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Tony In Philly with The Flathead Band at Brittingham's Pub 10/26/18

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Tony In Philly, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Hello all of you TB'ers out there. It's been a while since I've done a gig report, mostly because the nasty weather has rained out a few outdoor gigs, plus I didn't want rehash gigs at the same old dive bars that I had done before. There's time enough for that with some upcoming events, and I'll subject all of you to that on a later date!

    Tonight's gig was at one of our favorite venues - Brittingham's Pub in Lafayette Hill, PA. Since the area is rather rich in colonial American history I'm going to revert to "frustrated history professor mode" and delve into some local details of interest. For those of you who find this stuff be a total snoozer, please proceed to the actual gig notes below.

    Lafayette Hill is, of course, named after the famed Revolutionary War General Marquis de Lafayette. Adjacent to each other are the historic General Lafayette Inn and Brittingham's Pub (established 1743). Essentially, it's kind of impossible to talk about one without the other since they've been close neighbors for almost three centuries.

    Here is a portrait of the General himself plus a bit of background information on him:

    Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette - Wikipedia


    The story about the historic General Lafayette Inn is an interesting one. During the Revolutionary War, soldiers from both sides apparently drank there (though not at the same time I imagine). Back then it was the known as The Three Tuns and the original building was a bit smaller (like many old buildings of its era, they would gradually have additions put on until it no longer resembled the original structure). For as long as I can remember, local legend has had it that the old inn is haunted! I once heard a story about a barmaid who claimed she saw a ghost in Revolutionary War garb walking through walls in the basement. The brewery fermentation tanks down there were still active at that time so perhaps she had been sampling a bit too much freshly fermented beer off the spigot! Who knows. For all of you history buffs and ghost hunters, here is the deep history of the place:

    General LaFayette Inn Investigation

    General Lafayette Inn – Barren Hill Tavern | Haunted Places

    Incidentally, our band had its origins here back in 2004 when the venue was infamous for its rowdy open mic scene. Chris and I jammed on Hendrix's "Red House" one night and the rest is history (or something like that, depending on your interest in obscure southeast Pennsylvania rock bands...). The establishment was a brewpub for the last few decades but now it's simply a sushi/nouveau cuisine restaurant with no more bands or in-house brewed beer. It has also had its name shortened to its old nickname, "The General" by the new ownership:



    So back to Brittingham's, which has as far back as I can remember been considered by all to be the "sister pub" right next door; there has long been a musical presence there as well. These days it's primarily cover bands like us, and the crowd is generally upscale suburban ages 30s - 40s:



    Enough background information. I'll now get on to the actual gig report:

    We all arrived around 8:00 PM only to find out that we were expected to start at 8:00! Previously we had only played the venue on Saturday nights where we start at 9:00, and we were under the impression that it was same on Fridays. Uh oh... so we frantically set up and finally got started around 8:40 PM. The nervous energy contributed to a rather lively first set.

    So now on to some photos. In all honesty we were so concerned with keeping to our schedule that I did not get a lot of phone shots.

    As you can see, the stage area is a bit constricted. Left to Right: Matt, Leo, Chris, Tony. Foreground: Unknown gentleman sipping beer.


    The beer selection here is reasonable; this time I opted for a New England Style IPA, which seems to be all the rage these days. I can drink one once in a while but not all the time. I like to mix it up a bit.


    Tonight seemed to be "Stag Night" for some reason -- none of our wives/girlfriends/significant others tagged along. I guess they all independently decided to stay home and watch Game 3 of the World Series perhaps? I'm sure that was it. Also sans their women were our good friends Oliver and Brian:


    Here are a few shots I took during the first set break so you can get some atmosphere; I realized later that I may have annoyed at least one gentleman when I tried to take a discreet shot of the rear bar area. (Sorry about that, man!)



    I really like the fire pits outside the bar/dining area. As you can tell, it's starting to rain once again. It seems like it's rained at least every other day since April around here.


