by Jeff Niesel
At the start of last night’s hour-long show at the Beachland Tavern, singer-guitarist Holly Golightly said that she and the Brokeoffs (her one man backing “band” Lawyer Dave) were happy to be back in Cleveland. “It’s so nice to be here compared to some of the places we played,” she said. (She would later go into detail about how she recently got into an argument with some fans in Toledo.) But her comfort level last was so high, in fact, that she and Lawyer Dave practically treated the show like a rehearsal. Not that there was anything wrong with that. Given that they were playing to a crowd of about 30, it made sense that they’d take a casual and light-hearted approach to the show.
Early in the set, they introduced “My 45” as a song about “domestic violence” but followed that opening statement up by promising “there will be something for everyone” over the course of the night. “We don’t have anything for Mitt Romney,” Lawyer Dave quipped in response. “You guys must so sick of that dude.” “Time to Go,” a song they introduced as a tune about a runaway train, was a harsher sounding garage blues number that still managed to come off like it was a traditional number. In fact, that was the duo’s real strength. As Lawyer Dave sat and played guitar while thumping away at a drum kit with his feet, Golightly stood by his side and played guitar. The simple set worked beautifully. “Escalator,” a song they said was for “the kids,” had real pop appeal, and the duo ended the set with the sardonic “Gettin’ High for Jesus.” The “psychedelic medley” that they performed for the encore had a real edge to it as the old-timey dirge that featured slide guitar provided an appropriate summation of their sound.
A Cincinnati guy who now lives in New York, singer-songwriter Daniel Wayne opened with a set of material that showcased his Jeff Buckley-like voice. While the guy tended to be long-winded when introducing his songs, he won the audience over with his down-home charm and good-natured enthusiasm.