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Chump it up

Remember the early '90s Atlanta music scene? Guitarist-singer Tom Branch does. As a member of Insane Jane, he participated in the thriving world that included busy clubs like the White Dot and the Point. "There was a good crop of clubs to play and a bunch of folks went out to shows," he says. "A lot of musicians went to see other bands play and that fostered a nice community feel to the scene."

When the mercurial Insane Jane dissolved in '94, Branch had a batch of songs with no band and no lead singer. He quickly recruited the rhythm section of Spike Worley (bass) and Todd Jones (drums) from Young Fred, another band which had recently broken up. "I didn't really want to sing, but I figured I'd give it a try," Branch says. "I didn't want to have to rely on anyone else to do it for me."

The result was Chump, an energetic trio that rapidly established a considerable following and, before the release of its full-length CD, garnered CL's Critic's Pick for Best Local Rock Band in 1995. Branch and Worley continue to play in Legend of the Giant Squid, but they wanted to look back on the past decade, too. "The original reason for this show was to get a couple of old school bands together," he says. "And to play out to old friends and fans that used to see us play in the '90s."

Also on the bill: mid-'90s favorites The Mirthmakers. The fun pop-punk band features singer-guitarist Mark Giamo and Ed Burdell. "Burdell's Furies recording studio was kind of the nerve center of the local music scene at the time," says Branch.

Chump and The Mirthmakers play Sat., Oct. 16, at the Star Bar. Tickle Fight opens. Visit www.starbar.net for more information.