Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.


Peabody's DownUnder

with Drums and Tuba
Peabody's DownUnder
February 5

If it were possible to measure the buzz on the street regarding the funk/jam band Galactic, the meter was definitely pegged Saturday night at Peabody's DownUnder. An unusually long line stretched in front of the club prior to the start of Galactic's set. Packed to the rafters with carefree Deadheads (complete with bootlegging tape recorder/DAT machine microphones towering over the crowd) and the West Sixth crowd slumming for the night, this New Orleans band's show was the one to see -- and the long line and crowded confines of the club even drove some patrons away.

Galactic's appeal stems from its heavy funk and acid jazz -- searing sax notes connected with the dancing-in-place audience -- and just as with a Dead show, those with rhythm need not apply. Equal parts Traffic, Grateful Dead, and your flavor-of-the-month granola band, Galactic was all about exploring the moment through drum solos, bluesy guitar tones, funked-up grooves, thick organ sounds, and jazzy sax textures. From the opening number, Galactic had the crowd on cruise control, riding its instrumental, improvisational waves, and proved, for the moment, that vocals were unnecessary to get a full groove on. That changed with the introduction of singer Theryl "Houseman" de Clouet, who provided the Motown soul (raspy, emotional vocals) as the tight-knit backing band toned down its delivery and instead played a steady mix of wah-wah guitars, vibrant saxophone, and precise bass. The band tapered its jams to give de Clouet time in the spotlight (although it actually took the person running the lights a few songs to provide him with the literal spotlight). And yet, the vocals weren't really necessary -- the audience was already primed and enjoying the jams; de Clouet's appearance and lyrics (elementary at times) neither added to nor subtracted from the overall feel of the show. Maybe establishing his presence earlier would have dispelled the awkwardness. More important, it was good to see Clevelanders turn out to support a band that's not classic rock. Look for Galactic's next Northeast Ohio show to be at a larger venue.

Openers Drums and Tuba (when's the last time a tuba was played in Peabody's?) created amazing ambiance with their unique, technologically advanced, trance-like set that was heavy on effects (guitar and brass), sampling, and ambiguous sounds. Interestingly, it appeared as if certain horn and guitar riffs were sampled live onstage. However absorbing, the set became repetitive, but the band still gets an A for effort and ingenuity. -- John Benson

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Latest in Livewire

More by John Benson

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • The Temptations and the Four Tops @ MGM Northfield Park

    • Sun., Nov. 28
  • Songs of the Polka King Release Party with Joey Miskulin & the KTB @ Beachland Ballroom

    • Sun., Nov. 28
  • Jokes on You @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Last Sunday of every month

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation