Tag Archives: family crest

Don’t Miss This Band: The Family Crest

26 Jan
photo courtesy of Ryan Chua

A little while back I was driving home from a friend’s party while tuned in to CALX, the UC Berkeley radio station, and I was immediately intrigued by the performance that evening, broadcasted live from their studio.  So much so, that long after arriving home I stayed inside the car just so that I could hear the remainder of the show without interruption.  And when it was finished, I did exactly what any other music enthusiast would have done:  I raced inside, I made a bee-line to my computer and I Googled the little chickadees!  During my initial research, I found that The Family Crest had an upcoming show at Cafe du Nord.  Needless to say, five clicks later (thanks, technology) two tickets were mine!

Blown away is sort of an understatement when speaking about this performance. Part indie-rock, part European folk music (I think I detected a little bit of Klezmer in a song or two), and 100% pure joy, this is a band of true entertainers and passionate musicians, whose love for their craft is both palpable and infectious.  Each of the seven band members were a blast to watch, most of whom switched effortlessly from one instrument to another (guitar, flute, cello, trumpet, and the vibes, to name a few) provided backup vocals, and all of whom thoroughly, sincerely, and unabashedly Rocked Out.  Also thrown in the mix were a number of random musicians who kept popping out of the audience throughout the show – a violinist here, an opera singer there – including an entire horn section, concealed behind the coat check, only becoming known to the audience after simultaneously joining in on one of the first songs of the set.  The surprises just kept coming!

Lead singer Liam McCormick is a vocal virtuoso – a cross between Jeff Buckley and Chet Baker at times, with an unbelievable range, power and genuine soulfulness that is one in a million.  This is of course, not to overshadow McCormick’s skills as a lyricist.  The guy is a true poet and a storyteller; a refreshing quality among a vast sea of local singer/songwriters whose words tend to underwhelm.   Combined with the group’s talent as a whole (really, every single member is so incredibly talented, and each one of them shines on stage), their energy, synchronisity, chemistry and phenomenal stage presence moved the entire crowd to dance, clap, stomp, and at times even sing along.   I am so grateful to have caught them when I did, because there isn’t a doubt in my mind that they are going to BLOW UP… and soon!

The Family Crest is currently  on tour, so for the next couple of months they won’t be playing in SF, but I highly encourage you to check out their music in the meantime, and definitely plan on seeing them perform at least once!  I promise, they will not disappoint.  I will be standing by when they return home, only this time, rather than an intrigued newcomer I will be a full-fledged F-A-N. 🙂  Cheers to a band that uplifts and inspires…keep it coming, guys!