It’s hard to imagine a band adopting a name as nondescript as “The Blanks,” but this quartet gives the name new meaning. Rather than alluding to the absence of definition, this group embodies many different ideas of entertainment and music. The very broadness of their name demonstrates their versatility.
In light of the success of shows like Glee, the a cappella genre has experienced a recent resurgence in pop culture. The Blanks, a self-proclaimed “Cool-pella” group boasts a strong fan base. They describe themselves as, “The most interesting a cappella group that has ever sung in a fictional hospital hall on a comedy sitcom.”
Members of the band include Sam Lloyd, tenor; Philip McNiven, countertenor; George Miserlis, baritone and Paul F. Perry, base. This quartet stands apart from other a capella or barbershop style groups. In fact, the group resists being categorized with genres similar to their own.
Perry freely admits that The Blanks came into their a cappella career by happenstance.
“We didn’t have money to get an accompanist. We just started to sing,” Perry said. “We’re not barbershop, we’re barber-not.”
The group’s cult-like following spurned last year’s highly successful national/ international tour, as well as an upcoming UK tour. In 2004, the band released their debut CD “Riding the Wave.”
The group is best known for its role in the highly successful NBC sitcom “Scrubs”.
The group reached success following Sam’s notable role as “Ted Buckland” in the syndicated hospital dramedy. Sam’s performance as the downtrodden underdog of Sacred Heart Hospital earned a great deal of recognition. According to the group’s biography, Sam and the members of The Blanks performed at a cast Christmas and secured the group’s role as “Ted’s Band,” or as they are sometimes known, “The Worthless Peons.”
Rather than simply singing, the group demonstrates their ability to integrate their well known vocals with their sketch comedy backgrounds. By utilizing talking toys, fancy footwork and flawless harmonies, The Blanks pack a powerful punch into their hour and half long show.
Audience member Tara Brock considers herself a big fan of The Blanks so her front row seats were certain to provide a great vantage point of the evening’s performance. Brock, however, was in for an even more exciting night when she unexpectedly became a part of the act. Despite her trepidation about getting involved, she had a good time.
“It was really embarrassing but exciting, and fun!” Brock said.
Currently Missouri Western State University is the overall season sponsor of the Performing Art Association and Missouri Theater. Christina Lund, executive director of the Performing Arts Association introduced The Blanks to the Missouri Theater audience in attendance at the performance on Jan. 29. She expressed her appreciation for the community support the programs have received from the community as well as the University.
“Missouri Western is so wonderful to be our overall season sponsor for this season of performances and additionally we feel very fortunate to have a student from out at Missouri Western who plays an active role on our board of directors, Mr. Karl Wellenkoetter,” Lund said. “[We] appreciate that connection there in addition to the marketing effort of the university, the full support of the college to the community and then back again.”
According to Lund the event was a success, box office sales reached nearly 700 tickets.
“It was phenomenal,” Lund said. “We sold over half the theater. So that was a very good showing and a very good show of support from St. Joe and the surrounding region.”
The goal of the Performing Art’s Association, as stated by the organization’s mission statement, is to, “Support the development of the Missouri Theater into a regional center for the performing arts.”
“Riding the Wave”
Charles in Charge
Facts of Life
The Full Monty
2/7/11 Lancashire, UK at “53 Degrees”
2/8/11 Chester, England at “RB’s Nightclub”
2/9/11 Swansea, Wales at “Sin City”
2/10/11 Aberystwyth, Wales at “Aberystwyth University Students Union”
2/11/11 Cardiff, Wales at “Millennium Music Hall”