/bass/drums/vocal harmonies), but as Gent is fond of saying, “One band rocks and the other rolls.”
It was the Figgs who rolled into T.T. the Bear’s Place last weekend for something of a 20th-anniversary two-night stand of polished power pop that was also meant to celebrated the release of their new Follow Jean Through the Sea on the indie Gern Blandsten, where the motto is “Fine Musical Product for the Socially Unaccepted.” Over the course of the weekend, the Figgs offered just that as they ran the gamut from early nuggets (“Bad Luck Sammie”) to the more recent and muscular “Simon Simone” in front of a crowd full of local rock scenesters. Perhaps most telling was the attendance of members of aspiring national pop darlings the Click 5. Long-time fans got the lion’s share of Follow Jean. And for Saturday night’s encore, Gent led the Figgs through a spot-on treatment of the Kinks holiday classic “Father Christmas.”
Off stage Gent revealed that Parker will likely take out local heroes Brett Rosenberg (guitar), Gentlemen member Ed Valauskas (bass), and Gent himself on drums this spring. But last weekend belonged to the Figgs, a band who, like Big Star and even Cheap Trick, aren’t likely to be fully appreciated until they’ve hung up their gear.
: Live Reviews
, Cheap Trick, Graham Parker, Ed Valauskas, More