The Hippo


Mar 24, 2019








Soundtrack to Monday 

When: Friday, Dec. 15, 9 p.m.
Where: Derryfield Country Club, 625 Mammoth Road, Manchester
Also Saturday, Dec. 23, 9 p.m. at The Crows Nest, 181 Plaistow Road, Plaistow

Calling it a Monday
Popular cover band plays final shows

By Michael Witthaus

 After a decade as a live music fixture in the Manchester nightclub scene and beyond, Sountrack to Monday is saying goodbye. The band — bassist Bobby Whitworth, guitarist Byron Marks, drummer Dan George and lead vocalist Peter Higgins — perform a penultimate show at their favorite hometown venue on Friday, Dec. 15, and eight days later bid a final farewell at The Crow’s Nest in Plaistow.

Named after a mashup of two ’90s songs — “Every Monday” by Marvelous 3 and Soul Coughing’s “Soundtrack to Mary” — the group came up at bygone bars like the Flambeaux and Mad Bob’s and the still thriving Shaskeen Pub. They found their sweet spot at raucous Seacoast booze cruises, Murphy’s Tap Room and at Derryfield Country Club — the site of their last Manchester gig.
In recent years, other projects claimed their time, and band bookings declined. Higgins has a busy solo schedule, the other three are part of Queensrÿche tribute band Doctor X; Whitworth and Marks perform in their busy cover band, Among the Living. 
“Soundtrack is down from five to six gigs a month to one,” Whitworth said in a phone interview. “We didn’t want to become a caricature of ourselves. It’s like what they say about a shark — if you stop moving, you die.”
Prepping for their final nights has energized the band. Whitworth spoke of plans to dust off rarely played songs for the sendoff, including a couple from their sole original CD, 2009’s Lift Her Up. 
“The mood is nostalgic, for sure,” he said. “We’re bringing back ‘Dynamite’ and the Lady Gaga stuff because we want the floor packed.”
The Derryfield crowds are the main reason the band chose it for one of the two swan song shows. 
“It’s the dancing, really,” Whitworth said. “Some of the people are regulars who’ve been coming there for years — they know us by name. Everybody stays and dances all night. The Derryfield is the best place to play as long as we’ve been playing there.”
Crow’s Nest is another favorite, but for different reasons. 
“The sound’s always good. It just makes it easy for the bands; we just show up and entertain,” Whitworth said. “They are really open to stuff that might not work at other places. You can kind of step out and do different songs. So there we’re going to do ‘Possum Kingdom’ by the Toadies and ‘Dead and Bloated’ by Stone Temple Pilots ... they’re more conducive to the heavier stuff, so we’ll do some Linkin Park.”
The group began as a trio, the remnants of Betterman’s Way looking to make its mark playing covers. Whitworth recalled their time starting out as a learning experience. 
“Some of those shows were pretty darn memorable because of the nerves and anxiety,” he said. “We did some crazy stuff — R. Kelly, a Nixons cover of ‘Rocket Man.’ We were like, ‘We’re just starting out, we got nothing to lose, let’s go and have some fun.’ I remember a couple of shows specifically at Shaskeen that were just a blast. We had a lot of fun in that back room, with our friends coming out to support us.”
They made an impact locally and in far-flung bars like The Bell in Hand in Boston. 
“But some of the funnest shows were in these crazy places,” Whitworth said. 
He recalled playing to a near empty room at the memorably named Notorious R&R Five Star Dive Bar. 
“Only one person came to see us, plus our girlfriends,” he said. “We were in a bullpen, and it was hilarious.”
They did many shows at Manchester’s Black Brimmer before it closed. 
“For 10 to 15 years that was the place. You couldn’t even get in,” Whitworth said. “We finally played near the ebb of that [and] we have some great memories. “
The Flambeaux, another now-shuttered Elm Street bar, played a big part in their early days. 
“Our friend Tommy owned it, and it really gave us our start,” Whitworth said. “We got to learn our craft, and gel with Peter.” 
One night, they played as the Van Halen-only cover band Black Eddie band. 
“We had a little too much fun, which is rare, because we’re a pretty sober band,” Whitworth said. “There were some true David Lee Roth moments going on.” 
Cloudy memories are all the band have of the evening, as cell phone camcorders weren’t really a thing back then. 
“Too bad — and thank God,” Whitworth said with a laugh. 

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