SLEAZY SLIMEY SUNDAY 3 PROVES TO BE A GREAT ENDING TO FOUR MUSIC PACKED DAYS
Date: May 6, 2018
Venue: Cancun Cantina
Location: Hanover, Maryland, USA
Photos: Joe Schaeffer Photography
Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3 felt like a bit of a blur so I can’t remember who was the fifth band that played. Was it Kickin Valentina or Ted Poley? I am pretty sure it was Kickin Valentina so that’s the group that I will be starting with for Part Two of my Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3 review. I have to give big props to Brad Lee Entertainment for bringing really great bands to play this event. The three last groups to play Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3 — Babylon A.D., Junkyard and L.A. Guns — should have all been part of the M3 Rock Festival and especially given the reduced amount of bands playing that event this year so it was awesome that Brad Lee Entertainment was able to get them to his event. L.A. Guns in particular was truly an outstanding coup given that they were supposed to play the M3 Rock Festival but for reasons that I am not aware of, ended up dropping out of the line-up. By then, I assume that Brad Lee Entertainment had already sold a large amount of tickets to its Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3 event and didn’t need the expense of adding L.A. Guns to an already very strong bill. Nevertheless, L.A. Guns were added as the headliner of the event about two to three weeks beforehand.
A Sleazy Slimey Sunday event is not only about live music as there were two big announcements scheduled and Brad Lee Entertainment dishes out an award to people who have “supported the music scene” or made some sort of contribution to the music scene. I can’t remember when the announcements were made or when the award was presented so might as well cover them at this juncture in my review. In terms of the two announcements, record label HighVolMusic was undoubtedly a sponsor of Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3 and announced that two bands — Babylon Shakes and another group which I can’t recall — had joined the family. Funny enough, I had interviewed the Babylon Shakes band members three days prior and they had refused (in a joking manner) to let me in on their big announcement (signing with HighVolMusic) at that time. I happened to bump into the Babylon Shakes guys earlier in the day at Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3 and told them that I had figured out their big announcement given that HighVolMusic had previously advised that they would be making two big announcements later on in the evening. In regard to the “supporting the music scene” award, Brad Lee and his wife Angi presented it to Babylon Shakes‘ frontman Chris Clark and his wife Margie Clark.
Speaking of the latter, if you’ve ever been to the M3 Rock Festival, you’ll know that there are some very active Facebook groups that have spawned over the years including the M3 Rockers group and more recently the Ignite The Scene group. Some of the people running these pages are almost like “celebrities” in my eyes as I see their Facebook posts and photos so often throughout the year. Two of those people were Margie Clark (who I got to meet at the M-Pre Party) and Aaron Sheppa (who apparently knew who I was despite my attempt at staying incognito). Both were very friendly and likely are a large part why the Maryland ’80s rock scene seems to be really thriving compared to other music markets.
I was really interested in seeing Kickin Valentina play live because they are a bit of an anomaly as an American band touring quite a bit in Europe the last few years. In addition, I had missed them last year while vacationing in Florida. The two hour drive each way to catch the band’s set with an anticipated midnight start time turned out to be too much of an obstacle at that time. Finally, while I really liked Kickin Valentina‘s debut self-titled EP as well as their Super Atomic EP, I wasn’t as into their latest full-length album Imaginary Creatures. Sometimes, you need a live show to really get you into a band’s music and I was wondering whether that would be the case with Kickin Valentina. Obviously, a good portion of Sleaze Roxx readers really like Kickin Valentina since their latest record did finish at #12 on the Sleaze Roxx Readers’ Top 20 Albums of 2017. From what I understand, Kickin Valentina are the only band to play all three inaugural editions of Sleazy Slimey Sunday and I could tell from various Facebook posts that the event’s organizer Brad Lee was really into the band.
There seemed to be a big crowd for Kickin Valentina right off the bat. I am not sure how many people were there given that I was standing in the second row determined to give a chance to Kickin Valentina to impress me with their live show. And that’s exactly what they did! The group came out rocking right from the start and never really let up. Lead vocalist Joe Edwards was seemingly flanked by two giants — bassist Chris Taylor and guitarist Heber Pampillon — but still caught everyone’s attention with his sometimes wacky stage moves. I was surprised by how many songs that I could recognize. Taylor was flicking guitar picks into the crowd at a pace of about two per song. I actually got one of them which I always love to do (that stuff never gets old to me) bringing my total to three over four days. Yes, a paltry number but then again, I was not “positioned” at the M3 Rock Festival to have a shot at getting many over that two day festival. In addition, there aren’t many guitar picks flying in the audience when most of the groups are up and coming such as at the M-Pre Party. Aside from Taylor‘s guitar pick, I ended up getting a guitar pick from Babylon Shakes frontman Chris Clark at the M-Pre Party and one from Mark Slaughter at the M3 Rock Festival.