    The second set started and we have a brief clip of Matt singing "The Seeker" by the Who (Thanks, Brian!).

    In the middle of the set, right in the midst of playing "The Bends" by Radiohead, my Fender single coil P-Bass failed. I inadvertently slapped the E string right by the Seymour Duncan pickup and the pickup cover got stuck on the string itself! After fiddling with it, I put it back into its proper place, but the bass sound was about 40% of what it should have been. I suspect something in the pickup or the wiring went bad. I'll have to pop it out to investigate.

    Fortunately, as I almost always do, I brought a backup bass - my Rickenbacker 4003SW:


    I was able to have it up onstage and tuned very quickly, and it filled in quite well! I have it strung with TI flats and for most songs they sound great in the mix. I love TI strings; they seem to last forever. Put 'em on and leave 'em on!

    All in all, it was a very good night. We kept the crowd in the place until near closing time, which is, of course, the name of the game. My only regret is that I wish I was able to provide a few more shots of the whole event as it was rather lively. Playing comes first! However, if I do receive any photos from friends or other band members, I will upload them as they arrive.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
    Bunk McNulty, nixdad, SWRnut and 18 others like this.
  2. The dreaded hurried setup because of confusion over time, never a fun way to start the night. Looks fun.
    nixdad, McG and Tony In Philly like this.
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    nice gig! thanks for sharing your experience. :thumbsup:

    the place must be really clean --- the lights are pretty bright for a watering hole --- i'm used to dark venues which attempt to hide the 'sins'.
    nixdad, McG and Tony In Philly like this.
  4. andawun


    Jul 13, 2009
    That's a beautiful Ric!!!
    nixdad, McG and Tony In Philly like this.
  5. Bassed in NZ

    Bassed in NZ ...in search of the impeccable groove...

    Feb 22, 2008
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Cheers Tony - loving a glimpse into your world. That's a tight looking stage for sure - good plan to be on the hi-hat side where you didn't have the option of standing outside the barriers or you'd block the exit!

    I don't normally bring a backup bass, but there's enough stories on TB of needing one, so I think I might need to consider it - hope the P gets fixed soon, but the Ric is a pretty handy backup.

    Cheers for the local history and bringing it to life - really enjoyed it!
    nixdad, McG, Sore Thumb and 1 other person like this.
  6. Nice report Tony! I really do enjoy the "other" stories that get thrown into the gig reports.

    Quite the backup bass you've got there. The bass I take as a backup is a beat to death Squire I bought in a pawn shop for about $60. Now that I think about it, my primary gigging bass is a Squire I bought second hand.
    nixdad, McG, Sore Thumb and 1 other person like this.
  7. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    Great gig report, including the history of the venue. There’s so much history in the area.

    Funny that my wife is at Brittingham’s as I type this, attending a baby shower for my nephew’s fiancé. :D
  8. growlypants


    Nov 10, 2012
    Man, I love your gig reports! (As you may recall, I'm originally from that area and enjoy the "scenery"!!). It's been raining down here in Hotlanta, too, though. Maybe by Christmas it should clear up!! Thanks for posting!
    nixdad, dbase, McG and 1 other person like this.
  9. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    Hey I bring a RIC backup too!! 1855B629-6F45-4FB3-AA5C-A1476490F09B.
    nixdad, dbase, Jimmy4string and 2 others like this.
  10. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Nice report Tony. As others have said, I love seeing gigs from other areas. Especially when such beautiful architecture is involved. :cool:

    Loved the history lesson too. :thumbsup:

    Take a lesson here Matt. A few pounds of back up bass is worth a ton of stress relief. You never need one til you need one. ;)
  11. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Why thank you! I was really intrigued by this one Reverb.com and I simply had to place a bid on it. No regrets so far!

    Yeah - I'm sure it happens to all of us once in a while. Nerve wracking, isn't it?
    I know! It's also a bit of a family restaurant these days. That's both a blessing and curse depending on the overall band behavior.

