5 Ways Suitcase Runaway Differ From The Crowd
1. They Played in Their Socks
Many people wear their socks around the house, some brave souls even wear them at other people's houses, but the guys from Suitcase Runaway take it a step further. When all four boys were finally on stage with their instruments they looked ready to go, until I looked down at their feet, which were shoe-less. Houses are pretty clean, but even with the amount of foot traffic a concert stage gets, I'm guessing it's not a good place for white socks. Why did they play in socks? That is a question I am still wondering, but don't worry we will have the answer after North Coast Music Beat interviews Suitcase Runaway Saturday!
2. Bandannas Dampened the Drums
During Suitcase Runaway's song, "Dream Sequence", drummer Luke Condrich placed a rag and bandanna on his drums, something I've never seen before. Condrich did this to dampen his drums sharp sound for such a melodic tune. This unique idea definitely aided the song's depth, slow to start but this instrumental picks up towards the middle before slowing again.
3. Songs Become Other Songs
"Dream Sequence" is an entirely instrumental song you would expect to hear at a festival at Nelson's Ledges. While the tempo varies you catch yourself swaying along to it and before you realize, Suitcase Runaway has transitioned into another song! Their 10 minute song, "Marrow", came directly afterwards and added more folk to their set. Nick Davenport gave a deeper, soulful voice during "Marrow" to give the song the maturity that it demanded. It's refreshing to know there are youngsters out there who still delve into themselves, who still look within the soul to find maturity that is lost in todays society.
4. Nick Tuned The Guitar...Every Song
Okay maybe not every song, but pretty close. The audience got to listen to the boys crack bad jokes at each other while Nick tuned his guitars, each song is so unique it needs its own tune. Since the Grog Shop is such an intimate venue, it was nice to have idle chit chat with the band during these breaks, especially since they remind me of friends back home.
5. They Gave Away Bread!
Their merch table was...one of a kind... They had the usual T-shirts, CDs, stickers and pins, but they also had printed out artistic photos along with foot long bread. You read that correctly, Suitcase Runaway was giving out bread as long as my arm with every purchase, and you can be sure I got one.
Suitcase Runaway is a group of four boys playing instruments from guitar to the bongos. Their style can be described as Indie, Alternative Folk music with a lot of heart. Buy tickets to their shows now so you can look back and say, "I saw them before their world tour." We might have our heads in the clouds, but we always believe in our local musicians.
Review by Courtney Ramey
Special Interview and More Below!
What are Suitcase Runaway?
We hear Suitcase Runaway’s genre of music in the scores of coming-of-age movies. When North Coast Music Beat interviewed them it felt like we stepped into an upbeat Indie movie. So how is Suitcase Runaway different from every other Indie band we hear in the background of emotional movies? Good question...that’s why we asked them.
They’re Old Souls
Suitcase Runaway started when Nick Davenport began writing music a little too complex for his one-man band. Don’t get us wrong; he entertained many people during those two years, but Nick was maturing not only as a person, but as a musician. Maybe because he was obsessed with the mega-talented group called the Beatles. How did he get this group of music loving kids to make a band with him? He just asked.
Jared also used music as an outlet. Coming from a musical family, Jared Muller has been in tune with this incredibly introspective creativity since birth. In the fourth grade he had the opportunity to test his hand with the violin and saxophone, and was a little let down. After learning his hands spoke well with the guitar, he joined Suitcase Runaway...and plays the keyboard and bongos.
We all can relate a little bit more with Luke Condrich. He didn’t come from a lineage of talented musicians like Jared, his parents just dug music. With a wide grin, Luke told North Coast Music Beat that anytime a band was brought up his mother would say, “‘Oh yeah we saw them in ‘87’ or something.” After Beatles Rock Band got him interested in the drums, his jazzy drum teacher taught him that it’s important to walk barefoot in the grass. Maybe that’s the real reason Suitcase Runaway plays in their socks.
Last, but easiest to spot, is Geoff Webb, who is 6 foot 3 inches tall (1.9 meters). Unlike Geoff, his story is a little shorter than the rest of the band. While the great Les Claypool was his inspiration and motivation to play the bass, girls were his motivation to begin with. In the second grade a girl played piano, so Geoff started playing the piano. In eighth grade, a girl he liked played guitar, so Geoff played the guitar. Then in high school, his musical tastes changed and he found his own love for the bass. Geoff is an outspoken, spontaneous guy, he’s the real reason Suitcase Runaway plays in their socks. The story goes like this, Nick asked Luke why he wasn’t wearing shoes on stage and before he could answer, Geoff yelled, “Let’s take them off!” and now their parents have to buy twice as many socks.
