Saturday, January 26, 2019

Tommy London at the Gramercy Theatre

Tommy London was born in Queens, New York, and spent his youth in a suburb outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Staying home sick from school, he explored his father's rock and soul records from the 1960s and played them repeatedly. Later he was influenced by the MTV bands. About 10 years ago in New York City he formed the Dirty Pearls and started playing the rock and roll circuit. His buddy Lady Gaga name-checked the band when she sang "Dirty Pearls in a patch for all the Rivington rebels." With the Dirty Pearls on hiatus, London began hosting two SiriusXM radio shows, Hair Nation and Ozzy’s Boneyard, and recording and performing under his own name. His debut solo album, Emotional Fuse, will be released tentatively in late 2019.

Tommy London headlined the Gramercy Theatre tonight with a release party for the video of "Make You Love Me." After debuting the video, London performed a full set with his band, guitarist and Dirty Pearls partner Matt Hogan, bassist James Cruz, and drummer John Weber. Most of the set was new music, interspersed with three Dirty Pearls songs and two covers; London's friend, Jason Cadic, who directed the video and also served as a support artist on the bill, joined London for the encore of Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild"). London's performance was faithful to the sound he honed in dirty Pearls. The songs were fist-pumping rock and roll tunes riding on pop hooks and lots of melodic guitar leads. London was a fine singer and his exuberant stage presence went a long way in making the songs come to life. Time will tell if London, already a local favorite, can get his music heard by rockers outside of the metropolitan area.

Tommy London's next area show will be his birthday bash at Mercury Lounge on May 15.

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