MONROVIA, Calif. — London-based steampunk outfit The Buzzcogs canceled several concert dates after an accident outside of Los Angeles involving the band’s steam-powered flying apparatus this afternoon, according to various media reports.
Onlookers report the giant vessel began swerving erratically before crashing into the roadside sign of an International House of Pancakes. “It looked like something out of a Tim Burton movie,” said a waitress on duty when the event occurred, just after 4 p.m. “Luckily, the early bird special hadn’t begun, and everybody in here was okay, but we got quite a show.”
The seven people on board the turn-of-the-century-inspired airship, nicknamed the “Flight of Fancy,” were also, somewhat miraculously, able to escape the scene with minimal injury. Baron Cornelius Coldren, percussionist of the Buzzcogs, suffered a fractured arm, while his six bandmates only received a few scratches and bruises.
Flight Lieutenant Marcellus Mortimer, pilot and engineer of the ill-fated flying machine and keytarist/prop and gadget builder for the band, insisted no mechanical failure was to blame for the accident. “She’s a modern miracle of steam-powered technology,” he claimed. “There’s no way in Hades she malfunctioned!”
This was not the first time The Buzzcogs have narrowly avoided death in transit to a gig. In 2011 the band’s coal-powered tour barge capsized in the Chesapeake Bay during Hurricane Irene, leading to a string of show cancellations. The band lost most of their equipment in the wreck, but, thanks to the use of their official diving bell, they were able to recover their cash box from the ocean floor.
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“You know, sometimes these accidents are a blessing in disguise,” said Mortimer, reflecting. “When [the barge] went down, we were forced to create new modes of transport… and we were finally able to visit inland cities that didn’t have ports. We have some ideas on what the next step is.”
Although nothing official has been announced, sources close to the band reveal Mortimer is planning the construction of a road-worthy locomotive steam engine, so the The Buzzcogs can make up their canceled dates.
Photo by Justin Gonyea.