Ace Frehley/Tigertailz @ Astoria, London (UK) - 11th April 2008

These days Soho Square may be more widely known as the location for the headquarters of the English Football Association, but the endless queue of people snaking its way around London's chintzy former adult playground resembled more of a Champions League of glam rock.
The Kiss Army certainly was out in force with Rock Soldiers from as far a field a Norway, Denmark and Sweden (and those are just the ones I talked to) all seemingly incurably insane about "Space Ace's" live return to the UK's Capital city.
So, after surreptitiously slipping midway into the gala parade of satin, silk and striped trousers, I managed to capture the alarmingly early arrival of Welsh (Vale of) glam legends "Tigertailz".
The renewed vigour and spirit encapsulated by "Tigertailz" since 2007's superb "Thrill Pistol" set, and the hugely successful "Y&T" support tour that followed, make these demigods of UK glam a must see event for any self respecting fan of the rock genre. Of which, there were certainly plenty along for the ride tonight, with the usually (early on) half empty stalls, rammed rock solid from the get go.
The ageless iconic figures of "Kim Hooker" and his blood brothers stormed through classics such as "Sick Sex", TYFHO" and the newer "Long Live The New Flesh" before firing off their collective Thrill Pistols with a whirlwind "Love Bomb Baby".

The tension that built up to the rocket countdown intro was almost unbearable, but when "Rip It Out" engulfed the adoring masses the ultra slim and sober "Ace" shone like the iconic figure on his T Shirt of choice for the evening.
Playing songs that encapsulated my formative teenage years as much as say Pacman, Lime Slush Puppies and Men Only Magazine did, my jaw was at floor level by the time "Hard Times" "Strangeways" and "Torpedo Girl" had flashed past me like the mirrored lightning bolts adorning the Astoria walls.
Did Ace really just play a song from Gene and Paul's supposedly absolute nadir of an album? Fuck yeah, and finally the recognition for "Kiss Unmasked" and the great album it really is.

The swaggering three-piece backing band of Derrek Hawkins (Guitar), Anthony Esposito (Bass) and Scot Coogan (Drums) brought back some very strong visual memories of "The Heartbreakers" for me, yet musically they were tight and passionate in delivery, with the lead vocals of Anthony and Scot in particular giving Gene and Paul a run for their money these days on tracks like "Love Gun" and "I Want You".
Pseudo "Kiss" are now looking at a June 2008 "Download Festival" appearance with a certain "Ace Frehley" also on the supporting bill. I'd suggest that they cast a cautious look over studded shoulder pads at the make up free superheroes "Ace" has assembled around him.

Ace's trademark flashing Lite Brite Les Paul was given an airing for a run through the timeless pop of "New York Groove" with his smoking Les Paul still alive and well for an orgasmic "Shock Me".
Finishing up the gala nights entertainment with a rather ironic "Cold Gin" a rather sobering thought hit me. That thought was that over the past 20 odd years of seeing bands such as "Twisted Sister", The Dogs D'Amour" and "Backyard Babies" rip the roof off this superb old school theatre style venue, this really could possibly have been the last show I will ever seen there (due to the venue being demolished soon to make way for an overground rail link).

Well, if that epitaph does get attributed to tonights show then at least I can say I made it with an Ace in my deck.

by Johnny H.

Visit the Ace Frehley Website

Visit the Tigertailz Website