The perfect bill for a show doesn’t exi….wait a minute….Beeyotch, Perennial and Frida Kill all on one night?! Think I need to reassess that statement! As it turns out, punk rock dreams do come true and a bill pretty damn near perfection is possible; I got the proof on a recent Sunday night. I stepped out of the annoying cold (I hate being cold more than just about anything) and into the warm embrace of Purgatory, a queer bar located on a dead end street that is devoid of asphalt and still sports the worn, bare bricks of the NYC of ye olden times aka the 1800s. (As a person who loves history in general and NYC history in particular, big perk for me.) Despite having listed many shows in the pages of FTA at the venue, it was my actual first time getting to go there, work and such always coming up otherwise. The space felt welcoming and inviting from the moment I stepped in and from there on out, things just kept getting better and better.
Beeyotch kicked off the night and while I’d heard their name, I didn’t know what to expect because particularly with locals, I often like to go in without having heard them first, so I admit I had not listened to their recordings prior to the show. I like to form my first impression live whenever I can (which is not always possible but….ya know) so even if I had seen the “shitbird” and “surveillance core” tags on their Bandcamp, I’m not sure I would have known what that meant! Turns out that means that they have a catchy and intense garage punk sound with trippy, intentionally warped and distorted vocals and loads of killer stage presence to tie it all together. This quintet made a solid first impression and I will now be digging into the their 2020 album, Right Behind You, while I look forward to seeing them play again.
Perennial, who hit the middle slot, is a band I did listen to quite a bit before I saw them (since they are not local) and thus was very much looking forward to their set. I recently did a Q & A with them (read here) and remarked there on the influence of Black Eyes, the late great—but recently re-united—Dischord art punks, their label mates Q And Not U, and the frantic jazz-core punks, The Plot To Blow Up the Eiffel Tower. I never got to see any of those bands which has always been a bummer for me (but I will soon see the re-united Black Eyes) because they are among my favorite artists.
But a lot of that disappointment is soothed when I see and hear bands like Perennial who are carrying on their legacy. They definitely have the same spirit of those bands, being arty and weird and smashing genres together, not giving a fuck as long as it sounds good, making something entirely their own in the process. Their live set is top notch and like a chaotic burst of energy flying out towards the audience. They are definitely a band that I am going to be making sure I’m keeping my eyes and ears on. And in exciting news, they’re releasing new music later this year and will soon be back in NYC, hitting Bushwick Public House on 3/25.
Perennial at Purgatory
Closing the night out was Frida Kill, and having been there at their very first show and many shows in between now, I formed my impression of them in the live setting a few years back and they have long since cemented themselves as one of my favorites. They’ve been working on new tunes and introduced one which featured Maria Lina with her giant, belting voice reminiscent of the legendary VH1 Divas—run through a punk lens of course—for stirring effect. (If you never saw her Tina Turner cover band, I feel sad for you.) This was one of the best sets I’ve seen the band deliver and that’s saying something because I’ve seen them a lot! Absolutely killer from start to finish, I still can’t get enough. They also have a new release in the works for later in the year and more local shows, 4/2 at Purgatory again and 4/8 at Main Drag, before hitting the road for Stoop Fest at the end of April.
Up the punx! Catch ya on the flip…
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kate Hoos)