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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Class Act’ rocks Keys

    The Acquaintences frequent The Keys, but are tuning up to expand throughout the country, having recently hired a publicity company run by a UA alum.
    The Acquaintences frequent The Keys, but are tuning up to expand throughout the country, having recently hired a publicity company run by a UA alum.

    The house that the band members of Well Mannered Acquaintances call home is not like the typical college living situation. The chaotic mess of instruments and beer cans, which are strewn about the dimly lit home, are only a byproduct of the creativity that is stewing throughout. With mattresses thrown on the floors and CDs scattered across the tables, it is clear that making music is this group’s top priority.

    The band is made up of former UA students Mark Sutton and Kevin Sullivan, who both left school to put all their effort into the band.

    “”I could never find the connection we have here,”” Sutton said. “”We’re going to be playing for a long time.””

    The band also includes bassist Adrian Ewing and lead singer Gerardo Gonzales.

    Though Gonzales wasn’t present for the interview, Sutton offered his best depiction.

    “”He looks like the leader of a Mongolian army I saw on the History Channel. He gets so pissed when you say that because everyone thinks he’s Asian, but he’s really Hispanic,”” Sutton said while laughing.

    The band’s name is said to reflect its members’ all-around classy personas.

    “”I mean everything about us is just classy,”” said guitarist Sullivan, affectionately called “”Sully.”” “”It’s really how we see ourselves, and we want people to know that.””

    Although they have only been

    together for a year and a half, they haven’t wasted any time breaking onto the local scene. After only playing together seriously for a mere five months, the band has already landed a weekly gig at The Keys, 445 W. Wetmore Road.

    “”We really enjoy playing The Keys, it’s a real lively crowd,”” said Sutton. “”We’ve started to develop a strong following; you know, friends are telling friends, and it really shows at our concerts.””

    The band plays only six original songs, including “”Maria,”” which is an electrifying and dynamic listen. It also plays a variety of covers, including a hip, soulful remake of the Bill Withers hit “”Ain’t No Sunshine”” and a fiery punk version of Sublime’s “”Badfish,”” which ultimately advanced the band to the second round of The Emergenza battle of the bands in November.

    “”It’s just likeable music,”” Ewing said. “”We’ve drawn from all of our tastes and it has come together perfectly.””

    The members’ varying taste in music has also offered them the opportunity to experiment with a multitude of new styles. With influences ranging from classic rock to Latin funk, it seems there is no sound they do not draw from.

    “”We’ve learned to respect each other’s musical influences, and I think it’s opened up new doors for the band,”” Sullivan said.

    The band’s future is rapidly taking shape. It recently hired a publicist, Eternal Beat Records, run by former UA students Kiev Audilett and Josh Isaacson, and a West Coast tour is in the works for this summer. In the meantime, the band will be rocking The Keys for the next couple of Tuesdays.

    “”It’s a performance not to be missed,”” Audilett said. “”They really keep the crowd moving.””

    The band is obviously on a mission and is willing to put a lot on the line. Sullivan summed up their attitude best when he said, “”I’m willing to die for this.””

    Well Mannered Acquaintances will play at The Keys on Tuesday at 10 p.m.

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