If members of Ween, Weather Report, Wishbone Ash, and Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention congregated for a tipsy, late-night jam session, the sounds created might resemble the music of local band Circus McGurkis. Comprised of several CofC pals, the band got together a year and a half ago. “It was a normal group of friends who did normal Charleston things — talk about poop, drink Franzia, and recreate our favorite scenes from The Muppet Show with our socks,” says synth player Todd Walton. ‘The one thing that set us apart, however, was our mutual passion for destruction and circus music.” The lineup includes Allen Larion on drums, Mike “Goat” Hill on bass, Elliot “Smith” Venotti on electric guitar, and Zark Malesiak on percussion. “A Circus McGurkis show is a night at the carnival,” adds Walton. “We are a wild-ass band pioneering the genre of Circusychedelia. Be warned. We’ll yak super-funk and sex-jazz directly in your face like the deranged clowns we are.” The band plays its last gig of the season this Saturday at Big Gun on Calhoun Street. A winter hiatus is in the works. Wide-eyed and wild-hearted, they’ll surely kick up the weirdness again in the spring.
T. Ballard Lesemann