The Priscillas are:
Jenny Drag – lead vocals
Valkyrie – guitar and backing vocals
Heidi Heelz – bass and backing vocals
Lisa Lux – drums and backing vocals
I grabbed my ticket and camera and headed out. A wet and cold Friday night in Brighton. Arrived at the venue with some time to spare. A quick half pint as a glamorous lady in a leopard skin print cat suit glided past me. It was Heidi Heelz meeting friends and saying Hi. I made my way into the venue and met up with Jenny Drag, Valkyrie and Lisa Lux. They were at their merchandise desk. We all said hello and Lisa Lux stood up, shook my hand and said “Hi, I’m Lisa – the drummer”. It was a delightful opportunity, thank you, to meet and talk to the band I had heard so much about.
The band have released singles two of which were played on Radio 1, BBC 6Music, and others. The girls have also played sessions for Marc Riley on BBC 6Music. They have a brilliant album 10,000 volts out now and a new one in the pipeline. The band has toured extensively, and have played with bands including The Cramps, The Damned, The Rezillos, The 5,6,7,8s, and were once supported by James Blunt.
The already dim lights, dimmed a little further as the band took to the stage. Lisa settled in behind the drum kit, Heidi strapped herself into her bass guitar and Valkyrie gave her guitar a quick tune up. Jen Drag in a very tight multi coloured shimmering cat suit and high heeled boots took to the stage with a huge glass of red wine. The band looked fabulous. I think they were set and ready to go!
Jen, her back to the crowd and hands on hips stood center stage, she turned, gyrated round, and the audience gave them a huge cheer as the opening song “Gonna Rip Up Your Photograph” kicked off the set list. This song ended and Valkyrie playing the intro at 100mph hurtled us into the fabulous single “(All the way to) Holloway“. This was a stunning song, great live, and one that the audience recognised. We were treated to Lisa’s powerful drumming skills and Heidi powering her bass guitar to produce the riff line. The Priscillas had arrived!
Jens searing, soaring, blowtorch vocal superbly backed by the band delivered two more tracks “Bad Girl” and “Fly in my Drink”. Jenny stopped for a smile to the audience and a “cheers” as she took a sip of her wine.
Lisa counted in and “Jimmy in a Dress” was up next. This is one of my favourite tracks. It really is a belter of a song and so damned catchy. It became clear that The Priscillas were here to have fun and entertain. They were certainly having fun and the crowd were having a ball. Not a note out of place for this track and the band producing a unique sound and sublime vocals.
The staccato guitar, kicking in of bass and drums introduced “Timing”. Jen and the band again powered through this track. A great slice of punk rock’n’roll. Kerrang! described them as “They’re The Cramps,The Shangri-Las, and the New York Dolls all rolled into one” – I cant fault or argue with that!
“Simon” was next and followed quickly with the Go Go’s “We Got The Beat”. There is a you tube video of The Priscillas performing this with Belinda Carlisle. Both crowd pleasers and some spontaneous reaction from the crowd as Jen, hands clapping above her head, and Lisa hammering the rhythm on her drum kit, led the chant for “We Got The Beat”. This was turning into one helluva night!
We were then treated to the bands first filmed in technicolour video track “Wheres Lydia” – the chant “ice cream – Coca Cola” filled the venue, hands clapping, feet stomping and the band fired into this song with full force. I think someone had turned up the volume in the venue. This was now one of the most enjoyable acoustic assaults I had experienced in some time. “Wheres Lydia?” came the scream from Jen and the band. This led us straight into “Y.O.Y”. The Priscillas were on fire – they really meant business at The Albert tonight. You could not help fall under the charm of these ladies as the set moved on.
Could they keep it going at this helter skelter momentum? Oh yes!!
Jen grabbed her wine, took a couple more sips and informed us it was that time when “we have to use the C word…….. Christmas”. It was a song they could only play at a certain time of the year, “One Christmas Wish”. Valkyrie then said ” that’s a relief I thought we were gonna say c***!” Everyone one in the hall, and band, erupted with laughter. And so it started – Christmas has finally arrived. A great festive tune and everyone was joining in and bouncing around, why not it was Christmas after all!
Another brilliant tune from the band, and it was the track “Superhero“.
These guys are seriously good and have finely tuned their shows. The searing guitar, bass, drums and Jen combining everything for this track. The harmonies on the chorus were spot on. This song fired everyone up, whipping the audience into a dancing frenzy. Jen collapsing and draping herself over the monitors, looking into the crowd and pouted “just give me a kiss” and a purrrrrrfect purr served as the on point accompaniment. This track is fast, loud and damn it, yes,… sexy.
Make no mistake, The Priscillas are fantastic, professional musicians and singers. They want to have fun, and they want the audience to have fun and enjoy themselves and the music. They are an exciting band to watch and have taken the top spot on my list of all female bands. They performed an energetic hour of excitement with gusto and glamour. The Priscillas manage to sit on the boundaries of punk, rock n roll, and pop, they pull together to create balanced songs, attitude, and the audience friendly stomping beats. And to top it all off are just sublime to see live. Vogue said about The Priscillas “exude B-movie glamour”.
That was it! The band grouped together linking arms to end the set. A nice touch and appreciated by everyone. The Priscillas left the stage to much applause. Great night.
Would I go and see The Priscillas again? Oh yes – I am going to keep a close eye on their tour dates listings.
The Venue: The Prince Albert, Brighton
An intimate venue so you can get up as close as you want. The sound was good considering the size of the venue, and was turned up nice n loud for this event! The lighting was not great, although a little better as someone was operating the spots, but still very dark. Parts of the stage at times were very dark and made it difficult to see the entire band. Could do with a little more overall stage brightness or attention prior to a gig. But they do a great pint and friendly bar staff.
A selection of sized T’s, CD’s, Tote bag, badges and stickers on sale. The desk was manned by members of the band. They were happy to sign their CD and Jen offered to find Heidi to get her signature. Good prices and good quality items.
All words, pictures and personal video are copyright Ian Bourn/Mediaworks