Today was Saint Patrick’s Day and while I initially planned on staying as far away from the Big Apple as was humanly possible, I instead ended up using the day to do some coverage of the free Hank 3 show that was going to happen at the Gramercy Theatre later on in the evening. While preparing my camera gear and making sure that the trusty Smartphone was updated with some preliminary notes, a text from our Finnish friend in music, the one and only Muff appears on the screen. Apparently, he and fellow Naked guitarist Zack Schleidecker were doing some stripped down gigs and this afternoon at Riff Clothing would be one of them. Riff Clothing is a new store located in the space formerly used by the Morrison Hotel gallery which was formerly the C.B.G.B.’s Gallery in case you were wondering. With the start time being 4pm for their set I had to get a move on and fortunately I would arrive at the very second the guys were starting their set.
Initially I thought that this would be an acoustic presentation but it was electric and that found the songs to be very close to what they sound like with the full band doing them. They started off with “Got A Feeling” and followed that with “Sonic High”. The latter being a tune that was written about New York City. “I Know” would precede “Powerblind” and that was a song that The Muff described as being their version of Cheap Trick meets Abba. For this set the guys were seated on a zebra patterned couch way in the back of the shop. There was even a drum kit behind them which found me thinking that the full on command of the Naked band could foreseeably do a regular gig here if they wanted to. The crowd was sadly on the small side but good enough for a Saturday afternoon on a day where the larger part of the city is only focused on getting trashed beyond belief. The Muff kept the gathered folks engaged and talked to them periodically. One of the stories he lined out before “High On Blue Love” was how he had written the tune the day after taking Viagra. Pretty funny stuff.
Before “Hallelujah” The Muff told the fans that while the song was named this often thought of religious term, that they were not a Christian band and it was not a religious song. I have to say that one or two of the lines in there would make a person think otherwise but it’s just clever wordplay and not soap box preaching. The set was a brief one and ran only eight numbers but it was free and it was a nice day to be out doing anything so who could argue with that. Muff said how their last song “Revolution” was one of their first singles but I do not recall what album he said it came from. All I own is their super fun “Double Down” release. After the show Zack and The Muff stopped to talk to the friends who had come out and to meet the new fans that had wandered in. There is a lot of cool stuff to see at Riff Clothing and it’s owned by Andy Hilfiger (the brother of the internationally famous Tommy). I did a quick browse and some stuff seemed nice and cheap while other items were a bit more pricy. I admired the collection of Rock books that were for sale and the fact that they were playing Led Zeppelin on the turntable when the show by Naked, err “1/2 Naked” was over. Yes, I did say turntable. Remember those?
One of the shop staffers told me that there are shows like this often and I would love to catch some more of them if the schedule allows me the chance to do it. That’s a cool idea in my book. Anything that keeps the Rock and Roll spirit alive works for me. Now I would take my leave of the guys and head further uptown for something to eat and maybe drink on this fine St. Patrick’s Day, wandering the city as a sober Rick Grimes amidst The Walking Drunks. Wish me luck, Hank 3 was on at 9pm and I had hours to go.
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