Getting back to Kickin Valentina, I thought at first that they had brought their own fans to get the crowd going throughout their set. There was one blonde female in particular that was dancing and shaking in the photo pit between the stage and the general admission area during pretty much Kickin Valentina‘s entire set unless she was up on stage with them! I found this a little bit strange since the photo pit was to be vacated by the media after each band’s first three songs but there was a fan who clearly didn’t care about any of that. The blonde female clearly knew all the words to Kickin Valentina‘s live material and sometimes would actually face the crowd in the photo pit singing along to the songs. During the sixth song “Street”, the blonde female ended up on stage along with Brad Lee singing the chorus portion of the track with Kickin Valentina. It’s only later in the evening that I finally realized that the blonde female was Brad Lee‘s wife Angi Krempel and if you check her Facebook account, her cover photo is actually one of her singing alongside to Kickin Valentina lead vocalist Joe Edwards.
In terms of Kickin Valentina‘s setlist, it was a great one. Although I wasn’t into Imaginary Creatures that much going into the show, I can tell you that I have been quite into the album since seeing Kickin Valentina‘s live set at Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3. Not quite at the same level as The Lazys but Kickin Valentina‘s latest songs really came to life for me upon seeing them play them in a live setting. My favorites from Kickin Valentina on this night were the catchy “Turns Me On”, the easy to sing along to “Street” and the set closer “Get Ready.” One thing that was a bit odd during that last song was that Edwards could have clearly got the crowd to sing along to the words “Get Ready” and especially at the end of the track but instead he asked the crowd to repeat some rather complex screams after him, which didn’t turn out that great. Sometimes, keeping it simple is best. It would have been easy to get a huge crowd response to the words “Get Ready” but Edwards didn’t seize that opportunity. Overall, Kickin Valentina put on a great set and their CDs have been receiving a regular rotation in my most played CDs since Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3. Thank you to Kickin Valentina bassist Chris Taylor for filling my setlist blanks after the group’s set.
Kickin Valentina’s setlist:
01. On My Side
02. Turns Me On
03. Roll Ya One
04. Eat And Run
05. Devil’s Hand
09. Fist N Twist
10. Wrong Way
12. Burning Love
13. Get Ready
Kickin Valentina performing “On My Side” at Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3 in Hanover, Maryland, USA on May 6, 2018:
Kickin Valentina performing “Street” at Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3 in Hanover, Maryland, USA on May 6, 2018:
Ted Poley appears to be one of the most enthusiastic, grateful and friendly rock and roll entertainers out there. The man always seems to have a smile on and you truly get the feeling that he loves being on stage. Nevertheless, I’ve never got into the Danger Danger songs or his solo material over the years as they have always sounded a bit too poppy for me. Accordingly, for Poley‘s set, I was hanging back about ten rows back as I thought that I’d give myself a little break before getting stuck in the front for the three remaining bands. That being said, there is no denying that Poley was putting on a great show and the crowd seemed really into it. All of a sudden and to my great surprise, I noticed that Tyketto frontman Danny Vaughn was standing pretty much next to me. At that time, Poleyhad left the stage during one of his songs and was walking through the crowd while singing and posing for photos with fans. Poley was followed through the standing audience by his trusty bodyguard Sarge McIntyre who seemed to always be at arms length of the singer. I was surprised that Poley didn’t acknowledge Vaughn while making his way through the crowd. If I recall correctly, Poley did give a hug to a woman who presumably was Vaughn‘s wife so at least the Danger Danger frontman likely knew that Vaughn was in attendance. Once the song was over and the sound level down for a little bit, I quickly congratulated Vaughn on a great set by Tyketto the day before at the M3 Rock Festival. The smiling and good looking (don’t read anything in this last comment) singer responded by thanking me for coming early to see Tyketto who had an 11:00 am start time at the M3 Rock Festival.
