Salford Lads Club at Turner Hall Ballroom
Sahan Jayasuriya catches up with Marc Solheim to preview this Friday's benefit for the Pablove Foundation at Turner Hall, the Salford Lads Club.
Marc Solheim has been known for booking some of the finest shows Milwaukee has seen over the past decade. On Friday, however, Solheim will take a much less behind the scenes role on stage at Turner Hall Ballroom, serving as vocalist of the Smiths tribute band Salford Lads Club, who are performing as part of a benefit for the Pablove Foundation. We caught up with Marc where he filled us in on his love of the Smiths, the Pablove Foundation and some of the other performers at Friday’s benefit.
Marc Solheim: It’s really a once a year thing to raise money and awareness for The Pablove Foundation. And, well, frankly, it’s fun to play songs I have been listening to since I was a teen; I just hope we can do it justice! Plus, the event falls on/around my birthday and (Testa Rosa guitarist) Damien Strigens’ birthday, so it’s a great way to get friends together and raise money for a worthy cause.
SJ: To clarify, the Salford Lads Club lineup includes more than just the four core members of the Smiths, correct?
MS: Correct. It’s a hybrid of the very early Smiths that included Paul Carrack as a session player and the later years when the band was fleshed out to include a “Fifth Smith” in Craig Gannon. We currently only play songs from the Smiths and the very early songs from Morrissey’s solo career.
SJ: I understand that you have a tragic story involving missing the Smiths’ one and only Milwaukee show?
MS: Oh God, yes. I had tickets to see them at The PAC and my ride broke his foot running down a set of stairs to pick me up for the show. But I think I may have seen Morrissey my fair share during his solo career.
SJ: Any idea approximately how many times you’ve seen Morrissey?
MS: It’s been well over 50 times by now, but I’ve really lost count since the mid-nineties.
SJ: This Friday’s show is a benefit for the Pablove foundation. Could you explain a bit to our readers about Pablove and what they do?
MS: The Pablove Foundation funds pediatric cancer research and improvement of quality of life for children who are living with cancer. It was founded by a Milwaukeean and huge Smiths fan, Jeff Castelez and his wife Jo Ann Thrailkill after they lost their son Pablo to cancer in 2009. It’s a cause near and dear to my heart. There is nothing worse than defenseless children who are sick.
You can read more about it here: pablove.org/about/pablos-story
SJ: There’s two other bands appearing at the show as well — Testa Rosa covering the Pretenders and a hodgepodge of Milwaukee’s finest covering REM. What was your decision to keep with the ’80s indie theme?
MS: It just made sense. And honestly, we are all just friends that have similar taste in music. Past years have included tributes of the Misfits, Superdrag, and Joy Division. I’m very excited to see what Dan Didier (Maritime, The Promise Ring), Chris Rosenau (Volcano Choir, Collections of Colonies of Bees), Justin Klug (Maritime), and BJ Seidel (Decibully) have up their sleeve as REM.
SJ: What can we expect of Friday’s performance? What in particular are you looking forward to? Any surprises?
MS: I am eagerly anticipating Testa Rosa’s Pretenders cover set, as well as the incredible lineup that is is playing the songs of REM. Both very important bands that have influenced a lot of people. I’m really looking forward to playing tracks from all of the eras of the Smiths catalog especially one surprise in particular that means a lot to me.
MS: All great suggestions. Next year is my 40th birthday and would love to expand to more bands. Milwaukee, you have been put on notice.
SJ: Anything else that you would like our readers to know?
MS: The show starts promptly at 8 p.m. We would love to see you all there. Kids welcome.
Salford Lads Club, along with Testa Rosa and others will take the stage at Turner Hall Ballroom this Friday. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here. See below for TCD’s video of last year’s show.