Artists sharing instruments at a show or being forced to cobble together enough gear to play the gig has been a hallmark of underground rock for decades. But no matter how often I’ve seen it go down at small clubs and basements, I’m charmed by it every time. Here’s the communal spirit of punk put into practice in one small, practical way.
Such was the case this past Saturday when Seattle trio Wimps visited the Fixin’ To in support of their recently released full-length City Lights. All three acts on the bill, which included locals Mini Blinds and Scorch, used Wimps drummer Dave Ramm’s kit. That band’s bassist/vocalist, Matt Nyce, had to admit that he left for Portland without a bunch of necessary pieces, like cymbals and his own amp head—and Scorch frontperson Kyle Raquipiso noted that his band’s usual guitars were in the shop (temporary replacements were borrowed and the show went on).
Would anyone have noticed if those changes to the regularly scheduled programming hadn’t been mentioned? I doubt it. It’s almost a requirement for the power pop, punk, and dream pop that these Northwest artists truck in to sound as scrappy and slightly askew as it all did. No one was perfect, with little rhythmic hiccups and unexpected bouts of dissonance and slight confusion over what song to play next popping up all night.
Wimps are perfectly happy in that zone. All three members are in their 40s and have day jobs and have all moved their lives well beyond the notion of music being anything more than a side hustle. They were there to have fun with zero expectations—and everything about their loose, buoyant set, replete with songs about pizza, procrastinating, and being the old guy at the punk show, made that abundantly clear.