Songs that Joe Jackson forgot to write: that’s what comes to mind when I hear anything by the soul-pop group Suedehead. Davey Warsop’s got a way of crafting upbeat tunes in terms of big, round major chords with a power turnaround that favors ’60s American Motown or the original British mod punks. Suedehead courts that cardigan image, both in music and on video; one can find their EPs on vinyl. Warsop uses horns, but as per soul tradition, they are polite and rarely step out of line, more like punctuation in Suedehead’s musical sentences. I suspect this is a band that would have been bigger in terms of appeal had they been around back in the middle of the 1980s, when promoters were putting together punk-ska-soul band tours for headliners like the Police. Suedehead is one of those bands that are a small piece of a larger whole. They got serious after Mike Ness heard a demo and asked them to come on a tour and open for Social Distortion.
Warsop came from the U.K. and a punk band called Beat Union. He relocated to the West Coast and was working as a recording engineer in Orange County when the idea for Suedehead arrived. The word “supergroup” comes to mind, hackneyed as it may be, because the lineup includes Berlin’s Greg Kuehn, Chris Bradley from the Distraction, and Korey Kingston Horn from the Aggrolites. Warsop once claimed that it was the film The Commitments that inspired him to make soul music. The Commitments popularized a song that has since become the over-requested bane of all nightclub gigs: “Mustang Sally.” In March, Suedehead released a single called “Lying in Bed” as a follow-up to their 2012 EP In Motion. Not a headliner yet, but not entirely unknown either; likewise, in March, Rolling Stone premiered their video to “Another Man.”
- Friday, October 25, 2013, 8 p.m.
3519 El Cajon Boulevard,
$8 - $10
2000 Tons of TNT and San Diego City Soul Club DJs also perform.
Suedehead: The Void, Friday, October 25, 9 p.m. 619-450-4292. $8 advance/$10 at the door