Whitecourt Star

Alberta’s Punch Drunk Cabaret looks ahead to Party in the Park 

By Jeremy Appel, Whitecourt Star

Randy Bailer (left), the lead singer and songwriter of Punch Drunk Cabaret, said he looks forward to bringing his band’s engaging live performance to Whitecourt’s Party in the Park on June  17 where they’ll be opening for The Watchmen (Submitted photo | Heather An).

Randy Bailer (left), the lead singer and songwriter of Punch Drunk Cabaret, said he looks forward to bringing his band’s engaging live performance to Whitecourt’s Party in the Park on June 17 where they’ll be opening for The Watchmen (Submitted photo | Heather An). 

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret’s lead singer said his Alberta-based band is ready to bring its eclectic and energetic live show to Whitecourt’s Party in the Park on June 17.

 

“The band has built its reputation on an extremely high energy show that really works hard at involving the audience. We really try to make each show we play like an event or experience that brings the audience in on what we’re doing,” said singer Randy Bailer, who also serves as the band’s manager and lead songwriter.

 

Bailer said a fan once described Punch Drunk Cabaret as a cross between Green Day and Tom Waits, which he said rang true for him on certain songs.

 

He described their overall sound and aesthetic as “steampunk,” an outgrowth from science fiction that blends the past with a speculative future.

 

The band’s membership has rotated since the beginning, but their eclectic musical stylings have remained intact, Bailer said.

 

“It’s a mixture of rockabilly music and swing and country-flavoured roots music and rock,” said Bailer. “We have kind of a theatrical approach in our live show.”

 

In its current incarnation, each bandmate is from a different municipality in the province.

 

“We’re homeless,” he joked. “We like to say we’re from the fictional town of Dust Bowl, Alberta. The members actually span from southern Alberta up into Wetaskiwin,” where Bailer resides.

 

Technology and social media has made the band’s long-distance relationship much easier, he said.

 

“You mail out demos to the other guys and they can review them and add parts to them and send them back ... You don’t always have to be in a room together,” said Bailer.

 

When time comes for rehearsals and recording, they can easily arrange where and when it will take place, thanks to the Internet, he said, adding that the band has released an album every two years since their inception in 2010.

 

But, Bailer’s emphasis remained on the band’s live set.

 

“If the band stays busy enough playing live shows, then there’s not really much need to rehearse,” he said.

 

He said he looks forward to opening for The Watchmen, whom he’s seen live in the past, at Party in the Park.

 

“The Watchmen are a very intense band and I think that’s something we’re going to match them (with), in terms of energy,” Bailer said.

 

The band has played shows across British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan and was recently invited to play a show in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., which will be the furthest they’ve travelled.

 

“This is our busiest summer to date and in the seven years we’ve been together, the band just keeps growing every year. It’s really encouraging and it’s something that keeps us busier and busier all the time,” he said. “It’s exciting to see where it will lead.”

Alaska Highway News

Punch Drunk Cabaret ready to rock the Lido

 ALEISHA HENDRY  / ALASKA HIGHWAY NEWS 

JUNE 6, 2017 03:50 PM

 

 

It’s been a banner year for Punch Drunk Cabaret.

 

What started out as a three-piece act doing small shows in small venues all over Alberta has grown to include tours in B.C. and steampunk festivals in Ontario.

 

Now the group is returning to Fort St. John this Friday night for another edition of Lido Rocks.

 

Randy Bailer, also known as Bandmeister Randy B, is looking forward to PDC’s third visit to Fort St. John.

 

“We are very excited, we had a great time at the Lido last time,” he said.

 

The band has spread its wings since their last visit—they’ve been nominated for an Edmonton Music Award for video of the year, filmed a new live video of the band’s mash-up of Sweet Dreams/Love Cats, and have been invited to perform at the Great Canadian Steampunk Exhibition.

 

Though the band’s aesthetic is steampunk inspired, Bailer finds it interesting that PDC is being considered a full-on steampunk band, which he doesn’t believe they are.

 

“The steampunk aspect of things seems to really be taking flight for us, which is kind of unusual because we sort of came into the whole steampunk thing by accident and it’s just growing,” he said.

 

In addition to expanding their touring, the trio opened for Canadian rock legends Trooper, which Bailer said shows how their music can be for anyone.

 

PDC will play the Lido Theatre with opening act RoadWorn, members of which Bailer said was responsible for introducing PDC to Fort St. John in the first place.

 

“Teaming up with them for this show is a prime example of the kind of musical community support so prevalent in this town,” he said.

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret and RoadWorn play the Lido Theatre on June 9. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. For more information, call 250-785-3011.

 

The Beaumont News

Punch Drunk Cabaret coming back to Blues and Roots Festival

Friday, June 2, 2017 3:39:49 MDT PM

Beaumont Blues and Roots Fest favourites Punch Drunk Cabaret are coming back to perform at the 10-year anniversary.

Beaumont Blues and Roots Fest favourites Punch Drunk Cabaret are coming back to perform at the 10-year anniversary. 

 

Edmonton band Punch Drunk Cabaret is excited to grace the Beaumont Blues and Roots Festival (BBRF) main stage once again for the event’s 10-year anniversary. The veteran rockabilly, swing, roots and rock band has been working day and night to develop their music and build audiences. 

 

And while they’re one of the few bands reviving a unique sound, band member Randy Bailer says Punk Drunk Cabaret is far from making the sounds your grandpa is used to hearing. 

 

“It feels good to be upholding these traditions, but we do feel that, artistically, you have to take it in a new direction. We never set out to be a nostalgia act. A lot of rockabilly bands, they dress the part, you go and hear and see them, and you’re transported back to the late ‘50s, and that’s just not the case with us,” Bailer said. “Any rockabilly purists would not be impressed with us.”

 

Over the last seven years, the band has released three albums, produced professional music videos, and created their own style from the ground up — all without the support of a record label. And that hasn’t stopped them from growing their crowds year over year, making it to bigger and better shows throughout Western Canada. 

 

“It’s incredibly rewarding, because when you ask what have the seven years been like, we’re seeing growth every year. Every year is busier than the last year. The opportunities are getting better, and it’s just so rewarding because you have to put such a commitment into this to make it work,” Bailer said. “It’s been word of mouth that’s been growing it — people saw you play two years ago and they told a club about it, or a festival about it, and it grows from there.” 

 

The lively performers were quick to become a mainstay at the local festival, becoming fan favourites for their sound and stage presence. Bailer said when they were first starting out, this was one of the festivals they had sought to take part in. The first year they performed, they were able to keep thecrowd moving despite weather that forced headliner Spirit of the West to cancel their show. 

 

“You just always appreciate and enjoy when you get accepted, because you never know if you’re coming back. So you play as hard as you can, you do your thing, and then we just kept getting asked back,” he said. 

 

“In many ways, the festival is a bit of a parallel to our own growth. We just started off small and worked hard, and that’s exactly what I see with the festival — it just continues to thrive. Every year it grows, and it’s just due to a lot of great volunteers and community support.” 

 

This year, Punch Drunk Cabaret has focused on their visuals and making professional music videos. Their efforts have largely paid off, with the videos and their style brining new fans to their live shows across the province. The Edmonton Music Awards also nominated them for Music Video of the Year for their song Beard of Bees.

 

The videos have also inspired their fans to come dressed in full rockabilly outfits to match the vibe. 

 

“People are coming dressed in steampunk and rockabilly clothes — they see that it’s an opportunity to dress up and that’s coming from what they’re seeing in the videos,” Bailer said. “They see that it’s not just a band, but its a whole experience, and now we’re seeing people coming dressed for it. It’s almost starting to feel like a movement or something.” 

 

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Beaumont Blues and Roots Festival, go to bbrf.ca

 

Camrose Canadian

Get ready to party with Punch Drunk Cabaret 

By Josh Aldrich, Camrose Canadian

Punch Drunk Cabaret is ready to rock the Bailey Theatre again, this time for the Steampunk Party as part of the Jaywalkers Jamboree in Camrose on June 2. File photo

Punch Drunk Cabaret is ready to rock the Bailey Theatre again, this time for the Steampunk Party as part of the Jaywalkers Jamboree in Camrose on June 2. File photo

 

When the Jaywalker Jamboree organizers decided on a distinctly steampunk theme with a party to match, there was really only one band that fit the bill as a headliner. 

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret has become almost synonymous with genre, but it was by complete accident that they find themselves at the forefront of the Alberta steampunk movement. 

 

“It still sort of amazes me when we get accepted into the steampunk community,” said lead vocalist and guitar player Randy Bailer. “We’re a band first and the steampunk affectations come after the fact.” 

 

In short, Steampunk combines 19th century stylings, be they Victorian or wild west, with a sci-fi technological edge. As a cosplay community, Steampunk has grown quickly in recent years with clubs popping up in Edmonton and Calgary and across Canada. 

 

There is no real defined steampunk sound. As in all things art, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There have been some bands that have tried to combine classical instruments with electronica while others have gone for an even more robotic sound. 

 

The genre just kind of found PDC. 

 

The group is a unique blend of rockabilly, roots and swing. Seven years ago when the band came together, Bailer in trying to quantify it, described their sound as Steampunk Swing, and it stuck. 

 

Soon after, the Edmonton Steampunk Group hired them to play their first annual Steampunk Ball and they have been back every year since. 

 

“We didn’t know how that was going to go over, I had no idea what steampunk people even listen to,” said Bailer. “Were they going to boo us off the stage if we play something that’s sort of country sounding? But it’s been great.” 

 

PDC was even mentioned in the soon to be released Steampunk FAQ by MacEwan University professor and avid steampunk enthusiast Mike Perschon as an example of the lack of a defined steampunk musical genre that is now starting to adopt certain bands and sounds as their own. 

 

Their reputation is starting grow beyond Western Canada. They are working on booking Steampunk festivals as far away as Ontario and New Jersey. 

 

Helping word get out about band was their live music video they taped at the Bailey Theatre in Camrose for “Sweet Dreams (are made of this)” in January. 

 

“It’s a little tough to gauge just what is getting over with people, you try to do as much as possible and sometimes it is word of mouth, sometimes it’s a video,” said Bailer. “We don’t have a management deal, we don’t have a label backing, everything we do is just as grass roots and old school as it gets.” 

 

Their growing success includes a nomination for an Edmonton Music Award for their video for their song “Beard of Bees.” They gala an ceremony are on June 30. 

 

The band does find itself playing a little more into their steampunk personas with Bailer going by Bandmeister Randy B., drummer “Captain” Sean E. Watts, and bass player Terry “Sawbones” Grant, but it is a natural progression for them and something they are able to have fun with on stage. 

 

“It plays into the idea of having three distinct personalities in the band,” said Bailer. “We always thought that was important, and that comes from the KISS model where they had four distinct members, and they took that from the Beatles. We always thought a band made up of individuals was more interesting than a band that pushes the lead singer up front and everyone else is interchangeable.” 

 

Organizers of the steampunk party are hoping the Camrose will eventually be able to form their own steampunk club or society and encourages anyone, even if they do not have a persona and are just interested in what it is all about, to come out to the party. 

 

“It’s exciting. The steampunk communities ... they’re well educated, creative people,” said Bailer. “It’s an interesting group that way. Their No. 1 goal isn’t to party, the No. 1 goal is to express themselves and to share their creativity.” 

 

The Steampunk Party goes June 3 at 8 p.m. at the Bailey Theatre. Tickets are $25 and are available at the Chuck MacLean Arts Centre, the Bill Fowler Centre and Candler Art Gallery. 

 

Daily Herald Tribune

Punch Drunk Cabaret making GP return 

By Kevin Hampson, Daily Herald-Tribune

Photo by Larrie Thomson
Punch Drunk Cabaret returns to Better Than Fred’s on Friday, May 26, at 9:30 p.m.

Photo by Larrie Thomson Punch Drunk Cabaret returns to Better Than Fred’s on Friday, May 26, at 9:30 p.m.

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret returns to Better Than Fred’s on May 26 at 9:30 p.m.

 

The trio of rambling rockers are “of no fixed address,” says frontman and songwriter Randy Bailer. Their motto: “Rockabilly, Roots, Rebellion.” Their original hometown, according to lore: Dustbowl, Alberta. Their sound is an “amalgamation of things,” with elements of rockabilly, old-fashioned country, gypsy jazz, and swing. 

 

“We call it steampunk swing, because it’s not traditional,” Bailer said. “It’s not driven by a horn section. It’s guitar-driven and we play it with almost punk-rock energy.”


Their appearance could be described as the Wild West meets Guns N’ Roses. Tom Waits is a discernible influence, both in Bailer’s raspy voice and in the group’s penchant for theatre and story-telling. Bailer said that’s what he likes about Waits.

 

“For him it’s about characters. I don’t think anybody knows who the real Tom Waits is, but he sure has this collection of characters that he travels around with.”


Bailer and band mates Sean E. Watts and Terry Grant are doing something similar.

 

“In this band it really is more about writing from different points of view,” Bailer said. “I’ve just become so bored of this idea – we all do it when we’re young – of ‘I’m going to write songs where I bear my heart and soul, and my feelings.’” He chuckles. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I kind of did that when I was in my 20s, and I just think it’s so much more interesting to take somebody else’s point of view, real or imagined, and write from that perspective.”

 

A gritty, world-weary rockabilly theme would probably be hard for a younger band to pull off convincingly, but Punch Drunk Cabaret does it with authenticity. The first music Bailer heard, as a toddler, was Hank Williams, Benny Goodman, Elvis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, from his parents’ record collection. The band’s first album came about when Bailer decided to try writing that sort of music.

 

“Just as an experiment I thought I wonder what would happen if I wrote a rockabilly song?” The result of the experiment was 1950s rockabilly and roots refracted by the 1980s rock that Bailer and the others listened to as teenagers – such as Van Halen and Judas Priest.

 

“So, despite playing that more rootsy music, we played it with an energy and aggression that was very unusual,” Bailer said. “We weren’t trying to be traditionalists with it; it just sort of came out how it came out.”

 

The band has been coming back to play in Grande Prairie for three or four years. 

 

“Grande Prairie really embraces what we do and I notice there’s a lot of local bands. There seems to be quite a healthy music scene.”

The price for the show is $10. 

 

 

Peace River Gazette

Punch Drunk Cabaret bringing its wildly fun live show to Peace River 

By Konrad Junikiewicz, Peace River Record-Gazette

Punch Drunk Cabaret

 

Things are about to get a little wild in town.

 

Hosted by the Underground Music Society, the genre-smashing Punch Drunk Cabaret three piece band will be bringing their high energy live show to Peace River this Saturday May 27.

 

Members “Captain” Sean E. Watts, Randy Bailer and Terry “Sawbones” Grant have been taking their sound, which the band describes as rockabilly, roots and rebellion, across the province to a wide range of festivals and live events. The upcoming show will mark the second time that the band has stopped in Peace River.

 

“We’re absolutely pumped,” singer Bailer said of returning to town. “The first time we came to Peace River, the first impression was one of shock, because we had never played in town before and so we weren’t expecting anybody to know who we were.”

 

Bailer said during their first time in town way back in March of 2015, the band was pleasantly surprised to be approached by fans who remembered their performance three years prior at North Country Fair.

 

“For people to remember us from there, and be compelled after all that time to come and see us play, we were just shocked,” he said. “It just really struck me as what a great little music loving community is in Peace River.”

 

Bailer gives his full credit to the work Underground Music Society has done in bringing not only his, but all forms of music to northern Alberta.

 

“For those people out there that are keeping live music alive – it’s not easy, but our hats are off them,” he said. “Because it’s a service that’s so needed, if somebody doesn’t take up that banner, it’s something that could quite easily die out.”

 

Known for their high-energy shows, Punch Drunk Cabaret is a fully immersive experience that’s bound to create some fun memories.

 

“We consider the audience the fourth member of the band,” Bailer explains. “Whether it’s sing-along parts that have been worked into the songs, whether it’s getting people on the dance floor, or interacting with people in between songs... we’re always looking for opportunities to bring the audience into the show.”

 

The band will perform three fifty minute sets, with a mix of original and reimagined songs. Doors open at 8 p.m.

 

“At the end of the day we’re really trying to create an experience,” Bailer added. “I think that people are more impacted if they’ve taken part in something, as opposed to just sitting back and witnessing something.”

 

More information on Punch Drunk Cabaret can be found on their website at http://www.punchdrunkcabaret.com/. The group will be continuing their journey through the Peace Country with a performance at the Wembley Mayhem on June 10.

 

Tickets to Saturday’s performance can now be purchased online at https://undergroundms.yapsody.com/event/index/100301/punch-drunk-cabaret/. The Underground Music Society is adding a bit of excitement to the evening with a contest being held for the best steampunk costume. The winner will be receiving a new season pass, giving them a chance to check out six events hosted by the group between September 2017 and May 2018.

