The Saturn 5
with Blue Joules
Club More, Clearwater, FL • July 27, 2001
Lee Ann Leach
Club More was packed to capacity on Friday, July 27 for the CD release party for Blue Joules. I had a difficult time making my way through the crowd to reach the stage, which was covered with a large, white, sheet-like curtain emblazoned in blue and gold announcing the band’s name and title of their newly released CD, Yearbook. Blue Joules have come a long, long way since their beginnings a little over a year ago. They have tightened their live performance down to a finely working machine, and added several new tunes that show enormous growth in their writing abilities.
One such tune, “Jordan’s Bank,” is a slower, softer tune compared to their usual offerings, and it came across wonderfully at this performance. Lead singer Rob Clark took on the acoustic guitar for this tune, and threw emotion all over those lined up in front of the stage. I still had the chorus of the song, “Pop A Pill,” bouncing around in my head a good four days after this show. Chris Billich, co-writer of the song “Communication,” joined the band onstage as they offered this tune with massive amounts of energy and passion. Blue Joules set ended with most of the females in the audience crowding onto the stage dancing and kissing the band in congratulations of the debut release.
I has intended on leaving and heading home after Blue Joules had finished their set, but was convinced by several people in the crowd to hang out and watch The Saturn 5. These people promised and swore to me that I would not be disappointed. Now I’m glad I made the point to stay. I haven’t been this impressed with a local band in years!
The Saturn 5 have gone through a name change, as they were once called The Swinging Mooks. I had heard many good things about the Mooks over the past few years, but never got a chance to get out and see them. In seeing The Saturn 5 finally, I’m sorry I waited so long. Lead vocalist Ronnie Dee has the concept of working a crowd down to an exact science, with hand gestures, eye contact, and communication back and forth. They started off the set with a tune called “Psycho Sister,” then quickly moved into a tune called “Flopgutt” that knocked my socks off, with the funky groove of bassist Lemonjello. They moved into a tune dedicated to the children’s guru, Mister Rogers, called “Neighborhood” (no, not the old Ugly Kid Joe tune!), and then crashed into a cool, dance worthy song entitled, “Bumpin’.” And, the crowd, indeed, began bumpin’ across the front of the stage with sexy, gyrating dance moves.
Guitarists Josh Horton and Greg Zink jumped in unison with Dee, and keyboardist/sax player Andrew Beer sashayed back and forth in time. The band eventually slammed into a harder tune called “Killer,” complete with raunchy guitar licks, while Dee and Beer jumped from the stage with saxophones and went from table to table, patron to patron serenading each and every listener. There was banter about sex before “Leave On the Lights,” and talk of pot before the tune “Stoner.”
Even though a large portion of the crowd left the venue for the techno dance club, Liquid Blue, a few blocks down the street, the more intelligent of the crowd hung out and stayed throughout this incredible performance of The Saturn 5. What I thought was going to be a short night out to congratulate friends on their debut CD release turned out to be a long night of excellent performance. I didn’t leave the venue until they started running everyone out at 2 AM. Great show, great bands. Both are highly recommended.