In 1979, Martha Davis launched The Motels from California with sultry, catchy songs like “Total Control,” and then charged into a prolific period of seven albums over the ensuing decade, each demonstrating a penchant for fresh rhythms and clever wordplay.
In recent years, Ms. Davis has reformed a version of her band and took to the road, appearing in the extended DC metro area back in 2013 as part of a “Totally 80s Summer Tour” in Leesburg, Va. Now, Martha Davis and The Motels are here headlining tonight at the Hamilton (600 14th St. NW, DC) in what promises to be an absorbing show.
Watch a performance of “Total Control” below:
I reviewed the performance by The Motels in 2013 for We Love DC, noting that the full set that included classics like “Danger,” “Little Robbers,” “Suddenly Last Summer” and “Only the Lonely.”
It was reinvigorating to hear Davis revisit her catalog, particularly the lush but maudlin “Suddenly Last Summer.” Her voice sounded timeless, and she’s handily evaded the fate that befell some of her contemporaries who don’t sound quite the same as they once did. With Davis, I could close my eyes and it was exactly as if I were listening to her on the radio 30 years ago.
I added, “The band has good chemistry and a big, full sound that casually slides in around Davis’ sultry vocals without ever threatening to overwhelm them. They are a good combination, and Davis has suggested the lineup will make an album, which could be a very good thing.”
So join them tonight at the Hamilton for the “Suddenly This Spring Tour 2015,” where they are certain to entertain.
Tickets are available online and at the venue. Greg Hawkes, best known for being the keyboard player of The Cars, opens for Martha Davis and The Motels