Correction, update 4 p.m. Aug. 6: Currie’s Tire is celebrating its 85th anniversary this near, not its 80th. The Columbus Day Weekend concert has been changed to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11. And the bank has been booked to play the Oyster Festival at 6 p.m. Sept. 7.
NORWALK, Conn. – I did a double take recently while driving along West Avenue.
No, it had nothing to do with the progress on the Waypointe development, which is really nice to see. Here’s hoping it’s catching.
But this was something different – a small tent, and a sign advertising live Motown music Friday, July 26, in the parking lot at Currie’s Tire.
A tire shop is not where one would typically expect to find a live band offering up classic tunes on a warm summer night. But I was intrigued. Unfortunately, I was also otherwise occupied, so I drove off and forgot all about it.
Fast forward to July 29. I needed a tire. Desperately. My left front went flat a day earlier. It was only flat on the bottom, but I knew it was just a matter of time. So I headed to Currie’s and, as the tire was tended to, I asked Tim Currie about the music.
That’s when I found out it was Tim Currie’s Motown Review Band, and the performance was the second of the summer, back by popular demand, he said. The two free performances have drawn, by his count, some 700 people.
The concerts were, in part, to celebrate the family-owned tire shop’s 85th year in business. They also were promotional concerts for the band. Tim Currie, the group’s drummer, said he was hoping to play the Oyster Festival, scheduled for Sept. 6-8, and he is hoping to get some promotional mileage (had to get the tire pun in somewhere) out of his parking lot performances.
Indeed, that apparently worked. Currie said Tuesday, Aug. 6, that the band has been booked to play the Oyster Festival at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7.
I love Motown music. I love music in general, having attended Berklee College of Music as a trombone player – even a worse career choice than journalist when it comes to stability – and having spent more than a decade singing standards, show tunes and ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s tunes in various bars and showrooms from Cape Cod to Florida.
And I really love the idea of pop-up concerts in unexpected venues. It’s not unlike running into a flash mob dancing to some catchy Top 40 tune with a nice hook. It’s somehow more satisfying than showing up in the park for a scheduled evening of al fresco tunes, or heading to the theater. Not that’s there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I’d like to see more of that in Norwalk.
But the unexpected, pop-up venue? How nice would it be to see these shows turning up around Wall Street, someplace in East Norwalk, or along Connecticut and Westport avenues? Norwalk seems to like the idea of finding reasons to lure visitors from surrounding towns to spend some time and money in the city, and rightly so. Maybe turning Norwalk into someplace where you can expect to be surprised – in a good way – would contribute to that aura.
As for the Tim Currie’s Motown Review Band, they’ll be back at it at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in the tire store parking lot. Tim says he plans to line up several vendors to serve up refreshments to what he expects to be a Columbus Day weekend crowd.
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