Trick or treat?
Holland Project’s Halloween Cover Show
What happens when you mix two parts Stabby Unicorn, a local band with everything from pop to dark wave influences, a self-proclaimed non-musician, and a musician who has scored music for documentaries, short films and modern dance pieces? A one-night-only Yazoo cover band, apparently.
Rhiannon Box, vocals and keys; Eric Foreman, guitar and vocals; Brandon Shirey, bass; and Ty Williams, vocals and drums, make up the four members of a cover band who will be rocking out to Yazoo hits at the Holland Project Halloween Cover Show on Oct. 20.
Yazoo had been tossed around as a potential contender in years past but was nixed to make room for other bands like Ministry, Sioxsie and the Banshees, Talking Heads and Berlin, all of which Box, Shirey and Williams covered together in past years of the annual show, which they’ve played together four times. This will be Foreman’s first year joining them.
“No one ever says, ‘Let’s cover Yaz,’” says Foreman. “I don’t think it’s been done.”
For the group, the Holland Project’s annual Halloween show is the one time a year they get together to perform. Aside from Shirey, they’re all in other bands.
“I only play music once a year—for the Halloween cover show,” says Shirey, who has been playing bass for five years. “It’s fun being a rock star for a day.”
The band shared their excitement about taking on some of Yazoo’s hits, including “Only You” and “Goodbye ’70s.”
“[Goodbye ’70s is] about saying ‘ta ta’ to a frustrating decade that lasted too long,” says Shirey. “The vocals are really wild too, because Alison Moyet sort of howls/wails throughout the song. … Rhiannon does a good job capturing that.”
But don’t expect a carbon copy of the British synthpop duo.
“Yaz is a two-piece, primarily pre-tracked, and we are doing everything with a four-piece live band,” says Box. “Our sound is a jangly mishmash of what Yaz might’ve sounded like if they were a bunch of nerdy friends playing in a garage as a four piece.”
With a 30-minute time slot to fill, learning six songs for one performance may seem a bit crazy to some, but Shirey doesn’t think it’s enough.
“I’d love to do more songs, but we have a time limit,” he says.
Patrons can also look forward to covers of the Ramones, Green Day, the Misfits and Dr. Octagon, to name a few.
“The line-up is really awesome this year,” says Shirey, who said he couldn’t wait to hear the groups covering Le Tigre and The Sonics.
The show, which is open to all ages, begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Holland Project, 140 Vesta St. in Reno. Admission will be discounted from $5 to $2 for those wearing a costume.
This year’s Halloween Show features members of local groups Thee Indoors, Spitting Image, Prescription, The Letdowns, Stabby Unicorn, Royal Noble, Crush, Surf Curse, Yes Sir and more, according to Britt Curtis, director of the Holland Project.
“[The show is] always so much fun and it’s a cool way to introduce people to an artist they may not have known about,” says Box.