photos by Dan Muller and Jim Bennet
intro by Christy Thacker
Armed with accordions, trumpets, cellos and even an old UW Marching Band sousaphone, 7-man Seattle band Hey Marseilles takes listeners to far away lands with their Old World music and charm. Up until August 2009, the band independently made their way to the top of the indie music scene, thanks to their folksy 1920’s French cabaret sound and dreamy record, To Travels and Trunks.
The band’s formation began in 2006 out of a musical friendship between guitarists Nick Ward and Matt Bishop when they met at a UW party. Along with keyboardist Philip Kobernik, Ward’s roommate at the time, the three hit it off and began jamming at Gas Works Park. With the addition of trumpeter Patrick Brannon, cellist Samuel Anderson, violist Jacob Anderson and drummer Colin Richey the eclectic band was complete and they set sail to create a record.
Released in December 2008, their first full-length album Travels ranked seventh on Three Imaginary Girls’ best-album-of-2008 readers’ poll and was included on Sonic Boom Records’ weekly best-selling albums list on several occassions. Although Ward claims in an interview that the album is “very much a Seattle record…made out of parks and sunshine,” the album’s sound is summed up by its title; a sort of thesis as Bishop puts it. With lyrics describing far away lands and loves, and nautical euro-pub instrumentals you can’t help but sway back-and-forth to tracks like “Rio” and “To Travel and Trunks.”
And, let me tell you, “Rio” is a knock out live! They graced us with the well-known song halfway into their set at the KEXP’s Secret Music Lounge. With wide grins across their faces, they feverishly clapped the audience into a sort of swaying-head-nodding-dance in their seats. However, their instrumental opening is what truly got me, hauling me to an old shipping port with cannon-like drums and nautical strings. Overall, the performance was beautifully epic; transporting me back in time through the cobblestone side streets and market alleyways of Europe. Pretty much, lead-singer Bishop summed up my feelings about the show; it was act full of “endless ‘stokage’.”
Don’t forget about their big, “actual” Bumbershoot performance. Hey Marseilles will rock Bumbershoot’s Broad Street Stage from 12:45- 1:45 p.m.
photos by Dan Muller:
photos by Jim Bennett: