This was like a Ramones influenced pop-punk wet dream come true. When I first saw that the Mean Jeans and Kepi Ghoulie were coming around to Philly’s Golden Tea House (the best spot in Philly right now for house shows), I was beyond stoked, but I just thought that Kepi Ghoulie was doing his solo acoustic stuff. When I found out Kepi was doing a Groovie Ghoulies set with the Mean Jeans as the backing band, I knew I needed to be at this show no matter what.
My girlfriend and I arrived at The Golden Tea house a bit early, and got there as Dark Thoughts was setting up.
First up were Philadelphia’s three piece Dark Thoughts. Playing straight forward Ramones influenced punk rock, Dark Thoughts put on an entertaining show and definitely have me listening to their 4 song Demo. They’re a newer band, so be on the lookout for upcoming recordings and any shows. It’s definitely a fun set.
I love the Groovie Ghoulies, and have been listening to them ever since I saw them play live about a decade ago. Besides being at it since 1983, The Groovie Ghoulies finally called it a day 7 years ago with an impressive discography and with Kepi Ghoulie going on to record some solo stuff. Like I said in the intro, I originally assumed that Kepi was going to be playing those songs, but instead he announced he would be doing a Groovie Ghoulies set with the Mean Jeans playing…fuck yes.
Opening up with Devil Town, the kitchen space immediately erupted with some of us pogoing and singing along. Kepi and crew didn’t let up as balloons were being thrown around, beer being spilled everywhere, and all around a giant party was happening. Kepi was definitely feeding off the crowd’s energy, and keeping things in high spirits while taking cover requests on the spot (Moto’s Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance To The Radio) and cracking jokes about how old he is (“this is a song that Kepi wrote 75 years ago”).
They played an incredibly solid and fun set, and while I think this was a one-off tour, I really hope he comes back around playing Groovie Ghoulie songs soon. Those songs are just too fantastic and fun to not be heard live… preferably in someone’s kitchen.
Bye Bye Brain
(She’s My) Vampire Girl
Ghoulies Are Go!
(She’s Got A) Brain ScramblingI Wanna Have Fun
Lonely Hearts Blues
She Gets All The Girls
School Is In
Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance To The Radio (M.O.T.O cover)
A New England (Billy Bragg cover)
Beast With Five Hands
After they finished up Kepi’s set, Portland’s Mean Jeans took a little break before coming back to do a set of their own. They carried the momentum of the last set over, and opening with “Born On A Saturday Night” had the crowd immediately dancing in the small kitchen as neon pink streamers were being thrown all over the place (seriously, I left the place covered in sweat, beer, and streamers).
Teasing the crowd and asking if we wanted to hear a Cranberries cover or a Red Hot Chili Peppers one, they would play the opening riff to Zombie before blasting into their own song, and then doing the same with some RHCP songs.
Playing a set with plenty off of their 7 inches and their debut LP, they had Kepi come back to do a cover of The Ramones “Swallow My Pride”. Afterwards Kepi requested “Pogo B4 You Go Go” to which he made sure to party with the crowd and pogo the entire time before the Mean Jeans called it a night. Easily one of the most fun house shows I’ve been to in a while, and definitely one of the most fun shows I’ve been to this year.
Setlist (incomplete, not in order):
Born On A Saturday Night
Steve Don’t Party No More
Stoned To The Bone
Swallow My Pride (Ramones Cover)
Le’ts Pogo B4 You Gogo