Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nostalgic in New London

This weekend friend-of-the-blog and drummer-of-The-Ninas Melinda invited me to see on of her all-time favorite CT bands, The Reducers, who were playing at the El N Gee in New London. OMG the El N Gee! I was SO there. The club has gone through various opening, closings and incarnations in recent years, but it was the site of many of my earliest live show experiences (multiple Typo O Negative shows stand out in my mind) dating back to my first driving days. I remember fondly and longingly the boundless energy I once possessed to drive to and from semi-distant shows - on a school night! (And I mean I woke and up and performed above averagely at school the following day, not just made it home in one piece.)

Even as we pulled into the parking lot, I was beginning to feel nostalgia for the bygone days (and really, who doesn't get a little misty eyed over ample, free, safe parking at a club?). Melinda laughed because she has a little nostalgia on me, but come on, I'm talking '96-'97 here, and I'm starting to get these gray hairs. I remember walking out of that parking lot to say goodnight the night I met my soon-to-be-boyfriend. It was the summer after graduating high school. We had just seen Exodus. He saw me sulking (unrequited crush ignoring me, as usual) and offered to buy me a beer. I was too young to accept and I looked and dressed like crap, but he was undeterred! We discussed the relative merits of the then-fresh Swedish melodic death metal movement (my stuff) and the classic heavy metal of Iron Maiden (his stuff). And Kurt Vonnegut (we aren't total morons). I was so innocent we had to arrange to meet again under the pretext of playing guitar together!

But soon enough Melinda was caught up in the memories too, when we spotted this couch outside the club. Is it possible that this couch been here for ages? Or do people just keep dumping couches there?

Inside the club was very much the same as it ever was. Possibly a little bit nicer than it's ever been, actually. With a shiny new bar and plush toilet paper in the restrooms, which were nevertheless comfortingly graffiti covered.

Hey! Charles Diamond is a fan of the blog we've kind of neglected. Now we're posting about him, kind of...

Much like the old days (at least the old days I recall, Melinda tells me the slightly older days were different, better) - and much to my disappointment - the bar selection was limited to mostly crappy beer and a bare bones liquor collection featuring vodka in a plastic bottle. But even crappy beer can make me sentimental. My El N Gee boyfriend used to drink this one beer, and I was too young and inexperienced to have an opinion about beers (or legally purchase them). I've never seen another human being consume this beer, nor seen it in a bar. And here it was at the El N Gee! Anybody drink this? I thought about getting one for old times sake, posting a picture to Facebook, etc., but then I remembered that beer makes you fat.

It turned out our band wasn't going to be on for some time, so we ended up taking a little neighborhood detour and having large, reasonably priced but mediocre food and drinks at Hanafin's, a pretty charming Irish bar favored by cute bearded lads. By the time the Reducers got around to playing the club was respectably crowded. The Reducers have been around for ages - 30 years or something and play punk/power pop with nods to the Ramones and classic rock n roll. So anyone Scenic-aged or younger operating under the delusional notion that their generation invented cool, take notice. With all these years of playing behind them, they are tight as hell musically and have an adoring fanbase to show for it. Eventually most of the audience was dancing... I don't go in for that, of course, but even I could not resist their addictive beats and melodies. My feet and hips may have moved, and I particularly enjoyed the song "Company Man" about a corporate suck-up. Melinda pointed out fans from the old days, including some folks whose adult children were now dancing alongside their moms and dads. Sweet!

Check out The Reducers in Japan from 2004:

The Reducers were also featuring in the documentary and CD compilation It Happened But Nobody Noticed about the CT punk and new wave scene in the late 70s and 80s. Hey, we blogged that up back in the day (2009). But nobody noticed!

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