The Coney Island Rock n’ Roll Roadshow blew into The Handlebar in Greenville, SC last week. This is a great venue and a staple of the Upstate SC music scene. If you haven’t been there, you’re really missing out on some great acts, cheap beer and good food. Enough of that, you want to hear about the show, so here it is…
The first act of the night was The Gold Hope Duo, featuring Lara Hope (guitar) and Matt Goldpaugh (upright bass). This was a fun, folky rockabilly set that didn’t take itself too seriously. Lots of jokes and banter with the audience complete with a kazoo solo or two throughout this seven song set, featuring the talented Lara Hope on vocals.
Next up was a brief teaser for one of the later acts that night, The Cut Throat Freak Show. In the Coney Island tradition of carney geeks everywhere, Cut Throat and his lovely assistant Candy Pants did not disappoint. Keeping the crowd laughing while passing around a ten stud Lego brick for everyone to inspect, he then preceded to shove the brick up his nose, and choke out an eight stud brick, followed by the ten stud brick. It would have been more impressive if he had shoved in a ten and pulled out two fives, but hey, it was still entertaining.
After the Freak Show left, the crowd was ready for more debauchery, so it was the perfect time for the first of two burlesque performances by the lovely and exotic Miss Scarlett Storm, of the Rigor Mortis Revue.
The lithe, intricately tattooed Scarlett was full of energy and managed to work the crowd up pretty well with her quirky performance that left little to the imagination. (For those of you fellas who still haven’t figured it out, she got naked.)
The second musical act of the night was the wonderfully eccentric NYC psychobilly punk trio, The Arkhams. Bobcat (lead guitar) and Seanzi Dirtbag (drums) delivered a solid performance, with Bobcat roaming the crowd on multiple occasions. Matt Goldpaugh (upright bass) took lead vocal duties and really stole the show, delivering a frenetic performance that kept the crowd jumping the entire 11 song set.
Once again, The Cut Throat Freak Show took the spotlight and performed their main act, featuring a number of tricks including eyesocket weightlifting and allowing tippers to staple money to various body parts (the bigger the tip, the more painful the body part.)
Another burlesque performance by Scarlett Storm and then the final act of the night, Tigeriss took the stage. Tigeriss features a Lara Hope (electric bass, vocals), accompanied by Rev Kev (drums) and Danny Mark Asis (guitar).
Tigeriss is all about solid rock-n-roll, with lead vocalist Lara Hope taking a bluesier approach than in her earlier set with Gold Hope Duo and still managing to deliver an impressive performance on the bass. Not content to take a backseat to the incredibly versatile Hope, Danny Mark Asis breezed through an array of guitar riffs and Rev Kev beat his drum kit like a red headed stepchild.
Things really started to heat up when Matt Goldpaugh (upright bass) stepped in to cover bass duties, freeing up Lara to really go to town on vocals. These guys know how to rock it, and closed out their set with a cover (the only one of the night) of Guns -N- Roses iconic “Welcome to the Jungle”
If it wasn’t obvious by the cross-pollination of performers throughout the night, these guys are all a tightly knit bunch who enjoy what they do and aren’t afraid to mix it up night after night to keep it fresh and entertaining. Even the freaks were in on the action, dancing with the crowd and keeping the energy high.
If the Coney Island Rock n’ Roll Roadshow comes to your town, do yourself a favor and go check it out. You won’t regret it.
~ Chris Williams – Journalist, RockRevolt™Magazine