by David Gimpel
A few years ago, the announcement of came through on my newsfeed that the mastermind of Primus, Les Claypool, was going to be making music with the front man of The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (The GOASTT), Sean Lennon to create the Claypool Lennon Delirium. The teaser track “Cricket and the Genie” was everything I expected. Les Claypool’s quirky bass lines over Sean Lennon’s psychedelic tone hooked me immediately. When they announced they would go on tour it was a must-see show.
Starting out the sold out show in Detroit was the NYC glam rock band Uni. They felt like they walked right off the set of the movie Velvet Goldmine and right on stage. Uni also features the other collaborator from The GOASTT (and Sean Lennon’s better half), Charlotte Kemp Muhl. If you like the Ziggy Stardust era of David Bowie, then this is your jam.
Claypool Lennon Delirium kicked off their set with an incredible cover of Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine.” Sean Lennon’s amazing guitar skills and wonderful singing were something that many at the show were not expecting to witness. Next up was the song “Little Fishes” featuring Les Claypool’s signature style bass playing and vocal delivery. The crowd was locked in for the ride.
Claypool Lennon Delirium are on the road to promote their sophomore album, South of Reality. It lives up to the expectations you’d have of the duo. However, they seem to have let the songs breathe more. They’re longer and more psychedelic than their debut album. Their performance took the audience of trip, along with some covers to show off their influences.
One of the show’s highlights was the in between song banter between Sean and Les. They really have great chemistry. We also learned that the average elephant weighs the same amount as a Blue Whale’s tongue. So… ya know, if you ever needed to know that, you can thank Les Claypool.
Closing out the main set, the crowd was in a daze until the familiar drum pattern to “Tomorrow Never Knows” a classic by The Beatles. Once Sean Lennon sung his father’s words “Turn off your mind and float downstream…” the crowd went nuts. Surely somewhere John Lennon was smiling.