Sideshow Prophets headline First Friday event in Pretzel Park

The Sideshow Prophets will take to Pretzel Park’s main stage in Manayunk tonight for this month’s installment of the neighborhood’s First Friday Concert Series.

Based in Philadelphia, the Sideshow Prophets is a seven-piece “punk-rock rhythm-n-blues band” with more than a decade in the industry. They’re said to be all over the stylistic map, citing influences that range from 40’s rhythm-n-blues, 50′s rebel rock and roll, 60’s soul, and the punk “attitude” of the 70s.

Their sound? “A soul-siren and a whisky-soaked gravel blend for dual vocals, as if Tina dumped Ike and hooked up with Howlin’ Wolf only to adopt the bastard children of the MG’s and the MC5 as their own,” according to the band.

They’ll play their genre-bending sound tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. in Pretzel Park, located in Manayunk at the intersection of Cotton and Cresson streets. The show is free to the public.

“Bring your date, bring your dinner, bring your dog,” said the Sideshow Prophets, “but whatever you do, bring something to hang on to!”

Continuing the momentum 

Coinciding with First Friday events held on Main Street and across the city, the monthly concerts in Pretzel Park began in May of this year and run through September. The series is supported by Friends of Pretzel Park, the Manayunk Neighborhood Council and the Manayunk Development Corporation, with additional monies coming from the Philadelphia Activities Fund and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Friends of Pretzel Park member Dave Bass told Newsworks earlier this year that local civic leaders suggested Pretzel Park as an ideal site for concerts and community-building.

“For about two years,” he said, “(we) staged a few park events that turned out well and suggested the potential for a program with more events.”

The result was twofold: the formation of a strong park-based volunteer organization, as well as the Pretzel Park concert series, which Bass referred to as a “worthy achievement.”

As for the response, Kevin Smith, president of the Manayunk Neighborhood Council, said that the response so far from crowds has been great, with strong turnouts for each of the concerts.

He’s optimistic about the future of Pretzel Park concerts.

“If we can repeat this every year, and get on people’s radar screens,” said Smith, “we can really develop this series.”

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