Concert Review: Ripe & Clarks Bowling Club @ The Bermont, Nov. 30

The Boston band Ripe ripped it up at the Belmont, on November 30. Formed way back in October 2011, it was the first visit for this funk jam assemble to our fair city. The seven-member band led by vocalist Robbie Wulfsohn held a non-stop dance fest. As it says on their Facebook page, “We like to make you happy and make you dance. And then we like to party with you.”

Montreal band Clarks Bowling Club did their best to get the party started. They had the audience revved up after their eclectic opening set of retro 80’s sounds mixed with a bit of funk, jazz, and hip hop. A fairly new band getting their start in 2015, the Bowling Club consists of Pierre Brian Imart on vocals and saxophone, Loïc Marchat on drums, and Gonzague Mulot on bass and keyboards.

After a brief pause, Ripe took to the small stage at the Belmont. Ripe consists of Robbie Wulfsohn on vocals, Tory Geismar and Jon Becker on guitar, Sampson Hellerman on drums, Josh Shpak on trumpet, Calvin Barthel on trombone and Nadav Shapira on bass.

The band kicked off the evening with the up-tempo “Brother Sky”, off their Hey Hello album. After a bit of banter, with the band jumping in unison they went right into “Little Lights” and “Stanky J’s”. Towards the end of the show, after playing pretty much everything in their repertoire, they tossed in a couple of covers. First off was the Kinks’s “Lola”, then tossed in Hall and Oates’s “Rich Girl”, and a bit of a tease with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’s “Under The Bridge”.

With many people making the trip up from as far as Massachusetts, the concert had a feeling of a home town show. The audience was split between new and old fans, but by the end of the show, they all had sore feet from all their dancing.

1. Clarks Bowling Club’s Pierre Brian Imart (far right) and friends.

2. The end of a successful night for the Clarks Bowling Club.

3. Robbie Wulfsohn of Ripe.

4. Ripe members Calvin Barthel (left) on trombone and Josh Shpak (right) on EWI.

5. Ripe getting their funk on at the Belmont.

6. The end of a fun night.