The Beauvilles, from the seedy night club and smuggling port city of Ybor, Tampa have had a tumultuous year, releasing a record entitled Whispering Sin, that found them traveling across country to headline at the famed SXSW music festival to capacity crowds. Mentions in Rolling Stone, Alt Weeklies and multiple festival shows followed, performing at Harvest of Hope with The National, Against Me! and Girl Talk, packed sweaty rock shows at Miami’s Vagabond, a return to Austin for ACL Fest, and an upcoming spot at NYC’s CMJ Music Festival have been highlights. But don’t let the dapper dress and recent luck fool you; this band has been criss-crossing the country for years in ragged tour vans and still rely on incendiary live shows mixing T-Rex with vintage Americana and the swagger of Exile-era Rolling Stones and have a penchant for smashed guitars and the occasional drunken on stage brawl.
A much hyped house group at the quickly becoming legendary Bardot, and a new favorite of our downtown indie club, the Vagabond .
“I stood mouth agape. The performance hit hard. It made me smile, temporarily forget the crowded room, the cold beer in my hand, my lit cigarette. Tampa’s The Beauvilles blew me away with a rock ‘n’ roll moment that was so fierce and effective that one audience member wondered aloud if maybe it was contrived.
It wasn’t. It could not have been. I saw the dude’s face after he was thrown off stage into the audience.
Here’s what happened. Last Saturday, the local-music support group BAAMO threw a rock party at Dave’s Aqua Lounge in St. Petersburg called Send-Off: One for the Road — Take 2. The goal of the show was to raise cash for the six Bay area acts selected to perform in Austin, Texas, at the Fifth Annual Florida Bandango. The gig is scheduled for March 14 at the city’s popular Yard Dog Folk Art Gallery on the eve of the massive South By Southwest Music Conference.
I wasn’t expecting any of the acts to let it all hang out and play as if they had something to prove. After all, each one had already been handpicked to represent in Austin. But a funny thing happened when The Beauvilles took the stage around 10 p.m.
The band’s first song was a crunchy rock number, but something was amiss. Lead singer/guitarist Shawn Kyle Beauville kept eyeing relatively new second guitarist Christopher Tolan with suspicion. At song’s end, Beauville draped his skinny arm around the guy’s neck and apparently gave him the Fredo kiss of death. Tolan was then thrown off the stage into the audience, which thankfully caught him.
But that’s not the story. The story is how the Beauvilles soldiered on as an incendiary power trio, with stand-up bassist Randy Lee, drummer Craig Holmes and especially Beauville playing like men on the firing line. Beauville stalked the stage as he sang seething lines about red lips, nightclub waitresses and other forms of rock ‘n’ roll indulgence. When it came time for a guitar solo, he had to stoop down and adjust the effects pedals with his hands. When he arose, he spewed a flurry of noise that spoke volumes about how much steam a man can let off during a rock performance if he is truly pissed and intent on peacocking for all to see.
Luckily, it wasn’t a rock band that had to follow The Beauvilles.”
“With a kickin’ live show and incendiary guitar performances, The Beauvilles hail from Florida, playing a straightforward yet energized rock and roll that’ll appeal to fans of the Afghan Whigs, The Who and Exile on Main St.-era Stones. A recommended show.”
Looking Forward to the Beauvilles
from volume 02 issue 03 // by Abigail Susik
“If people start throwing things and something weird happens, or if anybody starts levitating — we can keep that off record,” Shawn Kyle enunciates into the recorder as he slides into the booth at The Garden.
“The Beauvilles drag a mysterious reputation in their wake. All sorts of bizarre things seem to happen when they’re around. To this accusation, they attest absolute innocence.
For the past six months the band has sequestered themselves from the rest of the world while delving into the recording process for their first full-length album — which, despite being nearly complete, remains nameless.
“Before this, I’d be out every night of the week staggering around somewhere with somebody having a silly time and causing trouble,” says Shawn. “Either here or Atlanta or Gainesville or Minneapolis or wherever. … For the last six months I’ve been pretty much locked up recording, and we’ve tried not to be affected, tried not to pollute this process.”
The Beauvilles have been anything but cloistered since their inception six years ago. A local band that has achieved a regional reputation, The Beauvilles have toured across the country several times, taking on the SXSW conference in Austin last year and the Nemo Music Festival in Boston this year. In 2004, The Beauvilles released their first EP, Singapore, which, with its unabashedly catchy rock tunes, quickly sold out. Probing far into the dusty reaches of their proverbial vinyl collection, Singapore channeled influences as far flung as Hendrix and the Doors to Stravinsky and Cage. As a result of this effort, The Beauvilles were one of six unsigned Florida groups chosen out of a few thousand to compete in the NARAS/Grammy showcase in Miami in 2005, where they impressed record magnates enough to score the title of runners up for the 10,000 prize.
