Royal Crescent Mob

By William Brents

I realize that at the time of this concert the Fourth of July was several days away; however, it seemed that both Too Much Joy and Royal Crescent Mob were hell-bent on celebrating the holiday early.

Too Much Joy, a frolicking foursome from New York, began the festivities by dealing out some hilarious and danceable tunes. There's nothing obscure about Too Much Joy's lyrics, which concentrate mostly on the lighter side of things. When combined with a ringing guitar, slapping bass and solid drumming it translates into a good-time party band for all to enjoy. I mean, how could you not enjoy a band that writes songs with such titles as "Long-Haired Guys From England" (the humorous part is omitted from the title) and "If I Was A Mekon," a dedication of some sort to the Mekons.

As for the Royal Crescent Mob, they were absolutely astonishing. Vocalist David Ellison delighted the rather sparse but vigorous crowd of several hundred by shaking everything from his trademark shaman stick to his pelvis.

However, the show almost came to an abrupt end when Ellison jumped in the crowd, only to be rudely returned on top of a monitor in a pretzel-like position. Fortunately Ellison was fine and still in good spirits as he jokingly gave the crowd a D+ for their rough treatment.

R.C. Mob are definitely a premier live act and they kept proving that with every funky selection.

The Mob mixed material from their new album the splendid Midnight Rose's with older songs such as "Na, Na, Na," "Big Show," "Two Sisters" and an obligatory Ohio Players cover.

Bassist Harold Chichester wiggled about expressing a devilish look upon his face, and, along with super human drummer Carlton Smith, they churned out some robust rhythms that freed up guitarist B. to delve into a musical vault of funky, blues-oriented riffs.

Getting back to Ellison for a moment, he had a table set up onstage equipped with eccentric gadgets, harmonicas and a megaphone that he used on a few numbers.

During the second and final encore Ellison announced that this would be the last performance they would give under the name Royal Crescent Mob.

"We're going to become a Led Zeppelin cover band and play all our shows at the Toy Tiger," he said. Just then the guys ripped into "Immigrant Song," a song that capped off a sweaty evening of musical enjoyment.

This show represented my first visit to the upper auditorium of the Louisville Gardens. I found it to be a decent venue for a concert, blessed with a clear `sound system and an unobstructed view of the stage from any angle.

On my way upstairs I had noticed a lot of people hanging around who I thought didn't look like an average R.C. Mob audience. Then it struck me -- it's Tuesday at the Gardens and that could mean only one thing: professional wrestling. Perhaps that explained it