These aren’t exactly reasons why Suitcase Runaway are old souls. Understanding that these longtime friends grew into music differently helps explain the sound of Suitcase Runaway. They’ve faced their struggles with perseverance and music. We’re excited to see where they head as they mature even more. They “all absorb the same vibe” when they play, similar to the level of understanding a wolf pack has during a hunt. Some of their stories don’t have the happiest starts, but this middle part is pretty upbeat. Whether you’re listening to their music with your friends or if music is your only friend, Suitcase Runaway will give the room a slow, mindful vibe.
Jared tells North Coast Music Beat that after shows people have told them their music allowed for an immersion from themselves, to escape reality for a short while. Click to listen to their song “Marrow” now and you’ll have about 10 minutes of immersion. Every song so far has come from the heart and the soul of Nick Davenport. Nick wrote most of the music himself during high school, which we all know is an angsty, introspective time. Don’t believe their music can make all the stressful thoughts take a vacation? Take it from someone else who’s seen their show firsthand; after a concert fundraiser a girl told Suitcase Runaway that she had “never been to a show where [she] disconnected from everything [she] thinks about on a regular basis.” With so much to do in this modern age, it’s hard to escape all the responsibilities and stresses, thankfully we have bands that help us find a place of peace.
According to their Facebook, their genre is “reverb-swaddled fuzz-spattered alternative rock,” after we asked for an explanation Nick laughed and said he’s been meaning to change that. He originally didn’t want to leave anything out, but now he says they’re more of a “folk, fuzzy alternative” band. They’re in the midst of writing more cheerful songs, but at the moment most of Short Stories Vol. II and Little Lives are pretty melancholy. Nick, and the rest of Suitcase Runaway, have started a brighter page in their books and it will reflect in their next album. No one knows what the next album will be titled but hopefully it’s out before their summer tour through Buffalo, New York and Columbus, Ohio.
Even their name, Suitcase Runaway, sounds profound. It gives us a mental picture of a young kid packing his suitcase and running away on a train to god knows where. A name like this must have had major thought put into it...or so we thought. The story is a little funnier than expected. Nick’s friend in high school carpooled with a girl who knew everything about music and claimed to personally know tons of bands. So one day, Nick’s friend came up with a fake band name and asked her if she had heard of them, of course she pretended to be cool and answered yes. Not only did the group finally know she was a poser, but Nick claimed Suitcase Runaway as his new band name.
They’re “Emo Kids”
Throughout the course of the two-plus hours we spent with the band, the phrase “emo kids” kept arising. Joking or not, it’s a description that fits. “Emo” is short for emotional, and while Suitcase Runaway is constantly laughing and smiling, their music tells a different story. Emotions from individual personal struggles blend together in the album Short Stories Vol. II. If you’re wondering why Short Stories Vol. I hasn’t been brought up yet, it’s because it doesn’t exist… The boys tell us that it’s “basically a theory.” Short Stories turned into a short film about a comic book illustrator, Suitcase Runaway plays all the music in the film, but it’s still being produced by their friend in California. Hopefully it’s finished soon because what other local band is creating movies and scoring them?
The boys tell us that they have heaps and bounds of unreleased music, so Suitcase Runaway won’t be dragging their feet anytime soon. No egos block their path when they get together in the basement of Nick’s family home to create surreal tunes. Nick, Jared, Luke and Geoff all play together and fuel each other, listen to their album here and feel emotional.
Nick revealed to us that when he writes, he creates characters and storylines to follow. Jared thinks of it like reading, how people lose themselves in tiny fictional worlds, and he loves it. Even when a song says “I” it doesn’t mean Nick himself, like a good author he’s just writing from multiple perspectives. This isn’t a hobby for Suitcase Runaway, they’re “going for it.” They’re playing everywhere from The Grog Shop to fundraisers at the University of Cincinnati. By playing their “microcosmic short stories” Suitcase Runaway raised $500 for suicide prevention at a single concert. Let the “poetry unfurl” by clicking through to their Soundcloud here.
They’re Individual Sunflowers Swaying During A Tornado In Kansas
“Nothing’s going to get better unless we all help to ease the pain” is a lyric from “Painkillers” off their Little Lives collection. Everybody has their own burdens to carry, but we can all help lighten the load together. Suitcase Runaway is composed of four different guys, with four diverse lives, coming together and creating harmonies that sway the body. If you’re having a bad day, listen to Suitcase Runaway to feel sadness, joy, longing, and a little bit mellow.
Our final question of the night, how is Suitcase Runaway different from every other Indie band scoring emotional movies?
Jared told us, they’re not. So far, we think they’re a lot like The Lumineers.
