This trip was quite a long one in the making. I’d been running a group travel page for months for one of the opening bands as we all worked together planning out the hotel, rooming situations, transportation options and of course for the drinkers in the bunch the closest liquor store in proximity to our lodging for the Georgia show. Cheers! Kickin Valentina based in Atlanta, GA knows how to draw a crowd and they once again were able to muster up a big West Coast following with their front-man D.k. Revelle hailing from Kingsburg, CA. Many of the Californians showed up on the East Coast a day or two early to do some sight-seeing around the Tennessee area followed up by a Friday night show kicking off at Bowie’s in Nashville. A slew of other faithful KV Mob Fans from all over the United States also attended the rock n’ roll party. I didn’t attend the TN show but for the most part it went well other than a monitor or two on the fritz and a wireless mic issue. I can say it’s not the first time that KV singer D.k. has had to deal with that but he always pulls through and belts out the lyrics. In this case, a wired mic did the trick and the show went off without a hitch.
I booked a plane from Raleigh, NC to Atlanta, GA. Airport traffic has really picked up since my last trip back in May of this year. It was good to see people getting back out and within an hour and a half of boarding I was touching down in the Peach State. Friday at the hotel was a fun time with old friends reconnecting and new friendships being fostered. Some folks were super stoked as this would be their first music event since Covid began.
Saturday nights show took place at 37 Main Avondale Estates, Atlanta’s newest music venue which opened in October 2020. The historic Avondale Estates’ Towne Cinema reopened in October after being closed for 22 months. The building is being leased by 37 Main which runs other rock cafes in Buford and Gainesville, GA. 37 Main is a company owned by three brothers from Cumming, GA. — John, David and Joe White. Joe was playing minor league baseball for the Seattle Mariners when the opportunity in Buford presented itself. National acts, tribute bands, plays, comedy acts and more! Their goal is to have big acts visit when they’re touring but also provide a space for local bands as well. This historic theatre has been completely renovated along with new state of the art sound and lighting. The building’s total capacity is 600. Towne Cinema is a landmark in Avondale Estates. The cinema was constructed in 1925 and served as Avondale Estates post office and city hall. It became the Avondale Theater in 1938. According to some research provided by the building’s owner, the theater entertained audiences with wrestling, boxing and, of course movies. Over the years, it’s been used as a private residence. Before reopening in 2015, it had been most recently used as the Nickel & Dime Recording Studio. Legend has it that Elvis Presley performed at the theater in its heyday. Tony Longval, a roadie turned entrepreneur, reopened the historic Towne Cinema building in 2015. Prior to that, it had been vacant for several years. But Longval had trouble turning a profit running the space and eventually closed the theater again. Now everything in the building from the air conditioning to the electrical system to opening up the event space by completely gutting the interior and doubling the seating capacity has been done. The main stage has a main seating space, a bar that serves snacks and is surrounded by additional seating whereas the only area to see a performance previously was right in front of the stage. They also added a balcony that has another bar and a private bathroom as well as newly installed sound and lights system and added a band room to the back of the stage. The inside has been redone with some of the stories of the history of supposed artists who have recorded there. Top notch venue in my book. Looking forward to attending more shows here and I encourage everyone to do the same if they are able.
The Saturday evening show consisted of 3-acts with the first up being musicians from Kickin Valentina who for the most part call Georgia their home-base along with vocalist D.k. Revelle residing in California. Guitarist Chris Taylor, Bassist Heber Pampillon, Drummer Jimmy Berdine along with Singer D.k. took to the stage and blew the roof off the awesome 37 Main venue. With the sloped floor the mostly general admission crowd could partake in the raw power of the music up close and personal with perfect views from all angles. Kickin Valentina’s latest album “THE REVENGE OF ROCK” is still exploding on the scene as more listeners become familiar with it and the band gathers new followers especially when they are able to get out and perform to a live audience. It’s been a tough time for all musicians since 2020 and KV has experienced more than a few cancelled tours and festivals in the US as well as abroad. Their schedule is picking up though and best wishes go out to this fun and very personable band. Hoping that they may once again get to travel around and see the long-time fans who desperately want them back playing out in front of them as well as all the new followers that have been enjoying the fresh new sounds coming from Kickin Valentina.
