Red Deer shows were usually a sell-out for the band Punch Drunk Cabaret — even before two Red Deerians joined as musicians.
This city “is even more our favourite now,” said the trio’s lead singer/guitarist Randal X. Bailer of Wetaskiwin.
Alberta’s steampunk swing band — which now includes Red Deer’s Rob Ducharme (keyboards and percussion) and Teddy Roy (bass guitar) — will be back, performing at the Memorial Centre on Saturday, Feb. 18.
The live “musical comedy showcase” will be a fundraiser for the Red Deer Outreach Centre.
Bailer also sees it as a chance to spotlight the Red Deer band members, who stepped in after a couple of other group members left.
Comedians Joel Semchuk and Brad Layden will be doing stand-up acts in the first half of the show, and then Punch Drunk Cabaret will take the stage to play its award-winning “cocktail of rockabilly, outlaw country, and steampunk swing.”
Bailer said a video will be made of the band’s high-energy live show and put up on YouTube and the group’s website. “It’s a great opportunity to document our live shows, and we always have a good time in Red Deer.”
Drawing on eclectic inspirations, including The Stray Cats, Tom Waits, Hank Williams and big band swing, the trio previously recorded a video for the song Elixxxer at the former Fratters Speakeasy in 2015, when audience members were encouraged to dress as flappers or gangsters from the 1920s and ’30s.
Punch Drunk Cabaret has since opened for many big-name acts, including Sheepdogs, Bif Naked, Hawksley Workman, July Talks and Trooper. The band has also won many awards, including multiple Calgary and Edmonton music awards and two Best Soundtrack prizes at film festivals in the U.S. and United Kingdom.
While Punch Drunk Cabaret’s sound now has more keyboards, thanks to Ducharme’s talents, the trio is known for interactive concerts and Bailer said that has not changed.
In fact, he stressed he will not be happy until Memorial Centre audience members are dancing in front of the stage or in the aisles.
For tickets and more information, please visit reddeermemorialcentre.net/events.