So, with all the success and experience, why a case of the nerves before a gig?
“If you go through what it actually takes to try to release a valid body of music, in the current state affairs in the record industry,” explains Shawn, “if you go through what it takes to make the music, create the music, produce the music, record the music, press the music, to make it into a product for other people to take with them, even if they live on the other side of the world … and then to try to be honest about the entire process, you’re bound to go fucking crazy.”
“And you have to, because the only other way around is to be a liar,” Shawn continues. “And I’d rather get frustrated and have my ass kicked all over my country in a tour van, sleeping on fucking floors and eating canned beans and pineapple, than play music that I don’t mean.”
“I’m sorry. I’m getting a little excited,” he says.
And perhaps it is the jittery feeling of anticipation that prevails in the mood of The Beauvilles on this particular evening. Despite their past reputation as a highly image conscious and media savvy band, it appears as if art, in fact, more than any other pursuit, was the main order of the day when they set out to record. This is a point on which The Beauvilles won’t compromise.
“I’m singing about horrible and gorgeous things, about every single thing that really matters,” says Shawn. “We’re talking about crap that if I still went to church, I wouldn’t confess it. But I’m doing it up on stage in front of hundreds of people, occasionally thousands of people. If you’re going to get up there and say that kind of thing, you better mean what the hell you say.”
When conversing about their new material, all of The Beauvilles bandy around ideological words like “intent,” “integrity,” “truth” — even “hope.”
“Hopefully people appreciate it, and enjoy it and identify with it,” says Shawn. “Maybe it resonates with them or means something to them, and that’s all you can really hope.”
Indeed, The Beauvilles have much to look forward to.
“I’m excited,” says Craig, still huddling over his glowing candle. “More excited than I’ve ever been.”
Savannah GA show review
“Though the house isn’t exactly crowded when The Beauvilles take the stage, it is by their third song. Among the throng are every single person they met at the radio station, and several drunken screamers; Kyle matches wits with the loudest of them between flawless, energetically rendered tunes.
The patrons eat everything up, from Kyle’s now slightly tour-ragged melodies to the drummer’s tight, frequent and completely over-the-top drum fills and John Barker trying to dismantle the stage with his boots. The set ends with Kyle atop the kick drum, guitar neck skyward, as the drummer circles his kit pounding the cymbals into oblivion.
And the crowd, as they say, goes wild…”
Their story: Mentions in Rolling Stone and other national media outlets, a headlining set this weekend at South by Southwest — all of it was a long time coming for one of Tampa’s most hard-working bands, the Beauvilles, a majestic, intense and dynamic rock band with no convenient comparisons or gimmicks, just the artistic vision of frontman Shawn Kyle.
The goods: Click here to listen to the Beauvilles’ single Snow. And keep reading for the full story on how Kyle went from lounge lizard to roots rocker to alt-glam hero…
Mentions in Rolling Stone and other national media outlets, a headlining set this weekend at South by Southwest — all of it was a long time coming for one of Tampa’s most hard-working bands.
“The last 12 months have been very intense,” Beauvilles frontman Shawn Kyle says. “A year ago, I was not sure if I could keep doing this, not sure if I could emotionally finish our new record, Whispering Sin. Since then, the record sold out of its first pressing.”
In the beginning, the Kyle’s identity wasn’t clearly defined. Kyle’s bands started out around the turn of the century, playing underground art warehouse parties, wearing velvet jackets and wooing Bettie Page girls.
Regardless, Kyle was a tireless perfectionist and went on long, brutal tours.
Fast forward to the middle of the decade, and the Beauvilles evolved into the group we have now: a majestic, intense and dynamic rock band with no convenient comparisons or gimmicks, just the artistic vision of Kyle leading the group.
(Debut Album)Whispering Sin’s powerful oomph, teeming urgency and rhapsodic heartbreak finally showcased the Shawn Kyle who needed to bust out and find his proper outlet.
The band worked around the clock recording, touring and promoting the CD. A slick music video for the single Snow, sporting the gravitas of a firing brigade and starring a cigarette-drooping Kyle, got airtime on MTVU and other cable channels.
“We did a couple southeastern tours,” Kyle says, “did some opening dates for the Drive-By Truckers, were invited as an official artist to SXSW in Austin Texas, did another tour to D.C. and back, and we just played the Harvest of Hope Festival with Against Me!, the National and Girl Talk. It was pure madness… now we have been asked to perform during CMJ in New York and at ACL in Austin. I don’t think I will ever sleep again.”
