Happy Anniversary, my friends!!
Twenty five years ago this month, in August of 1987, a group of friends from Saratoga Springs NY started a band. They were allegedly called Sonic Undertones. Mike Gent (guitar), Pete Donnelly (bass) and Guy Lyons (drums) were those friends. When Lyons left for a few years, Pete Hayes took over on drums. When Lyons came back a few years later, he came back playing guitar. Some would say they made the wise choice of changing their name to The Figgs and since then they have consistantly released many albums, EPs, and singles of expertly crafted, high energy, power pop gems. From the “Happy”/”My Mad Kitty” 7″ single (1991) and Ginger cassette (1992) releases on Absolute A Go Go Records (a NJ based indie label that I was working for at the time), to major label albums Low Fi At Society High (Imago, 1994) and Banda Macho (Capitol, 1996), to releases on several other indie labels and even their own Stomper imprint, they have proven themselves over and over again to be one of the best, relatively unknown, bands in America.
Favorite Shirt (from Low Fi At Society High, 1994)
Stuck On Leather Seats (from The Man Who Fights Himself, 2010, live 2010)
A few videos I shot at a show in Teaneck NJ at Mexicali Live.
I Got The Drums/Casino Hayes (from The Man Who Fights Himself, 2010, live 2010)
I Need A Reason (from The Man Who Fights Himself, 2010, live 2010)
Through the years they’ve proven to be one of the hardest working bands out there as well. All members have released or performed with solo or side projects. They’ve performed and recorded with many other artists/bands (including Tommy Stinson, The Gentlemen, Mike Viola & The Candy Butchers, Soul Asylum and NRBQ). Most notably though, they have spent many years backing the legendary Graham Parker. Back in 1996, just before their first tour backing GP they happened to visit me on my old radio show “The Underground” on WHTG-FM.
Here are a couple more recent videos of them with GP at Mexicali Live in Teaneck NJ that I shot.
Hole In The World w/ Graham Parker (from That’s When You Know, 2001, but predates his debut Howlin’ Wind in 1976, live 2010)
It’s My Party (But I Won’t Cry) w/ Graham Parker (from Imaginary Television, 2010, live 2010)
A couple of live videos featuring songs on their latest album, 2012’s The Day Gravity Stopped.
Chased (from The Day Gravity Stopped, 2012, live 2012)
Do Me Like You Said You Would (from The Day Gravity Stopped, 2012, live 2012)
And just for fun, here’s a live recording from a NJ show in 1994 that I booked them to play. (Excuse the sound quality, it’s from an 18 year old cassette!!)