Published on September 15th, 2014 | by Jessica Mickey


Review: The Royal Tinfoil’s Rowdy CD Release at the Pour House

The Royal Tinfoil, Blair Crimmins and the Hookers
The Pour House
Sept. 12

Lily Slay has a problem. Every year, around the time of her birthday, she gets ill. This year, when the singer/guitarist felt the familiar bug coming on, she went into lockdown mode. After all, Slay was about to have the album release she’s been dreaming off since the inception of Feed These Demons, the Royal Tinfoil’s latest slab. The band’s party at the Pour House on Friday night (Sept. 12) could pretty much be described in two words: hot damn.

rtf - poster

The celebration kicked off a little after 10 p.m. with an already sizeable and amped-up crowd with PoHo favorites Blair Crimmins and the Hookers. Local swing dancers made their way to the front to show off their moves while Crimmins in the boys delivered a tight, joyful show featuring a hella-tight horn section and flips of Crimmins’ Jerry Lee Lewis-esque locks.

Minor chords drove the eerie “Checked Out Early,” and the audience participated in the call-and-response jam “Oh Angela!” Crimmins is for sure a modern showman, leading his band into the audience and helping himself to catwalk on the bar at the Pour House to the delight of the nonstop growing audience. Now, that’s how you open a show.

The Royal Tinfoil took the stage to the enthusiastic cheers of a now sweaty (and pretty buzzed-up) throng of fans and friends, tearing through new material and basking in the glow of sing-alongs and raucous applause. It’s hard to take one’s eyes off the wild-haired, soulfully crooning seductress Slay, but guitarist/singer Mackie Boles is a force that can’t be ignored, wailing away like a more melodic Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and passionately playing his Gibson Flying V. The rhythm section of bassist Brad Edwardson, drummer Marshall Hudson, and keyboardist Whitt Algar was rock-solid behind it all.

Trying to describe the Royal Tinfoil’s voice is a difficult task, as they can jump from a Pink Floyd–style jam, to a soulful ballad, to a swampy rock anthem, and on to other unexpected sounds in the span of a few minutes. They can’t be labeled, and it’s pretty clear that’s just how they like it, as it affords them the freedom to do whatever the hell they want. However, as a title like Feed These Demons helps demonstrate, the new collection thematically holds on to the same thread.


The Royal Tinfoil at the Pour House (photo by Jessica Mickey)

Favorites off their 2012 debut album, Well Water Communion, like “Stalker Vs. Stalker,” drew cheers from the crowd, as did the addition of Crimmins’ skillful horn section for “Ball and Chain.”

The horns stayed on stage for the encore, rounded out by the hilarious song “Limousine,” which easily could’ve been a hit on The Muppet Show. A cake appeared toward the end, celebrating not only Slay’s birthday, but also the band and its long-awaited release.

Truth be told, I didn’t take the notes I should have while watching them. I was moved to put away the pen and paper, get up front to dance, and share in the flow of whiskey shots, which I think nicely sums up the experience in a nutshell.

All hail the Royal Tinfoil.

All photos by Jessica Mickey.



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About the Author

Jessica Mickey

has considered Charleston home since she first moved here in 2001. She regularly performs improv at Theatre 99 and dabbles in stand-up comedy in various venues around the Lowcountry. Jessica has also cohosted morning radio shows on 96Wave and 98X, as well as wrote the weekly column "The Chase is On" for the Charleston City Paper. She can barely play the ukulele Ballard bought her for Christmas last year, but after a couple of drinks, she can sing the shit out of some karaoke.

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