Pussy Galore – Drums, New York City, NY, US (29 March 1988)

Pussy Galore show at Drums, New York City, NY, US with B.A.L.L. on 29 March 1988.

Photo: Macioce Photography (https://www.instagram.com/maciocephotography/)

Review below from New York Times (4 April 1988):

Pussy Galore - Flashy 60's Extremism (PRESS, US)
REVIEW TEXT:
Review/Rock; Flashy 60’s Extremism

By Peter Watrous
April 4, 1988

The 1960’s came back like a fever at Drums on Thursday night. Ball, which opened the show, is one of several groups revolving on the axis built by the increasingly important Shimmy Disc record label. The group has not played much live, and this showed in its enthusiastic looseness and spontaneity.

With two drummers, the group -Don Fleming on guitar, Kramer on bass and David Licht and Jay Siegel on drums – kicked around some dust, pummeling a different rhythm for each song. Mr. Fleming, the tall and owlish lead singer, played the visionary rebel, croaking phrases -“My TV is broke,” “Nixon’s pretty face” – while the drummers thundered away behind him. Kramer, supplying greasy bass lines with ferocity, also supplied the harmonies: while Mr. Fleming’s guitar stayed static, Kramer roamed the fretboard, pulling out improvised harmonies with a late 60’s improvisatory coarseness.

Pussy Galore goes a bit further back for inspiration; the group is firmly lodged in a high-speed, imaginary version of the British Invasion. Everything it does is mannerism and artifice, and its lead singer, Jon Spencer, cannot be understood at all; only his howl, which sounds like an English singer imitating a black American bluesman, comes through. Totally out of tune, the three guitarists – Mr. Spencer, Julia Cafritz and Neil Hagerty – rammed short two-and three-note riffs, passing as songs, into the audience.

But the band’s sloppiness is illusionary. The group grooved with split-second agility from one odd, off balanced rhythmic pattern to another. The drummer, Bob Bert, with a gas tank strapped to his bass drum, a car spring on top of that and sheets of metal attached to his snare drum, slammed out industrial, stamp-press beats. In its rock extremism, Pussy Galore is trying to squeeze meaning out of rock, when much of rock’s original power has been drained away. It’s a tough job, but the group does it well.

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