Andy V. & Bellcaster at Mike ‘n Molly’s

The Beer Garden at Mike N’ Molly’s played host to local bands Bellcaster, Jane Boxall, Jon Childers and Andy V on Tuesday night. The show, which was put on as an effort to raise bail money for a recently imprisoned friend of headlining band Bellcaster, drew a diverse crowd, with the university and local residents alike coming to enjoy the music. While the lineup for the night was pleasantly varied, there were slumps in the set.
Playing the guitar, drums and harmonica simultaneously, the one-man-band Andy V demonstrated serious talent and potential. The southern bluesy feel his instrumental combination initially produced was appealing, almost reminiscent of 70’s southern rock.
However, Andy V’s talents as a musician were heavily overshadowed by his raspy voice and gimmicky lyrics. With song titles such as “Butt Ugly” and “Grandma Face,” his emphasis on the superficial seemed to match the lack of purpose in his songwriting. The melodies lacked variation and the simplicity of the lyrics made the songs seem repetitive, which wasn’t helped by Andy V’s limited vocal range. That initial 70’s blues feel was replaced by a screaming 80’s punk sound. While screaming worked to cover up vocals for punk icons the Stiff Little Fingers and the Cramps, the same cannot be said for Andy V on Tuesday.
The night closed with Bellcaster’s first show in a long time and last show ever. With repetitive bass lines, mottled harmonies, and abrupt turns and endings in songs, Bellcaster relied mostly on song form to grab the audience. The majority of their set was performed with no lyrics, sometimes suffering because of a much longed for existence of melody. The fact that the group had not played a show together in a year and half was evident but did express the charming casual and nonchalant mannerisms of the band and event.

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