The Flamin Groovies Now!

November 13, 2013 at 3:10 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Is rock ‘n’ roll a young man’s game? Blues musicians age and continue unfazed. Likewise folksingers. But somehow, when you get older as a rock singer, people say it just isn’t the same.

But is it? Last Wednesday I went down to Lee’s Palace to see the re-united Flamin’ Groovies and local boys Arson. Admittedly the evening didn’t start so well: I was almost hit by a car which ran a red light, and then about ten minutes after that as I walked to the club, I was almost hit by a car making a left turn in a hurry. I briefly considered going home, but, what the hell…

Lee’s was pretty empty when I arrived about ten minutes before Arson went on stage. I had seen the band open for the Rezillos last year, and was pretty excited to see them again. I should make a correction here to the link I had previously posted to their site though. You can hear tracks from their awesome new CD Not always about You, at their main site. Man, if you hoped Iggy would make a follow-up to Raw Power or you really liked the Dead Boys, you will not be disappointed (and I do not suggest Arson are derivative, but only by point of reference). By the end of their thoroughly entertaining set, Lee’s had become full. I hopped over to the merch table to pick up a copy of the CD and it was ten bucks well spent. (Note: Much of this review was written this past weekend, but I’m just finishing editing tonight. In the meantime I notice that a member of Arson has subscribed to the blog – let me know about the next show. Please!)

The Flamin Groovies came on about 10:15 to tumultuous applause. The band formed in the Bay Area in 1965, but who knows when the last time they were in Toronto. I’m not much for reunion shows, but sometimes you say, I need to see this band. No real surprises here. The band played as if they had been doing it all of their lives (although there was some strange stage banter including Chris Wilson’s persistent references to “Bob” Ford). And yes, they’re not as pretty as they were nor were the vocals as lovely as they had been, but really, who cared?  Does anyone care that Iggy is 66? Does anyone care that the Groovies are well into their sixties. The real question is, is it real and can they still do it. The answer is yes.

At about the seventy minute mark, the band played one of the songs I’d waited all evening to hear, “Slow Death.” As the song closed, Cyril Jordan announced to the audience that the next was their final song. He wouldn’t introduce it, but anyone who didn’t know it should be there: We all knew, it was “Shake Some Action,” arguably their greatest song. The guitars chimed and the harmonies still sounded fresh.

After a brief break, the band returned to play another great, “Teenage Head,” from which the legendary Canadian band took their name. A lot of fun, which this old guy thoroughly enjoyed.

Set List

Jumping Jack Flash (Rolling Stones)
Yeah My Baby
You Tore me Down
Yes I am
Tallahassee Lasse
Feel a Whole Lot Better (the Byrds)
Married woman(Frankie Lee Simns)
I want you Bad (NRBQ)
I Can’t hide
Don’t you lie to me (Chuck Berry)
Don’t Have to Tell you
[Sorry – couldn’t read my handwriting]
Paint it Black (Rolling Stones)
Please Please Girl
Between the lines
Slow Death
Shake some Action


Teenage Head


1 Comment

  1. arsonics said,

    Hey, I think we met as you were buying the cd so I found your post promoting the Lee’s show and I connected.

    Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you like the cd! Next show I believe will be Dec 15th with Hugh Cornwell at Lee’s again. Let me know if you can make it and I’ll leave your name at the door.

    Thanks again,



    Bent from my iPhone


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