 

Camrose Canadian

Punch Drunk Cabaret rocked the Bailey Theatre in Camrose on Jan. 28 for the filming of their first live music video for “Sweet Dreams (are made of this)”.

 

The Alberta band packed out the historic theatre with their unique brand of rockabilly and steampunk swing.

 

The song is one of the few covers they play and is one they usually close their shows with. The hope is the live video will help show promoters and radio discover what a Punch Drunk Cabaret experience is like. More than 130 people crammed into the Bailey Theatre, many dressed in their best steampunk costumes with the hopes of being caught on camera.

 

Local band The Men Who Fell to Earth opened the night with a set of rock hits from the 1990s.

 

PDC is next performing at the Ice on Whyte Festival in Edmonton on Feb. 4. 

Camrose Canadian

Punch Drunk Cabaret to shoot video at the Bailey 

Submitted
“Captain” Sean E. Watts, Randy Bailer and Terry “Sawbones” Grant will be shooting a live music video at the Bailey Theatre in Camrose on Feb. 28.

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret is putting out a casting call. 

 

They want to pack the Bailey Theatre on Jan. 28 for a live video shoot for their cover of the ’80s Eurythmics classic “Sweet Dreams (are made of these).” 

 

The Alberta band, described as the kings of steampunk swing by the Edmonton Journal, is made up of “Captain” Sean E. Watts, Randy Bailer and Terry “Sawbones” Grant. The three members live in different parts of the province, but if they had to put a finger on an adopted home, the historic Camrose theatre would be it. 

 

The Bailey is the perfect location for the band. The feel of the building fits right in with their early 20th century-punk aesthetics and it’s the site of where they filmed their first music video for the song “Two Brown Bottles of Beer.” 

 

It only makes sense to film their first live video at the same venue. 

 

“When we started out six years ago, Camrose was the first community to embrace this band and what we were doing,” said Bailer. “Camrose has been so incredibly supportive to us since then, I feels like home to us.” 

 

The band, which formed in 2010, has had no problem winning over a wide variety of audiences, playing music festivals ranging from the Big Valley Jamboree to indie to blues and jazz festivals. They hit notes of rockabilly with swing music and everything in between with their own guitar-driven twist. Their high-energy sound is one that appeals to many. But the flip side of that is, radio doesn’t know what to do with them. 

 

They are difficult enough for booking agents to pair with the right acts — they’ve opened for Trooper, July Talk, Hawksley Workman, Kim Mitchell, the Road Hammers, Sheepdogs, and Sweet among others — but they have had extreme difficulty getting on the airwaves. They’ve had the most success with college radio stations and other independent brands, but getting their music out beyond that has been a challenge. 

 

In the past they have made three videos to promote themselves to the booking agents, but they are hoping they will be able to appeal more to some of the mainstream with their recent efforts, the live music video included. 

 

Their latest album, Electrik Steam Show, features four tracks with a more rock vibe, but keeping their distinct PDC sound including “Halos and Horns,” and “Beard of Bees.” 

 

“Some of those songs were written specifically to give the rock stations something to play, they told us flat out that ‘rockabilly is to niche for us,’” said Bailer. “It’s been rewarding to go back to some of those markets and have them say ‘Yeah, what song do you want us to play?’” 

 

“Sweet Dreams” also fits into that category. They have never recorded the rock tune — which was re-imagined in the ’90s when shock rocker Marilyn Manson covered it — and is one of the few unoriginal tracks they play as a band. They generally use it to close down their shows and end on a high, encouraging fan participation. 

 

For the video, however, it will be a little bit different as they will play it earlier in the night. 

 

Fans who have not heard their rendition of the song will be in for something completely new. 

 

“It’s a synth pop song, but we do it in a guitar-driven, 1920s swing-style,” said Bailer. “It’s radically different and I think because of that it’s become a live staple … Anytime we play in front of a newer audience, you can almost hear the surprise in their collective gasp when we get to the first verse and they realize what song this is and how it’s being done.” 

 

There will be at least four cameras on hand to capture every move from the band and the audience as the goal is to encapsulate the feel of a PDC show. 

 

Bailer says come dressed in what you are comfortable dressing in. The band gets a whole spectrum of fans out to their concerts, everything from jeans and t-shirts to those who go full-out in a steam punk costume. 

 

“When we started out … somebody was asking about our next show and ‘are you going to be wearing the hats again?’ We laughed that that was sort of an appealing thing,” said Bailer.

 

“There’s a portion of the audience that they’re excited there is a band that does dress up and it gives them the license to do that more than on just Halloween.” 

 

The night opens with a performance by local band The Men Who Fell to Earth at 8 p.m. Punch Drunk Cabaret will take the stage shortly after. Gates open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 at the door. 

 

Bailer is looking forward to a great night of music, regardless of the video. 

 

“The Bailey is an absolute provincial jewel,” said Bailer. “There’s something magic that happens, there’s a vibe that’s in that room when people come together over music, there’s just something special that happens there.” 

 

Vue Weekly

Punch Drunk Cabaret headlining

the annual Rocky Horror Steampunk Ball

Left to right: Drummer “Captain” Sean E. Watts, Randy B, and Terry “Sawbones” Grant. // Photo supplied
Left to right: Drummer “Captain” Sean E. Watts, Randy B, and Terry “Sawbones” Grant. // Photo supplied

Fire up the boilers and dust off your top hats because Halloween is clawing its way on to our doorstep once again, which means that for the fourth year in a row Punch Drunk Cabaret will be headlining Edmonton Steampunk Group’s annual Rocky Horror Steampunk Ball at the Starlite Room.

 

Born from the ashes of the long running art-rock band Screwtape Lewis, Punch Drunk Cabaret have been tearing up stages for years with their crafty blend of classic rockabilly, country roots and steampunk swing. Anchored in seventies anthemic rock theatrics and infused with snake oil bravado and crunchy bump and grind, Punch Drunk Cabaret is definitely a witches brew of divergent influences.

 

“It’s like a strange mix of electricity, meditation, and demon possession,” says the gravel voiced guitarist Randy B. “It works together so well because they’re all very primal forms of music. It’s always been a mystery to me that the same people who like AC/DC also like Johnny Cash, yet it makes perfect sense. Punch Drunk Cabaret exists at that same crossroads. There’s nothing original about this band, except how we piece together these disparate parts and present them in a way no one’s seen before.”

 

Rounding out the trio is stand up drummer “Captain” Sean E. Watts and Terry “Sawbones” Grant on the iconic Tom Petersson 12-string bass, and along with Randy B the three of them have put aside the standard rockabilly look and have instead adopted a type of Victorian era attire more indicative of the steampunk culture.

 

“We decided on a look that personified the name of the band, something that was both vintage and iconic,” he says. “It wouldn’t have made sense to wear leather jackets and pompadours. We needed something that transcended the genres that we covered. So, what better way to dress than like early century snake oil salesmen or untrustworthy carnival barkers?” 

 

 With their new album Electrik Steam Show—still hot to the touch—Punch Drunk Cabaret’s third release contains ten throbbing boppers recorded at drummer Watts’ home studio and co-produced by Ross Nykiforuk, a JUNO Award winner for his work with Saskatoon’s roots rockers The Sheepdogs.

 

“The songs on the new album maintain the rockabilly, roots, swing template we established on the first two records, but I feel we’ve arrived at a sound that’s more signature and original,” says Randy B. “We found that once the adrenalin starts pumping during a live show, we play more aggressively, so we wanted to reflect that on the new album.”

 

He’s also excited about the recent release of the band’s new video for the song “Beard Of Bees” which was directed by Edmonton cinematographer Mark Remple and shot on the epic landscape of Southern Alberta where the band members and crew spent less time invested in apiculture and more time fighting off hoards of blood sucking insects.

 

“I wrote the storyline of a beekeeper, his best man, and a chain smoking clergyman, walking across treacherous landscape to marry a beautiful and mysterious Queen Bee. I also got to serve as the artistic director and channel my shameless affection for directors like Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton,” he says.

 

Live Punch Drunk Cabaret is a feast for the senses with their attention to style and high powered showmanship, yet they build their world on a strong foundation of polished marketable music and clever lyrical narratives. Taking to the stage with a strong catalogue of original material that span the band’s three releases provides a powerful launching pad for a live act greatly influenced by such legendary rock bands as KISS and Cheap Trick.

 

“I’m still completely addicted to that mystical mix of electricity, energy, and spirituality that utterly possesses your being,” says Randy B, about playing live. “Time no longer has meaning as you ride this otherworldly wave. It’s everything drugs are supposed to do for you.”

 

This motley trio of musical misfits have obviously been doing something right to impress the folks at the Edmonton Steampunk Group because the band has been headlining this wicked Halloween shindig since its inception.

 

As potent as Punch Drunk Cabaret is, Randy B confesses that even they can be outdone at times by their devoted fan base.
“For the Rocky Horror Steampunk Ball, because we know that audience so well, it’s a case of giving them lots of room to participate in the show. Given their enthusiasm and penchant for costuming, it’s the one event of the year when we look underdressed.” 

 

Leduc-Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer

 

Turning up the heat with Punch Drunk Cabaret

Punch Drunk Cabaret, featuring percussionist Capt. Sean E. Watt, vocalist/guitarist Randy Bailer and bassist Terry “Sawbones” Grant. - Submitted
Punch Drunk Cabaret, featuring percussionist Capt. Sean E. Watt, vocalist/guitarist Randy Bailer and bassist Terry “Sawbones” Grant.
— Image Credit: Submitted

The Manluk Theatre may never be the same again after one of the premier homegrown bands in Wetaskiwin performs in the newly renovated venue Oct. 14.

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret, featuring vocalist/guitarist Randy Bailer, bassist Terry “Sawbones” Grant and percussionist Capt. Sean E. Watt, with their trademark psychobilly rock/swing/dance sound, will be breaking in the Manluk Theatre following the stage’s recent upgrade of new seating, lighting and more.

 

PDC was founded six years ago by Bailer, a Wetaskiwin singer/songwriter who, at that time, didn’t see much of a future in music. “Six years ago I didn’t,” said Bailer by phone Oct. 6.

 

He said he’d been in the Alberta music scene for 20 years, half of that with the same outfit writing and performing music that critics seemed to love but seemed to fall short of the same level of success commercially. Bailer said, facing another line-up change at that time, he simply decided to walk away and delve into solo time. He wrote some music, played some demos for friends and struck gold.

 

“This is really good,” quoth close friends when hearing that work. “We should build a band around this.” Punch Drunk Cabaret was born and carved out a name in the music scene, released three albums, the most recent being 2016’s “Electrik Steam Show,” a library of music available for download and generated lots of positive buzz.

 

Why? “The demographic is so wide,” said Bailer. “I think it’s just the way we mix up genres.”

 

If by “mix up” Bailer means karate-kicking notes, words and attitude into a nuclear-powered blender and blasting the resultant chemical marriage straight at the audience, he knows his job well. Bailer said music has been part of his life since childhood, where his influences included ’57 Chevy rock n roll, swing beats and early Hank Williams country and western combined with the rock explosion of the 80’s that all became part of the peculiar PDC sound.

 

He calls it “roots music,” something that appeals to music fans. “We play it pretty aggressively,” he added.

 

The Manluk Theatre show will be the new facility’s unveiling. Bailer said it gives the band a chance to play music off their new album.

 

He said “Electrik Steam Show,” released last spring, was given the proper genesis, including ample writing time, plus recording sessions close by in Hanna with mixing in Saskatoon. “We’re very, very happy with it,” he said. “We were just able to spend more time with it.”

 

Bailer feels the third album is their best-sounding yet because it merges their original influences with their trademark sound.

 

Bailer said he’s looking forward to all their fans packing the Manluk Oct. 14 to break in the theatre’s dance floor to PDC’s up-tempo rockabilly sprinkled with audience participation.

 

The only challenge at Punch Drunk Cabaret’s show? Trying to have as much fun as the band is having. “It really is this sort of natural reaction,” said Bailer. “You’re just sort of possessed by the music.”

 

Bailer said he’d love it if music fans checked out PDC’s work before the show, and invites fans to dress up rockabilly, steampunk or similar for the show. “We always want the audience to participate with us. It’s more fun that way.”

 

The Manluk theatre is located at 5002 55 Ave Wetaskiwin. The Oct. 14 show has doors open at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m. Tickets are only $20 advance  and are available at Warren’s Music, Beans Coffee House and the theatre. Tickets at the door are $25.

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret’s music is available for download on iTunes and more information is available on the band’s website, www.punchdrunkcabaret.com, including their latest video.

 

Grande Prairie Herald Tribune

Punch Drunk Cabaret returns to GP 

Punch Drunk Cabaret returns to Grande Prairie this weekend. Photo by Larrie Thomson

Punch Drunk Cabaret returns to Grande Prairie this weekend. Photo by Larrie Thomson

 

It’ll be a rockabilly kind of weekend at Better than Fred’s when Punch Drunk Cabaret returns for performances Friday and Saturday.

 

Still fresh of the release of their latest album, Electrik Steam Show, lead singer Randy Bailer said the band is excited to perform some of their newest tunes and some crowd favourites for the local audience. The band consists of Bailer, Terry ‘Sawbones’ Grant on the 12-string bass and Captain Sean Watts on drums.

 

“One of the many things that are quite unique about this outfit is, musically, we merge rockabilly music, which is vintage, early rock ‘n’ roll, there’s kind of some up-tempo roots music that’s in there as well as some swing music that’s very guitar driven because we’re just a three piece band. So it’s a very interesting mix of... vintage forms of music,” said Bailer, adding their sound is bound to get the crowd dancing. “We play it in a pretty modern way, very up tempo.”

 

He said with Electrik Steam Show being their third album, they pushed their artistic boundaries.

 

“One thing that we felt was lacking in our recording catalogue was that we didn’t have any music that was kind of edgier or heavier and that tends to come out in the live shows. As people would catch on to what we’re doing and they bring their own energy, we were finding that in the last year we were playing a little more aggressively than how we originally played on the albums when we recorded them,” said Bailer, adding they wanted to bring that aggressive feel to the new album.

 

“In some cases, (it’s a) little darker. Not in a depressing sort of way, I just think some of the subject matter, some of the stories that are being told are a little darker sounding but it’s still all very rocking and upbeat.”

 

In his earlier band days, Bailer said he used to write about his personal experiences, but the songs he put together on the new album are based on characters he creates. The songs, he added, are written from the perspective of those characters.

 

“That’s much more interesting to me than writing about my own perspective and I did that for a lot of years, especially when I was young,” he said.

 

“Over time, it became more interesting to inhabit somebody else’s perspective so a lot of the stories – and there are quite a few story songs – are from someone else’s perspective. Even when I sing a lot of the songs, I think about what it is that character is trying to communicate, what does that character sound like.”

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret last performed in Grande Prairie in May of last year and for those who have never been to one of their shows, Bailer said they can expect to have a lot of fun and get up and dance.

 

“Punch Drunk Cabaret actually is a show. There is a beginning, middle and an end. There’s time spots where we bring in the audience and there’s audience participation parts, there’s story songs with dramatic pauses so it truly is a show and it’s very visual,” he said.


 

 

Alaska Highway News

Fort St. John ready to get punch-drunk again

After being wowed by the crowd at the June Jam, Punch Drunk Cabaret is returning to the Peace Region

When they arrived in the Peace Region for the first time back in June, the members of Punch Drunk Cabaret didn’t know what to expect.

 

Being one of the headlining acts for the Big Bam June Jam, frontman Randy Bailer was thoroughly impressed by the local audience.

 

“The people that caught our set at the June Jam—it was an overwhelming response,” he said. “People were just so enthusiastic; I was shocked at just how much people in that area love music, like true blue music lovers.”

 

Along with the response to the band’s steampunk/rockabilly sound, the group— made up of Bailer, Terry “Sawbones” Grant and Sean Watts—was also strongly encouraged to return to the area as soon as possible, and most importantly, to perform at the Lido Theatre.

 

“We heard so many people tell us about the theatre and say ‘you guys gotta come back and this is where you gotta play,’” said Bailer.

 

Ask and you shall receive, as Punch Drunk Cabaret will be playing its first ever show in Fort St. John at the Lido on Sept. 29

 

Since blowing the minds of the audience at the June Jam, Punch Drunk Cabaret has had a busy summer expanding their tour base. Whereas before they generally stuck to venues in Alberta, the band has now ventured to communities in B.C. and Saskatchewan to showcase their music.

 

“That’s a big focus of the band over the next year is to get out to other markets,” said Bailer. “This past summer we’ve been together for six years and so much of it has been developing areas that are closer to home.

