Tuesday 31 July 2012

The Priscillas live at The Retro, Westbourne Park July 27th

Jenny by Paul Slattery
Retro Man at the Retro Venue...it was my first visit to this pub venue and it turned out to be a great little place, well worthy of the name..! It's tucked away on a square between the Westway and the main-line Railway tracks into Paddington station, right in the shadow of the imposing Trellick Tower. It's prime Rock 'n' Roll territory, perfect then for my first experience of seeing The Priscillas, who tonight are here supporting Rat Scabies/Brian James (more on that to follow...). The venue is pretty small, with a capacity of about 100, and it's hot as hell in there. Unfortunately, that means the crowd is pretty sparse as the chords to opening number "Gonna Rip Up Your Photograph" ring out, as a lot of people are drinking outside in the fresh air. It's a tight fit to get all the band onto the smaller of the two stages in the venue, the drum kit is crammed into the corner and pretty soon vocalist Jenny Drag is escaping the confines of the limited space and is prowling the dance floor. She's a rather fetchingly feline focal point, a live-wire cross between Joan Jett and Catwoman, pulling shapes with a cool charisma. The superb single "(All The Way To) Holloway" is followed by the catchy ode to cross-dressing "Jimmy In A Dress" from the latest album "10,000 Volts". Next up it's the New York Blondie style disco of "Fly In My Drink" dedicated with best wishes to Rat's birthday, it's a really great song and one of my highlights of the night. 

The Priscillas - Photo by Paul Slattery
"All My Friends Are Zombies" is another excellent track and Jenny can't stay on the stage for long, one minute she is pressed against the windows singing to the punters outside, who seem oblivious to the fun going on inside, and then she is leaping onto the bar to sing. Leather clad Bassist Suza Sputnik and soon to be departing, Stu the drummer and token bloke, keep up a steady rhythm throughout. The band's three minute Bubblegum Pop gems are a delight, there's hints of The Go-Go's and The Shangri-La's but with gritty Punk attitude and a trashy Cramps style glamour. 

Guri of The Priscillas - Photo by Paul Slattery
This glamour is personified in the Scandinavian cool of guitarist Guri, who also joins the audience at one point to play her fizzing riffs. The raucous "Y.O.Y" is followed by the last number, the impossibly catchy "Superhero" and Jenny swings the mic stand as she belts out the chorus, then it's all over, a really great performance. Now, after the long wait to finally get round to seeing the band I can't wait for the next London gig, The Buffalo Bar, Islington, Friday August 17th, see you there!

Suza Sputnik - Photo by Steve Worrall
Jenny - Photo by Paul Slattery
You can get info on ordering CD's or download their new album "10,000 Volts" from their web-site.

"Calling all female drummers! The World famous Priscillas are looking! Our boy, Stu, sadly has to leave us within the next couple of months. It's a tough position to fill but if you think you're good enough, get in touch. We're hoping to get a girl on board this time around!"

Send your "CV" to hellopriscillas@yahoo.co.uk and say Retro Man sent you...good luck!

Thanks to Paul Slattery for the photographs (copyright Paul Slattery 2012)

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