I don’t mind telling you, it was with some trepidation that I went out to see Here Come the Mummies last Thursday night. And not just because they were playing at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip, which is easily my least favorite part of Los Angeles. The strip used to be sleazy/cool, still hungover from its hair metal heyday. Now it’s sleazy/lame, filled with marauding gangs of douchebags in Ed Hardy shirts and semi-homeless ex-reality TV stars chain smoking outside SkyBar. They’ve really let the place go.
No, the main reason I was afraid to see Here Come the Mummies was because, frankly, I feared they might suck. Songs like “Freak Flag” and “Everlasting Party” are fun the first couple times you hear them, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that underneath the bandages and facepaint lurks a group of dudes who aren’t too far removed from playing “Brick House” at weddings in rented tuxes.
Well, I needn’t have worried. Though there’s a definite layer of cheese to the Mummies, and their fans mostly have less hair than actual mummies (seriously, usually when you see that many middle-aged white people in Los Angeles in one place, someone’s handing out Emmys), they are great musicians and their show was tighter than, well, mummy skin. Four songs in and I was sold. Eleven songs in, when they broke out a track called “Booty,” and the chubby tenor sax player with the dreads starting busting out some serious hip-thrusting dance moves, I was awkwardly hip-thrusting with all the other middle-aged white folks.
The photos pretty much speak for themselves, but I’ll note a few details that my crappy iPhone camera wasn’t quite able to capture. They entered conga-line-style through the audience. Their percussionist, Java, broke out everything from a tricycle to the infamous Cowbelt to get the crowd involved. There were synchronized dance moves, jackal statues with red LED eyes, a keytar solo or two, and an audience participation dance called the “Fenk Shui.” (And yes, I participated. Trust me, you would’ve, too.) Oh, and their horn section killed. Even the obligatory flute solo had soul.
So I’m sorry I ever doubted you, Mummies! You are indeed the funkiest undead band in the land. Now can you send a plague of locusts or something to get rid of all the Ed Hardy tools taking up valuable sidewalk space on Sunset?
By the way, here are the rest of HCTM’s tour dates. If you live anywhere in the middle part of the country, you should really go see them. They will make you awkwardly hip-thrust with wild, gleeful abandon.