It seemed that Poley was closing his set when he launched into the spirited Danger Danger classic “Naughty Naughty” which had everyone singing along. It was neat for me to see how Poley was so into the song as he must have played the track a million times yet he looked genuinely excited to be playing it. There was no going through the motions for Poley on this night. After “Naughty Naughty”, I thought that Poley‘s set was over but all of a sudden, the singer invited Vaughn up onto the stage along with a guest guitarist that I didn’t know. Poley, Vaughn and the rest then launched into a spirited and fun version of the Bryan Adams classic “Summer Of ’69.” Being Canadian and having multiple copies of Bryan Adams‘ second biggest selling album Reckless (I am very surprised to find out just now that Adams‘ 1991 released Waking Up The Neighbours album appears to have perhaps sold more copies than Reckless), I knew all the words to Adams‘ blockbuster song. It was odd to me that not everyone in the audience was in the same boat as I. Had “Summer Of ’69” been played anywhere in Canada, the sing along from the crowd would have been incredible. In any case, it was a lot of fun to see Vaughn and Poley combine to sing the track and a bonus to have them launch into a rousing rendition of KISS‘ ultimate rock n’ roll anthem “Rock And Roll All Nite.” Poley‘s overall performance on this night definitely went up a few notches in my mind with the very special ending, which included one of the best singers out there — Tyketto‘s Danny Vaughn.
Ted Poley performing “Horny S.O.B.” live at Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3 in Hanover, Maryland, USA on May 6, 2018:
TED POLEY Horny S.O.B. cam’d by RANDY GILL Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3, Brad Lee Entertainment, Cancun Cantina 5/6/18. Watch in 1080 HD for best viewing.
Ted Poley w/ Tyketto‘s Danny Vaughn performing “Summer Of ’69” at Sleazy Slimey Sunday in Hanover, Maryland, USA on May 6, 2018:
Sleazy Slimey Sunday ’18
While I was definitely excited to see Denman play live at Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3, the band that I knew would deliver hands down was Babylon A.D.. After all, I ranked Babylon A.D.‘s Rock N Skull performance in October 2016 as the #4 best live performance of 31 overall band sets for that festival. Accordingly, my expectations were sky high for Babylon A.D.‘s set and to the band members’ credit, they lived up to my lofty expectations.
I was interested to see how Babylon A.D. would handle mixing in some new material from their latest studio album Revelation Highway with their classics mainly from their debut self-titled album. As it turns out, the pattern ended up being one new song, two blasts from the past, and so on. The new songs off Revelation Highway fit in well with the classics that seemingly everyone in the audience seemed to know. I was a bit disappointed that Babylon A.D. didn’t play their new “ballad” “One Million Miles” because I really like that song. Then again, I can appreciate how difficult it must be for Babylon A.D. to choose which songs to play when they only had time for 11 songs. After all, no material was even played from their very good sophomore album Nothing Sacred on this night.
There was a bit of a line-up change for Babylon A.D. since I last saw them play at Rock N Skull in 2016 as original guitarist John Matthews is back with the band replacing long-time guitarist Danny De La Rosa. While I thought that Matthews played well, he seemed a bit more stationery onstage than his other bandmates — singer Derek Davis, guitarist Ron Freschi and bassist Robb Reid. Davis in particular had a lot of stage presence and is the type of frontman that any band would likely love to have. My favorite songs played by Babylon A.D. were the old faithful — “Hammer Swings Down,” “Bang Go The Bells,” Back Yo Babylon” and “The Kid Goes Wild.” I was a little surprised by the last song played which I believe was “Too Much Too Young” from the likely not as well known In The Beginnings… Persuaders Recordings 8688 album.
Unbelievable as it may be, Babylon A.D. had not played the Maryland state area in over 25 years. That seemed unbelievable to me because the band got a great reaction from the audience and I was really impressed at the Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3 crowd in general. While there were definitely some out of town people like myself attending the event, I have to assume that a large part of the audience were from Maryland or the immediate surrounding areas. Seeing the place packed with people on a Sunday night (well Monday morning really) by the time that L.A. Guns‘ set got underway at around 1:00 am was truly very impressive.
Overall, Babylon A.D. delivered exactly what I thought that they would do — a kick ass set full of energy and balls to the wall rockers.
