The Laughing Chimes posing for a promotional photo with vegetation in the background
The Laughing Chimes. []

The Laughing Chimes, Lavandula, and more perform tributes this weekend to raise money for the Athens County Humane Society

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – After members of local psychedelic rock group Lavandula saw their friends play a Smashing Pumpkins tribute  at last year’s Big Cover Up at The Union, they knew they wanted to take a crack at their own tribute.

Their wish was granted, and they’re working on Fleetwood Mac covers to prepare for their set at Blackout Booking’s Big Cover Up at The Union this weekend.

“We love learning songs to cover just in general,” said Isaac King, Lavandula’s bassist. “We think it brings the band together, the chemistry, but it’s also just fun to learn them to kind of recreate, you know, songs that you grew up listening to and some of your favorite songs.”

For more than 20 years, Blackout Booking’s Big Cover Up has invited local talent to perform as cover bands for a night. The event this weekend is a fundraiser for the Athens County Humane Society.

Scott Winland, agent and owner of Blackout Booking, says the event hasn’t always been a fundraiser. But – it’s always been a lot of fun.

Winland and Tracy Duncan developed the concept more than 20 years ago. Winland says there was a loosely enforced “no established cover bands” rule for the first few events.

“The rule is no longer imposed, but I still generally steer away from booking established cover bands for these events,” said Winland. “It’s more fun watching your friends create one-night super-groups that play outside their comfort zone; sometimes it’s sloppy, but it feels more fun – less serious.”

Athens-based jangle pop group The Laughing Chimes are covering The Smiths on the first night of the fundraiser. Founding member Evan Seurkamp said the band has often cited The Smiths as an influence. To them, Manchester’s indie rock pioneers are about the most almost-low-fi, jangle-poppy band they know.

“They’ve got that kind of clean guitar sound we also share,” Seurkamp said.

He added The Smiths are a spot in the musical spectrum where all The Laughing Chimes’ diverse tastes coalesce.

The band looks forward to tackling songs like “Ask,” “There Is a Light that Never Goes Out,” and maybe even “The Headmaster’s Ritual.”

“We started to regret [choosing The Smiths] a little bit just because some of their songs are a little more challenging than they may appear at first glance,” said Seurkamp. “But, we’re having fun with it.”

The Laughing Chimes will release a new single early next month. You’ll find it here when they do.

Lavandula is in the process of recording their first full-length. Keep tabs on their progress here.

The Big Cover Up Volume 24 happens Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4 at The Union. Doors open at 8 p.m. each night with a $8 cover.

Modern Baseball (Penny)
Rainbow Kitten Surprise (Plastic Lemonade)
Shannon & The Clams (members of Peach Fuzz & Bozniak)
Gorillaz (members of Water Witches)
Hendrix (Top’d Off)
The Smiths (The Laughing Chimes)

Fleetwood Mac (Lavandula)
Alkaline Trio (Rent Free)
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (Fat Bear of the Week)
Violent Femmes (Meat & Cheese Collective)
Elliott Smith (Babywave)
Slint (Six Flags Guy)
Tyler Childers (Rylee Bapst)