Friday night was the record release party for The Regrettes’ debut album ‘Feel Your Feelings Fool!’ at the Echo, and the show had sold out very quickly. Sometimes, you have to be careful when you pick an opening band, because the first band of the night was really an act difficult to follow. The Echo was already packed at 7 pm for Starcrawler (I have already reviewed their performance here) a very promising young band, all-claw out, possessed by the demon of rock & roll and determined to leave an everlasting impression with a performance inspired by rock giants. Dog Party, a sibling drum-guitar duo, had the hard task to follow them. Although they were more static than Starcrawler, they had energy with girl-group harmonies and a punk vibe, which could go all Ramones-y on us. Believe it or not but Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles have already released five studio albums at the tender age of respectively 18 and 20, while touring with Green Day or the very fitting Best Coast. They could have a bluesy or a totally retro pop vibe with a raw, rolling guitar and some mad drumming, alternating on lead vocals and not letting the energy slow down a bit. Blonde versus pink hair, they looked cute and totally in synch with each other all set long, whether they were harmonizing, howling or shouting like two well-prepared riot grrrls.
Talking about riot grrrls, this was certainly the theme of the night, from Starcrawler’s Arrow de Wilde, to Dog Party’s Gwen and Lucy Giles and finally Lydia Night and her band the Regrettes. All the young people around me couldn’t contain their joy and enthusiasm – and there were some really young ones, who could not have been older than 11 or 12! The Regrettes are extremely young themselves (Night is only 16!) and as soon as they started, I couldn’t help myself but think about bands like the Runaways, although a girl teenager band in 2017 would have the maturity of… let’s say, Sleater-Kinney. As a matter of fact, Lydia Night, with her little black dress, her bright red lipstick and calm confidence could make a very convincing young Carrie Brownstein, whereas her vocals could remind you about Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino. Surrounded by Genessa Gariano on guitar, Sage Nicole on bass and (one of the only guys of the night) Maxx Morando on drums, the music had a real pop sensibility with bright hooks played with a punk fury and an immediate urgency. Although Lydia was clearly the leading girl (and the main songwriter of the band), they harmonized over what seemed to be very personal stories with an audacious twist, whether she was asking a boy out in the song ‘Hey Now’ (‘Hey now, what’s your name?/ You’re really cute and really nice I think we should go on a date’) or making fun of herself in ‘A Living Human Girl’, (‘I’ve got pimples on my face, and grease in my hair, and prickly legs go ahead and stare’). While the music had this undeniable exuberant side of the 60’s, the lyrics were very 2017… who could have called a song ‘Whatta Bitch’ in 1965? There was a pick at Donald Trump and many emotional songs played with a confidence beyond their young age, while Lydia handled a burgeoning fight in the crowd with great calm, before launching into the rapid-fire drummed ‘You Won’t Do’ and the devilish ‘Hot’… Once again, Friday night was one of these sweaty rowdy nights at the Echo, as people were pushing very hard in the front and shouting for an encore, which calmed them down the time of an acoustic song, but brought more fire and glam with a blasting cover of The Sweet’s ‘Ballroom Blitz’.
How did these teenagers already manage to ink a deal with Warner Bros. for a debut album? When you see them on stage, it’s easy to understand why, their bold attitude, their pop punk melodies blending with introspective lyrics spread in the heat of the moment were a winning combination among their peers. I am much older, but I am always willing to recognize honesty that kicks ass, and this has little to do with age.
I Don’t Like You
How it should be
A Living Human Girl
U won’t do
The Ballroom Blitz
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1975 (Volume 7, Number 1)
Smith’s final freelance contribution to Creem.
putting Nigeria on the map
back at # 1 for a third non consecutive week
not a dreamer but a steely eyed businessman and pop musician
Willie Nelson will play at the Palomino fest on Saturday
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1975 (Volume 6, Number 12
Elton John came across as completely engaging
by episode nine, season four, the bastards finally got me sick of Kate!
some hooky and wildly inspired tune
Harry has the summer of his career!