Bush Tetras (All Cat Rose photos)
Text: Andy; Photos: Cat Rose
At times, the Bush Tetras' songs slithered like snakes, and there were moments where they thumped like rhinos.
The crowd at Madame Lou's in Seattle on Sept. 2 matched the tempos thrust forth with each tune, and the band members were in full appreciation mode for that abundance of energetic movement.
At one point during the sterling, gritty set of post-punk, no-wave offerings -- whilst arm-in-arm with funk and tribal segments -- singer Cynthia Sley eyed the attendees and noted that she was pleased with the swaying that was taking place in front of the stage. She added with a wicked grin that New York people just stand there while the music is blaring into their faces. Immense props to Seattle, for sure.
Sley and guitarist Pat Place, who have been driving the Bush Tetras since 1979, were joined by bassist RB Korbet -- former singer for TSHIT faves Even Worse! -- and drummer Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth. Sley's intensity oozed through the set as she performed trance-like at times and often used her arms to punctuate lyrics and beats. The entire band delivered the goods 10-fold on this night.
New songs were perfectly paired with the old numbers as the band and crowd fed off each other's vibrancy during the early evening set. "Too Many Creeps" was one of copious highlights, and voices were raised in unison as it blanketed the underground Madame Lou's lair. They closed with an extra-gutsy version of Marianne Faithfull's "Guilt" to send us off into the night.
I kick myself now for not calling out "Contaminated Waste" or "Major Headache" from the Even Worse catalogue as I was positioned on Korbet's side. Next time.
Here's some of Cat Rose's photos of the Bush Tetras and openers So Pitted: