Local bands have more opportunities to expand upon their music than larger, established musicians. No record labels means nobody’s holding them back. The wandering between college town bars gives them room to experiment with instruments, lyrics, and the way their music is found and consumed.
Clay Dixon and the Piccadillies, a Floridian folk band, takes advantage of their tight-knit notoriety to create a compelling narrative freely and without fear. They are storytellers first, musicians second, and both skills are tied together lovingly in their latest EP, “Walking Uphill with Seedy Beady.”
This immersive EP follows the titular Seedy Beady (who’s just the singer with a chipper Scottish accent) as they guide the listener through an intentionally disjointed story. It is a quiet but epic tale presented to the band’s audience as a ‘lost media’ that was discovered in a thrifted jacket, adding a layer of mystery to the EP.
Most musicians would tease an album with the drop of a single here and there. Their intent is transparent: listen to their songs, and eagerly await the upcoming album. The Piccadillies, however, push past that and envelope each song with history. The experience extends beyond the album.
There are not many other bands who can boast about well-written limericks on their discography, or the intrigue surrounding the story being told from the pocket of a corduroy jacket. The Piccadillies maintain complete creative control with this niche take. Sometimes they sing, sometimes they speak directly to the listener while the instrumental plays in the background. Most times, it’s a bit of both.
“Wasp’s Nest Limerick” is a contemplation on limericks, their simple structure, and the possibilities that lie within writing without the ambition to impress but simply to create, all over a plucky banjo. Regarding “Guessing Limerick” as its partner song neatly ties together the as it’s written entirely of limerick stanzas.
The Piccadillies take a type of poetry hardly taken seriously and reshape it into something worthy of song-form. They experiment with lyrics and tone, though mostly maintain the airy tone established in the first track. Each song has the crackle of static over it, aging it and adding to the lyric’s otherworldliness. Despite the unique structure, the singer grounds you, taking you by the hand to guide you through this world.
Not every song is an actual song. “unlisted_track” is so eerie with its electronic buildup it feels out of place among the other songs. However, this is another way the band goes against tradition—they take your expectations and twist them on their head to bring you a piano-backed poem overloaded with lore.
“Walking Uphill with Seedy Beady” is imbued with passion, not just for music but for storytelling in any form. If they were internationally acclaimed, The Piccadillies would likely be trapped by contracts and expectations, but the reputation of a local band is ever changing. They easily float along the surface of popularity, with a following to appreciate and support their art, but still remaining small enough to have the freedom to make something as immersive as this EP.
On St. Patrick’s Day, the streets were flooded with drinks and joyous laughter as dozens of South Carolinians pub-crawled their way to Five Point’s annual festival. Many folk were excited, as there’s nothing better way to celebrate the green-clad holiday than with a few marathons, some banging music, and plenty of drinks to go around.
Though the holiday is a celebration of Ireland’s rich heritage (and let’s be honest, an excuse to party in the daytime) downtown Columbia’s heart eagerly laps up any chance it gets to celebrate all those who make the community what it is, Irish or not.
The day began early with a 10k marathon, slowing down to a 5k, then a mile family fun run. Clear skies, though a slight chill. Just the perfect weather for a run, then a refreshing glass of water at the finish line. The Musical Mile, a fun moniker for our St. Paddy’s Parade, cut through the city, a trail of cheery faces following as Fort Jackson’s Army Band led the battlefront with their musical expertise.
This year’s music event thrummed with unabashed talent, starting strong with headliner Hippo Campus, an indie-rock powerhouse who’s recently begun dipping their toes into the country genre. Though they were a crowd favorite, that’s not to discredit Nashville native’s Moon Taxi, country singer Nate Smith, and Atlanta’s very own Drivin N Cryin. Each headliner brought a strength and energy to the all-day festivities that left everyone dizzy with glee and post-concert jitters.
