September 14, 2010

The Mission Creeps, The Subsonics, Andre Williams

Filed under: Atlanta music — Frederick Noble @ 2:56 pm Share RSS

I was entirely ignorant of Andre Williams. He’s just one of those guys everyone assumed I knew about and had seen. But I spent a good number of years listening exclusively to local music – in large part because I couldn’t afford to attend other shows. Instead, I’d win free passes off one of the college stations to some random Wednesday night show of a new Atlanta band nobody had heard of. There are massive swaths of important music from the 90′s that, though I’m aware of, I have no attachment to. Circa 1995 I would’ve said, “Pay $50 to see The Pixies? I’d rather pay $5 ten times to see Super X-13!” Oddly enough, that sentence could’ve repeated itself in the last couple of weeks.

So when everyone in my facebook feed was looking forward to a show at The Star Bar and I’d never heard of the guy I got a little curious. A few youtube videos later, I bought advance tickets.

But first on the bill, The Mission Creeps, a 98% Cramps, 1% Echo and the Bunnymen, 1% original horror/psychobilly band.

Mission Creeps

Star Bar regulars raved but the act didn’t do much for me.  “They get a bit samey-same,” one degenerate noted. Too much of the same sound, same theme, and too much I’ve heard before. But hey, if you love The Cramps this would make a fine substitute, since you’re not going to see Lux Interior on stage any time soon.

The Mission Creeps

The Mission Creeps

The SubsonicsI suppose the same could be said for The Subsonics – their sound doesn’t change much over the set either. They change speed from tune to tune, but the “Ramones playing Velvet Underground with Sonny Sharrock on guitar” sound is perhaps a bit too consistent. However, The Subsonics bring more energy and less goofy lyrical content.  The horrors Clay sings of are so much more real.

Not to mention Clay’s delivery, leaning out over the monitors, and Rob bobbing around like a ragdoll. Buffy seems positively stoic behind the drums, standing there shouting out the next number.

The Subsonics
The SubsonicsThe ghosts behind The Mission Creeps’ tunes don’t seem nearly as frightening as the monkey on Clay’s back.

The Subsonics

The Subsonics

Then come The Goldstars, Andre Williams’ backing band, doing some garage rock instrumental jams and a song or two, obviously determined to get the crowd worked up – and work they did.

Goldstars

The Goldstars

The Goldstars

The Goldstars

I mumbled, “Shit, these guys are badass,” before Mr. Williams even made an appearance. Andre comes on in white and gold, looking fantastic, with a devilish gleam in his eye and proceeds to belt out tunes in a bluesy R&B style.

Andre Williams

But this is not the music you hear at Salvation Army on Marietta St. Instead, he covers such ground as, “Pussy Stank But So Do Marijuanna.” When he signals the band to bring it down you expect a tender ballad.

Andre Williams

Andrew WilliamsInstead, he croons, “Lemme Put It In.” As charming as the man is, he’s not working too hard. It’s really the band that makes the performance, adding a garage rock edge to the sound. Without them, Andre Williams might come off as a novelty act but together they’re a fine combo.

Andre Williams
The crowd howled for an encore and got one, but could’ve used far more than the man provided. The band lingered after, all sweat and smiles as they shook hands with fans.

Yet again, I’ve seen a legend I’d been unaware of before The Star Bar. Sometimes ignorance leads to bliss.

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