The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

NEW YORK DOLLS

THE AMPLIFIER BAR, CAPITOL THEATRE, PERTH WA

FRIDAY 7th october 2011

 

THE NEW YORK DOLLS EAT PERTH!

 

 

Setlist:

LOOKIN FOR A KISS
WE’RE ALL IN LOVE
DANCE LIKE A MONKEY
CAUSE I SEZ SO
FUNKY BUT CHIC
PRIVATE WORLD
FOOL FOR YOU BABY
MYSTERY GIRLS
TALK TO ME BABY
FABULOUS
KIDS LIKE YOU
TOMMY
PILLS
TRASH
JETBOY

Encore:

PERSONALITY CRISIS

 

 

 

 

So here we were packed into Perth’s Amplifier bar, which tonight resembles some sweaty New York Club in the seventies. The place is packed to the rafters, the lights are low and walls sweating and the air is a heady mix of cigarettes, beer and an almost sexual level of anticipation.

 

The crowd is as indefinable as it is diverse:  young and old, punk, Goth, hard rockers, kids, parents, grandparents: a brotherhood and sisterhood waiting on the legendary New York Dolls to take the stage fashionably late.

 

Earlier in the day we’d seen the Dolls pull up with their tour manager and walk around the empty venue, just us, the Dolls and the crew, it was surreal, and now here they were in the flesh again larger than life as they took the stage where just this morning they had been the size of mere mortals.

 

I myself am beaming from ear to ear, like I had been most of the day, which had just got progressively better, hours ago we’d seen the Dolls soundcheck, interviewed Sylvain and said hi to the rest of the guys before chatting to Earl Slick on the way out to grab some liquid nourishment.

 

But this is what we were all here for: the live show, and nothing had really prepared me for that...

 

 

 

 

Opening with the raucous welcome of ‘Looking For a Kiss’ the crowd goes wild and myself and my fellow photographers realise that getting shots of the Dolls is probably going to be our hardest assignment in a while. I shot off twenty in desperation, all of which I knew would be useless, and decide instead to just hold my ground and rock out.

 

The thing that most immediately strikes me about the Dolls was how incredibly tight they are. Earl Slick, (The legend who played with Bowie, Lennon, Coverdale and so many more) bassist Kenny Aaronson and drummer Jason Sutter and unnervingly on the mark all night. And that allows Sylvain and David to take it in turns to steal the show.

 

 

 

 

It’s quite brave so early in the set to hit us with a string of newer vintage songs but ‘We’re All In Love’ ‘Dance Like a Monkey’ and ‘Cause I Sez So’ and ‘Funky But Chic’ (a song rerecorded by the Dolls that first saw light on a Johansen solo album) all keep the crowd jumping and entertained and us frontline snappers battered and bombarded but loving it.

I think it’s the extended exploration of ‘Private World’ that seals it for me know, it’s almost Doors-like in the breakdown and never having been one of my favourite Dolls songs I’m now hearing and seeing it is a new light.  It’s an amazing moment.

By the time it’s sunk in that this is really happening I’m like a rabbit in the headlights: Johansen is all that you think he will be on stage, like a weathered close relation of Jagger he has the sort of face that looks both lived in and comfortable, and his hair is brilliant, like it’s not aged a day since 1976!  I’d kill for hair like that.

 

 

 

 

Tonight I’m letting my photography duties slip, unintentionally, as I become lost in the music.  ‘Fool for you Baby’ from the new CD is mesmerising and I realise that is the key to the setlist. There may well be a large number of new songs but they all sound like the Dolls and just the fact that the band has the balls and desire to not only put out new music but also play it live is a slap in the face to all the bands out there of a certain age that have just been retreading their ‘Greatest hits’ for a decade or more.  Incidentally The Dolls are just off the back of the Motley Crue and Poison tour…

This is primal music; it’s about sex, about lust and has dirt under its fingernails. It’s sleazy dirty blues-based rock and roll and ‘Mystery Girls’ sends an already crazy crowd to another place entirely. I’m not too sure we are in Perth anymore!

 

 

 

 

Throughout the night David and Sylvain slip in a few anecdotes and stories and earlier in the day when I’d been interviewing Sylvain I asked him a question about alter egos – as David had Buster Poindexter who would he have and what would his character do?  The name he came up with was Ricky Corvette and tonight from stage in Perth he announces that he’s no longer Sylvain Sylvain – he’s Ricky Corvette! David and the band are laughing and I’m beaming from ear to ear!

 


And amidst all the craziness and screams and wailing guitars and the onslaught that brings the show to a close that starts with Pills and ends with an encore of Personality Crisis I get a shiver. This is a helluva special night, one that doesn’t come around too often and I’ve only felt a handful of times in 500 shows. This, my friends is what Rock and Roll is all about and it’s the best feeling in the world.

 

It’s not often you come out of a show on a high like that. It reaffirms why you love music so much and defines the person you are.

 

The New York Dolls were legends to me when I was growing up and their first album was one of the first records I ever bought (and still have). I expected something good tonight but nothing prepared me for something that good.  And I do not think that there was anyone there in the room tonight that went away disappointed.

 

Best concert of the year so far by a mile. Don’t miss them this tour if you get a chance.

 

 

Mark Diggins

 

LOOK OUT FOR OUR INTERVIEW WITH SYLVAIN SYLVAIN - UP IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS