|The Donnie Vie Band/Young Lust/Stop Stop/Rebel Lust/Baz Francis - Crumlin, The Patriot - 11th November 2011|
|Written by Rob Watkins|
|Friday, 18 November 2011 05:30|
Time To Let Me Fly High on the Love Train to the tiny hamlet of Crumlin to Get High on the New Thing to witness one of the finest songwriters to grace this Rock 'N' World, Mr Donnie Vie and his solo touring band.
First to enter the Patriot arena is Baz Francis who has played half of this tour with his band Magic Eight Ball and half with a solo acoustic set. The latter is what we get tonight, although terribly early given that there are four support bands. Donnie and EZN are obviously major influences for Baz - Jellyfish also, happily - and, songs blessed with well crafted melodic vocal passages and a '70s indie theatrical element, he doesn't disappoint.
And now for something completely different in the form of three piece, part sleaze, part glam, all party rock 'n' roll outfit Rebel Lust, bounding on stage with their version of the anthem '(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)' and following it up with some self-penned tunes that would all sit quite happily on the first Poison opus. With fluorescent green bass strings to add to the visual showing I'm sure these upstarts have a certain liking for Steel Panther with their LA glam inspired movements and arsenal of BC Richs galore. The torso of frontman Acey Lust has 'Rock 'N' Roll' tattooed across it and, although the get-up of guitarist AJ Lust may be a bit too piratey, their not-too-shabby cover of Steve Earle's 'Copperhead Road' is a high point. Rebel Lust for Christmas Number 1 - Vote now...link to follow....
Spanish outfit (stripped to a trio for this UK tour) Stop Stop take to the stage with singer/bassist Jacob donning a full face of white make-up and looking like a cross between Peter Frampton and Paul Stanley with his cool '70s persona. Guitar boy Vega is one for the Uber Ladies, looking like the Spanish lovechild of Russ North. "Are you ready for some rock 'n' roll?" asks the cool frontman in his best broken English and, with tracks like 'Happy Man', 'In Your Face', and a cover of 'Hush' and a speedy little take on 'Get Back', the band impress with a performance that is verging on headline status, even making time for guitar and drum solo spots. One of those pleasant support band surprises that we love at Uber Rock, and that bass-boy deserves the final words: Star F**kin' Retro Quality.
Southampton rockers Young Lust are the final finger bang before the full-blown Vie-fest and...well....to be honest...they fall a little flat after the OTT antics of the Spanish bombs that preceded them. Frontman Stevie Pearce looks the part...although this may well be because nobody else in the band does; a real mish-mash of styles. It's a little bit of a one man show, though the rhythm guitarist is possibly the coolest member up on the stage. No nonsense, no-frills, no risk rock 'n' roll that is well played and well received.
How do you introduce, for me personally, a living legend and one of the greatest songwriters America has ever produced - Donnie Vie, the frontman of Enuff Z' Nuff, here in town with The Donnie Vie Band on the eve of the release of new album 'Wrapped Around My Middle Finger', as part of their 2011 UK tour?
Tonight is all about the songs: no glitz or glamour - No need, this is songwriting finesse. Playing tracks from throughout his illustrious career including 'These Daze', the rarely performed 1985 album track 'Day By Day' and big single/MTV video hit 'Baby Loves You'. New tune 'Lisa' is dedicated to Donnie's main squeeze and followed by 'Dissonance' track 'Lazy Dazy'. Ably assisted by EZN/Black Mollys drummer Randi Scott, bassist Patrick Pulver and guitarist Jimmy Maguire, the tunes just keep on coming; Heaven, my friends, Heaven....
'One Step Closer To You' is great, only topped by a storming version of 'The Beast' that features the guitar work a young fan who had handed over fifty quid for the priviledge; you expect Donnie to hand back the money as he hugs the kid post-song - he doesn't. 'The Love Train' ploughs into a willing audience mouthing every word and is followed by the classic 'In Crowd' and 'Downhill' and 'Your Heart's No Good...But I Love Your Face' is followed by the obvious Beatles cover; Young Lust's Stevie getting up to play guitar on 'Come Together' which ends with a cute 'She Loves You' refrain. Baz Francis gets up to turn to this last night of the tour into a party with a cool version of 'Time To Let You Go' sung with his hero.
What else could the night end with but 'New Thing'? And how else could I end the night without feeling high.....so high....
[Photos by Tessa Blakout]