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



Gypsy Pistoleros
Bai Bang
Hollywood Harlot
Down & Dirty
Dead Metal Society
The Backyard bar, Tulsa, 8 July 2009




“Getting out in Tulsa to see Bai Bang and the Pistoleros as well as some great local talent the night before ROK was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that we got to see some great bands that we got to party with before and after the show, and a curse in that we had a tendency to over-party meaning that Day 1 at ROK would not be the most clear-headed of mornings” – Mark Rockpit


Your Rockpit scribes scored a lift with the lovely and crazy Jen from the Rocklahoma campsite all the way into Tulsa to the Backyard Bar on Rocklahoma’s Eve, where everyone is pumped for a big party. We were lucky enough to drink a shedful of beers (and the occasional jello shot) and meet a bunch of the Rocklahoma forum family in a blur of names and faces.


Dead Metal Society

Local cover band Dead Metal society did a good job of starting proceedings with an old school metal vibe, and the dance floor started to fill with headbangers and groovers alike early on.




Down n’ Dirty were next - theres a lot of young bands in the states playing old school sleaze metal/cock rock – perhaps its because they grew up listening to their folks’ records? It’s healthy though and loads of fun – and bodes very well for our future listening pleasure!




These young guys from Chicago played a very solid set which belied their ages, featuring some very self assured singing and playing from the lads, in an early Gunners/Crue sort of vein. A couple more years honing their song writing should see a great album from these guys and I’m looking forward to hearing more from them.



Down n' Dirty



Bai Bang have arrived from Sweden - bass player Joacim Sandlin and I share baby photos, and we got to have a good chat to the whole band as well as take some fun photos and pick up a copy of their new CD Are You Ready. They were very appreciative to discover I was the Aussie who messaged them on Myspace recently!


Mark Rockpit, Bai Bang's Joacim, Jen, & Molly from BarnDog Promotions


Jen with Molly from BarnDog Promotions

"Organizing Tulsa's Rocklahoma pre-party was a great honor for everyone at BarnDog Promotions. We had the chance to work with some amazing musicians: Bai Bang and the Gypsy Pistoleros were absolutely incredible! Hollywood Harlot was always a joy. (It breaks my heart to know they've since disbanded.)

Chicago band Down & Dirty impressed everyone in attendance. As the promoter for the event, I actually heard more praise for Down & Dirty than any other band that played that night! I think no-one expected such incredible stage presence and musicianship from a band of youngsters they'd never heard of, and I hope we opened some doors for them!

The entire experience was a joy and one I will always treasure! It was also wonderful to finally meet The Rockpit crew all the way from Australia, and we hope you guys will be back for Rocklahoma 2010!"

- Molly Simmons, BarnDog Promotions.



Diddi from Bai Bang with Shane Rockpit



The Gypsy Pistoleros aren’t far behind. It’s great to finally meet Lee & Iggie after chatting online for a while, and a couple of beers were enjoyed (of course). The Pistoleros are jetlagged and have been partying all day but are in fine form!


Lee & Iggie Pistolero

with Shane Rockpit


Jet, Denny & Iggie Pistolero

with Mark Rockpit



Hollywood Harlot is another young local band who weren’t even born when some of their musical influences were around, and they made a very good impression with some great guitar work and a simultaneously enthusiastic and surly attitude – these guys have stage presence galore, a few strong songs, and will be ones to watch over the next few years, especially if they spend a little more attention on cutting down the posing and a little more on their songwriting.



Hollywood Harlot




EDITOR'S NOTE - Hollywood Harlot have since broken up – let’s hope we get to hear from these guys again either by reforming or in individual projects



The sound took a turn for the worse as Bai Bang took the stage, though through no fault of their own, as equipment problems played havoc with their set. These guys have been around in one incarnation or another for years and it shows – they are tight as hell and play together like a band should. Despite them saying afterwards that the technical hassles made this their worst show ever, the crowd lapped it up and had a great time throughout a set mostly taken from latest album Are You Ready.


Diddi fronting Bai Bang


Bai Bang's Jonas


The Gypsy Pistoleros are up next, and Jet and Denny – the new boys on bass and drums respectively – are visibly nervous (and look like babies next to Lee and Iggie’s weathered rockstar mugs), but hold things together admirably for the main guys.


Lee Pistolero


Lee flails about onstage, swigging from a beer and giving it his finest anglo latin punk glam star shot, while Iggie goes for a wander through the crowd, dropping to his knees to serenade a couple of pretty young things with blistering solos.


Lee & Iggie Pistolero






Iggie Pistolero

The rest of the crowd danced and rock out front of stage as the Pistoleros powered through a set of their reprobate flamenco touched sleaze rock. I love these guys on record and they did not disappoint live.


One random dude whacked my chest and seemed genuinely upset that I didn’t recall playing in a band with him some years previously – umm, wrong guy, dude – though I don’t think he even “got” that it wasn’t me!


BarnDog promotions did a great job assembling this lineup, and the night had a vibe of sheer love for the music, and a joie de vivre not often felt at backyard bars anywhere in thee world! There was no rockstar elitism on show – all the bands just a good time playing their songs and meeting their appreciative fans, and we certainly loved every minute of it.


The best part of it all is that this is only the Pre Party! Tomorrow starts four days of intense rock mayhem.



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All text and photos by Shane & Mark Rockpit