Punch Drunk Cabaret to shoot video at the Bailey
Submitted “Captain” Sean E. Watts, Randy Bailer and Terry “Sawbones” Grant will be shooting a live music video at the Bailey Theatre in Camrose on Jan. 28.
Punch Drunk Cabaret is putting out a casting call.
They want to pack the Bailey Theatre on Jan. 28 for a live video shoot for their cover of the ’80s Eurythmics classic “Sweet Dreams (are made of these).”
The Alberta band, described as the kings of steampunk swing by the Edmonton Journal, is made up of “Captain” Sean E. Watts, Randy Bailer and Terry “Sawbones” Grant. The three members live in different parts of the province, but if they had to put a finger on an adopted home, the historic Camrose theatre would be it.
The Bailey is the perfect location for the band. The feel of the building fits right in with their early 20th century-punk aesthetics and it’s the site of where they filmed their first music video for the song “Two Brown Bottles of Beer.”
It only makes sense to film their first live video at the same venue.
“When we started out six years ago, Camrose was the first community to embrace this band and what we were doing,” said Bailer. “Camrose has been so incredibly supportive to us since then, I feels like home to us.”
The band, which formed in 2010, has had no problem winning over a wide variety of audiences, playing music festivals ranging from the Big Valley Jamboree to indie to blues and jazz festivals. They hit notes of rockabilly with swing music and everything in between with their own guitar-driven twist. Their high-energy sound is one that appeals to many. But the flip side of that is, radio doesn’t know what to do with them.
They are difficult enough for booking agents to pair with the right acts — they’ve opened for Trooper, July Talk, Hawksley Workman, Kim Mitchell, the Road Hammers, Sheepdogs, and Sweet among others — but they have had extreme difficulty getting on the airwaves. They’ve had the most success with college radio stations and other independent brands, but getting their music out beyond that has been a challenge.
In the past they have made three videos to promote themselves to the booking agents, but they are hoping they will be able to appeal more to some of the mainstream with their recent efforts, the live music video included.
Their latest album, Electrik Steam Show, features four tracks with a more rock vibe, but keeping their distinct PDC sound including “Halos and Horns,” and “Beard of Bees.”
“Some of those songs were written specifically to give the rock stations something to play, they told us flat out that ‘rockabilly is to niche for us,’” said Bailer. “It’s been rewarding to go back to some of those markets and have them say ‘Yeah, what song do you want us to play?’”
“Sweet Dreams” also fits into that category. They have never recorded the rock tune — which was re-imagined in the ’90s when shock rocker Marilyn Manson covered it — and is one of the few unoriginal tracks they play as a band. They generally use it to close down their shows and end on a high, encouraging fan participation.
For the video, however, it will be a little bit different as they will play it earlier in the night.
Fans who have not heard their rendition of the song will be in for something completely new.
“It’s a synth pop song, but we do it in a guitar-driven, 1920s swing-style,” said Bailer. “It’s radically different and I think because of that it’s become a live staple … Anytime we play in front of a newer audience, you can almost hear the surprise in their collective gasp when we get to the first verse and they realize what song this is and how it’s being done.”
There will be at least four cameras on hand to capture every move from the band and the audience as the goal is to encapsulate the feel of a PDC show.
Bailer says come dressed in what you are comfortable dressing in. The band gets a whole spectrum of fans out to their concerts, everything from jeans and t-shirts to those who go full-out in a steam punk costume.
“When we started out … somebody was asking about our next show and ‘are you going to be wearing the hats again?’ We laughed that that was sort of an appealing thing,” said Bailer.
“There’s a portion of the audience that they’re excited there is a band that does dress up and it gives them the license to do that more than on just Halloween.”
The night opens with a performance by local band The Men Who Fell to Earth at 8 p.m. Punch Drunk Cabaret will take the stage shortly after. Gates open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 at the door.
Bailer is looking forward to a great night of music, regardless of the video.
“The Bailey is an absolute provincial jewel,” said Bailer. “There’s something magic that happens, there’s a vibe that’s in that room when people come together over music, there’s just something special that happens there.”