F*Bomb Meets Thin Lizzy
Last Saturday it was an F*Bomb Show at Arlene’s Grocery down on Stanton Street. It has been awhile since I went to an F*Bomb show. I have gone to them on occasion, but in general I have not given them much thought. I think one of the last ones I was at was over in the Delancey featuring Karen Curios, and I know they have been in Arlene’s for awhile.
Arlene’s is a survivor in the Lower East Side music scene having been there now for over twenty years. And every month now they host F*Bomb. So what is F*Bomb? It is a monthly show, but what is it that makes it special?
Basically, the plan each month seems pretty simple. They will have one or two featured acts who do their sets, and then the night is wrapped up with this troupe of players paying tribute to a band or artists that all can dig. So you get some original stuff from the featured act and then this troupe of folks, the Bombardiers is what they call themselves, come in and finish the job with some tunes that most will know. And it should be noted that the Bombardiers have some pretty nice talent in their ranks that routinely show up for these. These are musicians that you have seen in various bands and projects over the years, if you are going to Arlene’s, the Mercury Lounge, and the like.
And this last Saturday it was a tribute to Thin Lizzy. Not only Thin Lizzy. They also had a band doing some UFO on the bill! Sadly the UFO act bailed – they had some type of emergency. Hopefully all is well and we catch them at some point! So on Saturday it was two acts – Natural Born Losers and then the Bombardiers doing their take on Thin Lizzy.
Natural Born Losers were good. They had their moments both lyrically and musically. The dude singing had a good voice and knew how to entertain. The music had a dash of rockabilly, some old-fashion punk, but it was basically a four piece band that know how to rock out for an audience. And they did pack the place too. They had something going on, but I simply had come for the Lizzy and UFO. They ended their set with Lizzy’s Sha-La-La.
So the Lizzy set was a mix of the standards and surprises. Fighting was included. I have been meaning to get the Fighting album-it is often neglected. So that was cool. Hollywood – Down On Your Luck from the Renegade album was thrown into the mix. I always loved Lynott’s take on the three cities – LA, NYC, and London. New York being “high-rise, concrete, and complex, Not like old London Town, It reins down on its subjects.” Cold Sweat from the Thunder and Lightning Album.
From the Eric Bell days there was both The Rocker and Whiskey In The Jar. And who knew Phil did not like that tune, though you rarely heard it performed. Myself, regarding the Eric Bell stuff, I would have loved to have heard Little Darling or I am Going to Creep Up On You, though there are challenges of horns in the first. We all have our favs. A slowed down version of Don’t Believe A Word was done reminding me not of Lizzy but of Gary Moore’s Parisienne Walkways. So they did mix it up. And of course the classics were covered, Jailbreak, Cowboy Song, and the Boys Are Back In Town.
And the band was tight, there were moments where they just nailed it. For me those moments are something more than entertainment. Marty on drums and Fernando Rosario on the bass had the rhythm covered. That is saying a lot as we are talking about tunes written and performed by two of the best. The guitarists, who had more than a few challenges, covered their end too. I loved Joe Hogan’s Sykes and Moore inspired runs in songs such as Jailbreak. And Andrew seemed to have really listened to Eric Bell’s intros to Whiskey in the Jar, and Sykes solo in Cold Sweat, hammer-ons and all.
The one thing I might take a point away for is the guitar harmonies-something that Lizzy is known for. I wish they had gotten those tighter, but where as Gorham and Robertson had years, these guys had a few rehearsals. It was interesting seeing Andrew and Joe perform this stuff. You saw them looking over wanting to know who was where. Think of that in relation to the number of pictures you see of Robbo and Gorham jamming together. I don’t think there are any bands today that tackle that kind of stuff. Enough said.
One thing that was very cool about this show were the vocals. There was not one vocalist covering the chore this night. We had I believe twelve vocalist introduced in the course of that set. I have not seen that before. It was just very neat to see each of them make these tunes their own.
One other point has been haunting me. My attitude towards cover bands. I would not want to see a tribute or cover band every weekend. It is kind of like junk food in some respects, but the junk food metaphor gets you only so far. It is perhaps more appropriate for not the tribute act but the top 40s bands you see in local dives. For those of us who have seen and lived with bands such as Thin Lizzy, it is not junk food. For me this Lizzy show was a communion. The charge of nostalgia might resonate, though considering these musicians and artists – I would argue not. The new acts I go and check out today may or may not connect, but this act showed me, reminded me of what is possible.
The Details. . .
- Jailbreak – Mike SOS (SOS),
- Bad Reputation* – Natalia Barham (Trip On Gravity),
- Fighting My Way Back – Paul Bertolino,
- Massacre – Lee J. Thompson (Lardhand),
- Emerald – Pam Grande,
- Cowboy Song – Pam Grande,
- Don’t Believe A Word* – Marty E (Midnight Crisis),
- Hollywood (Down On Your Luck) – SuperMorgan,
- Cold Sweat – Super Morgan (Snake Canyon),
- The Rocker – Craig-Man
- Waiting For An Alibi – Cyd Silver,
- Whiskey In The Jar – Aoife Carty
- The Boys Are Back In Town – Drew Blood,
*Those with links are for video clips on Facebook, as I could not figure out how to embed Facebook videos.
If anyone has pics. . .please do send. More than happy to post them!