Though regarded far-and-wide as the well-coiffed guitarist who ushered in the 1950s-stylized rockabilly revival (with Stray Cats), the big band swing thing (with his self-named Orchestra) and all of its sartorial and tonsorial splendor, Brian Setzer will always be adored by Philly’s old-head punks for his time in Bloodless Pharaohs. At the tail end of the 70s, a pre-Cats Setzer (with his brother Gary) held sway over the Pharaohs, a Talking Heads-y house band, at 21st & South’s Hot Club before turning to rockabilly, heading to the UK (with a crew of locals including then-tour manager-turned-DJ legend, Bobby Startup), and finding fortune and fame.
Knowing that, it was no surprise to see that Setzer’s 15th Anniversary Christmas showcase with a rich 19-piece ensemble at the grand Academy of Music found its crowd with as many families looking for a good, clean night out, as it did many a spikey, grey haired sort. And the fact is, those crowds — and anyone in-between — got a damned good, entertaining time. Continue reading →