After just enjoying a sensational set of music by the one and only Marillion this past Wednesday, I clearly had gotten my fill of the Progressive needs that my musical psyche had needed. Now the weekend was here and it was time to go deep into the heart of the Rock and Roll Underground and see what was brewing over at The Studio at Webster Hall where Acey Slade and The Dark Party were going to be doing a gig. I’ve been a fan of Acey’s material for a few years now but had sadly not seen The Dark Party as often as I might have liked to so this was the perfect chance to catch up on his tunes and also enjoy some of the talented bands that would be kicking the show into gear. The event started off super early, but you will find this being the case at The Studio because at around 11:30 they open the place up as a discotheque. Generally the Rock and Metal shows are over by 11pm and with this being the case usually will start at around 7pm. The first band up were some local youths who call themselves Stiletto. I didn’t see them per se, but did hear their set from the in house bar Nevada Smiths which is on the second floor from this space at this time. They didn’t sound bad so let’s hope they stick to the program and work as hard at it as their peers do. Good luck boys. I would arrive at the actual club space just in time for The Wild Ones.
Wild Ones: Now The Wild Ones are a tribute to The Runaways and I felt this was a cool idea and I’m not sure if this had ever been done before. The only girl in the lineup however is lead singer Cherie Black who is backed by the talented Jeff Najarian (rhythm guitar), Frank "Frankie Frizz" Kaplan (lead guitar), Phil Sosinsky (bass) and her husband Jimi Black (drums). Their set was a fun and energetic one and I would have to say that they played all of the tunes that I knew from The Runaways and seemed to have the audience engaged as they did them. Since the actual tunes by this band are rather short they got to deliver a seven song set which featured the bands staple numbers like "Neon Angels On the Road to Ruin", "California Paradise" and of course the winning closer “Cherry Bomb”. Cherie Black was decked out in a silver spandex suit and that brought you into the Glam Rock moment just a little bit more. It was cool and I would see this group again. Now onto Bad Dog Bad.
Bad Dog Bad: This was another new band to my ears and eyes and I had to say that I really enjoyed the musical delivery that this three piece unit was giving us. Stylistically this was a very Motorhead-esque kind of Punk with a raunchy NYC attitude. The songs were up-tempo and fast paced and offered no real compromise. Good stuff that had me rocking from the moment they began. The band features Michael Beniush on lead vocals and bass guitar while Paul Cardot handles lead guitar/vocals and Mike Lincoln the drums. All of their stuff was new to me and I found myself cheering for the heart of NYC’s vibrant music scene as they dished out tune after tune. You really never know what you will see in this fair metropolis when you hit a show early enough and that is what made this evening rock so far. This is the kind of band that you rock with and drink a couple of beers with after their set. Nice work dudes, another one that I would see if the schedule allowed me to.
Black Angels NYC: Whew. I was getting close to new band overload as the Black Angels NYC took to the stage and these dudes were apparently at one time the backing band for both Cheetah Chrome & Sylvain Sylvain (you legacy NYC Punk fans should know both of those names as being members of The Dead Boys and The New York Dolls). Stylistically this was pure NYC Punk and that means quick delivery and a whole lot of attitude. By the time that they hit the stage we found a bit more people in the venue. I am thinking that perhaps folks didn’t believe that this stuff started earlier than usual and it was a Friday night. Oh well, they missed out. The group consists of Nicky Black on lead vocalist/guitar; Angelo Olivieri on bass guitar and Jimi Black on drums. We saw Jimi just a few bands before with The Wild Ones and this group apparently features his brother. Talk about keeping a tight musical bond in the family. This was good stuff but I am admitting to only being so up on what Cheetah Chrome and Sylvain Sylvain had done as solo acts so I would need to see these lads at it again to know whether or not this was a win, win presentation. They sounded tight and worked together well without question and I guess that is all that matters at the end of the day. Now it was time for the main event as Acey Slade and The Dark Party prepared to take to the stage. The setup turnaround was amazing this evening and bands were swapped out in as little as 20 minutes. That really kept the vibe moving and I was not arguing with that.
Acey Slade & The Dark Party: As I’ve already mentioned, I had not seen Acey and the rest of the guys in the Dark Party in action for quite some time and was really looking forward to watching him rock us all in this intimate space. If you’ve never been here before let me tell you how The Studio at Webster Hall is the perfect setting for a band like this when it comes down to it and this is not only based on the sound that the bands get, but also since the fans can get right up close and personal with the artist on the stage since it’s so low and close to your face. Sometimes the singers jump right into the crowd if you are lucky and enjoy that kind of thing. Acey and the guys hit the on switch for the show with “Here Today” and this is one of my very favorite tunes from his self-titled “Dark Party” album. I’ve always felt that this tune speaks to the instant nature of our society and shines a cruel light on it. Why this tune is not on any radio stations is beyond me. There would be quite a few new songs unless I was just bad on my back lessons in his catalog because I didn’t know the next few tunes even though I greatly enjoyed “Suicide Lullaby” and “Noctulucent”. “Sugar Cum” brought the dancing vibe to the room and everyone around was hopping and bopping as he did it. The band still features Andee on lead guitar and Per-C on bass but there is a new drummer whose name I did not catch tonight. Apologies for that but he was a solid player for sure.
Acey kept the audience engaged as only he seems to be able to do. For tonight’s gig he would periodically have a guitar on his person as well and delivered some rhythms, an occasional lead and just came off more of the Underground Rock Icon as result of this inclusion. Everyone was having a blast and you could see by the activity at the bar that the drinks were flowing in full force as well. That’s never a bad sight since it makes the managers realize they need to bring certain groups back. The party was on the stage this evening for sure but in some sense it was also happening right in front of the bands eyes. “She Brings Down The Moon” came off as the darkest track of the night with its pulsing groove and while some other cool new tunes would come up next I was most excited for their rendition of the classic by The Cult in “She Sells Sanctuary”. This was technically the first encore as Acey announced to the crowd that there were two more and if it had been Cinco de Mayo that it would be “Dos More” – but it wasn’t. The whole room was moving with this one and it would sadly bring us into the nights closing number of “Coming Down”. Whew. A good time from beginning to end I will say.
This was a cool night and I even caught sight of drummer Thommy Price who played with Billy Idol for many years and now can be seen with Joan Jett. It was cool to find him here at the show since Acey Slade was handling some bass duties for Joan over the last few months. Sadly I only caught any of that on the YouTube clips and not in person. Be sure to check out Acey and The Dark Party if they hit a town near you and do yourself a favor and arrive at the show early enough to pay mind to what else is going on. You never know what you will see or who you might run into. Especially in this town. Tomorrow I keep the Rock and Roll blood flowing with a Gotham Rocks event at the Gramercy Theatre. Stay tuned.
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Official Web Site: www.myspace.com/aceyslademusic
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