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Sound Circuit

She has the power

2/3/2016

For the past several years, Lavonne McRoberts has been the songwriter and frontwoman for Peace Love and Stuff, a four-piece rockabilly outfit that put on one of the highest energy shows in town. But when you have four people as talented as Peace Love and Stuff’s lineup working together, it can be a difficult beast to hold together.

Lavonne & The Battlecats plays the Fremont on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.

Lavonne & The Battlecats plays the Fremont on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.

“We’d all been together for three to five years,” McRoberts said of the band. “It was just time to grow differently as musicians for all of us.”

And that is, more or less, the story of how the band came to an end this fall and how McRoberts started to look for her next project. She found it by looking inward.

“I started booking solo shows,” she said. “I was ready for something new and fresh, and I have this nerdy passion for comics and ’80s cartoons like ‘She-Ra’ and ‘Jem and The Holograms.’ I’m recreating myself.”

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The recreated McRoberts comes in the form of an act she is calling Lavonne and The Battlecats, a callback to the old He-Man cartoons. Though the name may infer there is a full band behind it, for the time being, McRoberts is going solo. The typical set list is currently a mix of covers and Peace Love and Stuff originals, but McRoberts has long-term plans for the show.

“Right now, it’s a solo project with the end goal tailoring more toward the Comicon type of crowd,” she explained. “There’s going to be a comic that tells this backstory of Lavonne and the Battlecats as a band and songs that will be inspired by comics and cartoons.”

But wait, there’s more.

“After the original songs are through, I’ll take people on a more educational journey through the history of rock and roll,” she continued. “It’s an idea that kind of perpetuated from conversations I had at the bar where I work. I wanted to show the evolution of rock and roll and how it impacts my original songs. All the songs I choose influenced me as an artist and influenced the songs that I write.”

McRoberts says the musical journey starts in the 1930s and showcases songs from each decade.

“There’s a lot of songs from all over,” she said. “No matter who listens, they can probably pull a song or two from the set that they really like.” CV

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