Unplugged Tour and new album

The core members of semi-fictional British metal band Spinal Tap — “England’s loudest heavy metal band” — are currently touring the country. Michael McKean (a.k.a. singer/guitarist David St. Hubbins), Christopher Guest, (a.k.a. lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel), and Harry Shearer (a.k.a. bassist Derek Smalls) first rocked the world in the hilarious musical mockumentary This is Spinal Tap, released in 1984. Last month, they embarked on a 30-city “Unwigged and Unplugged” tour, doing stripped-down versions of their classics and fan faves (along with a few songs from later film efforts, like the folk-music spoof A Mighty Wind).

“When we were doing the Tap show, it was 90 minutes to 120 minutes of really, really hard work and running up and down the rafters, and we had big special effects, and we played electric instruments, and we had wigs, and we got very sweaty,” says McKean. “This is none of that.”

These are the closest dates to the Carolinas:

May 8 — St. Petersburg, Fla. (Mahaffey Theatre)
May 9 — Atlanta (Fox Theatre)
May 10 — Nashville (Ryman Auditorium)
May 12 — Baltimore (Lyric Opera House)

Fans can expect a new CD/DVD package titled Back from the Dead from the band this June as well (the current release date is June 16). The trio recorded studio versions of the Spinal Tap songs that appeared in live form on the film and original soundtrack — as well as six new additional songs, and an exclusive hour long accompanying DVD featuring a track-by-track video commentary by the band. Their first new album in almost two decades, Back from the Dead marks the 25th anniversary of This is Spinal Tap. The band’s last album was 1992’s Break Like The Wind.

“This album title says it all,” says McKean. “We’re back from the dead. But we weren’t dead. But we definitely are back.”

The new album includes the newly interpreted Tap classics “Hell Hole,” “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight,” “Heavy Duty,’” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Creation,” “America,” “Cups and Cakes,” “Big Bottom,” “Sex Farm,” “Stonehenge,” “Gimme Some Money,” and “(Listen to the) Flower People.”

“While the movie and soundtrack accurately represented our stage sound at the time, the studio versions of these songs on this album represent the cosmic maturation of the material, within a digital context,” says Shearer. “Also, they’re louder.”

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.