A blast from Tacoma’s musical past returns for a special show this weekend. Little Stranger will do a reunion show, only their second performance in the past 16 years.
The band consists of Bob Hill on guitar and vocals, Pat Boyle on guitar and vocals, Charlie Mayberry on bass and Scott Warfield on drums. The group formed in 1988 and disbanded in 1996. Among the venues they played were Prosito’s on 6th Avenue and U.P. Station in University Place.
Little Stranger played a style of music that came to be known as alt/country. Everything they played was original material. Mayberry said they wanted to break away from the Top 40 that was common in the club scene at the time. “We saw no reason to play other people’s stuff.”
They released their self-titled, debut album in 1989. They recorded a follow-up, which was never released.
Hill wrote about two-thirds of their material. Boyle wrote the rest. Warfield is still amazed at Hill’s creativity. “He is an amazing songwriter,” he remarked. “He would show up at each rehearsal with three new songs.”
The band broke up after spending 10 months recording their second album. Warfield said the band members did not care for half of the songs. He said the producer was pushing them to sound like the Eagles. “We were just sick of it,” Boyle recalled.
Prior to the breakup, Hill got involved in another endeavor that took up much of his time. He and some business partners opened the Swiss Pub.
The band last got together in 2004 for a reunion show at Jazzbones.
They will perform again on June 30 at the New Frontier Lounge. Mayberry has been playing the Sunday bluegrass shows at the venue. “It is a great room,” he remarked. “It will be a great show. I am looking forward to it.”
Opening the show at 9 p.m. will be Twang Junkies, of which Boyle and Warfield are members. Next up is Northwest Rivals. This brings together members of the Rangehoods and the Heats. Warfield noted the name refers to the rivalry the two bands used to have in the local club scene. Little Stranger often did shows with the Rangehoods. “This is a natural for us,” he said of the bands set to the play the New Frontier.
Little Stranger began rehearsing for this show three weeks ago. “It is like riding a bike,” Warfield said.