20 Years: Cow Haus Anniversary Show w/ Interview
To celebrate 20 years of booking shows Cow Haus Presents is getting the band back together with a series of reunion shows. Featuring some of Tallahassee's biggest and longest standing bands these are shows you don't want to miss.
We caught up with the chief booker and mastermind behind Cow Haus Presents-- Brian Giblett:
Congratulations on 20 years of booking. Tell us a little about how Cow Haus Presents got started and the first show you ever booked.
Back in the summer of 1995, The original Cow Haus on Lake Bradford Road was about to close down. So two friends and I decided to buy the club and keep it going. We moved it to the building on St. Francis Street and opened it there in August of 1996, 20 years ago this fall. I think the very first show we had was with a bunch of local bands including Flanders and Nel Aspinal. The first really big show we booked that fall was G. Love & Special Sauce. I ran and booked the club there until 2001 when it moved and became Beta Bar. Cow Haus Presents has been booking shows in town ever since.
We've seen a lot of promoters and organizers come and go-- What motivates you and keeps you going after all these years?
A desire to not have a job where I have to sit in a cubicle. ;) Also, I've been playing in bands since I was 15, so I've always loved music. It's really fun and rewarding to bring great bands to town, to help expose people to music they haven't heard before, and to give people shows from their favorite bands.
Sometimes bands on tour can get a little out of control. What's the craziest thing that has ever happened at one of your shows?
Back in the late 1990s, a heavy rock band from Atlanta called The Impotent Sea Snakes used to come to town once in a while. Their live shows revolved around bondage/S&M-type stuff and could get a little crazy. They had an "R" rated show and an "X" rated show. We let them do the X rated show one time. It was insane. You can look them up on youtube to get an idea of what might have happened. I also had to throw the guys from Mastodon out of the club one time for being drunk and starting fights. And El Duce from the Mentors somehow passed out in the women's bathroom once.
Mastadon plays the Cowhaus in 2000
The Cow Haus once occupied the Wahnish Cigar Factory building and since that time there have been 10+ local music venues in the Gaines Street area. What do you think it is about this neighborhood that attracts venues and musicians?
I've always loved that neighborhood. It just feels like a safe, inviting place for artists and people who want to do something that might not be so mainstream. That's why we looked for a building there when we moved the Cow Haus.
Former Cow Haus on St. Francis Street
You've started an Indiegogo fundraiser for your Anniversary series of shows-- What band are you most excited about and what makes these shows unique?
I have to say the show I'm most excited about isn't happening until next April, but it's Cream Abdul Babar. I really didn't think I could get those guys back together again for a show. But they were willing and very enthusiastic about doing it. All the bands have been so kind and generous to do these shows. I was surprised some of these bands were wanting to play again, like CAB, Gruel and The Singing Spoons, so that makes it pretty special. I'm looking forward to all of them but Baccone Dolce and Frankenfinger were two of my faves back in the day, so those will be great. And I'm playing drums in the Parachute Pants reunion (an 80s cover band we had) and The Cabrones (a Ramones tribute band), so I'm looking forward to that quite a bit.
Cream Abdul Babar Flyer
Thanks for bringing bands to town for 20 years-- Can we count on 20 more?
As long as my liver holds out, sure.