When we booked Ural Thomas & The Pain for a live show at the Banana Stand, we didn’t anticipate that the band’s performance would transport us to back to the golden age of soul.
Ural has recently been called Portland’s “Pillar of Soul,” and that title totally makes sense when you see him crack a charming smile and hum the opening notes of a song. The long-time singer released several hit singles in the ‘60s and ‘70s that made him an iconic figure in Portland’s R&B scene, and he still performs with the same enthusiasm of his younger years― maintaining a piercing, yet heartfelt voice that immediately seizes the attention of any music hall he enters.
Witnessing him perform in our small venue with an amazingly talented band was jaw dropping. The saxophones and trumpet constantly belted classic-sounding blues riffs and funk hooks, while the snap of the quick-paced drumming gave the whole performance a boost of steady energy. Fat bass lines along with vintage keyboard and guitar textures lent each song a full-sounding depth, making us feel like we were spinning inside the grooves of an old funk record.
Some times Ural hooted and hollered while a saxophone spewed a searing solo. Other moments a guitar plucked apart a soft progression while Ural told us a heartwarming story. And beyond the music, Ural’s personal engagement with the audience is something you don’t see often in live performance. Between his anecdotes, jokes, and dance moves, it was clear he was having as much fun as we were.
Being able to host this show with some of our best buds in attendance ― like Bevelers and The Domestics ― made the whole experience much more special. Knowing that our friends were able to get in on this unique performance really makes this release one we won’t forget.
Ural Thomas & The Pain – Live from the Banana Stand was recorded before a live audience on December 5th, 2015 at Banana Stand in Portland, Oregon. The video features footage from camera operators Michael McInerney, Darren Hartman, Tyler Bertram, Guy Wagner, and Sam Smith, and was directed and edited by Michael McInerney. Audio for this video was recorded by Adam Harney, Tim Shrout, and Gabe Seavello, mixed by Adam Harney, and mastered by Gabe Seavello. Cover art for this release was designed by Dane Brist and features photography by Michael McInerney.
Look for Ural Thomas & The Pain – Live from the Banana Stand soon at store.bananastandmedia.com/.
Find more from Ural Thomas & The Pain at facebook.com/uralthomasandthepain/.