March 28

by: COURTESY OF SHORE FIRE MEDIA - A lot of people believe big things are ahead for The Strypes, four teenagers from Cavan, Ireland, who are rockin their way through the U.S. for the first time. They play Holocene, March 28.

Boyos to men

A long time ago, you weren’t really a rock ‘n’ roll band unless you played some Chess-label blues covers, some Chuck Berry tunes, and boasted a lead singer who took some cursory puffs on a harmonica from time to time as he screamed out his post-adolescent soul. Such bands have been mostly driven underground over the decades, their raunchy yet warm sounds kept alive by minimalist guitar-drummer duos today or consigned to wonderful yet under-the-radar garage rock festivals. Metal got so hard and punishing you can barely remember it was a bluesy band, The Yardbirds, who helped start it all, and dance music got slicker and more electronically contrived each decade, leaving rock ‘n’ roll in the dust as the people’s dance music of choice.

However, The Strypes, four teenagers out of Cavan, Ireland, are attempting to reintroduce rock that rolls, as well as blues that blow you away, to their peers — and by all accounts they seem to be succeeding.

Currently on their first tour of the States, the smartly dressed band is promoting their debut record “Snapshot,” a fantastic blast of distorted, crunchy, vocally harmonic and danceable bluesy rock ‘n’ roll straight out of the mid-’60s with just enough hint of modern effects to make it contemporary. These young lads actually know who Billy Boy Arnold is, have covered not one, but two Bo Diddley tunes, and count a 1928 recording of blues classic “Rollin’ ‘n’ Tumblin’ ” among their fave songs.

“It’s been hectic, but it’s been fantastic,” says guitarist Josh McClorey, 18, of the band’s gigs, which have been selling out across the country. The group’s primary songwriter, McClorey credits Elvis Costello for inspiring him to write and AC/DC’s Angus Young for inspiring him to play. Jimmy Page, Paul Weller, Jimi Hendrix and modern bluesman Gary Clark, Jr. are among his heroes, he adds.

Along with lead vocalist and harmonica-player Ross Farrelly, 16, bassist Pete O’Hanlon, 17, and drummer Evan Walsh, 18, McClorey shares a love of pub rockers Rockpile and Eddie and The Hotrods, not to mention fellow Irishmen The Undertones.

“We don’t really find there’s too many bands anywhere doing it,” he says of The Strypes’ what’s-old-is-new sound. “It’s something that’s been lacking in music in general.”

He adds he’s just fine with today’s indie rock but thinks it needs some punch.

“I think’s there’s a bit more of an edge in what we do.”

The Strypes, 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 28, Holocene, 1001 S.E. Morrison St. $11 in advance, $12 day of show. All ages. Info: 503-239-7639,

Round town

• Formed in 2006, Fanfarlo are the London-based alternative folk brainchild of Swedish musician Simon Balthazar, who sounds like a warmer version of David Byrne and shares his love of Latin styles. Using trumpet, violin, mandolin, saw, clarinet and saxophone along with bass, guitar, keys and other instruments, the band likes to call its current sound “space opera meets spaghetti western.” Lilies on Mars shares the stage. 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 28, Dante’s, 350 W. Burnside St. $13. Info: 503-345-7892,

• Austin trio Ume, sometimes likened to Broken Social Scene and Smashing Pumpkins, combines delicate female vocals with far-from-delicate guitar thrashabouts, and plays at 9 p.m. Sunday, March 30, in Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. LKN and Hurry Up, which features members of The Thermals, share the bill. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Info: 503-231-9663,

• Tezeta Band will bring Ethiopian soul-jazz-funk music to Sengatera Restaurant, 3833 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, April 1. Donations will fund the Abyssinia Sports Academy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which serves young people ages 8-16 with sports, literacy and health education. All ages. Info: Ted Eugenis at 503-735-2805, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

• Named Band of the Year at the 2009 Blues Music Awards, Tommy Castro and The Painkillers bring their funky, skunky soulful blues rock to Alberta Rose Theatre at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 1. Portland’s multi-award-winning blues band Kevin Selfe & The Tornadoes shares the stage. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Parent/guardian must accompany minors. Info: 503-719-6055,

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