Blockade runners

The Gorgeous Armada Fulcrum, Thurs. Sept. 30

Acousti-punk troubadour Brad, a.k.a. Nothing Left, red-lined the sincere-o-meter with his repeated refrain of “One world or no world at all.” Calls for inclusiveness are rare in our compartmentalized subcultures, so I figured if the Gorgeous Armada chose this fellow to warm up the audience for its live recording gig, that was probably the reason.

Despite trading heavily in the irreverent humor that armed the original punk assault on the barricades of overly serious rock, the Armada itself is anything but stereotypical punk.

Handsome Gorgeous, looking like a good-humored version of Metallica’s James Hetfield, complete with Fu Manchu facial hair and bald spot, led his band, which included tapdancers and horn players, in a short set that included “Bullfrog,” a rambling account of a frog’s lifecycle accented by some tasty blues licks from Knuckle’s guitar. A group shout-along about “Elephants, monkeys and chickens” had the audience enthusiastically alternating the lines, “The sky is falling,/ Elephants never forget/ We’re not monkeys, we’re apes.”

Pretty amazing when one considers that Fulcrum does not serve alcohol in any form and none of the participants were visibly drunk.

C. W. McCall’s ‘70s trucker anthem "Convoy," augmented by the background vocals of guitarist Uh! Uh!, segued woozily into Bob Seger’s "Turn the Page," which somehow included a little finger-pointing dance move. Then the Armada broke loose from its moorings on the stage (OK, floor) and drifted triumphantly into a fusillade of backslaps and laughter from the audience. One could not help but surrender to the Gorgeous Armada.