Review: Rockabilly act Petunia and The Vipers keeps junior toes tapping
CANADIAN throwback kings Petunia and the Vipers warmed up for their Empire show on Friday night by squeezing in an early-evening, all-ages gig as part of the Belfast Children's Festival.
The kids were out in force, though how many of the mostly pre-teen crowd were paying attention to the band's sublimely concocted music was a matter for debate.
Instead, the rootsy rockabilly merchants often appeared to be unwittingly providing the soundtrack for a legion of small people to charge about and clamber on the venue's wooden railings.
Still, as the performance went on, youngsters – encouraged by their parents – took their first tentative steps onto a dance floor.
"Hopefully, this'll be habit-forming for some of yas," drawled main man Petunia, looking on in a mixture of amusement and pride at the slightly surreal spectacle unfolding in front of him.
The group also widened their audience's youthful eyes with their selection of weird and wacky instruments, from a giant double bass to a makeshift contraption fashioned from a kazoo, a bicycle bell and some duct tape.
Musically, it was like early Bill Haley and His Comets, complete with yodelling, slide guitar and an infectious beat that kept junior toes tapping.
The five-piece finished their hour-long set with a song about a mountain made of candy, which at their regular gigs might seem a bit childish, but on this occasion went down a treat.
ANDREW JOHNSTON ****