Corvallis’ band The Incompatibles bring popular UK 80s and 90s alternative rock tunes to the middle of the Willamette Valley, influenced by The Cure, The Stranglers, Oasis and U2.
The six-piece British-led band will play some of these covers at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Common Fields, 545 SW Third St. in Corvallis, as part of Fields Fest.
“We try not to play mega-pleasures that everyone knows,” said bandleader Bob Gilmour. “We tend to play those who are slightly off.”
The Incompatibles formed in 2013 with more of an acoustic folk vibe than the alternative rock genre they currently have. The band members have toured over the years, with Gilmour being the only original member still in the band.
“Corvallis just had such amazing musicians,” he said. “I met people along the way and some were persuaded to join, and others came by chance.”
Gilmour is originally from Newcastle, England, and moved to Oregon in 2010 to work at Oregon State University. He had planned to stay in the United States for only three years, but he and his wife loved it so much that they decided to stay.
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As well as songs from UK-based bands, The Incompatibles cover American songs that were popular in the region decades ago, including tunes from Talking Heads, Blondie and The Black Keys. Many of the covers they perform were suggested to them by viewers who miss the music of their youth.
“Usually after a gig, someone will say they haven’t heard that song in years,” Gilmour said. “It brings back all those memories of all those different tracks.”
So how did Gilmour come up with the name of the Incompatibles?
Well, most band members work during the day, so it’s hard to get everyone’s schedule for rehearsals. But the name is also a bit of an Anglo-American joke about the two places not getting along.
Gilmour is the only UK-born member of the group, although this has not always been the case. There were two when the group formed.
The current band consists of Gilmour, guitar and vocals; Erik Crew, lead guitar; Katherine Kehder, violin and vocals; Keith Scofield, cello; Mike Torgerson, bass and vocals; and Scott Homboe, drums.
The instruments are as high caliber as the musicians who play them; Scofield’s cello was built in Austria in 1760, allowing it to emit a sound unobtainable with a more modern instrument. Gilmour said the wood in this cello is over 400 years old.
Les Incompatibles play around Corvallis a few times a year and also host private parties. To book the band, you can email Gilmour at [email protected]
The songs the band chooses to play in ebb and flow with the musicians; for example, Gilmour said they were able to play songs that they otherwise couldn’t perform without an extremely talented lead guitarist.
“Whenever we have someone like that, we change the music to suit their skill set,” Gilmour said. “The nature of music is changing a bit.”
Joanna Mann (her) covers education for Mid-Valley Media. She can be reached at 541-812-6076 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter via @joanna_mann_.