The Afghan Whigs


A 2012 love letter…

Those of us who remember the ‘90s may recall a certain Cincinnati band blowing our minds with an almost addictive psychedelic soul-punk sound.  Legions of fans and critics adored the Afghan Whigs, and have longed for a reunion since their 2001 breakup.  They briefly got together in 2006 and recorded two tracks, but it took five more years to officially reunite and take the Afghan Whigs back on the road.

As we looked ahead to their much-anticipated set at Lollapalooza, I can’t help but look back to a Double Door gig in 2010 that played a key role in their reformation.  Greg Dulli was in the midst of his solo acoustic tour, when Whigs bassist John Curley joined him on stage in Cincinnati – not an uncommon occurrence when performing in his hometown.  But then, Dulli asked him to come up and play Chicago, where he recalls “people freaked out!”  Curley ended up finishing out the tour with him, which led to a growing number of Whigs songs in each set.  This rediscovery was enhanced when Dulli connected with Whigs guitarist Rick McCollum in Minneapolis the following spring.  The result: an Afghan Whigs booking at the Dulli-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival.

Dulli may consider All Tomorrow’s Parties his most admired festival, but given his upcoming electronic-focused collaboration with Spanish artist Jorge Sierra, I bet we’ll see him taking in some sonic pleasures at Perry’s stage this August.

For a deeper look into the Afghan Whigs most critically acclaimed album, Gentlemen, check out the book of the same name by Chicago film critic, Bob Gendron:  Gentlemen (33 1/3).

And check out their 1994 performance of my favorite Whigs song, Turn On The Water (with a sweet roll into PJ Harvey’s “Sheela Na Gig”).