The supporting bands, both from far away lands (Florida) and those born and raised, follow the openers with style that rocked the earth in a way only indie artists can do. A few honorable mentions, as they were all too spectacular to fit into one list: the funky Flipturn, soulful The Brook & The Bluff, the synth-driven Doom Flamingo, and Columbia’s very own Rex Darling.
It’s not a true festival without turkey legs and funnel cakes, which flowed through the streets as sweetly and swiftly as the pints. Food vendors offered their delicacies at every corner of the city, the barbeque sweet and the people even sweeter. Not only was there food and music to enjoy, but wall climbing and karaoke in case you wanted to add a solo of yours to the setlist.
Five Points 41st year of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day was memorable, rich in activity and in memory-making, and there is nowhere to go next year but up, up, up.
Over the weekend, on August 19th, Charleston-based band Homemade Haircuts released their debut album Sun Showers. They celebrated its release—and the coinciding birthday of drummer and Freeway teacher Blake Hunter—by performing downtown in Columbia’s New Brookland Tavern, with three opening bands who absolutely knocked it out of the park, keeping the energy high the entire night with performance after epic performance.
First up was Clay Dixon and The Piccadillies, a folk-indie band from Gainesville, Florida, who came to Columbia while on a mini-tour. They opened with a cover of Hozier’s Like Real People Do, setting the tone before performing the first of their many great original songs that just kept raising the bar. The lead singer was definitely a crowd-pleaser, charismatic and kind, telling the backstory of each eclectic song they played. With the surprising and wicked use of a banjo and cello came songs such as Vice and The Warlock Witch of Armageddon that are guaranteed to worm—no pun intended—their way into your mind for weeks after hearing them for the first time. This band is geeky and colorful, and every member was a joy to interact with. What more could you ask from your next favorite band? Their EP, Live From My Home, is available on Spotify and YouTube.
Following the Piccadillies is an indie-rock band also based out of Charleston, Whitehall, The Band. From the very first song they played, it was obvious that their eccentric and pulsing music was going to rock the tavern. Every member made the stage their own, moving around in the way only dedicated rockers do, headbanging and swinging long hair around. They filled every inch of the space with life, matching the crowd’s high-energy with their own ten-fold. It’s obvious that every member is in love with their experimental and loud jamming songs that will leave your ears ringing and head spinning in the best way possible. And if that wasn’t cool enough, they’ll be going on tour with the Goo Goo Dolls. Yes, THE Goo Goo Dolls. Be sure to check out their album Ocean Fiction and their latest EP Garden Song, also on Spotify.
The final opener of the night was Paisley and the Birdwalkers based in South Carolina, with the frontwoman being Freeway’s very own awesome teacher Paisley Marie Suttlemyre. This all-girl band absolutely dominated the stage with their killer vocals, lovely harmonies, and fun fairy lights decorating the drum set. They seamlessly mixed multiple genres together—country, folk, pop, indie, rock, probably every other one— into a lively and killer rendition of their creative and dynamic original songs, including my personal favorite Solar Flare, a powerful ballad of female power. They kept the crowd’s energy up even as the night and drinks waned down, readying the stage for Homemade Haircuts. Even though they played last, they cemented a spot into the memory of all the listeners for many months to come. Check out their singles, Solar Flare and Hide from the Rain, on Spotify.
And finally, for the reason we’re here: the homies themselves, Homemade Haircuts. Paisley returned to the stage as the bassist, and this band took the lull of the late Friday night and ramped the energy all the way back to a thousand. Heavy and fast drums, killer guitars, and creative lyrics, the performance was a celebration of Sun Showers and all bands that played before them. At one point the lead singer of the Picaddillies hopped on stage to assist on a song with a tambourine. Voices were hoarse from all the well-deserved cheering and singing. They played every song on their new album before ending the night with their most popular song, Fairy Tale, as a thrilling finisher.
Overall, the night was one to remember. Every single band that played that night was amazing, the musicians were kind on and off the stage, and they deserve every ounce of praise that can be given.
Stream Sun Showers on Spotify, and support all these other bands!