Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Promotional Video Review: GASH Live at Gotham Grindhouse, Tammany Hall, NYC by Heather Dawson

Band: GASH
Place of origin: South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Genre: S&M punk rock
Video: Live at Gotham Grindhouse, Tammany Hall, NYC
Filmed and edited by Kevin Vonesper (Vonesper Studios)
Release date: September 22, 2014
When I first started singing again in 2008 I came out guns a blazing - I had recently lost a bunch of weight had change my hair and everything. I had a cool new job and was making a decent salary and I wanted to join a band - so I did. When we did Bowie once, I came out in a sexy nighty thing with like garters and what not, like Cheri Curry used to wear in The Runaways. There was one problem with that... I was 40. And we were playing at a small bar in Massapequa Park.... ahem. I had other ideas... cause I was such a spitfire on stage I wanted the guys to blindfold me and handcuff me and like sort of unwrap me on stage and let me go... again... ahem... get real... you’re a middle aged mom playing in a bar on LI.... get ahold of yourself.
Point I’m trying to make here is I adore stage craft theatrics. I love costumes and I love antics. The problem is it’s hard to carry off properly when you are on the small stage and suspend the audiences’ belief that they are just at a small bar or club. I would rack my brain thinking about these things. How did Lady GaGa do her show at Desmond’s? Maybe she didn’t... but then how did she build up that show? Same with Alice Cooper - when did he pull out the guillotine? When did he say I have an idea? Same Bowie and Kiss - how do you put on a big show in a small place... let me tell you GASH figured it out...
I click on the link to their video for the song ‘Ritual’ and blammo, like a Batman punch hitting me smack in the mouth, I’m knocked out. This band has everything... handcuffs, leather, chains and blindfolds - back ground dancers and fabulous hedonistic costumes. Right from the start I was like ‘ooooooo mommy like...’ Play some dirty, low down rock and roll and pair it with intense scenes of leather boys in chains having a rip roaring time, baby I’m sold.
There is a passion here a show you don’t often get to see in my neck of the woods. This is a rock show mashed with a leather burlesque. So gorgeously performed and lovingly given to the audience. The exchange between the band and dancers and the audience is exquisite. Everyone is having a good time and experiencing the explosion of sight and sound. I wish I was at this show.
It takes nerve and incredible confidence to say ‘let’s do something really different’ without thoughts of ‘is an audience going to dig what we have going on here?’ When you do your work well, with passion, people are emotionally affected. I remember hearing about when Frank Zappa saw Alice Cooper the first time. The band mostly cleared the room but the people who stayed were entranced. Frank signed the band to his Bizarre label immediately saying and I’m paraphrasing that Alice Cooper made an impression, love them or hate them, they made you feel, and Frank wanted that. Bands that evoked an emotional response from an audience. The Alice Cooper band made people stand up and take notice and so does gash. They can’t be ignored.
And it’s not just the show that provokes emotion. The band has a pure rock sound without being overblown or a caricature of what shock rock is or was. They take the music as seriously as the performance. The sound and tone of the music is dead on; it’s well thought out and heavily crafted. But when it all comes together, the show and the music, it seems spontaneous and explosive. To put this kind of act over in an authentic way with no pretense, no irony nor tongue in cheek, you need to love it and respect it. All this preparation Gash puts into their sound, makes the fun they create seem explosive and uncontrollable. Yet if it were truly as haphazard as the band may want you to believe, it could never be as good as it is. One of my goals for 2019 will be to see this band live. Because I could use a little spontaneous, raucous, sexy rock ‘n’ roll these days. -Heather Dawson

Lineup:
Tibbie X-Kamikaze: Vocals
Hit Cunningham: Guitar
AJ Delinqiuent: Guitar
Travis Travesty: Bass
Kevin Knuckles: Drums

(Note: Tibbie X-Kamikaze is now the bass player for Reagan Youth. -DW)

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