Thursday, December 29, 2011

Show Review: The Clay Pigeons 12-21-11 Kenny's Castaways NYC

The Clay Pigeons 
Live @ Kenny's Castaways

Good friends of RtBE The Clay Pigeons put on their 4th Annual Christmas Concert last Wednesday night at the long time Bleecker St. club Kenny's Castaways.  The group makes this their lone annual show these days, playing it when family and friends all return to New York for the holidays.

The band are NYC stalwarts who have been playing bars in and around town for more years then would probably care to admit.  Having started back in Queens when Don McNally (Vocals) Kevin Vitale (Guitar/Vocals) Mike Ryniec (Bass/Vocals) were in high school (more on that later in the evening).  The group has played an assortment of covers and originals at everything from backyard parties to Manhattan band showcases.  Having cycled through a few drummers the Pigeons have always made a concerted effort to bring fun rock and roll to their audience.  They are never above inserting the latest pop hit into one of their tunes or making fun of themselves to fire up the crowd.
The group has not played often in recent years with members moving out of town, family and day jobs taking precedent but when they do gather things are instantly flung back down to their sticky beer floor soaked roots.  These Christmas shows have been ways for the band to bring together loved ones and pull out songs that are not often played.
This year the band kicked things off with it's most recent songs and their most recent drummer, Mike Galinanes who has been slapping the skins in the Pigeons for about a decade now.  The bands bar rocking tracks such as "Josephine", "All Again" and "Summer Rain" had the long time fans shimmying and shaking but those fans would have even more to smile about later.
"Summer Rain"

(Click here for "Josephine" Video)   The band then dropped into a few cover tunes to get the crowd going including a cover of "Faith" which had two ladies up shaking their asses in front of the crowd:
Each Christmas show delivers a theme, this year was "Xmas in the 90's" so TCP dipped into it's catalog of covers, bringing the crowd back to their flannel clad youth.  90's acts as varied as Stone Temple Pilots and N'Sync were covered as the group strolled down memory lane.
 The set ended with a mega impressive medley of songs that went on for over 15 minutes straight, when they ended the segue fest the setlist looked like this:

"Tubthumping" > "No Scrubs" >" What I Got" >" Lady Madonna" > "Love Is A Highway" > "Fly" > "It Wasn't Me" > "Wannabe" > "The Real Slim Shady" > "You Could Be Mine" > "Baby Baby" > " Hit Me Baby 1 More Time" > "You Outta Know" > "Tubthumping"       

Quite a challenging run of playing for the band, but a hoot and a holler all around.  The fact that the boys didn't stay totally in the 90's didn't matter, the fans couldn't have cared less as they were singing along with all of the wild covers, TLC into Sublime?  No Problem.  Guns and Roses into Justin Bieber?!?  Only The Clay Pigeons.   
The band then brought Santa on stage for a very special treat as he gave out downloads for the groups first ever demo tape.  The bird boys went back in time and digitized their first musical recordings and allowed fans to grab them for the new century.  As Santa went about his business the group took a set break and transformed back into their high school selves.
Before there was ever a Clay Pigeon the group was known as The 13th Floor.  Slapping on flannels and ball caps and grabbing original drummer Larry Mule the foursome revisited the first songs they ever wrote playing old gems like "River's Edge", "Windows" and "Monday Sucks".  The fellas had an obvious blast reliving their past exploits, but didn't forget about the season we were in.
To End the long show the band decided to tear into some holiday classics, including their own fantastic Christmas song "The Holiday's".  Everyone by that point was full of Xmas cheer, dancing and singing as the night ended with the Queens boys take on British Band Aid super song "Do They Know It's Christmas?".

What a great way to celebrate the season of giving, and the band sure gave it their all...Until next year...
Full disclosure RtBE have been friends with TCP since 1995 and play music with various members, to this very day (and beyond).  That said it doesn't change the fact the the group is pure audio joy live when they are clicking and each Xmas show seems to bring out the best in them.  Here are a few videos of past Christmas shows to prove it:
"New Boyfriend" Clay Pigeon Original with a "Rocking" Christmas break... 

"The Grinch Song"  with The Funky In The Middle Horns

"All Again"


Hope you had a Merry Xmas and have a Safe New Year.