Harold Ray: Live in Concert
The Duchess / The Mothballs

Rickshaw Stop
June 9, 2005

Review by Jake Thomas

I don’t think The Mothballs were as drunk as the last time I saw them, but it didn’t seem for lack of trying. I’m pretty sure when I saw JJ before they started playing he had an alcoholic beverage in each hand (now that I think about it, it’s fairly common for JJ to have two drinks at once regardless of whether or not his band is playing...). They were sloppy and happy and great all at the same time just like they are supposed to be, and it brought a big grin to my face. About midway through the set the singer (Carlos?) broke one of the strings on his guitar, but instead of putting on a new one like most folks, he just said fuck it and played the rest of the show on a 5-string guitar. Friends, that is punk rock, not spiking up your hair and paying too much money for a pre-worn in leather jacket.

The only thing I knew about the Duchess going into this show was that they were taking up valuable time between two bands I really liked, but lucky for me they actually turned out to be quite awesome. They were a 9-piece soul band, with three female singers decked out in matching gear and synchronized dance moves and a high entertainment value. The band was a local all-star group of sorts – members of Harold Ray: Live in Concert, The Husbands, The Fucking Champs, Hammers of Misfortune, and god knows who else. Although the singing was a little off at times, the singers made up for this in enthusiasm; and the band, they were as tight as a tube top on a chubby teenager. The place was packed, seemingly most folks there to see the Duchess… apparently all the band members also work at Rainbow Grocery, and their co-workers were out in full force. It was “co-op rock” at it’s finest.

Harold Ray: Live in Concert were the closers. They started the show with the singer Jason making fun of both SF and JJ from the Mothballs, and going on about the giant steak he had eaten. And then they rocked the fuck out. I’ve seen these guys a bunch of times, and sure, they usually play the same songs, but they’re such damn good songs, and fantastic performers, that it never seems to get old. It was very dancey while they played especially for SF where dancing is frowned upon, I almost even “shook a leg” as the kids say. If I come anywhere close to dancing, then you know I’m really diggin’ it, and I most certainly was.

Check out our prevous Harold Ray: Live in Concert review:
August 26, 2004 @ Hotel Utah

Check out our prevous Mothballs review:
January 21, 2005 @ Thee Parkside

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