Wes Watkins Fell Hard at the Black Arts Festival
Karl Christian Krumpholz

Wes Watkins Fell Hard at the Black Arts Festival

Wes Watkins: “Other Black hadn’t gotten to play for integrated crowds very often, so I was kinda nervous. I asked everyone to dress to the nines for the Black Arts Festival. We got to the end of the set. The band (about sixteen people) was crammed on this stage, while Tayke One and I were on the floor in front of the audience. I noticed a table to the left and decided that I would really make an impressive last impression. I was going to stand on that table in my borrowed Yves Saint Laurent suit and do my best James Brown.

Wes Watkins Fell Hard at the Black Arts Festival
Karl Christian Krumpholz

“Toward the end of the verse, I climbed on the table and smirked a little as I realized most of the band couldn’t see me. People started to pull out their phones to record. I sang the first line of the chorus: “I stand up!” — and then the table collapsed. There was a gasp from the crowd and then a cheer as I found myself crippled with embarrassment at the timing of the unfortunate fall...and it hurt. So I just started shaking on the ground like I’d gotten a visit from the Holy Spirit until a buddy came, put a cape around me and my broken ego, and I proceeded to the beginning of the second verse: “I can’t say I watched ’em fall...” Oh, the irony. Probably the best James Brown I could’ve done in the end.”

Wes Watkins Fell Hard at the Black Arts Festival
Karl Christian Krumpholz

Wes Watkins will play brunch at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox on July 21 and 22. The Other Black will play Ophelia’s the evening of July 21.

Editor's Note: The Denver Bootleg is a series chronicling the history of local music venues by longtime Denver cartoonist Karl Christian Krumpholz. Visit Krumpholz's website to see more of his work.

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