Rumba Cafe feels luck of the Irish

By: Sam Kayuha

Geoff Spall has been there, and he knows that every frequenter of local music venues has too. It is the moment when the band no one came to see is onstage, slogging away...and away...and away. One can only take so many smoke breaks, and the restroom is no place for refuge.

 Promotional photo for Rumba Café's St. Patty's Day celebration. (Photo via  Facebook )

Promotional photo for Rumba Café's St. Patty's Day celebration. (Photo via Facebook)

As the frontman of Friendly Faux and an organizer for Worst Kept Secret Fest, Spall has been a figure in the Columbus scene for the last five years. That time has taught him some lessons in how to put on a show that benefits all involved: the artist, the organizer, the fan, even the bartender.

“Shorter sets, have the bands share gear to allow more bands to play and invite more attendees overall,” Spall said. “We call it the ‘quick and dirty 30.’ That’s the right amount a local band should play.”

This method will be on display Saturday, March 17—also St. Patrick’s Day—when a lineup put together by Spall and Sean Hart of Traxler Printing will take the stage at Rumba Cafe. Joining Friendly Faux will be stellar acts the Lost Revival, the Original Soundtrack, the Up All Nights, Coya Hill and Why Omen.

“The lineup is a few bands I hadn’t played with that I knew were really good, like Lost Revival and the Up All Nights,” Spall said. “The others I had played in the past and had always been great.”

The Original Soundtrack will kick off the night. The band dropped an EP of fantastically groovy rock in 2016, and is preparing to release its first new song since then. Jasmine Rosario is a powerful frontwoman for the genre-bending group, whose voice flows beautifully over phenomenal guitar work and a backbone-like rhythm section.

The Up All Nights hold down the pure rock ‘n’ roll section of the local scene. Its live show is a gut punch of guitar, drums and bass and never disappoints.

The Lost Revival has remained one of the best bands in town during its decade-plus career. Its third album, 2017’s American Heir, may have been its best work yet. The record is a dose of composed indie rock, with conventionally structured songs interwoven with atypical drum beats and complex backing vocals that never leave a moment for boredom.

And, of course, Friendly Faux will be taking the stage. The band has returned to its original lineup, and is preparing to release a new song before dropping a larger body of work later this year.

Among those  sharing the stage, Why Omen is the new band on the block. The bands’ members have been around the scene for a while as parts of other acts, but began performing as Why Omen just last year. It has wasted no time making a mark on stage, playing consistently around town since last fall, and set to drop an EP at the end of this month.

Coya Hill will be closing the night out. The Delaware-based band is another staple, consistently fantastic live and on record. The St. Patrick’s Day show will be its first of the year, the first chance to see a band that deserves to be seen.

Doors open at 8 p.m. for the 18-and-up show. Tickets can be found for $5 here, plus an extra $2 for those under 21.