YORK -- Wearing impeccably tailored suits and top hats, the Two Man Gentlemen Band will bring their rowdy sing-alongs, furious banjo strumming and free kazoos Wednesday to Sylvia Theater in York.
The New York-based duo has become an old-fashioned musical spectacle as they tour the nation to promote their new CD, "Heavy Petting."
In the band, banjoist Andy Bean and bassist Fuller Condon combine jazz, old-time country, Tin Pan Alley and vaudevillian swing to create their own sound in a fun-filled show full of off-center, clever and sometimes naughty original tunes.
They're looking forward to bringing their gig to York.
"We always enjoy performing in smaller cities like York," Bean said. "The smaller the city, the greater the likelihood that we'll be the only act in town handing out free kazoos on a given night."
Performing with plectrum banjo, string bass, kazoos and foot percussion, the Gentlemen whip themselves into a frenzy unlike any acoustic duo on the road today, they say.
Bean promises a "fine time for all."
"Even (for) those who don't typically enjoy a four-string banjo, upright bass, novelty kazoo music," Bass said. "Who doesn't like shouting along to songs about the Hindenburg Disaster and William Howard Taft?"
On "Heavy Petting," their third record, the Gentlemen sing an ode to Taft, compare true love to the square root of two, celebrate the skills of a female kazooist, challenge each other to a badminton duel and extol the virtues of heavy petting. Though they pepper many of their tunes with playful innuendo, the Gentlemen never utter a vulgar word. The unifying element in their music is not the occasional naughty insinuation, but rather the clever, good-natured wit that shines through in each of their songs, especially when they are performed live on stage, according to a press release from the band.
On the road, they have plenty of fun with their audience.
"If the Sylvia Theater crowd becomes sufficiently raucous, Andy Bean promises to ride his unicycle through the audience during the performance," Condon said. "No, really."
Two years of full-time street-performing in New York City's Central Park taught the Gentlemen this: when the band slows down, the audience takes a hike. So they keep the excitement levels up. If all else fails, they say, at least they get to show off their fashion sense.
"I look forward sharing my summer gentleman attire with a southern crowd," Condon quipped. "I understand that South Carolinians are experts on seersucker."
Want to go?
What: Two Men Gentlemen Band
Where: Sylvia Theater, 27 N. Congress St., York
When: 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 11
Cost: Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 on day of show
Details: 684-5590 or www.sylviatheater.com