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Red and Eds, from basements to Yacht Club

BY NICK FETTY | FEBRUARY 19, 2009 7:51 AM

In the basement of a house on Lucas Street, three longtime friends rehearse for an upcoming show at venue they are quite familiar with.

After a couple hours of playing their newest tunes, the three seem ready for their performance tonight at the Yacht Club, where the group hasn’t played for more than a year.

“[The Yacht Club] is fun, because it’s the closest thing in town to a house show, and house shows are way more fun,” said Ed Hall, the band’s guitarist and lead vocalist.

The band Red and the Eds will play at the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., at 8 p.m. today. Tickets are $5.
The group will also play a show at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., on March 12 before playing at the Yacht Club again on March 17.



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The three members of Red and the Eds have been friends since junior high, but they didn’t form their current band until Hall moved back to Iowa City after living in England for a few years with his family. During his stint in Europe, the UI sophomore said, he briefly played with a Brit-pop group called the Wherewithal. His family stayed in England because of his father's job, so Hall lived with drummer Jeff Keyser and his family while the two attended City High, he said.

Before forming Red and the Eds, Josh Elvidge and Keyser were in a band called Mrs. Foster’s Box of Shame. The group played only one show consisting of four songs — three of which were Misfits covers — and on the fourth song, the guitarist broke a string and walked off stage. The other two continued playing but eventually followed suit.

Keyser’s drum teacher, Ed Nehring — who plays in the Iowa City band Los Marauders — attended the show and said it was one of the most punk shows he had seen from a local band.

While still in high school, Hall, Keyser, and bassist Elvidge formed a punk band called Punch-drunk Prom Queen with one other friend. Although the band never played a show, it was scheduled to play a gig at the Reverb in Cedar Falls. However, the show fell on a school night, and their mothers wouldn’t let them go.

The group went through several vocalists before Hall decided to sing. Inspiration for the name Red and Eds came from the band members; Hall’s first name is Ed, same as Keyser's middle name, and Elvidge has red hair.

The Pixies, Black Sabbath, and Iowa City’s Dead Larry are just a few of the band’s influences. The group experiments with its sound on different tracks with songs such as “Teacher” sounding like the Who and “Drink With Your Mother” reminiscent of the Dropkick Murphys.

The band has a 14-track album, Ball Sweat and Tears, and plans to release another after writing a few more songs.


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