 

“It’s nice to be able to travel across greater spaces and not play the same six towns all the time.”

 

PDC was also busy creating a new music video for the track Beard of Beesfrom their third album, Electrik Steam Show. The song tells the story of a man looking for his bride, which doesn’t necessarily work out.

 

“The image of this band lends itself very well to narrative videos,” said Bailer. “We had just a great response to the videos. A lot of people that’s their first exposure to the band.”

 

As the audience is considered the fourth member of Punch Drunk Cabaret, Bailer said he encourages people coming to the show to dress up however they see fit and be ready for a fun night.

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret plays the Lido Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 29. Doors open at 7 p.m. For more information, call 250-785-3011


 

Saskatoon StarPhoenix

 

Punch Drunk and Loving It

Punch Drunk Cabaret

Electrik Steam Show

Album Review

4 stars

 

Ah, the luxury afforded the young. These young men, Punch Drunk Cabaret, marry steam punk to a stripped down, minimalist band structure like Stray Cats, and build an album’s set of songs around the wild times to be had in the bars and dark corners of the nighttime city, complete with every kind of liquor available and young women, in the words of one song, sprouting haloes and horns.

 

 It is a cabaret, and they aim to get punch drunk, so the boys usher us in with some bass-driven, nitro R & B, singing, in the comical Beard of Bees, “When looking for honey/ All I got was a beard of bees/ Hot as a hornet/ Honey really stuck it to me.” Ah well, when young men strike out romantically, there’s always plenty of liquid consolation as in the rapid-fire shuffle of EliXXXir and the hyper-polka drinking competition of Voodoo Vodka Stomp. As I said, young men only need apply.

 

They can handle all the liquor — well, at least they recover faster — and they can so flagrantly sing about going to, raising, tempting, and even digging their way down to hell, knowing they’ve got so many years before the yawning earth actually wants to swallow them up. Top marks here go to the slinky slow rocker that romances Gravediggers of the World Unite, especially its ghostly guitar solo.

 

 There’s a wild square dance in Allemand that takes you “down below,” the hard-rocking Hell, etc. about drinking your way out of said place, and closer Hightest Hellraisin’ about you know what on high test hooch. Young lovers, but particularly young livers, get ready for a wild night out. And take a cab.

 

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Keeping it unreal: Punch Drunk Cabaret

Punch Drunk Cabaret performs in Saskatoon September 1, 2016.

Captain Sean E Watts, Bandmeister Randy B and Terry Sawbones Grant of Punch Drunk Cabaret. LARRIE THOMSON

Punch Drunk Cabaret

Thursday, Sept. 1

The Capitol

With performances by the Menagerie Burlesque Company

Cover $7

Phone rings — Terry Sawbones Grant calling long distance from “Dustbowl Alberta.” Has some things to say about Punch Drunk Cabaret, a rockabilly, roots, swing trio featuring Captain Sean E Watts who drums standing up, Bandmeister Randy B who plays overdriven Gretsch guitars and Sawbones himself who hoists a mighty 12-string bass. Real character, Sawbones. Keeps you in stitches, you could say. Says stuff like “Deep down, it’s just Kraft Dinner but we give you a steak-tartar show.” More below.  

 

THE “SAWBONES” MONIKER: Sawbones has always been the “mother hen” in his bands, making sure everyone gets enough sleep and has proper lumbar support. Randy B started calling him Bones after the doc on Star Trek. When they adopted the steampunk look, Sawbones seemed even more fitting. 

 

THE LOOK: Top hats and bowlers, vests and goggles. “I like to think of it having that roguish charm. We dress nice and you think you like us but we might be nefarious. Like the travelling snake oil salesmen, we’re selling you something. But is it necessarily good for you? I don’t know.”

 

SHOWMANSHIP: “There’s a billion bands out there and a lot of them stare at their shoes. We think we’ve got to put on a show and make our mark. It’s kind of the KISS model. You don’t even have to see our faces — and probably it’s best that you don’t.”

 

BEARD OF BEES: The band sweltered in the badlands recording the video for this song from their latest album Electrik Steam Show, produced by Saskatoon’s Ross Nykiforuk. After a 17-hour day, they drove home three and a half hours through a torrential downpour, almost hitting a deer, an owl and a coyote. “Every time we do a video we always seem to find a way, either in the story or our band personally, to put ourselves in peril,” says Sawbones. Vid out Sept. 1.

REVIEWS: “We’re not afraid of good or bad reviews, simply because we don’t actually get them, so I suppose that solves the problem right there.”

 

ORIGINAL SONGS: “We’re one of the few original bands without a label deal that gets paid. We get to play nice gigs. But we worked up to that. When we first started, we got next to nothing but we kept playing because we just love it. And you get a little more notoriety because people pay to see you and you get a little rider and the rider goes from ‘water’ to, perhaps, ‘delicious beverages of the alcoholic variety.’”

 

COVER SONGS: Hot for Teacher, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). “Our covers are whorish bastardizations of time-tested classics.”

 

IMPACT: “We’re not a pure rockabilly band, we’re not a pure swing band. We just go out there and it’s upbeat and people dance. We get two reactions, you either dance to us or you just stand there and look at the freaks with the funny hats on stage, which is fun, too.”

 

12-STRING BASS: “It’s fun to play and hard as hell at the same time. You gotta suffer for your art.” You’ve heard 12-string bass before, by Cheap Trick’s Tom Petersson, which is how a young Sawbones got into it. 

 

PRAISE: “I’ve been told we’re the greatest three-piece live band in Canada. You can quote me. But I will say that I told my mom to stop saying that to people.”

 

THE SECRET: “You put on a show, you give people value for their dollar. It’s going to be a memorable time, we’re going to put a smile on your face, you’re going to do a jig, you’re going to cut a rug, you’re going to drink a bevvy, you’re going to see feathered burlesque girls. Hell, man, I would come out and see that show if I wasn’t playing that show.”

cfuller@postmedia.com

Meridian Booster

Punch Drunk Cabaret to take the stage 

By Phil McLachlan

Photo Courtesy of Larrie Thomson

Photo Courtesy of Larrie Thomson

The Punch Drunk Cabaret will be swinging by the root: community emporium on Saturday to promote their new album as well as celebrate six years together as a group.

 

Known as a top-hat wearing, crowd loving rock and roll band, Punch Drunk Cabaret will be sure to get people out of their seats as they have many times for audiences across the world. 

 

Playing with another band for ten years, lead singer Randy Bailor left the music industry and started to write songs on his own enjoyment. Playing these songs for some musician friends, Bailor and his band decided to play in front of an audience and the response was extremely positive. A month later, the band took off, touring around Saskatchewan. Six years down the road, Punch Drunk Cabaret has taken off quickly and grown a reputation of being a fun and well-loved group.

 

The Punch Drunk Cabaret produce what they consider rockabilly music. This is an aggressive mix between vintage 80’s rock and roll, steam-punk swing (guitar driven swing) and frenzy gypsy jazz.

 

“We really are a live band, first,” said Bailor. “After the first album, songs were specifically written with the audience in mind, finding ways to work them into our show.

 

“It’s a very interactive live show, and from that we developed our reputation for having a really strong live show; that’s probably the best compliment of all, because that’s how we see ourselves.”

 

The group dresses in very unique manner, with a steam punk, early turn-of-the-century look. With a stand up drummer, as well as the bass player performing on a 12-string bass, there are many things about it that define them as a unique group.

 

With their new album, Bailor believes it’s edgier, possessing a cleaner rock sound. With the older two albums, recording sessions were more old school, with the group simply focusing on getting themselves off the ground. With the latest record, more focus was put on the quality of recording. 

 

A message behind the music of Punch Drunk Cabaret comes in the form of storytelling, and takes the audience on a journey. 

 

“There’s a number of songs that are stories,” said Bailor. “As a songwriter, I’m more interested in inhabiting the mental space of someone else, from a character’s perspective. I would say that the majority of what we write isn’t necessarily from our own perspective or pushing an agenda. Its more in the tradition of storytelling.

 

“We want to leave things open for interpretation, let people get their own meaning out of it.”

 

Bailor sees music as a driving force for how he found himself in his younger years.

 

“I feel very fortunate that I found something that had so much gravity to it, because it steered me away from a lot of negative things that I could’ve fallen into had I not had something to anchor me,” said Bailor.

 

The future of Punch Drunk Cabaret holds a road of growth and expansion. With a local gathering of fans, the band choose to expand their support base by going on tour, and just returned from a tour in Europe.

 

“For us, it’s about improvement; we have this goal of creating the best possible live show that we’re capable of, and getting that out to as many people as possible,” said Bailor.

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret will be taking the stage at the root: community emporium on Saturday, September 3 at 9 p.m. Tickets will be $10 at the door.

 

Lloydminster Source

Drunk loves Lloyd

By Geoff Lee

August 18, 2016 12:00 AM

Punch Drunk Cabaret will be at The Root Sept. 3. L-r: Singer Randy Bailer, drummer Capt. Sean Watts and bass player Terry "Sawbones" Grant.

Punch Drunk Cabaret will tick two items off their bucket list on a three day tour through Saskatchewan in September.
The three member Alberta band will perform their first ever live show in Lloydminster at The Root on Sept. 3 after a cancelled gig at the Legacy Centre in May due to liquor licence snafu.


“Maybe this time for real,” Randy Bailer, singer and manager said with a laugh.


He noted the cancellation was disappointing for them and fans who bought tickets.


“We feel quite good about the fact we’ve been able to pick that show up again just a few months later,” he said.
Before hitting Lloyd, the rockabilly steampunk swing act will also perform their first ever live show in Saskatoon on Sept. 1 at the Capital Music Club.


That will be followed by a sold out show with Trooper in North Battleford on Sept. 2 as they make their way to Lloyd, which Bailer calls a strange town, but in a good way.


He said it’s strange because despite the cancellation in May, “the press has been so damned good to us in Lloyd like no other place.
“Saskatoon is really strange and elusive too, because we’ve recorded all three albums there and really consider Saskatoon a second home—we’ve never played there live,” he said.


He noted in the music business there is so much deal making behind the scenes that never makes the light of day.
“It’s a strange thing—some markets you can’t get arrested and in Lloyd, the press has just been so supportive of what we do,” he said.
Punch Drunk’s much awaited arrival in Lloydminster will be hyped with the release of their video, Beard of Bees, named for a song on their newest and third album, Electrik Steam Show.


Bailer said the video has been become very important to this band because they are a very visual band.
“One thing about this band is we’re very much a live band first,” said Bailer.


“That live show has to impact people the first time and so everything that we do, from the songs that we write, to the way that we look—everything stems from having an engaging live show.”


The live on stage eye candy starts with drummer Capt. Sean Watts who plays a pared down drum kit that he plays standing up.
“Every time we play, there’s comments that people have never seen someone stand up and play the drums so he definitely brings a unique angle to it,” said Bailer.


The bass player is Terry “Sawbones” Grant who plays an unconventional 12 string bass instead of the usual four string instrument.
“It’s very unique—there’s not a lot of people in Canada that even play that instrument,” said Bailer, noting it was developed in the 70s by a guy in the band Cheap Trick.


Bailer said Punch Drunk will perform songs from all three of their albums at The Root.

“We’ve never taken such a left turn that there is an album that doesn’t apply—each album we’ve built off the last one,” he said.
He also described Punch Drunk as a “homeless band,” meaning Bailer lives near Wetaskiwin, Watts in Hanna and Grant near Edmonton and they get together to perform.


The trio tagged up in July for two videotaping sessions for the Beard of Bees project starting at Bailer’s family farm.
They completed a performance video on a set there that Bailer built in the hayloft of an old barn. The second part was shot on what Bailer called really epic locations in southern Alberta including Horsethief Canyon in the badlands.
“Because we are a very visual band, it really lends itself well to the media form of video,” said Bailer.
“Quite often we get booked because of our videos.”

 

Electrik Steam Show album review

 

Veteran performers Punch Drunk Cabaret were determined to do more than just capture their highly energized and theatrical live performances on their 3rd recording, Electrik Steam Show. This hard working power trio makes a statement with a level of song writing and musicianship that makes one sit up and listen.

 

After a spoken word introduction welcomes listeners, Halos and Horns kicks the proceedings into high gear with a descending bass line over a crunchy rockabilly riff that suggests a darker turn. Beard of Bees with its infectious vocal chant over buzz saw guitar and Randy Bailer’s firewater vocal continues the journey with its image conjuring lyrics…`looking for honey, all I got was a beard of bees’.
More familiar PDC material follows with Elixxxir, a sure fire triple X crowd pleaser. There’s no shortage of up-tempo rockers, Voodoo Vodka Stomp features a Cookie Monster like death growl over a breakneck beat that should pack the dance floor at the bands crowd participation friendly live shows.

 

Guitarist Bailer, 12 string bassist Terry `Sawbones’ Grant and drummer Sean E. Watts dig into muscular guitar heavy rockers like Detonation Time before taking a breather on the grim, `Grave Diggers of the World Unite’, with a tone that suggests the unease normally reserved for late night cemetery wanderings.


There’s a mysterious feel to the entire recording, vibrant but with long shadows. Self- produced with help from Ross Nykiforuk (Juno winner, The Sheepdogs) and engineer Peter J. Moore (Grammy winner for his work with Dylan), there’s murky depths to explore.

 

Hell Etc. confirms the sinister undertones, a mainstream rocker with lyrics like, ` …gonna find a glass of whiskey and drink me out of hell’… into, Meat on the Bones, another riff ready fist pumper. Allemand shows the band in fine countrified storytelling form before turning up the intensity for the finale, Hightest Hellraisin’, a fitting conclusion to this flat out rock and roll barn burner. 

4 out of 5

Alaska Highway News

Getting punch-drunk on music

Steampunk swing band Punch Drunk Cabaret co-headline the Big Bam June Jam

 ALEISHA HENDRY  | ALASKA HIGHWAY NEWS  

JUNE 2, 2016 07:27 AMcabaret

It’s as much about the spectacle as it is about the music.

Alberta-based band Punch Drunk Cabaret is bringing its rockabilly/steampunk swing sound to the Big Bam June Jam on Friday, June 10.

 

Randy Bailer, the lead singer and songwriter, says the group considers the audience to be the fourth member of the band.

 

“We really consider ourselves a live band first, everything stems from the live show, the songs are written with the live show in mind,” he said in an interview with the Alaska Highway News.

 

“There’s audience participation parts written into the song, so when we get out on a festival stage, the audience can fit right in, it’s sort of a different approach than a lot of bands.”

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret combines rockabilly, which Bailer describes as vintage rock and roll dating back to the Elvis Presley era, and guitar-led swing music.

 

The three-piece act is made up of Bailer, Terry “Sawbones” Grant taking on both the stand-up four-string bass and an electric 12-string bass, and Sean Watts, who has a specially-designed drum kit that he plays while standing up.

 

“He can play in a 360; he often walks around the kit while playing,” Bailer said of Watts.

 

The band grew up in the 70s and 80s with big theatrical bands like KISS, which is where they draw their inspiration from when performing.

 

“We wanted to carry on the tradition and that’s the only way we know how to do it.

 

“The visual and the performance part is every bit as important at the music, those things have to work together,” he said.

 

Bailer writes songs that tell a story rather than baring his soul, even though he says there’s nothing wrong with other songwriters that do—it’s just not his bag.

 

“I really like to think along the lines of almost writing for characters. To me it’s a lot more interesting,” he says. “I just like to take a more creative approach and think more along the lines of a story or situation from the perspective of a character.

 

“Artistically it’s very interesting to inhabit that world for three and a half minutes of somebody else’s perspective rather than these are my thoughts and feelings on the state of the world.”

 

The trio really gets into their performance, making it as much about the visual elements as well as the music, which Bailer hopes the audience will appreciate.

 

“We tend to get a bit possessed by the music when we get going, so it is a bit of a spectacle where people are seeing instruments and types of music put together that they’ve never seen before,” he said.

 

The Big Bam June Jam takes place June 10 and 11 at the Big Bam Ski Hill in Taylor.

ahendry@ahnfsj.ca

 

Shakin Kats Radio CHRW 94.9 FM

The voice comes on and says "tickets please,enjoy the show" and you just know all is good because  Punch Drunk Cabaret are about to step up. Hell the kings of "Steampunk swing " always deliver and aren't afraid to throw a few surprises at you along the way. The band is now back with it's 3rd album "Electrik Steam Show" and this time out they really flex their muscles. Sure it's a bit eclectic and we  get the mix bag of roots, rockabilly and steampunk but it's surprisingly ramped up here. This is easily PDC most rockin' and hardest album yet. We get 10 tracks and an intro that really bare that out and it's a pretty diverse to boot. Highlights include: "Halos and Horns", "Meat on the Bones", " Hell Etc", "Voodoo Vodka Stomp" and "Detonation Time" .

