The last night of the Norton 25th Anniversary fest nearly killed me but it certainly was worth it.
The Nor-Tones played their final set, apparently including an awkward Kim Fowley moment that was quickly kiboshed by Billy Miller– I missed this and can’t comment on it, but someone out there will report the ignominy, I’m sure.
Next up, Bloodshot Bill took the stage, for the first time in NYC since New Years 2006. Â If anything, he was TWICE as good as that last show, growlin’, hiccoughin’ and oinkin’ his way through a set perfectly fusing Hasil Adkins weirdness to Charlie Feathers rhythms. Â My one video doesn’t quite do justice to this set, which included Jenks Carman-like antics like using the guitar neck like a set of drums! Amazing.
FIGURES OF LIGHT
Next up were Figures of Light, the resurrected NJ band with Mick Collins on guitar, Mark Natale on bass and Miriam on drums. Â They started strong but only a couple of tunes stood out– such as the closing ‘It’s Lame’ (video below).
After that New Jersey’s Swingin’ Neckbreakers, sort of a fill-in for the cancelled Real Kids, who I unfortunately did not get a video of Â (getting multiple drinks at this point).
guests: Great Gaylord, Roy Loney & Cyril Jordan
The A-Bones’ set was one of their best in a while, incredibly energetic and full of their best songs including ‘Button Nose’ and a star turn by the Great Gaylord. Â But nothing prepared for me for the Roy Loney/Cyril Jordan guest spot and 4 amazing songs by the “Flamin’ A-Bones”: Shake Some Action, Tallahassee Lassie, Teenage Head and Slow Death. Â For me, these four songs were the highlight of all four nights. Â Jordan’s guitar, Loney’s incredibly dramatic dancing and singing, and amazingly solid backing by the A-Bones. Â I think I nearly fainted.
THE TANDOORI KNIGHTS
Next up, the Tandoori Knights had the unenviable task of following perfection and prefacing the Sonics. But they did their best, with a goofy set of Eastern-tinged rockabilly that was occasionally great.
Finally, after a long wait as various techs set up the gear on stage, the Sonics took the stage. Â They have a new bass player since their last appearance in New York (in 2007), but he’s of the same vintage as the rest and can holler Little Richard-style like noone’s business. I stayed in front for the first few songs and got some good shots and video. Â Overall, they sounded better than 2007 to my ears, Roslie’s voice is certainly stronger than it was then. Â They’re a bit more sure of themselves and even have some new numbers to show off. Â The style is, somehow not surprisingly, hard rock, but it wasn’t enough to drive anyone away from the stage area.
The festival closed with ‘Louie Louie’, which was just one last perfect moment for the party of the year.
THANK YOU BILLY! THANK YOU MIRIAM! THANK YOU NORTON RECORDS!figures of light, flamin groovies, pinche gringo, sonics, swingin' neckbreakers, tandoori nights