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Dub is a Weapon & Sister Sparrow: Album Release Party at Nectar’s BVT | May 2011

Photography by Sam Donnelly

It’s 9:00pm and Dave Hahn sits on a leather couch in Nectar’s lobby, watching the game. “Well,” he says, pointing to the flashing red and blue lights in the street, “there’s a cop car parked in front of the alley, where we’re supposed to unload.”

There’s not much to do but wait for the car to move, but eventually Madhu Siddappa runs in. “I’m parked in some loading space down the street,” he says, sweating, to which Dave shrugs, like, "Well, what can we do?" They formulate a new plan to load their gear in through the front, as quickly as possible, and to move their van from the illegal spot.

This is how Dub is a Weapon starts their album release party in Burlington; but it doesn’t seem to faze them. Tonight they’re playing alongside Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds, also from Brooklyn. As this latter group rallies and readies to play, the Friday night crowd thickens.

Sister Sparrow at Nectar's

Sister Sparrow is Arleigh Kincheloe, a tiny, lithe fey, tonight in a low cut shirt, very provocative, a bird of fashion. She has a sassy, sensual air about her before she even speaks, but no one is ready for her pipes. Backed by the eight members that make up The Dirty Birds, she begins with a bass romp, provided by Aiden Carroll, humbly behind Arleigh, who begins to sing with a voice so soulful that anyone in the bar not looking suddenly drops their conversation and takes notice. The horns swarm in alongside Jackson Kincheloe’s harmonica, which, placed beside a four-piece horn section, creates a soul/blues blend that’s both unique and interesting.

The whole band is dressed in black and every member fits their part: Sasha Brown (guitar) has perfectly spiked hair and wears a pin-striped vest. Harmonica Jackson has long, blonde hair and wears aviators. The horns and bass all wear fedoras. Trumpeter Cole Kamen wears a short-sleeved collared shirt with a tie, in a slightly punk fashion. They’re clearly Brooklynites. Johnny Butler (baritone sax) and Bran Kincheloe (drums) even have just the right amount of facial hair.

Sister Sparrow at Nectar's

They play through songs off their self-titled album, including “Boom Boom”, where the band leans on a reggae rhythm, a taste of what the headliner will sound like. SP&TDBs’ sound is mainly soul, pulling on blues, rock, funk, and reggae throughout their set, including some wonderful covers. Their take on “Boogie on Reggae Woman” is the sultriest yet. Arleigh is an amazing vocalist, but also a stellar performer. When trombonist Ryan Snow solos she squats, leaning back and beckoning his sound with gypsy hands.

The highlight is “Freight Train”, full of interjecting horns. Even Dub is a Weapon members opt to hang on the dance floor instead of the green room.


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