    Thanks, Matt! Glad you enjoyed it and yes, what Grant also said about the extra bass - a light bit of extra gear, but it sure pays off when you need it!

    Thanks, Charles! I'm a bit of a"Ric-o-holic" so I don't mind the excuse to drag one out on stage from time to time. Squier basses are pretty amazing though - two weeks ago I saw the bassist in Soft Machine on tour using a Squier P-Bass as his main axe and it sounded great.

    Thanks, Dan! Always a pleasure to take you down memory lane to see your old haunts! And let's get this rain to finally stop...sheeeesh!

    When you need 'em they respond well, don't they?

    Thanks, Grant! I think I should have become a history teacher way back...oh well - I'm 65 now so it's too late for that. Glad you like seeing what's left of our "legacy architecture" around here. Sadly it's disappearing fast and fortunately there is a movement about to save much of it.

    And thanks for chiming in on the spare bass. I hope that other readers will keep this in mind. I have only accessed them a few times in the last 15 years of playing bass, but I can't emphasize how it has literally saved a few gigs. Same for the guitarists in the band.

    ...and finally, thanks to Mrs. Tony In Philly (an actual journalist/editor) for clearing up the myriad of typo's and grammatical mistakes in my initial posting.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  12. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Hi Tony!

    You may have started out a little rough but it seems like you had a fine gig. I appreciate all the history. That's a nice looking room. Do you run your own sound there? Good call bringing a second bass. You just never know. I hope it's not a serious issue. I look forward to your next installment.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    nixdad, McG, JRA and 1 other person like this.
  13. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA

    Hi Cliff!

    Glad you enjoyed the local history I added to the report! It's a decent venue - nice and clean, good vibes, etc. The main room is small enough that we run our own sound. Whenever bands bring too much gear in there, it gets way too loud. It's echoey even with just with restaurant chatter. I'm still not sure what's up the the Seymour Duncan pickup. Since it's a Fender Custom Shop, I'm hoping the dealer will honor the warranty. But no worries, the rest of my bass collection is just itching to get back on stage again! :roflmao:
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
    nixdad, Sore Thumb and BassCliff like this.
  14. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    Looks like a nice place. I live just outside of Lancaster and agree that the history in the Philly area is incredible.

    Also, if you're drinking Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing, I commend you. That's become one of my favorites. I almost grabbed a sixer of it yesterday but went with Camp Hill PA's Evergrain Joos Juicy, another hazy IPA.
    nixdad and Tony In Philly like this.
  15. rohi

    rohi Lead Lined Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2018
    +1 for Philly area history. Good read!
    nixdad and Tony In Philly like this.
  16. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Fun gig with great gig report and cool history addition. Nice!
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  17. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Small world! Good thing the Eagles Game was over early I guess!

    Yeah - I often feel like I live in an outdoor history museum :D

    That was actually a Maine Beer Lunch in that photo. I must say though, that I am a huge Sierra Nevada fan. In fact I've made pilgrimages to both Chico, CA and Mills Creek, NC to go to their breweries. I was in beer heaven both times!

    Thanks! I actually enjoy history of every region. They all have their unique and amazing stories to tell.

    Thanks, Jonathan! It's always fun to play there. It's got a bit of current buzz mixed ever so slightly with ghosts of the past.
    nixdad, Sore Thumb and johnson79 like this.
  18. G19Tony


    Apr 27, 2018
    Las Vegas, NV
    Hi Tony. Nice report, the history is always a nice touch. We sometimes concentrate on our main task so much, that we miss what is going on around us. Any food and chick pics? :)
    Tony In Philly likes this.
  19. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
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  20. redwingxix


    Oct 21, 2015
    nice report.


    Lafayette is also the founder of coney island diners with the first one the world famous Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit. Really. (not really)
    nixdad and Tony In Philly like this.

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