Wet Secrets/ Bend Sinister / Clips Starlite Room, Edmonton AB September 22

Wet Secrets/ Bend Sinister / Clips Starlite Room, Edmonton AB September 22
In other cultures it would be an honour to have dead octopi and entrails thrown at you during a performance — that is if you were a band of hungry pugs playing jazz. But for the Wet Secrets’ reboot performance it came off as a hassle — a non sequitur assault that’s funny enough if you don’t have to clean up afterwards. The flying meat came from the former keyboardist who left of his own volition months ago — though in many ways the band folded soon after under the weight of its players’ real lives. So why was Edmonton’s most curious theatrical act up there again in marching band costumes, singing about blowjobs and tigers so well? A little history: the Wet Secrets were essentially a joke side project, including Trevor Anderson of the Vertical Struts (R.I.P.) and Shout Out Out Out Out’s Lyle Bell, plus two serious R. Crumb beauties. From scratch, they wrote, recorded and released their debut in one week. Their follow-up was great, but other pursuits beckoned. CBC Radio 3, however, saw the album rise to the top of its charts. Surprise! Hence the comeback. The Mothercorp radio gig itself was under-attended, opened by BC’s samey-faddish Clips doing predictable fop-flops about the stage, but next was wicked-jagged Bend Sinister. Then came the marching band! Bell is the Secrets’ singer, and grins constantly at the outrageous lyrics coming out of his mouth, like "grow your own fucking moustache, asshole.” Thanks to the ladies on the brass, the music is sinister, the songs extra disco-solid via the synth/bass/drum combo. Oddly, they played with as much enthusiasm as a tightly packed Calgary show later that week, especially "The Secret March,” sort of an anthem of an army where politicians are debating whether or not to allow straight soldiers. If only Bell wasn’t so busy with Shout Out, this could easily be the city’s biggest export. So, like polite grandmothers, we take what we can get and smile.