photos by Tim Griffin
The first two-thirds of the show was utterly tension-free, with the band getting by on concept. The tragic "Mama's Heart" lacked punch, and "Little Darling Pal of Mine," a Carter Family cover, was sluggish. The songs later improved in direct proportion to how involved Kelley was. Her singing on "Who's That Knockin' at My Window" and "Hung Up on Me" was forceful, and when she switched to guitar for "Cannonball Blues," the band finally appeared in full color. (Kelley founded the Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp, in which Jessi participated.)Like they did at the BrooklynVegan showcase at SXSW this year, Shilpa Ray and Those Darlins shared a bill on Thursday night (6/9). The NYC show was at Mercury Lounge and also featured a set by Jon Spencer's band Heavy Trash. Those Darlins also played Southpaw in Brooklyn on Friday (all dates HERE). More pictures from Mercury Lounnge below...
Still, the night's best moments came toward the end, when Those Darlins didn't appear to be worried about being a good band, or even a band at all. During "Shakin' All Over," Nikki brought an awkward male fan onstage for some cringeworthy dancing, saved only by her arched eyebrow. At the encore, "Fun Stix Party" devolved into a raucous, peppy shoutfest that was also the most technically flamboyant song of the night. And after the lights came up, Those Darlins set down their instruments, walked out onto the main floor and danced as the crowd filed out. It was the loosest they'd been all night. [NY Times]