Punch Drunk Cabaret continue to make kool and diverse rock n roll. With "Electrik Steam Show" they back that up.This may not be for everyone but when given a chance it will win you over,it's that good .Yes it's a killer rock n roll album and PDC still can't be put into a box.You have to like that. Recommended!!! 

Camrose Canadian

Punch Drunk Cabaret returns to launch new album 

Punch Drunk Cabaret will unveil their third album at the Bailey Theatre on May 13. (Larrie Thomson)

Punch Drunk Cabaret will unveil their third album at the Bailey Theatre on May 13. (Larrie Thomson)

They’ve been holed up over the winter, polishing up new tunes, but rockabilly steampunk trio Punch Drunk Cabaret will return to the Bailey Theatre May 13 to launch their third album, Electrik Steam Show.

 

Camrose, as the first place to embrace the band when they got started six years ago, holds a special place in their hearts.

“We’re a homeless band because we’re three different musicians spread across the province, but when we line up a Camrose date, that always feels like a hometown show for us,” said lead singer Randy Bailer. “We’ve been away from the stage for most of the winter and it’s time to recharge our batteries again.”

 

Last year the band spent about six months road testing their material on live audiences, finding out which songs consistently got the best reactions, before starting the recording process.

 

“What’s different about this album is we definitely stepped forward on the production values. It’s a much more interesting record to listen to,” said Bailer. “In times past we just kind of wanted a musical snapshot of what we do live, and this time out we really wanted to create an engaging record for the listener that will endure repeated listens, and maybe layers that would be revealed over time.”

 

And so they enlisted the mixing talents of Juno winner Ross Nykiforuk (of Sheepdogs fame) and the mastering expertise of Grammy winner Peter J. Moore (who recently worked on Bob Dylan’s latest album).

 

They also endeavoured to write songs with the audience in mind, leaving plenty of room for crowd participation.

 

“It means that we have a high expectation already that they’re going to come to the show and want to participate, but that’s just the kind of band that we are,” said Bailer. “The event is just so much more fun when the audience is part of the show.”

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret not only encourages sing-alongs and dancing, but audience members are welcome to dress up.

 

“We’re almost trying to recreate Halloween or New Year’s every time we play. That’s really the kind of spirit that we’re trying to get the audience to participate in, rather than you just have a couple of special nights a year that you can really let yourself go.”

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret will partnering with the Rose City Roots Music Society for the first time with this concert. The show starts at 8 p.m. on May 13. Tickets are $25 ($15 for students), available at the Bailey Box office or online.

 

Camrose Booster

Punch Drunk Cabaret releases new CD

By Murray Green

Area music fans are going to be treated to a special evening on Friday, May 13 when Punch Drunk Cabaret takes the Bailey Theatre stage at 8 p.m.


Camrose’s favorite outlaw rockabilly and steampunk swing band has had a busy year since they last entertained here.
“We are getting itchy to release our new CD to the public and play again at the Bailey Theatre,” said lead singer Randy Bailer. “We are coming up to six years together as a band and the one thing that never changes is we see ourselves as a live band first. Everything operates from the position of what can we do to re-create that live performance.”
This time the Bailey Theatre Society and Rose City Roots Music Society are welcoming back Punch Drunk Cabaret to help preview a new CD. This will be the bands third CD, which will feature 10 tracks. It captures the same manic, aggressive energy of the live show onto a studio album.


“We want the audience involved in what we do. They help us select songs for the album by giving us feedback. It starts in the writing phases where we pick songs that the audience can follow the rhythm easily and dance to, or  join in with sing-along parts for participation,” explained Bailer. “I’m writing right from the get-go thinking how the audience can be part of the song.”
Punch Drunk Cabaret instantly brings a party atmosphere when they step on stage. “In this album we are a little more aggressive and the audience pushes us to play those high energy songs and that was the inspiration for the album. We start the show in mid-set form.”


With so much energy, the love ballads tend to take a back seat. “We road tested the material six months before entering into the studio. We really wanted to know what people said worked or didn’t work,” he added. “We were well rehearsed prior going into the studio.”


 The album includes Juno and Grammy award winning producers/engineers.
“We wanted a higher production this time. With the first two CDs, it was just trying to get three guys in a room and capture a really good performance. With this one, it was more painstakingly put together because there are more layers to it,” said Bailer. “We recorded entirely on our own and have never done that before. It was self-produced. We then took it to Ross Nykiforuk (The Northern Pikes), who we worked with before, and has since won a Juno with the Sheepdogs.”


He engineered it and then passed it on to Peter J. Moore, who won a Grammy with his work on the latest Bob Dylan album.
“We have a bigger sound, which is more like we have in a live setting. We are often complimented for our sound with only three band members.”


Each CD release creates a  new album cycle. “New staging is added, Sean has an entire new drum kit in support of the new record and everyone’s look has been updated or changed to reflect what we are doing now,” continued Bailer. “It will be a whole new Punch Drunk Cabaret show, but with the same energy people love.”


The Electrik Steam Show album is the first to feature drummer Capt. Sean E. Watts, as well as front man Bailer’s newly found baritone guitar. Terry “Sawbones” Grant is as solid as ever.


“Sean is the new guy, but has been with us a year and a half. It changed the energy, but he plays a cocktail drum kit and plays standing up. He brings even more energy to the songs because he is able to move in a full cycle,” he said.


Bailer still considers Camrose as the band’s home town. “Although Robin (Eklund of Camrose) has left the band, we consider the Bailey Theatre a great venue and a place we can call home. We play all over the province, but the Bailey is still the jewel to play in. We are excited to be part of the Rose City Roots Society series. It’s a good opportunity for us to play in front of a different audience as well. Your supporters become like family. It is good to expand the family.”


Tickets for the show are available online at www.baileytheatre.com or at the Bailey Theatre Box Office, 780-672-5510.

 

 

Lloydminster Source

Punch Drunk brings a unique sound

Punch Drunk Cabaret will be launching its new album Electrik Steam Show at the Legacy Centre in Lloydminster the evening of May 7. Left to right are band members Sean Watts, Randy Bailer and Terry Sawbones Grant.

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret members will be in their element when they roll into Lloydminster to celebrate the launch of their new album Electrik Steam Show.
The three-member band from central Alberta thrives on performing before a live audience and will do it again on May 7 at the Legacy Centre.
“We really consider ourselves a live band first,” said singer and manager Randy Bailer who noted that was something they wanted to bring into the studio.“This album is really a focus on the live show—we really wanted to capture that live energy that we have, which really comes from the audience response.”
Bailer describes Punch Drunk Cabaret as a rockabilly/steampunk swing act that’s become a festival favourite for all ages across the province.
“We literally have seniors who like this band and will come out whenever they can and we’ve had 15 and 16 year old teenagers as well,” said Bailer.
“We are veteran musicians and we’ve never played in a band quite like this where it’s such a broad spectrum of music fans.”
The uniqueness starts with drummer Sean Watts, who plays a pared down drum kit that he plays standing up.
“Every time we play there are comments that people have never seen someone stand up and play the drums so he definitely brings a unique angle to it,” said Bailer.
The bass player is Terry “Sawbones” Grant who plays an unconventional 12-string bass instead of the usual four string instrument.
“It has a pretty unique sound,” said Bailer.
The band has been together for six years this summer and they noticed from the beginning that people wanted to dance wherever they performed.
“That was really kind of the first reaction they had to our music,” said Bailer.
“We ended up playing in more special events and community halls where they could actually set up a dance floor.”
Punch Drunk Cabaret has found themselves performing at festivals with artists as diverse at the Road Hammers, July Talk and Kim Mitchell.
“There has been more opportunities to play with some of these bigger name acts,” said Bailer.
“It’s always good for a band like us—we’re just trying to increase our exposure.”
Bailer said they road tested the songs for Electrik Steam Show album for about six months before recording the ones that went over more consistently with a live audience.
They went into the studio realizing not everyone wants to dance, but almost everybody wants to participate in some way when they perform live.
“There’s a number of songs on the new album that actually has audience participation parts written right into them,” said Bailer.
Tickets are available in Lloydminster from Vintage Music and Relay Distributing.
The doors open at 8 p.m. with a warm up act by the Lloydminster group, One Cent Melons.

 

Lloydminster Meridian Booster

Steampunk band debuts in Lloydminster 

Steampunk band Punch Drunk Cabaret will be performing at the Legacy Center on May 7 with local band One Cent Melon.

For its very first show, the Border City Music Society is bringing in steampunk trio, Punch Drunk Cabaret. 

 

The band was one of last year’s performers at the Dog Patch Music Festival in Whelan, Sask., but this upcoming show will mark their Lloydminster debut.

 

Originally from Dustbowl, Alta., the band is made up of Randy Bailer, Capt. Sean E. Watts, and Terry Sawbones who perform a potent cocktail of rockabilly, outlaw country and steampunk swing.

 

“Probably the main thing that people need to know about Punch Drunk Cabaret is that we really consider ourselves a live band first,” Bailer said. “Everything this band does is from the position of being the strongest live band that we can be, and a big part of that is always trying to find ways that we can bring the audience in on the show. Sometimes that means playing music that’s very sort of dance floor friendly, it also means writing and playing songs that allows the audience to participate in.”

 

The Border City Music Society is a new initiative aimed at bringing more performers to play original music in Lloydminster on a regular basis. It was founded by Dwain Anderson who has also arranged for local band One Cent Melon to perform at the show with Punch Drunk Cabaret.

 

The steampunk band will be using the event to launch their latest album, Electrik Steam Show. To make the album the band worked in Saskatoon with producer and engineer Ross Nykiforuk who recently received a Juno Award for his work with The Sheepdogs. For the sound recording they worked with veteran and Grammy Award winning engineer Peter J. Moore from Toronto, whose work includes mastering the latest Bob Dylan album.

 

“We definitely have some very credible sources that we were able to work with on this album,” Bailer said.

 

Last year’s performance at the Dog Patch Music Festival marked the band’s first show in Saskatchewan, and even though they have recorded their first two albums in Saskatoon, they are still doing mostly Alberta-based shows. So far this summer they will also be doing most of their shows in Alberta, which is why they are really looking forward to performing in Lloydminster, as it will be a brand new market for them. They will not be performing again at the Dog Patch Music Festival, but might return in 2017.

 

“With the new album we’re certainly hoping that that is going to open the doors to some newer markets for us,” Bailer said. 

 

Punch Drunk Cabaret will be performing at the Legacy Centre with One Cent Melon for the Border City Music Society on Saturday, May 7. Tickets for the show are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. For more information on the society or for tickets, contact Dwain Anderson at bordercitymusic@yahoo.com. 

 

Bailer said anyone who comes to the event would see a unique show with everything from the band’s instrumentation to the outfits they wear.

 

“I think that’s really kind of the main thing that we hope to get out to the public in Lloyd, is that you’re not just coming to see a band, you’ll see a top to bottom show, and one that you can participate in whether that’s dancing or singing along or you know we always encourage the audience to dress up as well,” Bailer said. “If you need an opportunity to dress 50s style or put on a suit like they did in the 40s, this the kind of show that you can do that and you’ll fit right in.” 

 

Red Deer Express

Punch Drunk Cabaret showcases new tunes at Fratters

Punch Drunk Cabaret is adding another exciting sonic chapter to their musical journey with the release of Electrik Steam Show. Melding rockabilly, outlaw country and steampunk swing, the guys play Fratters on April 23rd.

 

From the start, the goal for Electrik Steam Show - set for release in May - was to capture the manic, aggressive energy of the live show onto a studio album, said frontman Randy Bailer. To make sure this is what unfolded, the band had been road testing new material since last August. Starting out with about 18 songs, the list was ultimately pared down to 10.

 

The project is also the first to feature drummer Capt. Sean E. Watts as well as Bailer’s newly found baritone guitar.

 

Rounding out the group is bassist Terry Sawbones Grant.

 

Since their earliest days, Punch Drunk Cabaret aren’t the least bit wary of trying their hand at all kinds of stylistic ventures.

 

“One thing that hasn’t changed is that we are still very much a live band first - the show comes first and everything stems from that,” explained Bailer.

 

“Even during the writing process, I was thinking about songs that would work well in a live setting.

 

“We always consider our audiences to be like members of the band - so with specific songs, there are literally parts that are written for the audience to sing along to or to shout out to,” he said. “We have found over the years that much of the audience wants to participate - you can feel that from the stage. So I’m always thinking about how do we include the audience? It’s such a gift to have people who want to participate in what you are doing,” he added. “How do we give them that opportunity?”

 

Bailer said there are a number of songs on the new disc that have audience participation parts - it’s all about, as mentioned, nailing that ‘live’ feel as well and injecting that raw energy into the finished product.

 

“You have to really find the essence of the song that’s going to catch people.” As to road testing the tunes, Bailer explained that it’s indeed the way to go to ensure the most compelling cuts end up on the CD.

 

“The audience ultimately has chosen what’s going to go on the album,” he said. “You play say three different cities, and you get a feel for what’s working. And the ones that work, they work every night and everywhere.”

 

The guys recorded the disc over the space of a couple of months earlier this year. “This is actually my 10th album, so it’s kind of a landmark for me,” said Bailer, who years back fronted a band called Screwtape Lewis.

 

“Part of it was really relaxing because we were in a home studio, so it was very laid-back.” They tracked the CD themselves and then handed over the cuts to a couple of heavy-hitters including Ross Nykiforuk (Sheepdogs, Northern Pikes) who also worked with the guys on their first two albums.

 

“I’d say it’s leaps and bounds ahead of what we’ve done production-wise,” said Bailer of the new disc. “It’s super exciting to have somebody else interpret what you are doing and make it better.

 

“It’s really nice to get a fresh perspective on it and to start to take these things to the next level.”

 

Currently, things are moving along briskly with the band consistently landing several high profile gigs while continuing a busy touring schedule. “It’s really about more people hearing about the band.”

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Pincher Creek Echo

Punch Drunk Cabaret to play at Castle Resort 


Punch Drunk Cabaret will play Better Than Fred’s in Grande Prairie, May 29. Photo by Dave Flewwelling

Photo by Dave Flewwelling

Don’t let the pressed suits and top hats fool you. Punch Drunk Cabaret may look like ‘turn of the century snake oil salesmen,’ but their rockabilly, steampunk, outlaw country sound and jumping around on stage gets crowds up and dancing in no time.

“We sort of act opposite of how we look,” said Randy Bailer, lead singer.

Punch Drunk Cabaret started five years ago when Bailer was inbetween bands and playing around with different styles and sounds.

“Fun is the operative word,” he said. “It is ironic because, there was no intention of starting a live band, now everything operates from the perspective of a live band, everything that we do stems from that.”

Bailer does most of the song writing. The band is taking a break from live shows to record their third album in the new year. Unlike some artists, Punch Drunk plays their unrecorded songs for audiences and gauges their reactions before choosing what to put on their albums.

“We don’t really have that stress or worry because we’ve already played those songs numerous times in numerous settings, or cities and so you go into the studio a lot more confident and you come out with an album a lot more confident than you would the other way,” Bailer said.

Listening to everything from Iron Maiden, to Hank Williams to Rammstein as musical influences, Bailer believes that’s why Punch Drunk’s sound is so diverse.

“Although we play roots music now, our approach is very much like those bands,” he said. “We sort of have this arena rock approach to roots music.”

Not only is their sound unique, Punch Drunk often garners attention for their unusual instruments. The bass player, Terry Grant, plays a 12 string, and the drummer, Sean Watts, plays standing up on what is called a ‘cocktail kit’.

“I just thought, ‘wow, if we can have a drummer that stands up, the band is just going to be that much more interesting to watch,’” Bailer said.

‘Punch Drunk’ was a lyric from a song, and the band added ‘Cabaret’ at the end to represent the variety of styles that they play.

“Like an old style cabaret, it was a whole evening of entertainment, it would be many different things throughout the night, you wouldn’t hear the same thing over and over again,” Bailer said.

“We were just trying to find something that sounded punchy and sounded like an event and sounded interesting.”

Because the three band members don’t share a hometown, they often say they are from the fictional town of ‘Dustbowl, Alberta’.

All three members of the band have day jobs, but they spend weekends playing music festivals and special events all over Alberta.

Punch Drunk Cabaret will be playing at Castle Mountain resort on Dec. 19th at 9pm. Tickets are available at Guest Services at the resort and they will be available until right before the event. 

 

St. Albert Gazette

Let the good times roll

From left to right: Bandmeister Randy Bailer, Capt. Sean E. Watts and Terry 'Sawbones' Grant will appear at St. Albert's Bourbon Room this Friday and Saturday.

