Atlanta-based garage-rock veterans the Woggles bring their high-energy mix of R&B, surf and fuzzed-out proto punk influences to the stage at the Bottom of the Hill Tuesday night.
Formed in 1987 by lead singer Manfred Jones (aka the Mighty Manfred, aka the Professor), the group has gone through a wide variety of line-ups over 35+ years, but has managed to stay relevant thanks to Manfred's spirited onstage antics and raspy vocal delivery. After releasing a series of singles, the band was signed to noted Northwestern garage-rock imprint Estrus Records for their debut full-length Teen Dance Party in 1993 that showcased the Woggles feral take on vintage sounds.
Estrus would later put out a collection compiling the band's early singles -- The Zontar Sessions -- the following year. The Woggles would continue to have a fluctuating membership, but their line-up settled as they hit the the decade mark with guitarist Montague (aka George Montague Holton III), bassist Buzz Hagstrom (Patrick O'Connor) and drummer Dan Electro (Dan Hall) for Get Tough!, the first of several albums for Telstar Records.
The band suffered a loss in 2003 when Montague died from health issued connected with diabetes. His place would be filled by Jeff Walls (ex-Guadalcanal Diary and Hillbilly Frankenstein) who had previously produced recording sessions for the band, taking on the stage moniker Flesh Hammer. The band earned an important backer in Bruce Springsteen guitarist Steven Van Zandt, who played the band on his syndicated radio show and eventually signed them to his Wicked Cool Record Co. label.
The Woggles have since released four albums through the imprint as well as a number of singles and EPs. The band was dealt another blow when Walls was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, passing away in 2019. Soldiering on with a number of fill-in guitar players including Graham Day (The Prisoners, Solar Flares, Thee Mighty Caesars) and Shane Pringle (Tiger! Tiger!, Bad Spell), the Woggles released the tribute single "Flesh Hammer," written by and recorded with talented Schizophonics guitarist Pat Beers, who will be playing with the band on their current run of West Coast dates.
For this Tuesday show at the Bottom of the Hill co-presented by DJ Sid Presley (who will be playing records before and between bands), the Woggles will be joined by local frat-rock reprobates the Boars. Powered by the Farfisa organ and sneering lead vocals of singer/keyboardist Lars Nylander -- who also has played trombone with Bay Area ska bands Skankin' Pickle and the Impalers as well as garage-surf band the Vulcaneers -- and the crunchy guitar riffs of Jeff Glave (The Sermon, The Fells, Control Freaks and many others), the quartet recently released Outta Our Nest, a compilation of demos, singles and other unhinged detritus. Opening North Bay garage rockers the Ific are a ferocious band that includes singer and vocalist Jeff Jewhurst (who played with '90s SF outfit the Clarke Nova) and current bassist Shane VanDyke, who was a member of LA instrumental surf crew the Bomboras and garage rockers the Legendary Invisible Men. While the band has been around for several years, they only put out their first single in January. The Woggles also play the Torch Club's Xmas party in Sacramento the following night.
The Woggles with the Boars and the Ific
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m. $15-$18
The Bottom of the Hill
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