The band may not play on, but that doesn’t mean the party has to end.
That’s certainly the case with the annual When it comes to the annual Skanksgiving show celebration at New Brookland Tavern. Begun five years ago by now disbanded Columbia rock ‘n’ rollers Debbie and the Skanks as a way to invite a diverse lineup of like-minded acts — and see all of their musical friends in town Thanksgiving weekend — the Black Friday event has outlived the band’s tenure and expanded its scope.
“The third year was our last show as a band; we haven’t played together since,” offers Brett Kent, the former bassist for the Skanks whose organizational hand has been behind all of the Skanksgiving shows. “The show lives on because it really wasn’t about us, and it became less about the Skanks as soon as we continued booking it each year.”
Kent says that the idea behind the band and the festival was always the same to him.
“It was that idea of making music that wasn’t pretentious or self-important,” he explains. “We were just so obviously ripping off our heroes — it wasn’t anything The Kinks didn’t do 40 years ago. It’s about embracing the timelessness of that kind of rock ‘n’ roll.”
One of the things Kent has tried to do with Skanksgiving each year is to bring in bands that might not have played Columbia before.
“I love having the out-of-town bands because it’s usually a packed house, and most of the time a new-to-town band has to build up to that kind of a show,” he says.
One fresh-to-the-area band is Drag Sounds, a Raleigh act that Kent first saw in Asheville, where he relocated a few years back.
“I was outside of the club that night when they went on stage and a friend came out to drag me inside by saying, ‘The Rolling Stones are playing right now,’” Kent recalls. “They really sound the closest to what it would be like to see the Stones in a small dive bar of any band I’ve ever seen.”
Another out-of-town act on the lineup is Kent’s own ensemble Ugly Runner, a Skanks-like garage rock trio based in Asheville. The group’s debut EP Romaticizer was just released last week. Charleston’s Guitar Andrei! Andrei! Andrei! Is yet traveling group getting its chance at the popular event.
On the local front is Columbia native and Toro Y Moi bassist Patrick Jeffords’ majestic, melodic and melancholy side project Kid Trails, along with the new Columbia supergroup Mids, a quartet which finds members of Dear Blanca and ET Anderson indulging in a ‘70s psychedelic sound edged with punk rock attitude.
Niecey Blues will also play a full set. Backed by the post-rockers from ET Anderson, the Charleston R&B singer’s sets present one of the most intriguing and effective South Carolina musical hookups in recent memory.
With the Skanks’ effervescent former frontwoman Deborah Adedokun hosting the festivities, and Kent already on stage for a set, one wonders if a mini-Skanks reunion might transpire.
“No promises from me,” Kent responds when the possibility is raised. “But usually Adam shows up. We don’t see much of Joe, though.”
The night would be complete without it, he adds.
“It’s really about getting to see our friends, and them having a good time.”
What: Skanksgiving 5
Where: New Brookland Tavern, 122 State St.
When: Friday, Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m.
With: Niecy Blues, Drag Sounds, Kid Trails, Ugly Runner, Guitar Andrei! Andrei! Andrei!, MIDS
More: 803-791-4413, newbrooklandtavern.com