I received a number of emails over the weekend from outraged Houstonites who were there Friday night when Two Gallants got busted during a performance at Walter’s on Washington. Walter’s calls itself “the neighborhood bar that is also the best new live music venue in Houston.” Supposedly a few of those neighbors weren’t so happy with the noise level Friday night and called the cops. By the accounts I’ve received, what ensued was a police action that borders on Gestapo.
One member of the crowd, Lazy-i reader William G.K. Zhang, says it went down like this: “A policeman came into the venue and immediately got on stage. The policeman then started to confront Adam and after a short while, threw him down on the stage. The policeman then got up and immediately called for backup. The policeman also started thrashing around and destroying musical equipment. Afterwards, members from the crowd and the opening bands started confronting the police officer. The police officer then proceeded to harass and taze members of the crowd, including one 14-year old teenager. Adam then ran out of the venue and disappeared into the streets. Tyson was handcuffed and peacefully entered the police car. Soon, helicopters and police cars flooded into the venue parking lot. Arrests were made of members of the opening bands and dissenting crowd members.”
The local ABC affiliate filed this report, which originally stated the band attacked the cop. Ah, but the power of portable digital video cameras proved that those initial reports were, to say the least, questionable, and story has since been updated. Take a look a couple different videos of the incident on YouTube:
Ugly. I ran into Saddle Creek’s Robb Nansel yesterday, who confirmed that the incident did indeed go down, and that Adam and Tyson didn’t get out of Houston till the next day, then booked it to Austin for their gig at Emo’s. Zhang said that among the casualties in the fray was Langhorne Slim’s 90-year-old bass, which got broken when the cop pushed a crowd member into it. Now there are reports that the neighbors never complained about the noise. And let’s be honest, isn’t it odd for a cop to storm the stage and try to take a guitar away from the musician? If you want the sound cut, you go to the sound board and start unplugging things. Strange, strange business. It’ll be even stranger when the Two Gallants make their return visit to Houston — to appear in court.
The Houston Chronicle weighs in with this account, where an HPD spokesman calls the policeman’s behavior “commendable.”
Zhang’s full account is now on the Two Gallants Wikipedia entry.
There’s another account on a witness’s myspace page:
And more comments at the Two Gallants forum.
Expect this story to be covered in all the usual music media over the next few days. Could Two Gallants ask for better publicity? Congratulations, Saddle Creek. And thanks to those who wrote in (Emily, William, John) to give me a head’s up.
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There was a nice crowd at the Chin Up Chin Up show Saturday night at O’Leaver’s to hear a nice set from a nice indie 5-piece that plays nice, mid-tempo indie rock. I like Chin Up, but the set was less than riveting. To their credit, they got better as the set wore on, peaking with the final two songs.
Tonight at O’Leaver’s, Oakland-based indie heavy-metal trio Totimoshi takes the stage with Omaha’s own Lepers. $5, 9:30 p.m.
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