Amanda X perform at the Black Cat on Saturday, April 30, 2016.
Rockers Amanda X have popped down to DC from Philadelphia a few times in recent years, usually to appear with nationally touring bands that find them an appealing opener.
Wherever they go, you should definitely give them a listen!
Most recently, Amanda X visited the Black Cat on Saturday to open for The Thermals, another trio with a penchant for lo-fi guitars. I think this was the first time Amanda X visited DC since the release of a two-song EP, Hundreds and Thousands, via Self Aware Records last September. And it was certainly the first with their new drummer.
Steve Norman of Spandau Ballet was a star player at the 9:30 Club on April 28, 2015. (Photo by Joy Asico)
When I look back upon 2015, I certainly discovered my share of new favorite bands. But I have to confess, the best shows of the year were dominated by legacy bands returning to reclaim their pop thrones. And so the shows I am most excited about in 2015 were generally those shows where a genre-defining artist came back to DC and absolutely mastered their art.
But I’ll add this postscript: 2015 also was the year of the punk rock girl, as several notable bands reminded me of how much I like a woman’s voice over a bit of surf or rockabilly guitar. I’ll explain more after my official list of Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2015.
Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines
“I have only one question for you,” Frances McKee of The Vaselines told the audience at the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC Wednesday night. “Where is the White House?”
McKee related a tale of trying to find the location of the presidential mansion as a tourist that day, but getting lost for about 90 minutes, then trapped in the Metro system, leading her to hop a turnstile to get home (without seeing the White House).
“What did you do today?” she asked her bandmate and longtime acquaintance, Eugene Kelly.
“I didn’t get lost and then break the law!” he proclaimed.
“He stayed in hostel room all day,” McKee said to the audience, “–wanking!”
“I saved enough for your face later,” Kelly quipped.
The exchange was representative of the humorous banter of potty language exchanged between the two longtime friends and former lovers from Glasgow who make up the core of Scottish punk band The Vaselines. The occasionally course language is somewhat more startling because the two otherwise seem so damn polite. I mean, really. They are sharply dressed, soft-spoken and well-mannered but spit out jokes about sex left and right.
Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly (Photo by Niall Webster)
The Rock and Roll Hotel (1353 H St. NE, DC) hosts one of the United Kingdom’s most engaging punk bands Wednesday when the Vaselines come to town.
The Vaselines specialize in refreshing short punk rock songs in the fashion of The Ramones. The Glaswegian duo of Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee formed their band in 1987 but broke up soon after finishing their first album. After their breakup, the Vaselines reached wide exposure when Nirvana covered their song “Son of a Gun.”
Thankfully, they reformed and put out a new album in 2009, and they have stayed busy since. Last year, they released the album V for Vaselines through their own label, Rosary Music. Watch the video for the third single, “Crazy Lady,” below.
If you like great classic, melodic punk with a great beat, don’t miss this show.
Philadelphia’s punk rockers Amanda X open for the Vaselines. The chirpy female trio are a perfect opener for their tourmates from Scotland, so come early and hear the sweet vocals and rollicking guitars as featured on their album Amnesia. (Seriously, these ladies could have been on DC’s own Teen Beat Records, no?)
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Tickets are available online and at the door.
w/ Amanda X
Rock and Roll Hotel
Wednesday, Jan. 14