Joran Oppelt – Creative Loafing
March 22nd 2009
The Beauvilles‘ 6 p.m. headlining showcase at B.D. Riley’s had gotten moved, and I was well on track to at least making an appearance at the rescheduled rooftop show at The Wave. Creative Loafing was the official band sponsor, so I at least needed to show up and buy a couple drinks.
The Wave was a small little surfer club of a bar, and you had to force your way to the back of the room, then squeeze between the sound board and the left side of the stage in order to access the stairway to the second level. This level was also standing room only, and I was greeted upstairs by none other than Shawn Beauville himself.
“You’re just in time to see the band from New Zealand with a #1 single that just got signed to Warner Brothers,” he said.
I actually couldn’t tell at first whether he was being sarcastic, but after Midnight Youth played their first song, it was obvious to everyone that these guys were tight as hell (If you can imagine a cross between Spacehog and Night Ranger). Yeah, maybe not the greatest example, but you have to give their new single, “All on Our Own,” at least one listen.
The Florida boys were under some palpable pressure to follow up with a really strong performance and it didn’t help that the patio was so small that the sound man ordered everyone ”away from the stage” to do the changeover. Once in position, Shawn wasted no time, immediately taking control of the sound check, and starting to get everyone back into the room for the impending rock show. Before they began, Shawn leaned down to hand me his camera and said, “We’re going to wreck shit.”
And wreck it they did.
The sound carried off the roof and filled 6th Street. Shawn snarled lyrics into the mic about Ybor City and Tampa cab rides, and girls in cowboy boots and sundresses screamed right back at him. The guys in the crowd were banging their heads with half-closed eyes. Shawn offered CDs to the crowd for donations, but the dancefloor was so tight that we had to form an assembly line of money to the front of the stage and an assembly line of CDs back out to the crowd. Eventually, as Shawn was off tangled in cables atop the kick drum, soloing with a bottle of Lone Star as a guitar slide, bassist John Barker yelled, “Fuck it,” and handed the entire box of discs to the girls in the front row, who proceeded to fling them into the screaming crowd, who all dove and fought for the discs as if they were candy. I wondered where the rest of the Creative Loafing and Media people were at, but found out the next morning that the CL folks and even the B.A.A.M.O. crew couldn’t even use their industry badges to get in because the fire marshall stopped letting people into the building due to it being so over capacity.
When the show was over, the sweat-drenched band signed autographs and took photos with the crowd until the last-call lights came on. As I started to finally make my way towards the exit, I heard one of the band members say, “Best. Set. Ever.”
Published March 22nd 2009
As intoxicating as the first time you heard rock and roll, and led by an equally charismatic and possessed singer guitarist, this group has drawn comparisons to the dead 70’s rock icons, while still breaking out into new experimental pop, psychedelic and Americana territories. After all this, they will challenge you to a whiskey drinking contest, and usually seem to win. With incendiary live performances the Beauvilles have become a fixture in regional press and a choice opener and support act for touring bands. Recently the Beauvilles have shared stages and tour dates with: Drive By Truckers, the Black Angels, Jason Isbell, the Warlocks, the National, Broken Social Scene, the Porcupine Tree, John Langford (Mekons / Waco Bros.), Okkervil River, the Diamond Nights, the Electric Six, Jon Doe (of X), Castanets, Alejandro Escovedo, the Whigs, Dead Confederate, Centro-Matic, and various other regional and national acts on multi-billed events. The band will be performing at the Harvest of Hope festival in March 2009 with the National, Broken Social Scene, Bad Brains, Propaghandi, Against Me! and many others. The group has been confirmed as an official showcasing artist at SXSW 2009.
S.K.I.N. Interview with the Beauvilles by Leah Connoly
The Beauvilles are living an indie legend… from Florida and New York to Paris and Japan. They’ve been featured on radio stations across the country, played Grammy and SXSW showcases, graced covers of magazines and been mentioned in Rolling Stone. What really matters though is that they are a tight group of true musicians that perform for the love of it. Shawn Kyle Beauville says that “We all have to believe in something, and I believe in rock and roll music. Real, raw honest vibrant explosive passionate loud and exalting music. I am willing to give my life for this music.”
Last year, they were busking in the streets of Austin during the SXSW music festival and a writer for the New York Times stopped them with… “So this music is damn good, why the hell are you playing on the street?” Shawn answered perfectly “Because we’re real musicians, we play music to play music for the sake of it whether or not people are watching or if we’re on a stage…what else would we be doing?”
“…So this music is damn good, why the hell are you playing on the street?” I ask.
The singers answer was so brash it took me aback.
“Because we’re real musicians, we play music to play music for the sake of it whether or not people are watching or if we’re on a stage…what else would we be doing?”