Babylon A.D. setlist:
01. Rags To Riches
02. Hammer Swings Down
03. Shot O’ Love
04. Crash And Burn
05. Bang Go The Bells
08. Back To Babylon
09. Saturday Night
10. The Kid Goes Wild
11. Too Much Too Young
Babylon A.D. performing “Hammer Swings Down” at Sleazy Slimey Sunday in Hanover, Maryland, USA on May 6, 2018:
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Babylon A.D. performing “Bang Go The Bells” at Sleazy Slimey Sunday in Hanover, Maryland, USA on May 6, 2018:
Just like Babylon A.D., Junkyard had recently released a new studio album (titled High Water) after a very long absence of new material. High Water ended up faring very well amongst Sleaze Roxx readers as it captured the #4 spot on the Sleaze Roxx Readers’ Top 20 Albums of 2017. Junkyard were more than a noteworthy headliner for Sleazy Slimey Sunday 3 so it was quite mind blowing that L.A. Guns were added as the headliner with less than three weeks to go before the event took place.
By the time that Junkyard came on, fatigue had started rolling its ugly head again. Even though I started in the second or third row from the stage barrier, after a few songs into Junkyard‘s set, I decided to step back and take a seat for a little bit. Clearly, I am not used to standing for long periods of time anymore as my back seemed to have stiffened up throughout the night. That was the case actually for each of the three first nights as well. I must get into better physical shape for next year’s events. Junkyard put on what I expected from them — a pedal to the metal rock n’ roll set with one song after another and little talking from frontman David Roach. Personally, I would have liked a little more interaction between Roach and the audience but what are you going to do? The punk rockers ended up playing a healthy four tracks from their new album High Water, five from their 1991 released Sixes, Sevens and Nines and five from their 1989 released self-titled debut. Overall, Junkyard put on an energetic set.
01. Life Sentence
02. Back On The Streets
03. Cut From The Same Cloth
05. Misery Loves Company
07. Simple Man
09. Clean The Dirt
10. Lost In The City
11. All The Time In The World
12. Hands Off
Junkyard performing “Hands Off” and “WFLWF” at Sleazy Slimey Sunday in Hanover, Maryland, USA on May 6, 2018:
Hands Off & We Fuck Like We Fight & Hollywood, Junkyard, Cancun Cantina, Hanover, Maryland; May 6th, 2018; High Water Tour
By the time that L.A. Guns hit the stage, it was around 1:00 am and I was concerned that I would not have enough sleep to make it back home in a timely manner. My youngest daughter had a tennis lesson scheduled for the afternoon and it was my job to get her there. I would need at least three hours sleep to be able to make the eight to nine hour drive back in one shot. Accordingly, I estimated that I had to be out of my hotel room by 6:00 am to allow myself a little extra time in case of traffic and to be able to pick her up at 3:30 pm. With that in mind, I had to make the difficult executive decision to leave Sleazy Slimey Sunday in the midst of L.A. Guns‘ set. It’s definitely not what I wanted to do but at some point, safety and being responsible had to take the forefront.
I was intrigued to see the new L.A. Guns line-up as hot shot guitarist Michael Grant had been replaced by former Enuff Z’Nuff frontman Johnny Monaco. As is to be expected, L.A. Guns hit the stage full of energy steamrolling through their first three songs which I believe were “The Devil Made Me Do It” (from their new studio album The Missing Peace), “Electric Gypsy” and “No Mercy.” As much I was loving L.A.Guns‘ set, it was time for me to go so with guitarist Traci Guns taking a violin bow out (which I never liked), I decided to make my exit after saying goodbye to a few people that I could locate including Brad Lee (for a fantastic event), and Sleaze Roxx contributors Christopher Carroll and Ed Degagne.
L.A. Guns performing “Sex Action” at Sleazy Slimey Sunday in Hanover, Maryland, USA on May 6, 2018:
For those who are wondering, I did make it back to Toronto in less than nine hours with a later than anticipated departure time (probably 6:15 am). Sadly, I got a speeding ticket in the lovely state of New York and I am waiting to find out how much the ticket will actually be (after pleading guilty). I had a whack of new music to listen to on the way back to Canada and my album playlist for those interested included Kickin Valentina‘s Imaginary Creatures, Kickin Valentina‘s self-titled EP, Wildstreet‘s Wildstreet II…Faster…Louder!, White Trash Stars‘ Volume From The Outside, Babylon Shakes‘ Exile To The Velveteen Lounge Vol I, Streetlight Circus‘ self-titled album, Vanity Insanity‘s Piece Of Her Cake and Löve Razër‘s Border City Rebels. Overall, I had a fantastic time over the last four days getting to see 33 different bands and I got more than my live music fill for at least… a couple of weeks.