New York Dolls – 100 Club, London

By Mark Youll | 24th March, 2011 | gig reviews |

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Jammed tight inside the glorious red sweat box I prefer to refer to as the legendary 100 club, my full attention is balanced between the chaotic buzz thrown out by tonight’s equally legendary support band, Spizzenergi, and something resembling a romantic notion.

I’m dreaming inside that maybe tonight’s headlining performance by primary punk pilots, the New York Dolls, will finally cast some kind of silent seal of approval, or blessing, to the numerous British punk groups that tread this very same stage during the ‘punk festival’ of autumn 1976, some three years after the Dolls first helped musically unfold the very meaning of the word, punk.

“...despite the subtle grooves old age has bitten into the once glossy guises of singer David Johansen and chief guitarist Sylvian Sylvian, the New York Dolls are still true to their own ‘punk’ credentials, if not, their glamorous name sake.”

And despite the subtle grooves old age has bitten into the once glossy guises of singer David Johansen and chief guitarist Sylvian Sylvian, the New York Dolls are still true to their own ‘punk’ credentials, if not, their glamorous name sake. Scattered by sound problems, the opening rendition of ‘Babylon’ is quickly rejected and then replaced by the Stones-like shaker ‘Cause I Sez So’ to reveal the band almost at their best. A band that throughout a bullet proof set list, injected with goofy wise cracks and Johansen’s sharpest wit, remain glued super tight to the slick arrangements of songs like ‘ Better Than You’ ‘Frankenstein’ Bo Diddley’s ‘Pills’ (wow!) and an emotive tribute to the late great Johnny Thunders in the shape of ‘You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory’.

Unsurprisingly though, it’s the unmistakable attack of the Dolls’ main offenders ‘Jet Boy’, ‘Looking For A Kiss’, the freshly reggae-spiced ‘Trash’ and the brutal climax of ‘Personality Crisis’ that truly fuelled this hits-hungry crowd. And what better way to leave? Let’s just hope they don’t leave it as long next time.

Originally published on Music-News.com and for Noble PR, May 14th, 2009.

Photograph by Paul Bachmann