Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

CopE, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Skipper’s Smokehouse 04.05.14

Captain Mark Glenn and the CopE boys have this ingenious formula. They book a Friday or Saturday night at Skipper’s Smokehouse, and then they invite another band to join the bill. The formula works whether they bring in an up-and-coming talent such as Future Vintage, or established Florida heavyweights such as the Heavy Pets, or regional acts on the verge of national recognition such as Big Something. It doesn’t seem to matter; the formula is foolproof. Great, wonderful things unfold every time.

And the magic happened again when CopE invited Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, a powerful funk machine from Baltimore, to join them during PPPP’s swing through Florida. Maybe they connected at AURA in February, when PPPP braved the winter blizzard to make it through the slush and mess to get to the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park, where they and CopE both turned in monster sets. PPPP had just torn the roof off the Dunedin Brewery, survivors reported, two days previously.
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Pigeons refer to themselves as “high-energy psychedelic funk” and “funk, rock, electronic ENERGY.” No argument from me. All members of the quartet sing, although lead vocals fall to exuberant front man Greg Ormont. It is impossible not to watch him dance and sing and play guitar and carry on. Meanwhile, Jeremy Schon was taking most of the guitar solos, drenched in funk. And no band, and especially no funk outfit, would survive without the strong rhythm backbone, here provided by bassist Ben Carrey and Dan Schwartz on drums.

And the knowledgeable CopE fans always express their great appreciation for CopE’s guests. PPPP really revved up the crowd, with the love clearly going both directions.

I think that the CopE boys love this situation. They thrive on having everybody already pumped up to near-fever pitch before they hit the stage. As always, CopE entered the freeway at about 75 miles per hour and then floored it. Their catalog is pretty deep now, and they can go so many directions, not to mention unexpected covers and breakouts.

And just when it seemed that the evening couldn’t get any better, CopE invited the Pigeons onstage to help send “Shakedown Street” through the roof (OK, the Skipperdome has no roof, but you know what I mean).

It’s not a secret formula, and I hope they never stop using it!


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