Babies Live @ Rock City, Nottingham (UK) - 22nd March 2007
If you could view Nottingham from the air tonight, there's sure to be a bright
glittering glow hovering around Rock City. The blend of excitement and nostalgia
adds tension to the masses, waiting for two superb rock bands to take to the
About a third of the punters have time warped to 2007 from a Friday rock night
back in the early 90s, complete with Pretty Boy Floyd spandex and barely there
corsets, while a large collection are clearly loyal fans of the Babies sporting
the band trademark on at least one part of their anatomy. Just viewing the almost
full venue from the bar makes for an interesting time.
'People like, people like, people us' is blasted repeatedly through the speakers
while the Babies amble their way onto the stage, this only adds more intensity
and the screams and cheers are euphoric. They blast full steam ahead into the
title track of their latest release without a flaw and barely raise a sweat.
Dregens playing is faultless; he is a constant whirlwind of energy throughout,
with his trademark low slung twirling and his endless teetering on the stage
edge raring to get to his adoring audience. His mike takes a battering several
times and at one point his madness leaves frontman Nicke Borg spinning! Nevertheless
this doesn't mar the singer's performance as they blast through plenty of hits
from the past albums and plenty from the present.
There's an amazing contrast between Nicke and Dregens vocals on 'We Go a Long
Way Back', you wonder how they discovered this union. 'Minus Celsius' is easily
the most anticipated song of the night.
The whole performance leaves you spellbound and pondering the thought of how
this band could ever be second place on any bill.
Buckcherry waste no time appearing but unlike the Backyard Babies before them
they make nothing of their entrance. The lights come up and vocalist Josh Todd
stands quietly by. Of course the audience are howling like there's a full moon
and the charming frontman gives only a sly smile, a gentle hint at how pleased
he is to be here but it only surfaces a few times during the night.
It's hard to believe how far and how fast this band has come since releasing
their third album '15' last year and it could be a hint at why Josh seems to
be in some shock at the adoration from the crowd. This guy however is sex on
a stick, and if you sellotaped him and guitarist Stevie D together they'd certainly
fit through your letterbox, oh hang on, they'd fit through MY letterbox hee
hee! Yes there's a lot of sex involved in this bands songs and performance indeed.
It had crossed my mind how a band with so many brazen rocknroll songs would
begin their set, it can't have been an easy choice, with so many favourites,
but they thrust head first into 'So Far' and there is nothing on this earth
that could stop you singing along. It does appear like the beginning (of their
new album) and is a very good place to start. There are several very subtle
moments that you are overcome with how great a front man Josh Todd actually
is. Sleek, cool and confident, a Jim Morrison for the 21st century.
Moving gracefully from one song to another Josh never appears fazed by the lyrics
he is singing; 'Porno Star' isn't one of their lightest songs either and manages
to make me blush every time I hear it. Tiny Stevie D however loves every word
and his face is a picture as he backs up the vocals 'Take Off Your Clothes and
Shut the Door', like a true rock star you know he means it. Dirty! However it
seems all too easy for these guys, it's hard to tell if they themselves realise
how good they actually are. Standing back from the singing crowd and blasting
speakers, the quality of sound is amazing and takes your breath away at how
perfect the whole image is. The band is always completely in time and tone with
one another, every song played true to the recordings, maybe just a little louder,
but all this from a line up that has only two original members, the others brought
together just over a year ago. An ideal match.
'Crazy Bitch' of course was eagerly awaited and they certainly gave it their
all and a little more, in fact they pulled every last dying breathe out of the
song, which otherwise could easily of been played again later on after the initial
reception it was given. When a song is as popular as this has become, for some
inane reason bands think you want to hear every possible version of the song
rolled into one, but this becomes a long and painful experience especially when
your tottering on high heels and have the very same crazy bitch that they're
singing about standing right next to you, slapping you in the face every time
one of the band thrust their hips in her direction! Play it and move on to the
next one pretty please?
For me 'Everything' truly stole the show. Immaculately played and demonstrating
eloquent artistry in the vocals, Josh Todd could just about sing anything and
everything. Lead guitarist and founder member Keith Nelson steps forward for
a short solo, his fingers flailing up and down his guitar with obvious ease,
eyes closed, and his body writhing as if experiencing extreme pleasure.
The majority of their set was clearly aimed at further promoting the already
successful '15', so for older fans, some of their classics were missed. Personally
I was hoping to hear 'Whiskey in the Morning,' which could have topped the night
but we were treated to 'Lit Up' as a finale and that certainly got even the
coldest of pulses racing. Sadly there was no encore. After such an exceptional
night you'd think the audience would have been crying out for more, but there
was a faint whimper by a few and then they were gone
by Sharron Grainger
If anybody has any photos
from the Buckcherry/Backyard Babies gig and would like to see them in this column,
drop me a line @ EMAIL