Friday, July 30, 2010

Batusis - Prima Donna -- Black Cat - July 29 2010

Prima Donna - The theme from "The Omen" blasts away as a twin guitar glam-rock line-up hits the stage with a sax-keyboardist being the unique feature. They start with a portion of Link Wray's "Rumble" before heading into their songs which were fairly standard hard loud glam-rock, perfectly fitting for a band opening for members of the New York Dolls and Dead Boys. The sax was a bit hard to hear through the very loud mix. The keyboards faired better, although the playing reminded me of Jennifer Miro's pounding with the Nuns, but this was more in tune. They covered Wayne County's "Fuck Off" and brought Cheetah Chrome up to do a nice "All this and More" from his old band. One more notable cover,"Keep A-Knockin'" and a windmill guitar move that would have Pete Townshend envious and the 45 minute set was over. A nice opener for tonight's show, nothing wildly original, but this was trashy fun executed very well.

Batusis - This band features Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls) and Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys, Jeff Dahl, Rocket from the Tombs, etc) with a couple of younger guys on bass and drums. I am perplexed at how it has taken me this long to see Cheetah Chrome play live, and for that matter any of the Dead Boys. Somehow our paths did not cross until now. Yet when our paths crossed before the show as he walked by, we kind of nodded to each other in some sort of veteran punk rock acknowledgment. I may like psychedelic music, folk music, and lots more, but there is always something about a punk rock show with the survivors that makes me feel at home. Anyway, they opened with an instrumental garage rocker. Then they did a Johnny Thunders tune "I Want to be Loved". After that, Cheetah sang "Sonic Reducer" which retained its power after all these years. The Dolls' "Trash" was next. Then another garage rocker. A surprise version of VU's "Femme Fatale" complete with audience sing-a-long with Sylvain trying to get the men and women to do different parts. It almost worked. There were more instrumentals and I believe that was "Pipeline" or something else. "Jet Boy" sounded more like Grand Funk than the NY Dolls which was interesting. Cheetah sang a great closer and the encored the Batusi theme (from an old Batman episode--probably modified a bit). The band rocked as expected. Cheetah can still rip off leads, Sylvain will be rocking into his 80s, and the small crowd (60-80) in the backroom had a good time. That is what this night was all about.

Quote of the Night: Sylvain after the sing along-- "God that is beautiful, better than Paul McCartney at the White House"


MJG196 said...

Great review! I posted my own review and some pics - including the setlist - on my blog at (feel free to cop 'em to update this post). I must say that I thought Prima Donna was excellent. They were REALLY tight. REALLY TIGHT. I had never heard of them and had no idea they were already a world-touring band. I was impressed enough to get their CD.

Do you have the setlist order for the PD's set?

MJG196 said...

One last thing - You missed David Johansen at Jammin' Java?!

David Hintz said...

Ha! Yes, I was tempted to see "Buster Poindexter" at Jammin' Java, but I get lazy sometimes as I walk to almost all the DC shows and dread the drives out to the 'burbs.

Yes, I was impressed at how Prima Donna was more the worldly band than I would have guessed before the show (and before I looked at their resume afterword). The singer/guitarist seemed to be a strong presence on stage. He looks born to be a front man. I don't have a set list unfortunately. Thanks for the comments. I will be checking out your blog!