  • From left to right: Bandmeister Randy Bailer, Capt. Sean E. Watts and Terry 'Sawbones' Grant will appear at St. Albert's Bourbon Room this Friday and Saturday.
    DAVE FLEWWELLING/Supplied photo

There’s a retro revival going on and Punch Drunk Cabaret is leading the charge. Costumed in Steampunk outfits, the retro rockabilly-swing threesome has produced a sound that is fresh, dynamic and best of all – modern.

A remarkably tight and gifted band, Punch Drunk Cabaret has received its share of ink for Randy Bailer’s slick guitar riffs, Terry Grant’s thumping bass lines on a 12-string, and Sean Watt’s rhythmic drum kit more commonly known in the biz as a cocktail kit.

“It was developed during wartime because a lot of little clubs had no space for full drum kits. You have three drums and Sean plays standing up. He’ll even walk around the drums while playing,” said Bailer.

Fresh off a series of successful events, the five-year-old band will perform their potent blend of rockabilly, country outlaw and Steampunk swing on Dec. 4 and 5 at St. Albert’s Bourbon Room.

Rockabilly bands are generally known for their greaser fashion style – think Elvis and Buddy Holly – and vocal twangs that intertwine country, swing and old-time blues. Put these distinctive genres in a beaker and the result is explosive.

“We harken back to sounds that haven’t been heard in a long time. You can’t put us in any one category. It’s really a glorious pollination of different styles that are mixed together.”

These three fine recording artists are turning their vintage influences into something new and familiar, Bailer said.

As part of their set list, they will take a familiar pop song such as the synthesizer driven Eurhythmics’ Sweet Dreams and refocus it as a swing tune. Another time they changed a Johnny Cash tune making it sound more like AC/DC.

And then there are the character driven originals road tested on their audience – moments of music with wacky titles such as Beard of Bees, a song about affection that fell flat or Elixxxer, a tale of a man who finds his niche serving drinks behind a bar.

This is a period where everything has fallen into place. The Official Edmonton Steampunk Group loves their theatricality. Edmonton Rock Festival cheered their energy. Big Valley loved their rootsy vibe and Beaumont Blues Fest couldn’t get enough soul.

“At Beaumont we were invited back a record three times. Usually they don’t have you back, but that was a feather in our cap.”

For Punch Drunk Cabaret, it’s all about interaction.

“We want everybody to participate and when it happens, it’s pure magic. If you want, come dressed up. It’s a great opportunity to sing and dance.”

Edmonton Sun

Photos: 2015 Edmonton Rock Music Festival 

Randy Bailer (left) and Terry Grant of Punch Drunk Cabaret perform during the 2015 Edmonton Rock Music Festival in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday August 14, 2015. The festival continues through Aug. 15. Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun/Postmedia Network

News Optimist

Punch Drunk Cabaret coming to Dog Patch Music Fest

Punch Drunk Cabaret make their Saskatchewan debut at the Dog Patch Music Festival at Whelan Aug. 7 to 9. Photo submitted

An Alberta band with a rockabilly-outlaw country-steampunk swing style of sound will be among the featured performers at the Dog Patch Music Festival on Aug. 8 in Whelan.

The band is Punch Drunk Cabaret. The Dog Patch festival will mark their first-ever appearance in Saskatchewan, who hail from Dustbowl, Alta.

Punch Drunk Cabaret has shared the stage with artists such as the Sheepdogs, Kim Mitchell, George Canyon and July Talk.

They have quickly developed a reputation for bringing a high energy, “rockabilly meets AC/DC” live show to the stage.

The group has released two albums, the first being Punch Drunk Cabaret in 2012 and then The Juke Joint Revival Hour in 2014. Both were recorded in Saskatoon by North Battleford native and Juno-winning producer Ross Nykiforuk of Sheepdogs and Northern Pikes fame.

The Dog Patch Music Festival starts Aug. 7 and runs three days. The price is $70 for the whole weekend.

Other scheduled acts include The Dead South, Lorrie Church, David James & Big River (Johnny Cash tribute), The Johnny McCuaig Band, Shane Chisholm, Big River Boys, Donna Kay, Mitch Belot and many more.

This is the second year for the multi-cultural arts and music festival in Whelen. The location is 20 kilometres west of Loon Lake.

See more at: http://www.newsoptimist.ca/news/northwest-region/punch-drunk-cabaret-coming-to-dog-patch-music-fest-1.2020475#sthash.esYC1CwJ.dpuf

Lloyminster Source

Alberta rockabillies cross over to Sask. side

By Josef Jacobson

July 30, 2015 8:15 AM

Dave Flewwelling Photo Alberta rockabilly band Punch Drunk Cabaret, from left Randy Bailer, Sean Watt and Terry Grant, is performing in Saskatchewan for the first time at the Dog Patch Music Festival in Whelan, Sask. on Aug 8.

For the first time, Alberta rockabilly trio Punch Drunk Cabaret is crossing the 110th meridian for its inaugural Saskatchewan performance.

“I don’t know what’s taken so long. We recorded both of our albums in Saskatoon, so Saskatoon is sort of like our second home, but for some strange reason we just haven’t made it out that way yet,” singer and guitarist Randy Bailer said. “Saskatchewan has just been a little bit elusive, so we’re really excited about it and kind of happy that maybe the curse has been broken.”

On Aug. 8 the Bailer and his bandmates, 12-string bassist Terry Grant and drummer Sean Watts, take to the stage at the Dog Patch Music Festival in Whelan, Sask.

See “Rockabilly,” Page 12

Bailer says there is some pressure to make a good first impression, but he’s at the point where he expects the band to make a bang.

“Our approach is very high-energy from top to bottom,” he said. “I’ve always said that Punch Drunk Cabaret is only 50 per cent of the equation going into a live show. The other half obviously is the audience, so we look for every opportunity to bring them into the show.”

A key part of band’s show is the visual element of the performance. To match their retro rockabilly swing, the group members dress as if they stepped out of a twisted turn-of-the-century steampunk carnival.

“I think that we’re really old-school in our mentality that entertainers need to put on their best for their audience.

That even predates rock ‘n’ roll, that even goes back to early 1900s Vaudeville and the variety shows where people came to an event and you knew who the entertainers were because they were dressed a certain way,” Bailer said. “No different than the circus coming to town. They would roll up and there was excitement because they saw people who looked different and already you got this sense that it’s going to be an event.”

Many of the group’s songs are narratives and character studies and Bailer says playing them live allows the band to provide context and flesh out the lyrics.

He says audiences are still drawn to the sensational theatrics and runaway stomp of early rock ‘n’ roll. Bailer says all rock music traces back to those early roots, and that connection continues to this day.

“There were elements of swing in it, there were elements of country in it, there were elements of blues in it, so it was already this great pollinated sound,” he said. “I think for a lot of people it’s in our DNA as a culture.”

Meridian Booster

Dose of steampunk at Dog Patch Festival 

By Simon Arseneau

Punch Drunk Cabaret plays at the Dog Patch Music Festival on Saturday, Aug. 8. Photo Submitted by Dave Flewwelling.

Punch Drunk Cabaret plays at the Dog Patch Music Festival on Saturday, Aug. 8. Photo Submitted by Dave Flewwelling.

Simon Arseneau

Multimedia Journalist

One of this year’s performers at the Dog Patch Music Festival in Whelan, Sask., will not only be giving a rockabilly show, but also introducing steampunk to anyone not familiar with the science-fiction subgenre.

Punch Drunk Cabaret is a trio out of Dustbowl, Alta., that has been together for five years, performing what it describes as a potent cocktail of rockabilly, outlaw country and steampunk swing.

Although they have recorded their two albums in Saskatoon, their performance at the festival will be the first time band members Randy Bailer, Capt. Sean E. Watts, and Terry Sawbones will be performing in Saskatchewan.

“It’s always exciting to play summer festivals because the opportunity for exposure is so excellent,” Bailer said. “You’ve got people from all over the province that come out and support these festivals, and so to be a part of that is pretty cool, and it definitely goes a long way to getting the name of your band out there.”

For all first timers to a show by Punch Drunk Cabaret, Bailer said the band has heard over and over again their performances described as a show with a beginning, middle and an end.

“There’s all kinds of built-in parts to it that encourage audience participation,” Bailer said. “There’s a bit of a theatrical element to it and just full-out energy. We hear that a lot of people are surprised at the amount of energy that we have on stage and that we’re able to put across for just a three-piece band.”

Being a relatively new band, Bailer said they are in the enviable position where they will play in a venue where people will not have heard of them, and they will end up being the surprise of the event. One aspect that will sometimes surprise audiences is the element of steampunk, which is a subgenre of science-fiction that incorporates technology and aesthetics designs inspired by nineteenth century industrial steam-powered machinery. Bailer said steampunk culture is on the rise in Alberta, however quite often he ends up having to explain to people what it is exactly.

Bailer said all members of the band were drawn to how entertainment used to be in the early 1900s, when if an event came to the town the townspeople knew about it, every person in the production looked like they had a place in the show, and there was a real sense of anticipation that people were going to be entertained. In addition to the Vaudeville or cabaret aspect, the band grew up on bands like KISS, Queen, and Cheap Trick, whose members had a sense of show and played a character onstage.

“I think it’s really something that’s hard-wired right into our DNA just because of growing up on that kind of a presentation,” Bailer said.

The band is in the writing stages of their third album, which they hope to have out by summer 2016. Bailer said the band leaves it up to the audience members what songs end up on the album by playing new material for them, and the songs that don’t get a solid response are the ones that will be left off the records.

After their performance at the Dog Patch Music Festival on Saturday, Aug. 8, Punch Drunk Cabaret will be playing a couple of events in and around the Edmonton area, such as a rockabilly festival in Camrose and a classic rock festival in Edmonton with headliner Pat Benatar.

Tickets for the Dog Patch Music Festival are available online at www.dogpatchmusicfestival.com. Prices range from $30 to $70 depending on how many days you wish to attend.

“It’s worth mentioning that when we started off we definitely got the rockabilly and steampunk tag, and now we’re finding that we’re moving beyond being in such a narrow market,” Bailer said. “This is a few times now that we’ve played with classic rock acts or we can be in a rockabilly festival or we just did a blues and roots fest. So the diversity of the sound has definitely allowed the band to play a wide cross-section of events. I think it’s the same thing with our audiences that it’s a really wide demographic of people. Sometimes it gets interpreted that ‘oh, this is just a rockabilly band’ or ‘it’s just a steampunk band,’ but it’s much broader than that.”

simon.arseneau@sunmedia.ca

 

Wetaskiwin Times

Punch Drunk Cabaret set to open for Kim Mitchell 

 Christina Martens/Wetaskiwin Times

Punch Drunk Cabaret are set to open for Kim Mitchell during the Wetaskiwin Summer Festival in July.

Punch Drunk Cabaret are set to open for Kim Mitchell during the Wetaskiwin Summer Festival in July.

 “Our music is built for the dance floor,” said singer Randy Bailer. “It really couldn’t be a better fit for Summerfest.”

Opening for legendary 80s rocker Kim Mitchell during the Wetaskiwin and District Chamber of Commerce and TD’s co-hosted concert at the Drill Hall July 10, Bailer said the energy Punch Drunk Cabaret brings to the stage will get people up and moving,

“Energy is the number one thing this band is about,” he said. “It’s a well-paced show and we really try to pass that onto the audience.”

Offering a mix of original tunes from their two CDs and cover tunes like you’ve never heard them before, Punch Drunk Cabaret is all about rockabilliy, outlaw country and steampunk swing.

The guitar-driven trio have taken familiar tunes and added a twist.

“There’s a shot of adrenaline running through it,” said Bailer. “There’s nothing like playing (a summer festival) and getting people out and about.”

Bailer said he and his partners, Terry “Sawbones” Grant on bass and Capt. Sean E. Watts on drums love the festival circuit, especially after a long winter.

“People want to be there and it’s great exposure for indie bands because you get people coming from all over,” he said.

While Bailer provides vocals and guitars, Grant’s talent on the 12-string bass give the band a big sound, said Bailer.

“The sound that comes from that is like a bass and guitar together. We sound very big for three pieces,” said Bailer.

Watts is sure to surprise concert goers. The newest member of the band, joining them in January, plays a cocktail kit reminiscent of the 1940s

The stand-up drum set up surprises audience members all the time, said Bailer.

“He rarely stands still and it really isn’t like anything else.”

Tickets for the concert at available at the Chamber office for $45 plus tax.

— christina.martens@sunmedia.ca 

 

Beaumont News

Alberta band has grown in concert with Beaumont Blues Fest 

La Nouvelle Beaumont News reporter Omar Mosleh. (Photo by Jennifer Blake)

By Omar Mosleh, La Nouvelle Beaumont News

Alberta band Punch Drunk Cabaret has made major strides forward in their five years of existence. They partly credit their success to exposure they received at the Beaumont Blues Fest. (Submitted)

Alberta band Punch Drunk Cabaret has made major strides forward in their five years of existence. They partly credit their success to exposure they received at the Beaumont Blues Fest. (Submitted)

They’re the only band in the province who are billed from Dustbowl, Alberta.

That’s because the fictional town doesn’t exist. 
 
Punch Drunk Cabaret says they’re from Dustbowl as a way to poke fun at Alberta’s numerous quirky town names such as Vulcan, Viking and Medicine Hat. It’s also an informal reference to a historical drought in Alberta.
 
Punch Drunk Cabaret’s members hail from all over central Alberta, from Wetaskiwin, Camrose to Hanna.  
 
“We really are kind of a homeless band,” said band founder, vocalist and lead guitarist Randy Bailer. 
 
And although they may not have a ‘spiritual’ home, they do manage to find accommodations from night to night. 
 
Punch Drunk Cabaret is only five years old and is described as a cocktail of “rockabilly, outlaw country and steampunk swing.”
 
Bailer said Punch Drunk Cabaret was born shortly after he left another band because he was burnt out by the industry side of things. 
 
When the band folded, he decided to write for himself and explore new styles, such as swing and jazz. 
 
Some of Bailer’s influences are Hank Williams’ country, Chuck Berry’s rockabilly sound and of course the king of rock ‘n’ roll, Elvis Presley. 
 
“I really dug back to some of the earliest genres I had ever heard, not as a teenager but as a child ... Really it was the records that belonged to my parents,” he said. “It all came really naturally to me, which was unexpected.” 
 
Bailer started playing with his friends Terry ‘Sawbones’ Grant and Capt. Sean E. Watts and says things just clicked. 
 
And although they’ve only been playing together for about five years, Punch Drunk Cabaret has been warmly received by Albertans and Bailer partly attributes that to the exposure they’ve received at the Beaumont Blues & Roots Festival. 
 
They’ll be playing the festival for the third time this year. 
 
“The first time we were just starting out, no one had heard of us, we were just trying to get known,” Bailer said of their 2012 performance. “And Beaumont took a chance on us.”
 
At the 2012 show, people didn’t really know who they were. In 2014, they found many more people approaching them to talk and they actually broke a record for merchandise sales. Festival organizer Jeremy Kornel said supporting local artists has always been part of the festival’s mandate. 
 
“Even as we get bigger and are able to book big Canadian names that have done big things, we still have that focus on maintaining our youth night and a good mix of local artists,” he said.
 
When Punch Drunk Cabaret played in 2012, Kornel said people “raved” about them. He got plenty of calls and emails wondering who that high-energy band from Alberta was. 
 
“This year we wanted to give them a prominent spot as one of the final acts on Sunday night to really give them a good showcase,” Kornel said. “We knew we had to have them back to play something bigger, because (in 2012) they just played a short afternoon show.”
 
It meant a lot to be invited back to Beaumont in 2014, but it means even more to Bailer to be asked back two years in a row. 
 
“There’s a real validation that comes with that,” he said. “We truly feel like our career has moved forward and that we’re developing.”
 
Apart from raising their profile and providing exposure, the Blues Fest has provided an important venue for them to develop as artists.
 
At the 2012 show, they had only released their first album and hence really only had 10 or so songs they performed. In 2014, they had developed a stronger stage presence and also had a wider range of material to play. 
 
“It was a much stronger performance, just due to development,” Bailer said. “Playing for more people and knowing what songs work, and creating a better paced set.”
 
If you missed both the 2012 and 2014 shows, expect a high-energy, eclectic band that isn’t scared to poke fun at themselves.
 
It’s important to note that Punch Drunk Cabaret is a band to be seen and heard. The band dresses in a distinct 1920s-1930s style and lists their interests on their Facebook page as “Lookin’ good n’ playin’ hard.”  
 
It stems from the idea that Bailer believes entertainers should always be the sharpest looking people in the room.
 
