Cole Valley's small-town feel will be enhanced this Sunday when the Cole Street Stompers plug in their amps to to lead neighbors and shoppers in a holiday sing-along.
With seven musicians—two guitarists, sax, flute, drums, keyboards and bass—the Stompers aren't mobile enough for traditional caroling, which would take them to homes around Cole Valley, explained Amanda Lang, who plays sax and clarinet and sings with the group. "You have to put us in one place," she said.
On Sunday, December 11th at 2pm, they'll perform in front of vintage shop Tantrum, whose co-owner, Richard Weld, plays bass in the group.
Lang, a Londoner who moved with her husband, Stuart, to Cole Valley four years ago, said the Cole Street Stompers started performing at a Mardi Gras celebration outside Finnegans Wake, and took up caroling after "my husband had the silly idea of doing a Beatles sing-along."
The Beatles tribute "went down so well that we’ve done that quite a few times now," including a celebration of David Bowie after he passed away earlier this year.
Because band members have day jobs and family responsibilities, performances have been "rather sporadic," she said.
But despite their limited schedule, the Cole Street Stompers have built a loyal, local fan base. The troupe "is practicing like crazy with the Mamas and the Papas and all of that kind of stuff" to prep for a Haight Street block party that com the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, Lang said.
In past years, "we’ve had 50 to 60 carolers in the community join us every time, and I think it’s going to be even bigger this year," she said. To encourage participation, she plans to distribute lyric sheets and percussion instruments.
"I don’t want to cause too much traffic trouble," said Lang, "so we’ll just squeeze up against the wall."
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