I’ve seen Kickin Valentina about eight times now and they just never disappoint. The crowd always shows up and is so into them which causes an infectious ripple to take over. You just can’t stop rock & roll when so many in the crowd are happy to be there and if you’ve never been to one of their shows you somehow get the feeling that this is where you’re supposed to be right then at that given moment. Great performance, super guys and perhaps the best fans in the world? If you want to find out come to one of Kickin Valentina’s shows and see for yourself!
The second act of the evening was Enuff Z’Nuff a band that formed in 1984 in Blue Island, IL. Its first release, Fingers On It, gave the band some initial recognition when the track was featured in the 1986 cult movie, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. By 1989, original members, Chip Z’Nuff, Donnie Vie, guitarist Derek Frigo and drummer Vikki Foxx signed to Atco/Atlantic Records and their debut self-titled album was released. Two singles off that album were to change the course of the bands history, New Thing and Fly High Michelle. Spending over 60 weeks in the top 10 of MTV’s heavy rotation churn as well as constant radio play. During the 90’s the follow up release titled Strength put the band in the tv talk show cycle as regulars and Rolling Stone titled Enuff Z’Nuff ‘the next big thing’. Also during the 90’s the band left Atco records and moved to Arista, releasing the album, Animals With Human Intelligence. Prior to its release, Vikki Foxx was replaced by new drummer at the time Ricky Parent. Flash forward to current times and 20+ albums later, Enuff Z’Nuff added longtime guitarist: Tory Stoffregen, former Enuff Z’Nuff singer/guitarist: Alex Kane, and Chicago native and drummer: Daniel Benjamin Hill, the band continues to tour and record relentlessly. This tour dubbed Quarantine Tour 2021 does however have British musician, writer and producer Tony Fennell in lieu of Alex Kane on guitar. Tony was lead singer, lyricist and musician for the band Ultravox from 1992 until 1994.
A solid performance during this evenings concert with the band exuding an ambiance where each song enveloped the listeners into a bohemian state of free-spirit. A perfect flow of vocals, lyrics and instruments ushered in a lucid feeling of being caressed with a velvet touch while embarking on a rock n roll journey of magical and mystical proportions.
The last but not least performance of the evening Faster Pussycat scurried onto the stage and scratched the itch for some sleazy rock n’ roll. The name of the band is derived from the Russ Meyer film Faster, Pussycat!. Formed in 1986 and from Hollywood, CA Faster Pussycat are the unequivocal Kings of Sleaze Rock. Not totally glam and not quite punk, elusive like an alley cat. Hints of lust and love and a naughty kind of swagger and attitude. They never did fit the mold of other bands around at the time. Faster Pussycat’s second album, ‘Wake Me When It’s Over” gained their careers biggest hit with the ballad “House Of Pain”. They recorded a version of Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” that was initially unsuccessful on release but became a success later on and received a lot of attention.
The band began to adopt a darker image, now wearing black leather leading them into “Whipped!” the third album. A top 35 hit on the US Main Rock Charts with “Nonstop to Nowhere” and a banned video on MTV with their single “Body Thief”. It seemed the sometimes positive with a mix of negative was giving the band attention either way but, ultimately, this would be the last album the band would record together with the then current roster. After the Whipped! tour, Faster Pussycat went through a break up.
Ushering in the end of the 90’s lead singer and the only long-standing original member Taime (pronounced “tie me”) Down then opened The Pretty Ugly Club in Hollywood, CA where talks came about of a Faster Pussycat remix album of original hits. Then later an idea was tossed out to Taime regarding a new Faster Pussycat tour. Beckoning back to those darker end of days for the band during the Whipped! era a new image replaced whatever bit of glam could have lingered and a more true dark, heavy rock subgenre band emerged.
