Jollyship the Whiz-Bang was the name of a band founded by Nick Jones and Raja Azar, active from 2002-2010. It combined mostly nautically themed rock music and puppet plays centered around the lovably malevolent pirate Captain Clamp, as he grapples with incompetence, mutiny, venereal disease, regret, and the ravages of time. The project originated as a puppet skit in the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, then was expanded for a residency at the Bowery Poetry Club, adding musicians Keith Fredrickson, Dan Kutcher and Tim Hoey to become a five piece band. The band was expanded further in subsequent years, with video effects and technical supervision by Kris Anton, and puppeteers were added to service the expanding storylines.
Puppeteers for the project included Devon Ludlow, Katie McClehnahan, Steven Boyer and Julie Lake.
The band’s first narrative musical production was Sleepless Fishes which premiered at the Bowery Poetry Club and ran for 8 months, and which was followed the next year by a sequel, Crabquistador: Scavenger of God. In 2008, after several years of development, the band’s self titled show, Jollyship the Whiz-Bang, opened Off-Broadway at Ars Nova, directed by Sam Gold. It received rave reviews and multiple extensions. It was subsequently revived for a one night performance at the Public Theater for the UTR Festival in 2010.
The music of Jollyship is collected in 2 LPS and one EP. This include the music from their theatrical shows, as well as others which were just lying around and never found a story to move forward.