A Priscillas gig is always hugely entertaining. Their sets will whisk you back in time with a tint of rock n roll, 60s fun and 70’s punk, always full of energy and and an altogether stunning array of finely tuned pop, all delivered with verve and a dash of feisty charm. Music can be fun, and a night out with The Priscillas fun is always guaranteed. The songs are as big as Jens heels.
The Priscillas are:
Jen Drag – lead vocals
Val Kyrie – guitar and backing vocals
Heidi Heelz – bass and backing vocals
Lisa Lux – drums and backing vocals
I grabbed my camera gear as I re-enacted Phil Collins “live aid dash” from one concert venue to another, well almost. A run across Brighton on a hot sticky night from Concorde 2 where I had already lost a couple of pounds in weight photo’ing Sham 69 up to the Hope and Ruin. I pushed myself through the “wall” – I was NOT gonna miss The Priscillas – no way! Sadly though I missed Jay Aston and Mum, Dad and the Kids.
The band have released singles two of which were played on Radio 1, BBC 6Music, and others. The girls have also played sessions for Marc Riley on BBC 6Music. They have a brilliant album 10,000 volts out now and hopefully some new material is in the pipeline. The band has toured extensively, and have played with bands including The Cramps, The Damned, The Rezillos, The 5,6,7,8s, and were once supported by James Blunt…… moving on…..
Thankfully their set was late in starting and so I arrived just before they started up. The Priscillas were prepping up and I managed a quick “hey” with everyone and a coupla hugs – which was very brave considering I had lost a further 1/2 pound in weight piling across town. They really are a delightful bunch of musicians and its a real joy to know them. The already dim lights, dimmed a little further as the band took to the stage. Lisa settled in behind the drum kit, Heidi strapped herself into her bass guitar and Val gave her guitar a quick tune up. Jen Drag looking fabulous also, her red lipstick shining in the light took to the stage. I think they were set and ready to go! The warmed up crowd in The Hope and Ruin were ready.
Jen, with her back to the crowd and hands on hips stood center stage, she turned to face the audience, well more gyrated round actually. These guys are seriously good and have finely tuned their shows. The searing guitar, bass, drums and Jen combining everything seamlessly for this outfit. The harmonies on the various chorus lines and backing vocals are always spot on.
The audience gave them a huge cheer as Val playing the intro at 100mph hurtled us into the fabulous single “(All the way to) Holloway“ a great song full of terrific chords, bass and drum patterns and a great set of lyrics. “Timing” kicked the set further into a higher gear, a great song. This was a stunning song to hear live, it is great live, and one that the audience recognised from the bands album. We were treated to Lisa’s powerful drumming skills, hell she works hard giving the power to the songs. Heidi powering her bass guitar to produce the riff line. Pay attention you guys! The Priscillas had arrived!
Lisa counted in and “Jimmy in a Dress” was up. This is one of my favourite tracks from their album. It really is a belter of a song and so damned catchy. It became clear that The Priscillas were here to have fun and entertain. They were certainly having fun and the crowd were having a ball. Not a note out of place for this track and the band producing their unique sound and style all backed up with those dreamy sublime vocals all the while Jen gyrated across the stage and ventured out into the crowd a couple of times.
“Simon” was in the set listing and it looks as if the cover of Bowie’s “Boys Keep Swinging” is now a permanent fixture of the set list – and they nailed it. A great tribute.
We were then treated to the bands first “filmed in technicolour video track” – “Wheres Lydia” – the chant “ice cream – Coca Cola” filled the venue, hands clapping, feet stomping and the band fired into this song with full force. I think someone had done a sneaky and turned up the volume in the venue. This was now one of the most enjoyable sets I had experienced in some time. “Wheres Lydia?” came the scream from Jen and the band. This led us straight into “Y.O.Y”. The Priscillas were on fire – they really meant business at The Hope and Ruin tonight. You could not help but fall under the charm of these ladies as the set moved on.
A look over to the sound desk seemed to indicate something needed to be changed and so, due to the late start, we missed a couple of songs maybe, so Jen rallied The Priscillas and the crowd and pulled us into the sublime single “Superhero” as Val sparked up her guitar, Lisa piling on some percussion and Heidi filling in the sound with that bass and Jen lead us into the song – “Just Give Me A Kisssssss…” and one of the most purrrrfect purrs from Jen. This song fired everyone up, whipping the audience into a dancing frenzy. And sadly that was it. I and the crowd could easily of handled more Priscillas goodness.
Make no mistake, The Priscillas are fantastic, professional musicians and singers. They want to have fun, and they want the audience to have fun and enjoy themselves and the music. They are an exciting band to watch. They performed an energetic hour, well nearly an hour, of excitement with gusto and glamour. The Priscillas manage to sit on the boundaries of punk, rock n roll, and pop, they pull together to create balanced songs, attitude, and the audience friendly stomping beats.
These ladies ALWAYS put on a powerful and impressive show and always receive much deserved applause. The bigger venue, and bigger stage suited The Priscillas – and no red LED lighting is always a relief. That was it – a couple of minutes after curfew – such a shame we lost a song – but what we got made up for that! Jen and the band clearly were up for more, sadly it wasn’t going to happen.
The Priscillas are on Facebook.
Please note all images / video are copyright, please do not copy. If any of the featured artists/promoters/venues want copies of the images – or more if available – please just get in touch.
All original pictures – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2017.