But it wasn’t a conscious decision. 
 
“I just found that black bowler one day and said I’m gonna try this look and see what happens,” Bailer said. “We’re all just kind of attracted to the older times.” 
 
Their look and sound resonated well with audiences so they decided to keep the formula as is.
 
As for the name, Bailer said the cabaret part represents the diversity of their sound. As for the rest of it, you’ll have to hear – and see – them to understand. 
 
“Punch drunk sounds aggressive, but it also has an inference to drunkenness,” Bailer said. “And it kind of just rolled off the tongue ... they’re words that really lend themselves to the experience we put forth as a band.”

 

Pipestone Flyer

Punch Drunk Cabaret opening for major artists
PROUD AS PUNCH – Randy Bailer, of Punch Drunk Cabaret, said opening for a major Canadian recording artist like Kim Mitchell is satisfying. - Supplied
PROUD AS PUNCH – Randy Bailer, of Punch Drunk Cabaret, said opening for a major Canadian recording artist like Kim Mitchell is satisfying.
— Image Credit: Supplied

They come onto stage sharply dressed like early century snake oil salesmen. The performance brings a potent cocktail of rockabilly, outlaw country and steampunk swing and evolves into a show delivering a performance featuring the raw energy of AC/DC. Wetaskiwin based Punch Drunk Cabaret will be the opening act at the concert in the Drill Hall on July 10 followed by classic rocker, Kim Mitchell. Two high energy, versatile, crowd pleasing exciting acts available for the modest price of $45+ GST.

“It’s personally satisfying  for me to have grown up in Wetaskiwin, listening to all those great Kim Mitchell hits on the radio and now having the opportunity to play an event together”, modestly stated Randy Bailer, musician with the group Punch Drunk Cabaret.

“To be on a bill with a classic rocker like Kim Mitchell is a rewarding indication that our show and musical style has grown beyond  being a local rockabilly band. In Beaumont, we’re playing with current pop acts such as Hawksley Workman and Chantal Kreviasik, and in Edmonton we’re kicking off a classic rock festival featuring  Pat Benatar. It’s very important to build that wider appeal if an act hopes to be successful.”

Heading up the concert is Canadian rock icon,  Kim Mitchell,. “You will be able to rock to those 80’s classic hits “Go For Soda”, “Rock N Roll Duty”, “Patio Lanterns”, “I’m A Wild Party”, “Easy To Tame” and “All We Are”, to name just a few – all songs that have become part of the Canadian musical landscape. Tickets are available at the chamber office for $45+ GST.

Bailer added, “I’ve always felt that an opening act has the responsibility of putting the audience into an enthusiastic, partying mood so that when the headliner comes on, the event kicks into the next level. So for that reason I think PDC makes an excellent opener. For the uninitiated, we play a mix of rockabilly, rockin’ country and guitar driven swing that’s custom made for having a few  drinks and hitting the dance floor.  Even though the music is on the rootsier-side, we perform it like an arena rock band. So for those who just like to sit back and watch, they’re  treated to a pretty energetic show.  I’d highly recommend picking up a CD at Warrens Music and getting familiar with the songs before the show. It’s that much more fun when you know the songs.”

 

Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune

Punch Drunk Cabaret returns 


 

Punch Drunk Cabaret will play Better Than Fred’s in Grande Prairie, May 29. Photo by Dave Flewwelling

Punch Drunk Cabaret will play Better Than Fred’s in Grande Prairie, May 29. Photo by Dave Flewwelling

Rock n’ roll, outlaw country and swing music all rolled into one band, Punch Drunk Cabaret, is set to take the stage at Better Than Fred’s May 29. 

Randy Bailer, vocalist and guitarist for the rock-a-billy band, said they are returning, this time, with new member Captain Sean Watts on stand-up drums. The band also includes 12-string bassist Terry ‘Sawbones’ Grant. 

“His drum kit is called, technically it’s called a cocktail kit, and this was a set up that was sort of popularized during war time, (Second) World War, because I guess some of the clubs were just so small they couldn’t handle a full five-piece kit,” said Bailer. 

The singer and guitarist said probably the most well known artist to use a stand-up kit is Slim Jim Phantom (James McDonnell) from Stray Cats.  

“...We kind of started getting this reputation for having a very energetic show and when you have this drummer that stands up, it really adds to that and he moves around like he literally can play his kit and walk around it in a 360 if he wants to so... it’s really kind of three guys putting out a hell of a lot of energy which is cool, that’s what it’s about for us,” he said. 

December was the last time the band was in the Swan City, touring with their album Juke Joint Revival Hour. The band is still promoting the tunes from the album and may possibly bring some newer songs with them. 

“We’re kind of in the earliest stages of writing for the next (album),” said Bailer. “It will probably be coming out this time next year. We usually release in a two year cycle.”

Since their last visit, the guitarist and singer said there has been a lot of excitement for their return on social media, getting them pumped up for their upcoming show. 

“We had a really good time when we were there in December... it’s going to be nice to come back to a place that feels familiar and (where) people are so enthusiastic. It really is a great music town, I think.”

The band plays a 10 p.m. concert at Better Than Fred’s on May 29. Admission is $5 at the door.  

For more, visit www.punchdrunkcabaret.com or www.betterthanfreds.ca.

Jocelyn.Turner@sunmedia.ca
Twitter: @DHTJocelyn

 

Red Deer Express

Punch Drunk Cabaret hits Billy Bob’s Nov. 13th


Punch Drunk Cabaret continues to press on and reach new creative heights in spite of big changes over the past while. The band performs at Billy Bob’s on Nov. 13th. 

Randy Bailer fronts the band and used to be the driving creative force behind another fascinating indie group called Screwtape Lewis for about a decade. 

Meanwhile, their latest CD, their second, The Juke Joint Revival Hour, was released earlier this year.

Rounding out the band was Robin Eklund on drums and Terry Sawbones Grant on 12-string bass, but Eklund decided to leave this past summer for personal and family reasons.

“He was one of the founding guys. We were really focused on having three distinct personalities that were equal – where everybody was their own individual guy and tried to share the spotlight. 

“It was like having three frontmen in a way, because Robin is so outgoing – a drummer who really performed. He was a big part of the chemistry. You had these three guys who were firing on all cylinders and it made for a pretty energetic show,” he said. 

Drawing on elements from ‘rockabilly, outlaw country and steam punk swing’, Punch Drunk Cabaret aren’t the least bit wary of trying their hand at all kinds of stylistic ventures. With Eklund’s departure, Grant and Bailer found themselves searching for a drummer with the pressure of having some dates for gigs already set. 

As luck would have it, they landed the services of the drummer from well-known Edmonton band Tupelo Honey, Greg Williamson.

“He came in and did a fantastic job,” said Bailer, who had met Williamson back in the Screwtape Lewis days. “So away we went and he did a great job – we were able to play that tour.” 

These days, they have several drummers to call on. It’s a rather unique situation but it’s proving to be working quite well for the guys. 

“We don’t have a permanent drummer right now, and that’s currently the question – what’s the best thing for us to do? If we were playing full time, we would fill that position. 

“So it’s new for us – Terry and I have never played in a band where we have had interchangeable drummers. It was the old model where you had your three permanent guys and you never subbed out.”

But Bailer said he’s come to see it’s more common than he had first thought, particularly in the country world. “When something comes up you start putting out that call for someone who is available and that way, you don’t ever really lose a gig.

“We don’t have to slow down for any reason. And now that we have those guys up to speed, it’s really full steam ahead.”

Another plus is the sheer force of creative energy these guys bring into the band.

“They’re excited to be there – it’s something new for them.”

Looking back, after Screwtape Lewis wrapped things up, Bailer found himself writing tunes not on behalf of a group, for primarily for himself. 

He tapped into music he had first heard as a kid, and all kinds of inspiration surfaced. Today he notes that he’s not so much attracted to what’s happening musically in ever-shifting pop culture, but draws inspiration from a bevy of classic tunes from earlier eras. 

Punch Drunk Cabaret’s debut CD was produced by Ross Nykiforuk (Sheepdogs, Northern Pikes), and their tremendously entertaining video for their first single, Two Brown Bottles of Beer, was shot at the historic Bailey Theatre in Camrose. 

Currently, things are moving along briskly with the band consistently landing several high profile gigs while continuing a busy touring schedule. Bailer said that overall, it’s all about pushing the band to the next level.

“It’s really about more people hearing about the band. We felt the debut was really well received and people liked the variety in the songs.” For this year’s release, the goal was to pretty much stay the course which has proven to work so well.

“Quite often people leave the shows with both albums, so people are still connecting with our overall style,” he says. “And wherever we go, people identify with the energy of the music.”

editor@reddeerexpress.com

CHRW Shakin' Kats Radio

CD Review of Punch Drunk Cabaret: The Juke Joint Revival Hour

Hailing from the frozen wastelands of Northern Alberta comes one of Canada's most interesting and kool bands and you probably haven't even heard of them. I'm talking about Punch Drunk Cabaret here folks and you may just want to check these guys out. Playing a blend of "rockabilly/ outlaw country/steampunk swing" they have managed to create a bit of buzz out in Western Canada and word is that they are a must see band. The band's 2012 self-titled debut album is surprisingly good and deserved more airplay and attention than it received. That said, the band's newest effort  "The Juke Joint Revival Hour" is one kool and eclectic ride that is sure to please. Clocking in with 10 rock solid tracks plus an intro, a benediction and a word from the sponsor, this is roots rock that isn't afraid to be a bit outside the box and that's a good thing. Highlights include:

"Smokestack Cadillac", "Thin the Herd ", "Division of the Damned" and "Pandemonium".

   The Juke Joint Revival Hour may not fit nicely into genre boxes but don't let that fool you, this is one damn solid, diverse and straight up good album. You should take a chance here and throw some of your hard earned cash down. You'll be glad you did!  

 John Slams, Shakin’ Kats Radio CHRW FM

The Western Review

ENTERTAINMENT LOCAL

Raising funds to build homes

Brittney Gaudet Special to the Western Review

Punch Drunk Cabaret will perform at the annual Humans Helping Humans fundraiser taking place Mar. 28 to 30.

Punch Drunk Cabaret will perform at the annual Humans Helping Humans fundraiser taking place Mar. 28 to 30.

Once again Drayton Valley will be celebrating the annual Humans Helping Humans Hockey Tournament Fundraiser from Mar. 28-30.

Humans Helping Humans is a foundation that builds homes for families in need of affordable housing. The goal of the foundation is for all families in Drayton Valley to work together as humans helping humans. It all got started in December of 2007, in 2008 they raised more than $215,000 and completed its first build and in 2010 the foundation started its second build. The third build was completed in 2012 and the foundation’s dreams are to raise enough money with the support of the community to build another home.

“The purpose of this foundation is to raise founds to build another home,” said tournament organizer Amy Newberry. “The money raised will be spent on appliances needed for the home.”

This year the tournament jerseys will be the same colours as the Junior World hockey team; but hockey won’t be the only event at the fundraiser.

“The event is a three- day long hockey tournament that will have a shot hole for the public to use with a chance to win a car from Stetson Motors,” said Newberry. “As well as a silent action, a banquet and the band Punch Drunk Cabaret.”

Punch Drunk Cabaret is a rockabilly, outlaw country, and steampunk swing band. Punch Drunk Cabaret got its unique name by taking each of the three styles of music they produce and putting them together.

“Our music isn’t one style; it’s three that we mixed together,” said frontman Randy Bailer last week. “And we were looking for a name to suit all three styles”

The band has three members, drummer Reverend Robin D. Eklund, Bandmeister Randy Bailer and bass player Terry Sawbones Grant. The 80s rockabilly band Stay Cats has been their biggest inspiration on their unique style of music, said Bailer.

Established in the Edmonton area Punch Drunk Cabaret has a close connection to Drayton Valley.

Bailer’s mom was also into creating music and her dream started in Drayton Valley, where she attended Frank Maddock High School.

“I’m super excited to be coming to Drayton Valley,” said Bailer of returning to where his mom started playing. “A lot of family are coming to the show, in a way it’s like a strange homecoming.”

The connection that the band has with Drayton Valley isn’t the only thing that motivated the band to attend this event.

“It feels good to be involved in a fundraiser for a worthy cause,” said Bailer.

Beyond the connection the band has with Drayton Valley they are also known for another special feature — their bass guitar has 12 strings.

“The 12 string bass guitar is very odd, you don’t really see them,” said Bailer. “ It gives off a thunderous sound. It makes sense to have the bass and rhythm all in one instrument. It makes us sound like we have more than three guys on stage.”

Tickets for this year’s fundraiser can be purchased by calling Newberry at 780-515-0951. For more information find Humans Helping Humans on Facebook.

 

Edmonton Journal

Comedy, art and music: 10 things to do this week

Here are some events that are happening in and around Edmonton during the week of Nov. 14 to Nov. 20, 2013.

Punch Drunk Cabaret: What happens when you book the Kings of Steampunk Swing (my words, not theirs) at a steampunk event? It never having happened before, I guess we’re going to find out. The Official Edmonton Steampunk Group and The Pure Speculation Festival are bringing in the nattily dressed “snake oil salesmen” (their words, not mine) Punch Drunk Cabaret, with their country, rockabilly and (you guessed it) steampunk swing for the Steampunk Ball, alongside belly dancers and fire jugglers. Will it be strange? Yes. Will it also be awesome? Of course. Make sure to dress up in your finest Victorian era finery, including top hat and goggles, or you’ll be left out of a whole lot of fun. When: Saturday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. Where: Ramada Hotel, 11834 Kingsway Ave. Admission: $20 to $25, available at the door, from Happy Harbour comics, 780-452-8211, or via paypal. Info: purespec.org

Red Deer Express

Punch Drunk Cabaret hits Bower Ponds stage this weekend


 

 

Continuing to make their indelible mark on the local music scene, Punch Drunk Cabaret performs on the Bower Ponds Stage Aug. 11 as part of the City’s ‘Summer Sundays at Bower Ponds.’

Showtime is 2 p.m.

It’s been a busy time since the band released their debut disc last year, explains Randy Bailer, who fronts the band and used to be the driving force behind another fascinating indie group called Screwtape Lewis for about a decade.

Drawing on elements from ‘rockabilly, outlaw country and steampunk swing’, Punch Drunk Cabaret, who aren’t the least bit wary of trying their hand at all kinds of stylistic ventures, released their aforementioned self-titled debut early last year.

These days, they are relishing their live shows and are looking ahead to recording a new project. The guys certainly have plenty of material to mull over as that day draws closer – Bailer said 23 songs are virtually ready to land on a CD.

“That’s what we are currently picking from. The strongest ones are already in the live shows, and we are gauging audience reaction,” he explains.

“Everything we do is dictated from being a ‘live’ band. The songs we choose are largely going to be ones that go over well in a live setting. When you are an indie band, people are hearing you ‘live’ first. When you have music on the radio, they hear your recorded music first and then you have to bring the show up to that level.

“For us, to get people interested in this band, it has to be through our live shows. That’s our big challenge for the next album – how do we create a project that has that spirit and personality of the live show?”

Another challenge is that with a band like Punch Drunk Cabaret, their eclecticism can make selecting material a bit tougher too.

“We’ve never been one style of music, so will people gravitate to the rockabilly stuff, or are they going to like the folky stuff?” Whatever the case, the guys nail it all terrifically, and Bailer is passionate about all of the band’s output.

Looking back, after Screwtape Lewis wrapped things up, Bailer found himself writing tunes not on behalf of a group, but for himself.

He tapped into music he had first heard as a kid, and all kinds of inspiration surfaced. Today he notes that he’s not so much attracted to what’s happening musically in pop culture, but draws inspiration from a bevy of classic tunes from earlier eras.

Punch Drunk Cabaret’s debut CD was produced by Ross Nykiforuk (Sheepdogs, Northern Pikes), and their entertaining video for their first single, Two Brown Bottles of Beer, was shot at the historic Bailey Theatre in Camrose.

Rounding out the group are Reverend Robin Eklund on drums and Terry Sawbones Grant on 12-string bass. They’re all veterans whose resumes include supporting high ranking acts like Nickelback, the Tragically Hip, 54-40 and the Northern Pikes, landing national radio play, touring in the U.S. and Europe, and even appearing in an internationally released movie.

Meanwhile, the band is as devoted to their loyal fans as ever.

The goal is to give folks a rollicking good time, and there is nothing that can come close to that connection that crackles between performers and their audiences.

Bailer also points out how Punch Drunk Cabaret’s music continues to appeal to a relatively wide demographic. He’s excited about the show at Bower Ponds as it’s a favourite place for families and it will be a chance to connect with them as well.

