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Frog, a two piece band from NYC comprising Danny Bateman (Vocals/Guitar) and Tom White (Drums/Bass), are about to release a new mini-LP called Whatever We Probably Already Had It. The last we heard of them was the release of their excellent tour film Kings of Blah (directed by Alex Coppola) which documented their 2016 tour of the UK in support of their acclaimed full length debut Kind of Blah. In that film, the band seemed shocked at the seemingly instant warmth they received from those audiences after slugging it out on the New York live scene for so long (the band's debut EP was released back in 2013). So it seems fitting to ask the band to tell us a bit more about their live experiences, as Frog and as punters, the good and the bad, for #4 in our Gigography series.
Photo Credit: Andrew Piccone
AS A BAND (Dan):
The worst gig me and T ever played was with a different band actually, we were both in another band together before frog called uncles. We played a show in Providence RI, in the middle of nowhere, in someone's weird house. There were maybe 7 people there, which was already not great but not unheard of for a show that I was playing haha. However, we weren't allowed to go on until I think 1am, by the time there was no one besides the organizers. Halfway into our first song, they left the room. We were on tour, in Providence, in someone's weird rug enclave, everyone else was doing drugs somewhere or something, we were playing by ourselves. There are nights where it is very clear that you've made a mistake in pursuing music seriously, and this was one of many. If a band plays a set in an empty room, do they make any sound? The answer is yes, weeping. I'd like to say this was a low point, but that would be a lie. Low points abound, and this was just the tip of the iceberg. I haven't been back to Providence.
We've played a lot of good gigs with frog. It's fun to be up there with ol' T. When we toured the UK, we played in Glasgow at this place called the Hug and Pint. We were meeting many incredible musicians in this magical city, staying in an amazing house with amazing people, meeting people that we've known only on the internet for years, eating cheese steaks, having something disgusting called buckfast. The show was incredibly well attended, especially by frog USA show standards. The crowd knew the songs? Why does anyone live in the US. What is wrong with us and why haven't we all moved to Glasgow. Bury me there, please.
AS A FAN (Tom):
Most memorable gig
Lightning Bolt at The Hook, 2005. I remember the story like this: Dan and I had just met in college, and came around asking if anyone wanted to go to a show. I tagged along. It ruled and was totally transformative. The only problem is now that I look around on the internet it appears as though the 2005 shows at The Hook happened in May, when I was still definitely up in Maine. So, I dunno. Wherever I saw them for the first time and whenever that was...was an amazing gig and I love them.
Most Shambolic gig
I saw Keith Jarrett take a few moments out of his obscenely long set to call all of Boston incompetent at Boston Symphony Hall. That was kinda weird. Great show though. I really like Gary Peacock.
Cake Shop! There are a lot of venues on the lower east side but I always liked this one. A great slopey basement thing with low ceilings. It always made the standard five-person audience look really packed-in and psyched to be there. I have a whole mess of fond memories playing and hanging out there with a bunch of different bands.