REVEREND HORTON HEAT – THE AMAZING CROWNS – FLAT DUO JETS Live at The Newport (Columbus, OH)
I’ve wanted to see the Amazing Crowns ever since I first heard them this Summer. They didn’t play the portion of the Warped tour I went to and I missed the Rev since I was doing interviews. Luckily Kathy (who has one of the sweetest phone voices I have ever heard) was able to get me two passes so off I headed with Superchunk Steve. We made it up to Columbus with time to spare and stepped into a fairly empty Newport.
When the Flat Duo Jets came on stage we were confused since there were three of them. We thought it had to be another band but evidently on some songs they have three members. They played some decent rockabilly but didn’t really seem to be getting into it. The bass player just stood there and for the most part they were just boring. When the bass player left on two songs things picked up and I liked them better as a duo. Overall they were ok, but I think it would have been about the same if they just pumped their disc through the sound system.
So, Steve and I stood around, drank more beer, looked at all the rockabilly freaks and got ready for the Amazing Crowns. They used to be called the Amazing Royal Crowns until Warner Brothers sued Velvel (Amazing Crowns label) since they said the name was too similar to the Royal Crown Review. Soon the Amazing Crowns hit the stage and took over. They were blasting full of rockabilly energy. They sound a lot like the Cramps except the singer has more of a rockabilly style than Lux. After about four songs we finished our beer and hit the floor. Some people started a rockabilly pit, so I took this as a cue to sneak way up front. The Crowns were full of energy and played about everything off their Velvel debut. The singer made mention of the lawsuit and said that just for the record “We ain’t no swing band, this is rock and roll baby”. Then they left the crowd tired, sweaty but wanting more.
Finally, after watching four roadies try to look busy for half an hour the Rev took the stage to deliver his sermon. As soon as they launched into their first song he had the crowd captured until the very end. The Rev and Jimbo both pulled, plucked and made the rockabilly sermon come alive. Just about everybody in the crowd was jumping around to the nonstop rockabilly sounds. The Rev was all over the place: standing on Jimbo’s bass, leering at the girls in tight shirts at the front of the stage, making love to his guitar and just covering the stage. He told a great story during “Psychobilly Freakout” and had great introductions for each member of the band. Also, Jimbo is the only stand-up bass player I’ve ever seen who can throw his bass up in the air and catch it, very impressive. Even stranger is that I read he used to be in an industrial band that I love called Sister Machine Gun, from Chicago.
It was a great night for rockabilly and I think just about everybody loved the show. It made me want a stand-up bass even more…
- Grog Mutant (1998)