Thank GOD for Britny Fox!! Why, you ask? Simple. While other so called Glam bands are trying to relive the glory days, feeding off the corpse of their dying image, Britny Fox is reinventing itself with younger talent and a whole lot of passion. This makes for an entertaining show, I’m here to tell you. And it’s me saying this – a guy who’s not even that big of a fan of the ‘Hair’ bands.
So let’s start at the beginning, as my shrink would say (if I had one). There were 5 bands on the bill and tickets were $6. Hard to complain so far. Ok, 4 were local acts that ranged from somewhat decent to downright hideous, but out of kindness I won’t mention any names here. Suffice it to say that most played covers and of the few originals we heard, probably the most significant came from a group called ‘Straight Up’ out of Newark.
The crowd was sparse – probably numbering no more than 75 – 100, so the Britny Fox band members easily walked amongst us and had a beer or two pre-show. The only original member left is bassist Billy Childs who is pictured to the right in this photo. The old man with hairfuck on the left is me. Gorgeous ain’t I? Kiss my ass.
Anyhow, I talked with Billy and drummer Henry (just Henry) about the most recent changes in the band - specifically vocalist Tommy Paris’s somewhat abrupt departure and the future legacy of the group. Henry was very candid about the attention they were starting to get again and how new vocalist Jamie Fletcher had had to learn 15 songs (and rhythm guitar parts) in only 5 days. Alrosa was their first live show together.
Well, rest assured sports fans, they collectively rose to the challenge. Henry is a monster on the drums, a literal machine who powers the rhythm section along with Billy’s bass with an exciting level of energy. Guitarist Greg Polcari is under-rated in his ability to fluidly handle the solos and main melodies while Jamie takes on the vocals & rhythm parts. No small feat considering the older stuff was sung falsetto – and Jamie sings it within range.
The guys were tight, rehearsed and enjoyable to watch. Plus, on two occasions in the set Billy let my wife pluck his bass from the front row. You know she’s a fan now but somehow I was still unable to negotiate a full-on trade (her for the bass). Maybe next time.
The highlights of their set included the two mandatory hits – ‘Girlschool’ and ‘Long Way to Love’ as well as interesting choices for covers; The Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right to Party”, “Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth and “You Gotta Another Thing Comin’” by Judas Priest. Other songs I recognized were ‘Left Me Stray’, ‘Black and White’, ‘Pain’, ‘Closer to Your Love’, ‘Midnight Moses’, ‘Six Guns Loaded’, ‘Liar’and ’Shot From my Gun’.
In the end, these guys play good ole’ fashioned rock n’ roll and that’s fine by me. With new band members and thus re-invigerated vision, I have more faith than in most that they are capable of producing future work that rises above mere rehash of 20 year old riffage. Check’em out and support their efforts.