March 17, 2010 – The Dirty Flaggs are a Columbus band with members hailing from around the country and the globe.  Andrew on guitar and vocals comes from South Africa, Tyler on drums comes from the southern United States. There is Chad on guitar and vocals and rounding them out, Victoria on bass and vocals, who is an art school graduate working in graphic design.

The Dirty Flaggs in action at Circus

The Dirty Flaggs are a very melodic and vocal band who reminded me of a strange cross between the Gin Blossoms and a bit of early Days of the New.  I would have to put a large emphasis on the Gin Blossoms though as Andrew’s tones and melodies took me back to the early to mid 1990’s when the Gin Blossoms were infiltrating radio and MTV much more than I ever desired.  Admittedly, for the first few songs of the set I had more fun talking to the people at my table than listening to the band and trying to come up with a review.  They gave me a feel of overcompensation for what seemed at the time to be a lacking crowd.  The songs seemed overly anthologized and a bit cheesy at times, albeit strung along with some nice melodies and vocalizations.  Sometimes it seemed like they were playing more for a reaction and less because they had an actual passion for it.  Keep in mind, I don’t know anyone in the band personally and they most likely have great passion for their art as they are embarking on a spring tour. I just didn’t see this being reflected as I watched them on stage.

Now don’t get me wrong, their show did improve as it moved along.  For example, during a song in the last half of the set the bass player whacked the lead singer across the head with her bass.  This provided a bit of amusement for me and fortunately the band recovered both physically and musically.  They also pulled some extra percussion equipment out mid way through the set that added some interesting sounds to the music.  There were also a few change-ups between the guitar players including a whole song performed by Andrew without a guitar.  Victoria made a couple of announcements between songs that were undecipherable until one point when an ambulance drove by with sirens blaring and she stated, “we payed them lots of money to drive by during this song!”  This pulled in a few chuckles from the crowd, which seemed still complacent about the performance up to this point.  I could see that Victoria had vocal parts for many songs but really couldn’t hear her.  I’m not sure if this was a projection problem on her part or a sound problem at the club, but either way it seemed disappointing.  She did come out much better for the last two songs possibly due to her settling in a bit and getting more comfortable.

The Dirty Flaggs at Circus

The last two songs of the set seemed to have much more of a pop to them in an alternative rock sort of fashion, with much more energy coming from the band and the crowd as well.  These two songs were my favorite as they were filled with some great energy and lots of movement from the band on stage.  Once the show was over I spoke with Mike Folker of Secret Songs Records for a couple comments on the band.  According to Mike he met Victoria while he was working at CD101 and they instantly hit it off.  The band had actually just signed their new contract to Secret Songs Records that night which should give them good cause to celebrate.

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