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Hear Vandoliers’ Texas-Punk Cover of the Proclaimers’ ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’

Dallas-Fort Worth band gives new energy to a Nineties one-hit-wonder

It’s a great time to listen to bands coming out of Texas. Groups like Ottoman Turks, Flatland Cavalry, and Vandoliers are creating a country-rock sound that is somehow as vital and urgent on record as it is onstage, proving that the tones of the Lone Star State aren’t confined to traditional twang or Red Dirt. For their new single, the Dallas-Fort Worth group Vandoliers further broaden their palate, transforming a Nineties one-hit-wonder into something unexpectedly relevant with their cover of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by the Scottish duo the Proclaimers.

A radio staple in 1993 after appearing on the Benny & Joon movie soundtrack, the goofy sing-along benefits from some lived-in grit from Vandoliers lead singer Josh Fleming. Opening with a muted guitar strum and Fleming’s rough-hewn rasp, the band’s version explodes into a sea of percussion and gang vocals, with trumpet player and fellow singer Corey Graves jumping aboard to complete the call-and-response with Fleming. It’s Nineties nostalgia shot through with nonconformist spirit.

“Covers are a sensitive thing in our genre, at least when you are as picky as we are. You never want to be the band that does the same cover as anyone else, or at least we don’t,” says Fleming, citing tired choices like “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” and “Tennessee Whiskey.” “Growing up in the Nineties, this song was one of my favorites. I would run around the house singing it at the top of my lungs. Over the years it’s grown from a nostalgic anthem, to a drunken shanty, but it wasn’t until I was memorizing every word that I realized it was one of the greatest love songs ever written.”

Graves says the group’s reason for covering “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” is more vindictive. “One time Mark [Moncrieff, the band’s bassist] made us listen to it 60 times in a row when he was drunk, so we covered it to give him a reminder of what he has done.”

Vandoliers released their latest album Forever (Bloodshot), featuring the standout tracks “Sixteen Years” and “Cigarettes in the Rain,” last February. Following a U.S. tour in the spring, they’ll head overseas in the summer for a lengthy string of shows in Sweden, Spain, the U.K. and elsewhere.

Vandoliers’ upcoming U.S. tour dates:
February 28 — Tyler, TX @ Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ
March 7 — Carrollton, TX @ Downtown Carrollton
March 17 — Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
March 20 — Austin, TX @ Bloodshot SXSX Day Party
March 20 — Austin, TX @ AMG Showcase
March 27 — Blue Springs, MO @ Encore Entertainment
March 28 — Tahlequah, OK @ Ned’s
April 17 — Oklahoma City, OK @ Blue Note
April 18 — Brewing Wichita, KS @ Nortons
April 21 — Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre’s Rye Room
April 22 — St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
April 23 — Yorkville, IL @ Law Office Pub
April 25 — Chicago, IL @ The Hideout
April 26 — Green Bay, WI @ Lyric Room
April 28 — Indianapolis, IN @ Duke’s Indy
April 29 — Nashville, TN @ The Basement
April 30 — Atlanta, GA @ The Star Community Bar
May 1 — Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
May 2 — Memphis, TN @ Hernando’s Hideaway

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