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The Charity Stripe/The Cloves
June 25, 2005 - The Catwalk - Seattle, WA
by Dagmar Patterson

Seattle club the Catwalk played host Saturday, June 25 to Localpalooza, an all-day showcase for local acts organized by Skinny Productions. The idea of an event with 14 or so bands is appealing but guarantees a rather random, hit-and-miss attendance for any given band playing.

I caught two bands, the Charity Stripe and the Cloves.

The Charity Stripe are a familiar band to me live, I had seen them twice before and have their EP,
Islands. They impressed me again. They have toughened up and are able even more than before to seem peaceful--until you realize theyíve built a tremendous sonic rush thatís subtly moving from the tips of your feet to the top of your head. Theyíre self-described as Indie/Powerpop and there is power in their music and performance. There is also courage. The Charity Stripe cover Cyndi Lauperís "Time After Time" a song I have always thought had great passion. Not only do they cover it, they do it well.

A trio for sometime, Ross McMeekin (singer, guitarist), James Trumbull (bass, vocals), Cameron Harrington (drums), the band has added lead guitarist and keyboardist Mark Isakson. He rounds out the versatility of this band - whether they sing an earnest love song or go quite crazy during a rollicking and aggressive live version of "You Canít Win It." McMeekin has a uniquely disarming voice especially in songs such as "Circumstance" - with the words "I donít need you to love me for me to love you back" - but then the Charity Stripe will whip up a storm just as happily as anything.

Those who saw the Cloves were blessed with sharp compositions and complete integrity. Laugh if you want but I have dreams of having a concert just to myself. This didnít exactly happen but it was the closest I have come to this dream coming true. Perhaps the all ages crowd was tired after the long day, and itís hard to predict when there is such a variety on one bill what audience members are really there for. The Clovesí sound recalls many of my favorite bands: Oasis, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Kasabian and Travis. Someone needs to get Graeme Lowe (manager, BRMC and Kasabian) to take note of their EP,
Waiting for the World to Be.

The Cloves are a foursome: singer/guitarist Michael Hochstatter, drummer Jason Maybell, bassist Kevin Poleskie and lead guitarist Chris Walbridge. Together they create a truly dreamy sound with airy and gentle singing. The music soars. When Walbridge plays slide guitar itís a heartbreaking solo. Tidal Sun was especially solid as a perfectly crafted song, a classic. It and the Cloves concern themselves with the sort of love in music that includes you just by listening--and itís been neglected lately. When Hochstatter sings alternately heís "Calling all my brothers/Calling all my sisters/Calling all my heroes,"  he beckons to you, and receives you.