“We see ourselves as entertainers. And we’re always trying to think of ways of how to include the audience in our shows. It’s all part and parcel.

“For any creative person it’s also all about development – you just want to keep developing. The worst thing is when you stagnate.”

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Camrose Canadian

Punch Drunk Cabaret brings unique style to BVJ

Vince Burke/ Camrose Canadian

Punch Drunk Cabaret performs at Aug. 5 at 1:15 a.m. at the Molson Canadian Saloon.

The last act to take the stage at the Big Valley Jamboree isn’t Tim McGraw, it’s local sounds of outlaw country and rockabilly.

Camrose and Wetaskiwin-based Punch Drunk Cabaret, a band that has seen some momentum build over the past year, with two music videos and an album released and a string of festival concert dates booked, will cap off the 21st annual Big Valley Jamboree taking the Molson Canadian Saloon stage, capping of Sunday’s lineup.

“You feel like the band is growing,” said frontman Randy Bailer, who added the slot at BVJ came about after Larry Werner, Big Valley Jamboree producer saw the band perform over the past two years at Jaywalkers Jamboree, Camrose Main Street festival held in the early summer.

“It was about him deciding whether we were right for Big Valley, because our sound it’s not like we are by any stretch of the imagination a commercial or traditional country act. We have some honky tonk roots to some of the sound, but we are not traditional in anyway.”

Bailer said that confidence in the group is there and he believes they have that appeal to a cross-section of country music fans and music fans in general.

“It is the various styles we have chosen to pull from and you feel pretty legitimized when you get the call from Big Valley,” he said.

Bailer said cracking the BVJ lineup is a great step for the band, but isn’t necessarily a step towards the main stage. Bailer said at this point Punch Drunk Cabaret is happy with the audience they will entertain in the saloon.

“We have played enough festivals in other bands where we have played main stages and the action is in the saloon,” he laughed.

“People may think it’s a more important spot to play on the main stage, but often it’s more fun to play in the beer gardens.

“We are very happy and excited with the spot that we have.”

Along with their slot at the Big Valley Jamboree, it has been a busy year for Punch Drunk Cabaret, having recently been included on the bill for a southern Alberta flood relief concert called Band Together, they also played earlier this summer at a handful of summer festivals in Alberta.

Now the band will get set to wrap up the festival circuit and begin planning for their follow up album.

“The stage we are in now is that we have demoed 23 songs for the next record and good chunk of those we are cycling through out live set. We will actually be playing new material at Big Valley and we are really gauging audience reaction to the songs because that’s how we will determine what is on the next CD,” said Bailer.

Punch Drunk Cabaret performs Aug. 5 at 1:15 a.m. at the Molson Canadian Saloon. For more on Punch Drunk Cabaret visit http://punchdrunkcabaret.com

 

Camrose Booster

Punch Drunk Cabaret set to close Big Valley Jamboree

Punch Drunk Cabaret will be performing at the Molson Canadian Saloon Sunday, August 4.
Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Whether local band Punch Drunk Cabaret is opening for Harlequin in Spruce Grove or playing after Tim McGraw in Camrose, the trio remains dedicated to their rockabilly/swing/country roots that have kept them busy for the last three years.

"We shot a new video early in the year and released it in April. Shortly after that we received an endorsement deal with Waterstone guitars out of Nashville," explained vocalist Randy Bailer. "We are recognized as Waterstone guitar users and it gives us artist pricing for instruments. Terry (band member Terry Sawbones Grant) has used their guitars for years, so we thought it would be a good deal for us. I have never used one of their guitars before, but I have ordered one now."

Terry plays both four- and 12-string bass guitars for the band that mixes the sound of rockabilly, outlaw country and steam punk swing with the energetic delivery of AC/DC. When the company leaders viewed the new video "The Immaculate Pompadours" and saw Terry playing the four-string bass, they quickly agreed to come on board.

The two locomotive-like rhythm section is powered by Camrose drummer "Reverend" Robin Eklund with such propulsive energy that it's impossible for any audience to sit still.

The spring and festival season is a busy time for the band. In the last month, the band has played at the North Country Fair near Slave Lake, the Dragonfly Music Festival in Wabamun, Canada Day in Spruce Grove and the Band Together Flood Relief Fundraiser in the Edmonton Starlite Room.

"It is great to play at the same venue with some high quality bands and musicians and rub shoulders with the guys from Harlequin and Fred Penner," said Randy. "I remember watching Harlequin on television and liking their music, so it was exciting to see them. You never forget your early memories and what got you excited about music in the first place. It is a thrill."

It took two years to get Punch Drunk Cabaret to the Big Valley Jamboree. "Larry Werner (Panhandle Productions producer) heard us play at Jaywalkers' Jamboree and has followed us since then. In May, we received an invitation and it was even more exciting when we learned that we were closing. What it means to us, is that we can play our music at different festivals and people can still enjoy the music. It's an opportunity for us to broaden our fan base."

Playing at BVJ confirms that. "We are not a contemporary country band, but people can enjoy our energy and music," added Randy. "All of the music we do is tied to that (country) genre. I think it (our music) will be enjoyed and go over great."

BVJ is a world class event. "Just playing at an event like this allows you to have more exposure because the eyes are on you," continued Randy. "When you follow Tim McGraw it really brings up your game. It's the old saying, if you want to improve you have to play with people better than you. That is really important to us. It is good to play at the festivals, because you are playing along side a lot of good bands. It's world class entertainment."

Punch Drunk Cabaret has been road testing some songs ever since they released their first self-titled CD. "Early next year we want to release our second CD. We will add a couple of new songs to judge which ones should be recorded.

The band has also supported high ranking acts like Nickelback, the Tragically Hip, 54-40, and the Northern Pikes, receiving national radio play, touring in the US and Europe.

The first music video for the band was for the song "Two Brown Bottles of Beer," which was shot live at a sold out show at the historic Bailey Theatre in the band's hometown of Camrose.

Spruce Grove Examiner

Steampunk Swingers Ready to Stun on Canada Day

Alberta roots-rockers Punch Drunk Cabaret (PDC), who will be playing in Spruce Grove’s Canada Day concert, have a flair for the dramatic and a knack for evoking participation from even the most timid of audience members, making each show they play more of an event than a concert.

Vocalist and lead guitarist Randy Bailer channels some of the greats with his Brian Setzer meets Tom Waits sound – soaring highs and raspy lows in all the right places. Spruce Grove local Terry “Sawbones” Grant dominates the 12-string (yes, 12-string) bass and drummer “Reverend” Robin provides rhythm with such fire that it’s reminiscent of a steam-powered locomotive.

Punch Drunk Cabaret combines their unique sound with their signature look – think stovepipe pants and bowler hats – to create an unforgettable music experience that has drawn diverse crowds of all ages and backgrounds.

Their debut self-titled album was released in early 2012 and was produced by award winning Ross Nykiforuk (Sheepdogs).

The trio recently released a music video for their song The Immaculate Pompadours, set in an illegal speakeasy and featuring the lovely ladies of Edmonton’s River City Revue Burlesque Troupe. After being uploaded to YouTube it received 300 views a week across five countries.

Nashville’s Waterstone Guitars noticed Grant rocking one of their bass guitars in the video and were so impressed they offered him an endorsement deal, raising him to the ranks of fellow endorsees Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick) and Pat Smear (Foo Fighters).

PDC is a young group but each member has previously established themselves with local indie rock bands. Bailer and Robin were in a band called Screwtape Lewis for 10 years and when they split up Bailer thought it was the perfect time for a break.

“I was looking forward to not being in the music business,” Bailer said. “But I was still very interested in pursuing music on my own and writing a different style of music.”

While he was in Screwtape Lewis, Bailer was strictly limited when it came to writing music and he had never dabbled in the other genres before. He began digging into roots music in his spare time, especially rockabilly and old time country, with no plans or expectations in mind.

“For the first time in a decade I had been released from that and I could do whatever I wanted,” he said. “I had this freedom … I can write whatever I want just to please myself.”

Bailer played demos for Eklund, who excitedly said they had to build a band around the music.

“We wanted to do something that was really downscale and sort of relaxed and recreational and it just turned into the complete opposite,” Bailer said with a laugh.

Bailer and Eklund recruited Grant and the band developed their unique look over time. First came a new bowler hat then, of course, a new guitar was needed to match that old-time look and sound. The combination quickly won over a wide demographic of fans – at times there have been three generations on the dance floor.

“We were quite blown away by the first early shows that we played.” Bailer said. “We started saying ‘Wow, maybe this is something worth pursuing.’ “

Bailer says it’s the enthusiasm from fans that inspires PDC to give each show their all and that, sometimes, the members find themselves running around consumed by energy.

“That’s everything you’re looking for because if people are responding to it it’s going to be that much more fun. The bottom line is it’s more fun to play to people than not play to people,” he explained.

“That (energy) is something that just comes naturally. I’m very fortunate to play with two other musicians that feel the exact same way about it.”

This will be PDC’s first Spruce Grove gig and Grant’s first hometown concert. Residents are encouraged to “come to be part of the show,” whether that means they dress up, dance like mad or contribute during audience participation bits.

“The band is 50 per cent of the equation for any show that we play. The other half is the audience … We work very hard at bringing the audience into our show or reacting with them,” Bailer said.

Punch Drunk Cabaret will be opening for Harlequin on the Beaverbrook Main Stage on July 1 in Jubilee Park. They will take the stage from 8 to 9 p.m., after 100 mile house’s 7 to 8 p.m. set. Harlequin will play from 9:30 to 11 p.m.

Edmonton Journal

Punch Drunk Cabaret show off their “burlesque-abilly” video

Once upon a time, Randy Bailer fronted a new-wave/art-rock band, Screwtape Lewis. His latest project, Punch Drunk Cabaret, is a roots-rockabilly band with a love for brown bottles of beer, dead magicians, and shooting videos in the middle of winter.

Check out their latest clip, The Immaculate Pompadours, shot in a former hogbarn near Wetaskiwin. The snowbound video, directed by Mark Remple, stars Bailer and his bandmates plus some of the lovely ladies from River City Revue Burlesque:

“The treatment is uniquely Albertan, inspired by the many roughneck bars we’ve played over the years,” explains Bailer. “Beneath the hi jinx and humour, there’s  a subtle commentary on the diversity of the Alberta population.”

The Immaculate Pompadours is the second PDC video shot by Remple. Two Brown Bottles of Beer is the first.

Red Deer Express

Central Alberta band bringing eclectic tunes to City

 

  Central Alberta band Punch Drunk Cabaret continues to shape its compelling approach to making music, and a growing legion of fans is taking note.

The guys play The Vat on March 16.

It’s been a busy few months since the band released their debut disc last year, and in the fall they had the opportunity strut their stuff at the Alberta Touring Arts Alliance in October. “This was for people that manage theatres and various venues from all across the province,” explains Randy Bailer, who fronts the band and used to be the driving creative force behind another indie group called Screwtape Lewis for about a decade.

“There are about 200 people that you showcase for and it lasts a whopping 15 minutes,” he adds with a laugh. It’s indeed a challenge to capture the essence of what you are about as a band in such a tight time frame, but this gifted trio pulled it off.

“People were both thrilled and frightened,” he laughs. “Many were just not used to that level of energy.” Some pointed out that there just wasn’t a stage big enough in their particular town for the band. “It was interesting how it was interpreted.”

Those who liked what they saw promptly started booking the band for shows in their respective communities. Before long, Bailer, who teaches history and English as well as playing with Punch Drunk Cabaret, said the phone was ringing steadily.

“It’s been good, and it’s taken the band to a new level,” he says.

“Already in the first two months of 2013, we’ve booked as many shows as we played all of last year. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to see this grow.” It’s also no easy feat without the back-up of a label, or investors, sponsors or management services either. “It’s three guys and a roadie. But it’s growing because people are talking to others about what’s happening.”

Drawing on elements from ‘rockabilly, outlaw country and steampunk swing’, Punch Drunk Cabaret released their aforementioned self-titled debut disc early last year.

After Screwtape Lewis wrapped things up, Bailer found himself writing tunes not on behalf of a group, for primarily for himself. He tapped into music he had first heard as a kid, and all kinds of inspiration surfaced. Today he notes that he’s not so much attracted to what’s happening musically in ever-shifting pop culture, but draws inspiration from a bevy of classic tunes from earlier eras.

Punch Drunk Cabaret’s debut CD was produced by Ross Nykiforuk (Sheepdogs, Northern Pikes), and their tremendously entertaining video for their first single, Two Brown Bottles of Beer, was shot at the historic Bailey Theatre in Camrose.

Rounding out the group are Reverend Robin Eklund on drums and Terry Sawbones Grant on 12-string bass. They’re all veterans whose resumes include supporting high ranking acts like Nickelback, the Tragically Hip, 54-40, and the Northern Pikes, landing national radio play, touring in the U.S. and Europe, and even appearing in an internationally released movie.

Meanwhile, there’s no place Bailer would rather be than taking the band’s music to the masses. There are 10 cuts on their first CD, and he and the guys are busy building up a solid repertoire representing the terrific, bold sound that defines Punch Drunk Cabaret.

The band will essentially test out a new batch of tunes this year before heading back to the studio in the autumn. Bailer said the guys have penned about 20 new songs, and ultimately it’s up to audiences as to what ends up on the next CD.

“We’ll be road testing those songs until the fall, which is exactly what we did with the first album. Basically it’s the people in the seats that choose the songs. So we’ll try to play a bit of everything that’s new to try and get a feel for what flies and what doesn’t.

“The best description I heard about songwriting is that it’s kind of like putting up an antenna or lightning rod, and something strikes it. You’re given something – that’s really what it’s like. It’s a mysterious process.”

For Bailer, the rather unpredictable life of a musician is utterly rewarding – no matter the demands and challenges that inevitably surface along the way. “It really is one of the deepest forms of fulfillment that I have ever experienced,” he says, reflecting particularly on performing and connecting with fans in a ‘live’ setting.

“To see (your music) affecting other people – you see how music is a language. That never gets old or tiring.

“It’s also all about growth and reinvention,” he explains. “It’s what makes it interesting.”

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Red Deer Express

Punch Drunk Cabaret Serves Up an Unforgettable and Eclectic Musical Mix Drawing on elements of rockabilly, outlaw country and steampunk swing, Punch Drunk Cabaret is gearing up for a performance at the upcoming Alberta’s Own Indie Music Festival. The event runs Aug 24-26 at Lacombe’s Michener Park. Randy Bailer, who used to front another group called Screwtape Lewis, is thrilled with the unique nature of the relatively unique nature of the relatively new group and its suburb reception. Having released their debut disc earlier this year, Punch Drunk cabaret is being featured weekly on CKUA’s Untapped series, and has also been selected to perform at Alberta Touring Alliance’s Showcase this October. “I feel like any act has an expiry date.” He said of the groundbreaking Screwtape Lewis which had been on the scene for 10 years. It had been a richly creative time for bailer and the guys, but it was time to move on to other things. After that band called it a day, Bailer found himself writing tunes not of behalf of a group, but primarily for himself. It was an exhilarating place, and something he hadn’t experienced for some time. “Suddenly I wasn’t writing for a project, and was having a great time exploring music and styles I hadn’t tried before.” He tapped into music he had first heard as a kid, and all kinds of inspiration surfaced. “Those early influences were much more deeply ingrained in me than I had thought. “I wondered what it would sound like if I wrote a rockabilly song or something kind of country-something really outside of what I had done”. Writing in these other styles has also been the most natural creative fit for Bailer so far, he pointed out. “I do think that’s it’s because of how much of those influences I soaked up when I was really young. For years I ran away from those influences because that was the music of my parents. Screwtape Lewis was so 1980’s inspired, because the 80’s was our music as teens. I hung onto that for a really long time. “But you get to an age where you come full circle, and realize it’s not a bad thing to listen to your parents’ record collection. So you are re-introduced to this music and see it from a completely different perspective.” The strength of the tunes he was coming up with led to the production of a new disc. “The first few gigs we played, it went so well. And we realized we had stumbled upon a mix of styles people really connected to. So here we are, two years later, going harder than ever. It’s really taken off.” Punch Drunk cabaret’s debut was produced by engineer Ross Nykiforuk. “Ross is a great musician in his own right. If we lived closer, we would just insist he be in the band.” Rounding out the group are Revered Robin Eklund on drums and Terry sawbones Grant on 12-string bass. The members are all veterans whose resumes include supporting acts like Nickelback, the Tragically Hip, 54-40 and the Northern Pikes. Meanwhile, there’s no place Bailer would rather be than taking the band’s music to the masses. There are 10 cuts on their first CD, and he and the guys are busy building up a repertoire representing the terrific, bold sound that defines Punch Drunk Cabaret. “With this music and this style, I feel like I’m a student of it. To become a student again and see things from a whole new perspective, it’s as exciting as it was when I was 15 learning to play songs and write music for the first time. I can hardly think of anything else in life that is like that.”