In 2007, Faster Pussycat saw it’s classic from their very first album release ‘Bathroom Wall’ selected to be included in Activision’s phoneme video game franchise, “Guitar Hero”, specifically on the “Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks The 80s” release.
Through the 2000’s Faster Pussycat continued with nonstop touring and a live album release.
Extensive world touring, band members side projects, future book releases and the next Faster Pussycat album in the works is what the fans have to look forward to in the current times along with a solid line-up of musicians.
The band was in the studio working on some new material and released their new single “NOLA” that became available May 21st, 2021 on Ltd. edition 7” vinyl as well as digital download. “NOLA” is a song inspired by the fabulous city of New Orleans and the impact hurricane Katrina had on it. The B-side of the single contains “Pirate Love” which the band has been performing since their early club days. The sleazy cover of the Johnny Thunders And The Heartbreakers song beckons a meow.
Now sporting well-earned scratches, scars and tattoos for this North America tour dubbed “Straight Outta Quarantine” a long-overdue rock and roll party was right up the show attendees alley. The band performed all the hits from their heyday and even had members of Enuff Z’Nuff jump on stage to belt out The Supersuckers cover “Pretty Fucked Up” alongside a medley mix up of Bathroom Wall. Good to see Faster Pussycat still making the rounds so get out and support them if you get the chance. The show was Puuuuurfect!
PHOTO CREDIT: PAMELA J. COOK
Taime Down: Vocals
Sam “Bam” Koltun : Guitar
Xristian Simon: Guitar
Danny Nordahl : Bass
Chad Stewart: Drums
Faster Pussycats setlist:
01. Jack the Bastard
03. Slip of the Tongue
04. Don’t Change That Song
05. Little Dove
06. Nonstop to Nowhere
07. Ain’t No Way Around It
08. Pirate Love (Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers cover)
09. Number 1 With a Bullet
11. House of Pain
13. Bathroom Wall / Pretty Fucked Up
14. Shut Up and Fuck (Betty Blowtorch cover)
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Faster Pussycat ~ Newest Single “NOLA” was released May 21, 2021 on digital and a 7” vinyl single.
Vinyl available exclusively via the band’s website: fasterpussycat.com
Digital will be available through Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon etc.
Chip Z’nuff: Singer / Electric Bass Guitar
Tory Stoffregen: Guitar
Tony Fennell stand-in for Alex Kane: Guitar
Dan Hill: Drums
Enuff Z’Nuffs setlist:
01. Magical Mystery Tour (The Beatles cover)
02. The World Is a Gutter
03. Kiss the Clown
05. Heaven or Hell
06. Baby Loves You
07. In the Groove
09. Fly High Michelle
10. New Thing
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Enuff Z’Nuff ~ “Brainwashed Generation” was released July 10, 2020.
Order here: https://orcd.co/brainwashgen
D.k. Revelle: Lead Vocals
Heber Pampillon: Guitar
Chris Taylor: Bass
Jimmy Berdine: Drums
Kickin Valentina’s setlist:
03. On My Side
04. Somebody New
06. Looking For Me
08. Turns Me On
10. The Revenge of Rock
11. Get Ready
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Become part of the KV MOB on Facebook at:
Kickin Valentina ~ “The Revenge Of Rock” was released January 22, 2021 on LTD red LP, CD & digital.
Scoley Entertainment and Music Management Atlanta, Georgia ~
Bringing Rock N Roll to the Masses.
Founder of the Atlanta Music Scene Showcase Festival
Manager of Rough Cutt, Jetboy
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37 Main Avondale Estates Avondale Estates, Georgia ~
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(Editor’s Note: Apparently the Mic situation during Friday nights show at Bowie’s in Nashville, TN was really not a problem after all, just some sound issues.)
FEATURED IMAGE OF FASTER PUSSYCAT PHOTO CREDIT: BRYAN SANDE