In our MKE Music Rewind series, we revisit notable Milwaukee music that was released before Milwaukee Record became a thing in April 2014.
On December 17, 2021, delightfully warped funk band Peeper & Le Play played its final show. But it wasn’t just any final show: it was a goodbye show for the “Le Play” in Peeper & Le Play, Didier Leplae. After decades spent in Milwaukee, Leplae was moving to Portugal.
Leplae is a Milwaukee music legend. In recent years, the musician/filmmaker/Riverwest resident composed and performed music for Netflix series like Master Of None and Russian Doll, as well as Adult Swim shows like Ballmastrz: 9009. Along with his brother Xav, Leplae was heavily involved in Riverwest Film & Video and Riverwest Radio. The list of Milwaukee bands Leplae played with stretches back to the ’90s. Peeper & Le Play was only the latest.
One of those long-ago Leplae bands was instrumental outfit The Chain. Not familiar with The Chain? An entry on the Activities record label—a repository for obscure and off-the-beaten-path Milwaukee music—explains:
The Chain was heavily influenced by Turkish psych, African heavy funk, and Bollywood soundtracks to name a few. The core of the band consisted of Peter Barrickman (drums), Brent Goodsell (bass), Didier Leplae (lead guitar), Andy Noble (keyboard, percussion, guitar), and Renato Umali (keyboards). The band was often joined live by Spero Lomenzo (percussion).
If I had to describe The Chain, I would only say this: The Chain ripped. Here’s a rare performance clip from 2008 (shot by 2008 me). The song is “Krallar,” from the group’s sole release, 2009’s Maximum Kazanç’.
That’s Leplae on guitar, Goodsell on bass, Noble on keys and tambourine, and Barrickman on drums. Like I said: it rips. You can listen to the rest of the similarly awesome Maximum Kazanç’ HERE.
And that’s it. The Chain ruled, full stop. Please enjoy this incredible ’90s Hard Copy clip, featuring a 19-year-old Leplae, a certain still-at-it-today talk radio host, lots of references to Wayne’s World, and an after-school fight at Kopp’s Frozen Custard that never materialized. (“Blood was going to be poured in the streets of Glendale!”)
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