Entries tagged with: The Chameleons
by Bill Pearis
San Francisco's Wax Idols will release their second album, Discipline + Desire, on March 26 via their new home Slumberland Records. That's the cover art above. The new album, produced by Monte Vallier (of Half Church and Swell) and bandleader Hether Fortune, is a marked departure from 2011's No Future, trading in garage-y punk for full-on gothy post-punk a la Siouxsie & the Banshees or The Chameleons. In fact, the latter's Mark Burgess offered "an extra set of ears" during the recording process and played bass on album-closer "Stay In." As much as I liked No Future, the new direction (previewed on last year's "Schadenfreude" single) is a more natural fit for Fortune. You can stream "AD RE:IAN" from it below.
The band will hit the road in March for a West Coast / Southwest tour towards SXSW and then head out for Midwest / East Coast dates later in the spring with TV Ghost, including one in NYC at Shea Stadium on May 4. I would expect them to add at least one more show while they're here (the WIERD party would be a good fit). All tour dates are listed below.
by Bill Pearis
Mark Burgess will be bringing ChameleonsVox back to America in November including four shows here in the NYC area: Wednesday, 11/23 for the Wierd party at Home Sweet Home, then Friday, 11/25 at Littlefield, and Saturday, 11/26 at The Delancey with the final show Sunday 11/27 at Maxwell's. All ChameleonsVox tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
For big Chameleons fans, the Wierd party is the one not to miss, as Burgess is performing the Chameleons' 1983 debut, Script of the Bridge, in full. (They'll also do the same earlier in the month at Oakland, CA's The New Parish on 11/16.) Last year that album got a nice double-CD reissue from Blue Apple Music who, next month, will be reissuing it on vinyl. Hopefully Mark will be bringing that on tour with him.
Anyone who saw Burgess on last year's tour knows ChameleonsVox do an amazing job of recreating the mercurial, powerful Chameleons sound, and Burgess still has the pipes and passion that make it more than just a night of remember when. This tour features original Chameleons/Sun & the Moon drummer John Lever as well. The Chameleons remain a big influence on music today: look no further than the Captured Tracks roster or the new Horrors album.
Opener for all shows except the Wierd party are Black Swan Lane. Tyburn Saints are also on the bill at Littlefield, and Revel Hotel are first openers at the Delancey show. All ChameleonsVox tour dates are below, along with video from last year's Burgess/ChameleonsVox performance at The Big Takeover's 30th Anniversary party at the Bell House.
by Bill Pearis
Mark Burgess @ the Bell House
The two-day Big Takeover 30th Anniversary concluded Saturday (7/31) with a performance from Mark Burgess. The former Chameleons front man played Bell House about a year ago, a thrown-together show with an ad-hoc band that hadn't actually practiced together. This time, however, Burgess came prepared and the five piece band ripped through an hour-long set of Chameleons classics. The band kind of floored the Bell House crowd with just how great they were.
Mark Burgess' voice still sounds amazing and he remains a commanding performer, a genuine rock star who knows how to work the stage. The band, which included Frank Deserto of Revel Hotel and Blacklist drummer Glenn Maryansky, had the songs down for the most part and guitarists Andru Aesthetik and Justin Lomery did an amazing job recreating Reg Smithies and Dave Fielding's distinctive guitar interplay. Full setlist below but we got "Swamp Thing," "Up the Down Escalator" (live video below), "Monkeyland," "Soul in Isolation," "In Shreds," "Nostalgia," and a roaring cover of Alternative TV's "Splitting in Two." I sometimes forget what a huge fan of the Chameleons I am but I was in full geek-out mode Saturday night.
If you missed it, Mark Burgess and band is playing again tonight, Wednesday (8/4) at the Wierd party at Home Sweet Home where smoke machines (maybe the one thing missing from the Bell House show) will be in full-effect ($10 at the door, 10pm doors, band at midnight). This line-up also play Baltimore and Philly, and will then hit the West Coast in September. All dates are below.
by Bill Pearis
The Chameleons (or The Chameleons UK as they were known in the U.S) were among the cultiest of '80s cult bands, musical contemporaries of U2 and Big Country who never achieved their level of success due somewhat to a string of label woes that would fell almost any band. Their influence, however, has far outstripped their sales, and you can hear echos of their sound in such bands as Interpol, Editors, Blacklist and The Horrors. Their 1983 debut album, Script of the Bridge is post-punk classic, equal parts angsty roar and ethereal guitar interplay. Their other two '80s albums are pretty great too, especially 1986's Strange Times which contains what might be their best-ever song, "Swamp Thing." The band broke up shortly after that.
The original line-up (Burgess, drummer John Lever and guitarists Dave Fielding and Reg Smithies) reformed in 2001 after a decade apart, releasing a new album, Why Call it Anything?, in 2002 and toured America, including mindblowing shows at Knitting Factory and Southpaw that were a dream come true for many fans, me included. The band split again in 2003, and Burgess for a while revived his post-Chameleons band, The Sun & the Moon, but has since adopted the moniker ChameleonsVox when he plays live.
As for these American shows, it's interesting how they came about. Originally Burgess was coming to the U.S. only for a personal visit: