Periodically, a new music genre comes along that is a precision split of what it claims to be. Think conjunto punk or rap metal. The former can be pretty good (Piñata Protest), and the latter requires hormonal discharge of the pubescent degree (Linkin Park). Somewhere in the middle of all that is San Antonio’s Glambilly. That’s right, the genre and the band name are one here. On December 10, bassist/frontman/walking-homage-to-all-things-Aquanet Hans Frank took the Limelight stage with his newest lineup to play his brand of boogie new wave.

Glambilly are a campy good time, even when the entire band isn’t in on the joke. Frank looked like a clean, sober, and well-built Scott Weiland in pinstripes and a silk tie. On the other hand, guitarist Buck Fever sported a black dress shirt and what may have been a Members Only jacket. But the band kept it tight mostly and were loose when necessary. Frank’s songs maintain low pretensions, combining the simple structures of Chubby Checker-era rock ‘n’ roll with the deviousness of glam rock. He anchors most tunes with his warbly bass and semi-sleazy lyrics. “She looked old enough so I bought her a drink,” Frank sang on “How I Got To Texas.” He inevitably name-dropped the Holiday Inn.

It may have been a little early in the night for Glambilly. The crowd was a decent size and a group of sumptuous Latinas subtly shook their hips and sipped their beers front and center. No one was cutting loose though, not even at 12:30 a.m. when most patrons were probably on their sixth PBR. Regardless, Glambilly tried to fire up the crowd. Fever took solo after tasty solo, as Frank engaged in all the antics the tiny Limelight stage would allow. More than twice he walked into the crowd and simply lay down while Fever shredded. On keyboard-driven tunes like “Red Hot” and “The Sloppy,” Frank pounded the black keys with his knuckles, evoking Little Richard in body language if not actual voice. Meanwhile, drummer Tony Gloria beat his kit like it owed him money, while shifting from surf to arena to country rock seamlessly.

What was going on here? It was Friday night at Limelight, where around five of the beers are $2 and bright light is only in moderate supply. “God loves you when you dance,” Frank urged. Only some of the crowd got the message. — Adam Coronado


Dec. 10


Music + Drinks

2718 N. St. Mary’s St.

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