This Saturday, September 25th, will mark the first edition of Smartmouth’s “PsychTober Fest,” which will include performances from various local and regional bands along with DJ sets, vendors, and a wide range of craft beers.
The opening act will be Hope Magnet, the eclectic brainchild of keyboardist/guitarist Seth McPherson. Many of you may know Seth from his other band, Wandcarver, who tore up local stages around Norfolk for several years with their unique and exciting blend of garage and psych sounds. Hope Magnet sees McPherson taking his songwriting through some twists and turns that explore elements of 80’s pop, early 90’s quiet storm soul, gospel, funk, and beyond. His latest album, “More Than Me,” is an 11 song offering released digitally and on cassette by Good Glass Records, run by local engineer/musician Andrew Horton of Young Hierophant fame.
Next will be Reptile Tile, a crew of humanoid reptilians from space that came to earth to destroy the human race. Upon arrival, they found an iPod and decided to start a band instead. Since their inception, they’ve become one of the most prolific groups on the Norfolk scene, putting out 16 releases over the last six years. As for their sound, imagine The Boredoms jamming with Mahavishnu Orchestra, with a dash of New Zealand lo-fi Legends The Clean. This past spring, the band released a new EP called “Drop The Lead,” a dedication to local artist/musician Peletisara Piumafua Tauti who passed away in May 2020.
Richmond’s Deli Kings offer a grooved-out dreamy sound to the lineup with their laid-back rhythms and infectious vocal cadences. Although most of their tracks lay in the pocket and build, they also have barn burners like “Runnin’ From The Dogs,” which echo the spirits of 90’s garage heavyweights like Tight Bros From Way Back When.
Next up, Norfolk-based BAMM BAMM brings their brand of high energy garage/psych to the bill—led by Vocalist/Guitarist Josiah Schlater (also of LADADA), their style channels the sounds of proto-punk bands like The Del-Vetts and Satori, along with modern bands like Osees and The Vacant Lots.
Shagwuf will be closing out the night. No strangers to the Norfolk area, I saw this Charlottesville-based unit play at Smartmouth back in December of 2019. They delivered a hard-hitting set that delved into aspects of power pop, stoner metal, and classic rock. The voices of vocalist/bassist Sally Rose and vocalist/guitarist Pete Stallings mesh together perfectly as drummer Pablo Daniel Olivieri holds everything down behind the kit.
The event will also feature DJ sets between bands from local favorites DJ Lord Thomas and DJ Chugg Berry, plus pop-up shops from NFK Currents, Custom Made Music, and Art For The Odd. The event runs from 12-10 PM, with music beginning at 3:30 PM. No charge, but proof of vaccination is required.