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Agnostic Phibes Rhythm and Blood Conspiracy combine dirty blues with horrorshow punk

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What do you get when you cross laid back folk fun of the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir and the up-beat, high octane weirdness of Callgary’s horror rockers Forbidden Dimension?  Find out when The Agnostic Phibes Rhythm and Blood Conspiracy play the Slice, Dec. 10.Jackson Tom Bagley Phibes playing with Forbidden Dimension. Photo by Richard Amery

 While  the two disparate styles seem like an odd mix, Bob Keelaghan from the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir and Jackson “Tom Bagley ” Phibes from Forbidden Dimension plus Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir bassist Vlad Sobolewski and drummer Jay Woolley work really well together.

The band started as an idea between Phibes and Keelaghan as Phibes expressed interest playing folk festivals and writing a few murder ballads together.

“ We were a talking and asked each other “what if we did a record together,’” Keelaghan said.

“ Over the next  couple years we kept running into each other and saying ‘ that’s cool idea.’ A year and half ago Judd (Palmer, banjo player, low slide guitar and vocalist) decided to take an extended hiatus from the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, and we finally had the time to do this album, Campfire Tales,” he said.

 While the CD has just barely been released, CKUA has embraced the new “supergroup,” featuring them on their TV show.

“ It hasn’t been out long enough for us to see how people are responding to it,” Keelaghan continued.
“But the people who have heard it seem to like it.”
The CD combines a lot of the different styles and sounds of the two bands, combining the imaginative, spooky , fantastical and horror movie inspired subject mattter and garage  rock/ punk of Forbidden Dimension with the storytelling of the dark, traditional blues and country musicians who influence Keelaghan and the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir.

“It’s more traditional storytelling as opposed to being about people getting their heads cut off,” Keelaghan said adding there are murder ballads,  as that is what inspired them to form a band in the first place.

“Tom has a very active imagination,” he said abserving Phibes draws a lot of inspiration from folklore while Keelaghan himself is more inspired by things happening in the real world.

Keelaghan didn’t know how much touring they will do in support of the new CD, as Phibes als released a new Forbidden Dimension record.

“Tom’s not really a touring guy, but we have discussed touring,” Keelaghan continued adding they will  follow the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Mountain  Choir’s touring philospohy.

“We’ll tour when people want to hear us. We’d rather do that than just tour and lose a whole bunch of money,” he said.
 He is enjoying working with Phibes.

“Tom is a really funny guy,” he said.
“So we’ve been able to meld  the two different styles of the bands. And Tom is a very creative person. He comes up with all of these interesting musical ideas,” he said adding the CD came out far better than he expected it to.

“It came out far better than I expected it to. I don’t know what it is, but it impressed me,” he said adding he is looking forward to bringing the  music to Lethbridge.

“ In Lethbridge  it’s probably going to be a  good night of the most weirdly disturbing music that will make you feel good,” Keelaghan said. “It’s a fun record,” he said.

 There is a $15 cover for the show which includes Red Rum Triumph, a new project featuring Kelsey Jesperson and Steve Foord.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 December 2011 12:29 )  
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