Monday, June 27, 2016

The Adicts at the Gramercy Theatre

As punk rock was coming out of its embryo in 1975, a group of young punk rockers formed a band called Afterbirth & the Pinz in Ipswich, England. As the characters began to identify their musical compass, they became the Adicts  – vocalist Keith "Monkey" Warren, bassist Mel Ellis, guitarist Pete Dee Davison, and Pete's brother, drummer Michael "Kid Dee" Davison. Mel's brother, guitarist John "Scruff" Ellis, soon joined the band. Contrary to the trend, however, by 1978 the band members wore white clothing instead of black, adopting a Clockwork Orange-styled "droog" appearance, and Monkey wore joker white-face makeup and garish suits. While the band has taken hiatus at least twice, the band maintains its original line-up 40 years later. The Adicts' ninth and most recent studio album is 2012's All the Young Droogs.

An Adicts concert is usually like an explosion at a party store with a punk rock soundtrack. Tonight, however, the Adicts performed at the Gramercy Theatre after a Canadian tour en route back to England tomorrow. Many of the band's props were not featured tonight; there were no confetti cannons, stuffed animals or avalanche of supersized beach balls, for instance. The band proved itself mightily in the absence of many gimmicks. This was hard, bombastic punk rock with cheeky lyrics and gang harmonies, simultaneously generating in the audience both lighthearted anthemic singalongs and fierce moshing. The set was largely comprised of the band's better known songs from the 1980s, plus two more recent songs and two songs not yet recorded. From the opening "Joker in the Pack" to the closing campy covers of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone" and Brenda Lee's "Bring Me Sunshine," a rock and roll show could not have been more fun.

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