Caravan of Thieves
Caravan of Thieves, a quartet from Connecticut, was introduced as “the personification of fun”— an entirely true statement. Playful and theatrical, Fuzz (vocals, guitars, percussion), Carrie (vocals, guitar, percussion), Dean (violin), and Brian (upright bass) all bring tremendous joviality to the stage. From falling to the ground and wiggling their legs in the air in faux ecstasy, to draping themselves over their instruments and wailing with pseudo-sadness, to hefting their instruments clear above their heads, Caravan of Thieves delivered plenty of surprises to the completely packed room at CSPS.
The band describes itself as “Gypsy Swinging Serenading Firebreathing Circus Freaks,” and it’s clear from their performance that they aren’t a clean-cut fit for any one genre. Their name, Caravan of Thieves, indeed suits them well. The band’s sound takes elements from traditional Celtic, Latin, and Afro-Cuban music and blends it with Stomp-inspired drums comprised of pots, pans, water jugs, and a seemingly precarious colander.
Rollicking acoustic guitar riffs, jaunty violin bowing, and lively bass plucking all combined to create a comical and highly spirited performance. Lyrics like “shim-sham-honey-bo-bo!” received grins and Fuzz repeatedly elicited raucous laughter with a single guitar strum. When they announced, “This is a song about addiction. Every band has to have a song about addiction. But ours is about candy!” the audience roared with delight.
Each band member was given multiple moments to highlight his or her impressive talents. As they enjoyed the spotlight, the rest of the band would clear off stage and let the musician wow the crowd with fast fingers and whirling melodies. During the second set, Dean was left on stage furiously bowing away when the rest of the band crept up behind him to scare him. He drew his bow back and accidently slammed it into Carrie’s nose. Dean continued playing while the rest of the band disappeared offstage. They reappeared minutes later to say that the show was unfortunately ending early so that they could take Carrie to the hospital. The band later announced via social media that Carrie’s nose was indeed broken. Theatricality turned into drama, and the audience was stunned. Their second visit to CSPS was certainly a performance to remember.