Nightporters heed the call

As Atlanta's premiere local underground band of the '80s, the Nightporters sported a high-energy guitar-driven sound that scorched a thin line between the new wave bomp of the Swimming Pool Q's and the old-school rock of the Georgia Satellites. But although the Q's and the Satellites soldiered onward into the 21st century, enjoying triumphant revivals, the Nightporters' original lineup has not played a headlining show since 1986.

Buoyed by the hero's welcome they received during a brief set opening for Dave Wakeling of the English Beat in 2001, the 'Porters finally decided they were ready for a full-fledged gig. "A lot of our fans wanted us back with our own show," says vocalist/guitarist Andy Browne, "so now they will have it." Browne hints that their set may include a tribute to the late Joe Strummer, for whom the Nightporters once opened.

"It's just not that easy to schedule anything," says drummer Paul Lenz, explaining the extensive delay between reunions. "Everyone lives all over the place. But Andy was gonna be in town and Tim [Neilsen, bassist, now with drivin 'n' cryin'] was already gigging that night. How long we'll play depends on how long the Echo Lounge will let us hang out for the leftover diehards, but undoubtedly this will go down in history."

"I have always felt that this band with this lineup has a special chemistry together," concludes guitarist/vocalist Ray Dafrico. "I believe we are still quite capable of kicking most bands' asses ... and look good doing it as well."

The Nightporters perform Fri., Nov. 28, at the Echo Lounge. $8.