LA Beat

Punch Drunk Cabaret are making their first foray into Southern Alberta to close off Friday night at the South Country Fair, July 20.
Their bio on their website notes frontman/ guitarist Randy Bailer “stumbled upon the curious notion that the same people that love Johnny Cash also tend to like AC/DC.”
Punch Drunk Cabaret [play South Country Fair on Friday. He noted that does not necessarily describe the band but upon further reflection, e-mailed “It describes Punch Drunk Cabaret’s audience.”
The trio combines elements of outlaw country, rockabilly and steam-punk swing. “ We play outlaw country, rockabilly and steam-punk swing, but we don’t have a horn section. That definitely covers a lot of territory,” Bailer said. The band’s influences are as diverse as their location.
“We say we’re from a fictitious town called Dustbowl, Alberta,” he said.
While he lives Wetaskwin, 12-string bass player Terry Sawbones Grant lives in Spruce Grove and drummer Reverend Robin Eklund lives in Camrose, so practicing together can be challenging.

“It takes some strategic planning. So each of us does a lot of woodshedding, so when we rehearse, it’s always a beautiful thing. It’s always a lot of fun when we do get together. It’s such a wicked experience,” he continued.
“If we’re playing regularly, there is a lot more rehearsing,” he said.

 The band members are very experienced musicians. Drummer Robin Eklund is in a popular Edmonton based indie-rock band Rake, which has opened for the likes of Nickelback and the Tragically Hip.

 They are looking forward to their South Country Fair debut.
 “ In the summer there is nothing better than getting in your van or truck and playing abroad,” he said.

“We were excited  when we were asked to play. We’d head of the South Country Fair of course. We’re really, really honoured to close off Friday night. It’s very exciting,” he said adding to expect an energetic show just made for dancing.

“ The pressure is higher to make an impact when you drive six hours to play a show,” he observed.
“ But  there is such variety in our sound that  has served us unbelievably well,” he said.

“It is very  high energy and there is a lot of communication  between  us and the audience. We’re only 50 per cent of it, if the audience isn’t there, it just isn’t working. So we’re a very dance orientated band, though we aren’t a techno band,” he chuckled.

“ People want to move to our music. If there isn’t  a dance floor, people tell us they are frustrated by it,” he said.

They have just released their self titled debut CD and a video for  “Two Bottles of Beer,” which he feels captured their sound.
“I think we captured it. We kept it pretty real, we recorded it live off the floor, the three of us  playing together,” he said. Northern Pikes member and engineer Ross Nykiforuk, who has also worked with the Sheepdogs, recorded this CD with Punch Drunk Cabaret.

“ He’s a great guy and really good at what he does,” he said.

“ Response to it has been very favourable. It comes really close  to recreating the live experience, though no matter how much technology has improved, nothing has been developed to really capture a live show,” he said.

“Right now we just want to get the word out about the band and that we have a record out,” he said.

Lethbridge Herald

Camrose Rockers Aim For Southern Exposure

Al Beeber-Lethbridge Herald

With a rollicking ditty called "Two Brown Bottles of Beer", roots rockers Punch Drunk Cabaret may be the perfect band to close opening night of the 26th annual South Country Fair in Fort Macleod.

Making their first foray into southern Alberta, the Camrose-based trio will hit the stage around midnight on opening night July 20.

Punch Drunk Cabaret, with members who live in Camrose, Spruce Grove and Wetaskiwin, is relatively new to the Alberta music scene but its members are veterans who have performed in other bands for around 15 years.

The band plays what it calls "rockabilly, outlaw country and steampunk swing." Its video of Two Brown Bottles of Beer", which can be viewed on the bands website, www.punchdrunkcabaret.com.

Not content to just be the "go to" hometown band in Camrose, Punch Drunk Cabaret is trying to expand its horizons while also developing an identity says frontman and guitarist Randy Bailer.

The band, which writes much of its own music, doesn’t have one particular sound and felt "Two Brown Bottles of Beer" would be a great song to introduce new audiences to the trio.

"We play mostly originals but we always sprinkle in a few cover songs. Everybody likes to hear something familiar and we like to mix it up. It’s great to learn new stuff- we don’t want to feel like a juke box." says Bailer whose band rehearses in a converted hog barn at his parents’ Wetaskiwin farm.

With the band a part-time gig, and substantial distances between members, even rehearsals are an event since the guys don’t see each other every day.

"We’re still part time with hopes of taking it full time one day. But we’ve all done full time music and know how difficult it is to make a go of it. We’re not trying to eke out an existence. We’re doing it for the love of it." says the enthusiastic Bailer.

Getting onto the South Country Fair lineup opened up other festival doors for Punch Drunk Cabaret which will also be performing at the Sasquatch Gathering at Rangeton Park near Mayerthorpe on July 27 and at Lacombe’s music festival Aug. 25. The band has also secured a show at the Beaumont Blues Festival Sept.1.

"We’re going to play festivals this summer and then figure out our next step...at this stage of the band, we need to expand our borders."

Punch Drunk Cabaret will be one of many outstanding acts at this year’s festival which also features Ronnie Hawkins former backup band, The Weber Brothers, a rising force in Canadian music.

 

The Camrose Booster

Camrose area band Punch Drunk Cabaret is back by popular demand. Encore performances are keeping the band very busy.

The band will be rocking the Tap Room Bar and Brewery to help Sean Wilms and the gang at the Norsemen Inn celebrate the first anniversary on Feb. 24. The Brown Paperbags will open for the band beginning at 9 p.m.

Punch Drunk Cabaret mixes rockabilly, outlaw country, and steampunk swing into a potent musical cocktail and has quickly turned into one of the most refreshing new acts to hail from central Alberta.

After releasing its first CD last October and filming a music video ("Two Brown Bottles of Beer") at the Bailey Theatre, the band has caught fire and has been burning bright since then.

Punch Drunk Cabaret consists of lead singer and guitarist Randy Bailer from Wetaskiwin, drummer Robin Eklund of Camrose, and bassist Terry "Sawbones" Grant from Edmonton. "We've been blown away by the amount of support that we've received here in Camrose. It's really boosted our confidence and belief in what we do," said Randy. "For a band like Punch Drunk Cabaret, the exchange of energy with the audience is everything, and Camrose, being such a great music town, always brings plenty of energy to the show. So for that reason, we really want to raise the bar for our live show every time we come to play."

Punch Drunk Cabaret  has an outstanding resume supporting high profile acts such as Nickelback and the Tragically Hip, performing in cities such as Nashville, Tennessee, and Sofia, Bulgaria, working with producers such as Chad Kroeger and Jay Semko, and even landing an appearance in an internationally released movie.

But, in a transition similar to that of alternative country Albertan, Corb Lund, singer and guitarist, Randy decided that it was time to put the world of alternative rock behind him and dig deeper into his song-writing roots.

“As a songwriter I fought my rockabilly-country roots for a long time, thinking it was the music of my parents. Being a teenager in the '80s, I searched out my own musical identity by forming New Wave-inspired bands, which was a gutsy thing to do on the prairies at that time."

When Randy joined forces with Robin, Punch Drunk Cabaret came alive. The chemistry between the rockabilly/country/swing sound inspired songs and the trio’s live intensity has ensured Punch Drunk Cabaret is far from some quaint nostalgia act. In fact, it’s been their live shows that have been leaving audiences feeling as if they’ve just witnessed the unbridled energy of early rock and roll thundering off a 1956 bandstand. Add to that, Bailer fronting the trio like some home-brewed concoction made from equal parts John Mellancamp, the Stray Cats’ Brian Setzer and Tom Waits, proves that Punch Drunk Cabaret has both energy and originality.

The band captured some of that live energy by recording with Northern Pikes alumnus Ross Nykiforuk. They produced four songs in four days.

Daily Herald Tribune

Randy Bailer and the guys who make up Punch Drunk Cabaret have discovered a secret about music and this New Year's Eve they're going to test that knowledge in Grande Prairie. "I discovered this really kind of weird secret and I can't explain it. The reality seems to be that the same people who like ACDC also like Johnny Cash," Bailer says. "You could probably write a dissertation on why that is." In their debut to Grande Prairie society, the band will perform at Better than Fred's on Dec. 31. Playing songs from their soon-to-be released album, Bailer is confident that their range in musical styles will offer something different to every audience member. "With the styles that we've tapped into, we kind of hit this really strange middle ground that works. We see everybody from metal heads to country music fans to seniors who were teenagers when rock and roll started to break," he says. The album won't be officially released until January, but they've slowly been testing the response since the summer. "We just decided to wait until the new year because things just got busy for us in the fall and Christmas is a terrible time to release an album. So we're just kind of sitting on it, but we've moving all sorts of copies off the stage," Bailer says. Splitting their focus between so many genres was a challenge for the three-man band, but Bailer feels like they struck the right balance. "I think we're trying to learn how you do balance those things. I hope we've successfully balanced them. We had a lot more songs to pick from and you kind of choose the ten that hang together the best." The set is an interesting mix of songs such as The Immaculate Pompadours, which strikes a twangy note and the old school sound of ones such as 18 Wheeler Skid. Bailer credits much of their inspiration to their Alberta roots as musicians. "There's no doubt that this style of roots music is just very entrenched in the people," he says. "We're one of those bands that when we start playing, it's a high percentage of original music and it goes over like cover songs. It's familiar and built on a template that people have been playing for over 50 years." The three of them have been playing together off and on for the last 15 years. About a year and a half ago, they decided to form Punch Drunk Cabaret. "It felt like it was time to try something new and we were kind of just doing it for ourselves. There wasn't any grand plan to really market it. We played a couple of low-profile things and it just really went over," Bailer says. They quickly discovered that their approach as an interactive band worked well with the people who came to their performances. "When we play small clubs where there isn't a dance floor, I think you can just see people wanting to get up. I feel like it's a partnership and you get that exchange of energy. The more people on the floor, the more you get into it and energy-wise is just builds," he says. Punch Drunk Cabaret plans to ring in the New Year doing what they love most, playing live for a crowd and it's something they hope to do a lot of in 2012. With a new album to celebrate and a recently released music video, they want to get their stuff out there as much as possible. "I truly believe that there is something in our sound for everybody and we're a relationship with the audience kind of band. It's an interactive thing that you're going to check out and it's definitely high energy. It doesn't stop going."

The Camrose Booster

Camrose area band Punch Drunk Cabaret will not only be performing music from its recent CD, but the Rockabilly band is asking for audience participation during filming of a music video to coincide with the release at a masquerade ball on October 29. Punch Drunk Cabaret consists of lead singer and guitarist Randy Bailer from Wetaskiwin, drummer Robin Eklund of Camrose and bassist Terry Grant. The band finished making the CD during the summer and will be adding a music video to promote the recent project. "We finally finished our CD and in this day and age, that is pretty important to a band," said Randy. "We are really looking forward to that. As a bonus, and I remember as a child buying a record and receiving a sticker or a poster, we decided to have a deluxe version that comes with a guitar pick, sticker and temporary tattoo. We are pretty excited about all of that because it is unique. People don't market albums like that anymore, so it is something different." Along with the release, the band wanted a live video. "The strength of the band is the live show. When the Bailey was finished, we thought there is no better venue to make our first music video than right here in Camrose at the Bailey," said Randy. "We didn't realize this at the time, but our cover and back graphic were taken in an old theatre and it is very similar to the Bailey. This was long before we decided to launch the CD at the Bailey. It was spooky in a way; it was a case of serendipity. It is the perfect setting. The video will be released at the end of November." A hillbilly band from Camrose called the Black Hyenas will open for Punch Drunk Cabaret. The demand for Punch Drunk Cabaret shows will be sharply increased with Canadian exposure. "We were picked up by a pretty heavy duty booking agent named Rob Pattee. He is out of Vancouver. He manages several performers including Jaydee Bixby, a finalist in Canadian Idol. That has been a real boost for us." Jaydee, who took high school classes in Ponoka, performed at the Big Valley Jamboree. Pattee also helped launch the careers of Nickelback, Hedley, Bif Naked Daniel Powter and another Big Valley Jamboree performer, Crystal Shawanda. "This takes us to the next level. We want to go from a local band to having a full Canadian presence. We went back to basics with the recording and played as a band, instead of doing each track separately. We wanted the live chemistry to shine through and be natural." The 10 songs on the CD were chosen by fans. "We elected the songs that were the most popular with the fans. In a way, the song list was determined by the audiences we have played for in the past," said Randy. "The fans didn't realize it at the time, but they picked the music for our first CD." Randy encourages people to dress for the masquerade ball to make the video a success. "If you want to be in the video, we ask people to dress in one of the three styles of music we play. We want rockabilly old '50s styles, outlaw country styles and swing styles with old suits and flapper dresses. We want to put out an all points bulletin message to encourage people to dress those styles. Then it will look like a period piece." The bands' songs combine outlaw country, rockabilly, punk, swing and rock into a sound to which people find themselves tapping their toes, or it makes them want to get up and dance. "We will have a dance floor in front of the stage and we want it filled for shooting the video," said Randy. For more information or to listen to the band, go to web site punchdrunkcabaret.com and hear the new songs. The band recorded some of their live energy in Saskatoon with award winning engineer and Northern Pikes alumnus Ross Nykiforuk. The CD Ship Shape and Fightin' Form will include "Two Bottles of Beer" and "Indispensable Colleague" that have had rave reviews on their web site. Tickets for the show can be purchased at the Bailey Theatre box office.

Camrose Canadian

PUNCH DRUNK CABARET TO HEADLINE FUNDRAISER

Laurie Callsen

The Canada Day committee has booked a high-energy fund-raiser for its annual high-energy, pyrotechnic display. A night of blues and rockabilly rhythm is slated for the annual Canada Day fireworks fundraiser May 28 at Scalliwags, where money will be raised to ensure an explosive spectacle for our country’s 144th birthday."As people can attest, since we’ve been raising more money for the fireworks, we’ve had a much better show," said Canada Day committee chair Jane Cherry-Lemire. The City provides $5,000 for the fireworks display, mean-ing residents have to step up to the plate if they want a better show."I was getting so many complaints about the fireworks and that really spurred us to impress upon the community that if they want to see better fireworks, we need help. Everybody has stepped up to the plate."Punch Drunk Cabaret, a local band based out of Wetaskiwin, will be the headlining act for the fundraiser with special guests the Myra Marshall Band as an opening act.

Punch Drunk Cabaret's Randy Bailer was formerly a part of Screwtape Lewis, an 80’s new wave band with a rock edge. While the members of Punch Drunk Cabaret have all been involved with Screwtape Lewis at one point in time, Bailer said it was time for an identity make-over.The switch from 80s new wave to rockabilly may seem like an out-of-the-blue transition, but Bailer said it was the most natural thing he ever experienced and that it was border-line spooky."As kids, (it was) music that our parents were listening to when we were really young and that was really the very first music that any of us were exposed to. And that just seemed like a huge challenge, to dig way deeper than we ever had before and start studying basically what you would call roots music, with rockabilly, swing and old-time county," he said."You’d think that it would be (difficult) because I ran from my roots for years because that was the music that my parents listened to and no self-respecting teenager wants to go down that path. When I started to try to write this kind of music, it was sort of like I put out this antenna and I started to get these strange transmissions. Lyrics and riffs and chord changes and melodies all came at a fast pace - faster than I’ve ever written in my life and I’ve been doing this for 25 years already. It’s been strangely very natural."Bailer said a big reason he was drawn to rockabilly and roots music was the rhythm and energy the music contained."There was just something that was going on in the mid-part of the 20th century where you got this cross pollination of those three genres. Rhythm was king. People went to hear bands due to the rhythm more than anything else. It had very little to do with celebrity culture, like it does now. It had more to do if this was a band that you could dance to. It sounds old fashioned to talk about dancing to bands because people don’t do that much anymore, but for me personally that’s what really attracted me to it. I’ve always felt that way. The energy that’s conducted from a swing band or from a rockabilly band is just undeniable," he said."It’s definitely high on energy. There’s no thought provoking epics or anything like that. It’s a lot of three minute songs and it’s quick and to the point. It’s really about simplicity. In the rock world, there was a lot of things we got into with drum loops and lap-tops. This is really about three guys making the biggest sound live that they can."Punch Drunk Cabaret just finished a short stint in Saskatoon where they recorded half of their debut album in four days. This summer they plan to finish and release the album.The fireworks fundraiser will also feature a draw for $100 bar and food tab at Thomson/ SuppliedPunch Drunk Cabaret from Wetaskiwin will headline the annual fireworks fundraiser May 28.