words and photos by Keith Marlowe
The Gories, gettin' down
The Gories played Bowery Ballroom on July 30th (with Chickensnake and The Revelons), one of three shows scheduled for the reunited Detroit threesome. Keith Marlowe's viewpoint of the show, with more pictures, can be found below...
Chickensnake features NYC treasure Jerry Teel, who has been in so many great bands it's hard to keep count (Honeymoon Killers, Boss Hog, the Chrome Cranks and Knoxville Girls....) and his wife Pauline, who joined him in Jerry Teel and the Big City Stompers. The couple drove up from the swamps of Louisiana to play this show, and didn't disappoint. Formed a little over a year ago in 2009, they're still a young band, and they get better every time I see them.
The Revelons are a classic NYC band who originally existed from 1978 to 83 and were mainstays at CBGBs during that time. They reunited in 2003 to work on an album, Pop-ism, and have played various reunion shows since then. Singer Gregory Lee Pickard introduced the band, and when he turned to guitar player Mark Suall and told him "You're supposed to introduce me now," Suall told him "Let's Go, let's go. Keep this brief," and started the next song, which drew a lot of laughs from the crowd. Fred Smith (who played in Television) was the only bass player of the night.
The Gories, from Detroit, were together from 1986 to 1992. They have all kept busy in various bands since then; Mick (Blacktop, Screw and the Dirtbombs), Dan (Demolition Doll Rods and Rocket 455) and Peg ('68 Comeback and Darkest Hours). Mick and Dan form a dual Fender threat, and Peg plays a minimal drum kit. Their stripped down sound is a fusion of garage rock, punk and blues. They reformed in 2009 to play a reunion tour with the Oblivians.
The Gories experienced an infamously bad break-up, but seemed to enjoy each other's company onstage. Making a joke about their lack of preperation, Mick said, "Rehearse? We didn't even talk for 10 years." They may not have practiced much, but their songs were tight and they had more stage presence than bands half their age. It was kinda weird to see Dan with his clothes on, since he's been touring almost naked with the Demolition Doll Rods for 13 years or so. Dan chided Mick for tuning after the second song, "In the old days you wouldn't have cared," and Mick responded "I gotta tune. I just love all the people so much."
They played a bunch of classic tunes, including the Suicide cover of "Ghostrider", "Train Kept a Rollin", "Feral" and "Telepathic" (full set list below). They finished the show with "Give Me Love", during which a girl got onstage to dance and somersault, and some jackass decided to stagedive, which was funny because it was apparent to everyone but him that nobody had any intention of catching him. I felt him hit the floor from about 15 feet away. The Gories came back for an encore with their classic "Nitroglycerin", and then spent the night partying at Home Sweet Home.
If you wanna find out more about the Gories, check out Eric Davidson's (New Bomb Turks) book, We Never Learn, the Gut Punk Undergut (which recently had a release show). It's got a lotta stories about the Gories and all their Crypt Record labelmates.
More photos from the show, including one of the headliner's setlist, are below....