Caravan of Thieves , from Connecticut, played at Uncle Slayton’s  this past Thursday for an intimate crowd with local opening act Tristen Brooke . This convoy of circus freaks and guitar pandemonium gave the audience an exuberant and interactive show that no one will forget.
Tristen Brooke opened with some percussive solo rock/flamenco style guitar playing accompanied with her soulful singing. Behind her introverted personality who blushed every time anyone would clap or ‘whoop’ was this sizzling musician. I thought her fingers were going to bleed or fall off with all the golpe (percussive finger tapping on the guitar’s soundboard) and fancy picking work. Her rock influences came out with the use of a wah-wah pedal which gave the flamenco sound a little more edginess. Tristen was an enjoyable opening act.
Then the circus freaks rallied onto the stage. Their sound was lush, driving, and lyrical. The instrumentation: guitars, vocals, violin, and upright bass blend together perfectly for their style of music. Ben Dean’s gypsy jazzy violin riffs sounded inspired by the likes of Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni’s voices blend together well with their mesmerizing harmonies. Brian Anderson thumped out some slick phrases on the bass, in many different positions and amazingly didn’t crash into anything. There was also the occasional banging on buckets, frying pans, and hubcaps which oddly enough fit in perfect with their act. Their whacky gypsy rock music is unique and was great to listen to and watch. The songs are humorous and tell interesting stories much like the songs of Rasputina.
Theatrics and audience participation were ongoing themes of their performance. Spectators were encouraged to clap, snap, hiss, sing along, dance, and even mad lib. Louisville’s mad lib ended up involving a couple in love, drinking, race horsing, a smoke shop, a velociraptor, and a drag queen. Don’t ask. You should have been there to hear the story. At the end of the night the audience and band got intimate and crowded together off stage for the last song and to take a group photo (pictured above). The evening was a dazzling party enjoyed by all.
Photos: Courtesy of Caravan of Thieves