“As much as we want to act like we’re a lot different from a lot of Indie bands that are doing this kind of stuff, we really aren’t that much. We got into it for the same reasons that we love making music...we like to hope that we’re a little bit of a cut above some other music that other local bands are writing. For the most part we’re doing it because we love it and we think we have good stories to share…”
Luke added, h“it’s not hard to make a band and obviously a coming-of-age story is something you can whip up pretty easily so it’s an easy road to take at first. But then carving it out into something that’s unique is the harder step with that. People have complimented on us before saying they can see our personalities in the music. So I think that helps us do something that even the many people have done before to do, that we can do something that is a little bit different, a little bit us.”
Get tickets to see them in person April 5th at Blank Slate in Elyria here or catch a show on their summer tour.
They’re hoping to play shows such as Brite Winter and Snowed In so make sure to follow their social media to keep up! Either follow the links below, or look up “Suitcase Runaway” on basically any platform.
Suitcase Runaway Celebrates the Chinese New Year
February 19th, 2018
Starting off the Chinese New Year with a grungy punk bang and ending the night with a harmonious fuzzy feeling, Suitcase Runaway played with Who Hit Me and The Warhawks. It was a damn good show.
It’s an unusual lineup of music for a punk rock indie show: a punk band, a grunge rock band, and an alt-folk trio to close the show. These genres flowed well together, surging wonders of high youthful energy and entertainment from the crowd. The first two bands played hardcore music for teenagers and young adults to express angst and emotional vigor. To really nurture the soul with music and draw the audience together, Suitcase Runaway closed the night with a combo of affectionate alt-folk tunes and even a grungy Black Keys style song called, “Chinese New Year” that brought the concert full circle.
“Chinese New Year” showcased the diverse and incredible musical talent that Suitcase Runaway possesses. They can draw in any type of listener to their music. The song features Nick, the lead singer, playing bass guitar to give a very raw sound while singing very emotionally intimate and deep lyrics. Luke, the drummer, plays the most beautiful beats to hit the heart with emotional weight. Geoff, the bassist, got up close and personal with the crowd to party while giving funny stories in between songs.
Now That’s Class is a small venue, but that allows for the audience to be intimate and engage with the bands. The “friend’s basement” feel is what allowed the three diverse bands to form an excellent show of creative and raw inspiring indie music.
Cleveland has some amazing indie bands. Many talented youths perform at small local venues with bands touring in and out of Ohio. Suitcase Runaway just recently released their full-length album “Short Stories Volume II”, and it’s lovely. It is passionate art made with love and tears by three best friends doing what they love: playing music. Their music speaks to the soul about themes of love, youth, exploration, self-discovery, and empathy. Whenever they perform, one can’t help but just be enamored by the charm and genuine affection Suitcase Runway has for their audience and music.
Catch Suitcase Runaway’s next show on February 25 at The Grog Shop. Courtney will be shooting pictures and conducting an interview with the band. Suitcase Runaway has more stories to tell, and you can find out more at North Coast Music Beat! Follow them on Facebook and BandCamp to purchase their new album.
Review By Kevin Ng
Suitcase Runaway is Running Through Our Minds
February 16th, 2018
Cleveland alt-folk indie band Suitcase Runaway is composed of three high school best friends. Nick Davenport, the founder of the band, has been making music since before he could talk, so it’s no wonder he can play every instrument under the sun. However talented Nick may be, he couldn’t do everything alone. He called upon his best mates to join him on his life-long journey of creating the most touching down-to-earth music.
The song, “Nova” demonstrates Suitcase Runaway’s ability to orchestrate a piano composition that gives listeners a case of the warm and fuzzies. When reading the lyrics, “But for now, everything burns brighter and feels lighter...” it’s obvious that they are poetic, but they transcend to an entirely new emotional plateau when young Nick Davenport’s voice adds depths of yearning and love.
The drummer, Luke Condrich, is one groovy fella. It’s clear that he's skilled; when you visit his YouTube channel he's received with 100,000 views. This young drummer demonstrates his ability by covering many rock songs; he's been behind the kit on tunes ranging from the legendary Led Zeppelin to Queens of the Stone Age’s intense drum track.
Bassist Geoff Webb likes to get up close and personal to the audience to rock out. He can be fast and furious at times, but also mellow and chill when playing sappy tunes.
This isn’t your typical teenage angst grunge garage band. They create relatable and heartfelt songs that reach into the hearts of all people, no matter what age.
You can listen to their recently-released first full length album, Short Stories Volume II, here.
A visual companion short film is on the way as well! It tells a compelling story about love while featuring music from the album. Go support these youngsters, and listen to the music that will make you feel good no matter how bah-humbuggish this Ohio weather can be.
To learn a little more about the band visit their Facebook page with the link below!