The members of the Family Stand, the admired group that fuses R&B; with assorted other elements, must have felt like intruders during their set at Peppers in the City of Industry.
The extremely noisy dance club is geared to young singles who were too busy chatting and mate-hunting to listen to the band. While the group was laboring through funky songs like "Ghetto Heaven" and "Twisted," most of the crowd in the packed club, which holds about 700, wasn't paying attention. (Those swingin' singles might have been more interested in the performers had the sound mix not been atrocious).
Under those miserable circumstances, the Family Stand could hardly be expected to give its best performance. But leader V. Jeffrey Smith and company, who play an innovative blend of R&B;, rock, jazz and hip-hop, gamely tried to make the best of a bad situation.
Lead singer Sandra St. Victor, who displays a dynamic and impressive range on the group's "Chain" album, suffered most. Often she sounded as if she were singing with muffled accompaniment. Once, though all the musicians were playing, only the bass was audible.
When the band finished, you could count the clappers--about seven or eight. And then when the first strains of a tape of Digital Underground's "Humpty Dance" sounded, there was a mad rush to the dance floor. The crowd seemed happy those intruders--the Family Stand--were out of the way.