LIVE: Spanking Charlene @ Hot Shots, 10/28/11

Spanking Charlene

Spanking Charlene

“I was expecting a float. I feel like I want a float,” joked singer Charlene McPherson of Spanking Charlene during the New York City garage-soul band’s show at Hot Shots in Glens Falls recently.

The South Street sports-dive bar (where well drinks are $4.50; ain’t complaining) provided a homecoming of sorts for Spanking Charlene bass player Margaret LaBombard, a native of Queensbury, whose friends and family populated the bar.

The hometown crowd got a full three-set treatment, with Spanking Charlene playing into the early hours of the morning, wisely hitting originals early and saving the well-chosen covers for the end (including Sly Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” Alice Cooper’s “I’m Eighteen” and Scandal’s “Goodbye to You”).

By then, the bar had filled with patrons dancing between sets to VJs filling the bar’s multitude of video screens with “Sexy and I Know It” party jams.

But during their first set, in particular, Spanking Charlene demonstrated why they won an arduous, year-long “Best Unsigned Band in America” contest hosted by E Street guitarist and garage-rock guru Little Steven Van Zandt.

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McPherson, also a native of upstate New York, was all hard-edged vocal power and prickly punk rock attitude, while the band — LaBombard, drummer Eric Seftel and guitarists Mo Goldner and Eric “Roscoe” Ambel — were one solid, tight-fisted rock and roll unit.

During the band’s first set, they hit tunes from an upcoming album, “Where Are the Freaks?” and from their first record, “Dismissed with a Kiss,” including the bratty-catty “I Hate Girls” and the Goldner-sung, strung-out “Fidgety.”

“Go Roscoe,” egged on McPherson as Ambel — the record producer and Lakeside Lounge bar owner — soloed during punk rave-up “Sugar Love,” while a woman in a black cat suit and heels alone on the dance floor shimmied a weird kind of Glens Falls limbo.

Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

Go There
Leslie’s Bike
When I’m Skinny
I Just Want to Have Something to Do (Ramones)
Rev It Up
I Hate Girls
Sugar Love
Tie Me Up
Dismissed with a Kiss
Fortunate Son (Credence Clearwater Revival)
Booze and Pills
Why Don’t We Do It in the Road (Beatles)

Charlene McPherson and a dancing audience member

Charlene McPherson and a dancing audience member

Eric Ambel, Margaret LaBombard, Eric Seftel and Mo Goldner

Eric Ambel, Margaret LaBombard, Eric Seftel and Mo Goldner

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3 Responses to “LIVE: Spanking Charlene @ Hot Shots, 10/28/11”

  1. Kirsten says:

    Yeah, I probably should have mentioned a few of Eric Ambel’s other claims to fame — founding member of the Del-Lords and the Yayhoos, original guitarist for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, guitarist with Steve Earle’s Dukes… it’s a long list!

  2. Mike Hotter says:

    I believe Eric/Roscoe also is the owner of the fabled Lakeside Lounge in the East Village – Eric was kind enough to have my old band knotworking play there a few times – great place (and one of the best jukeboxes in the City – even Van Morrison thinks so:

  3. Matt Mac Haffie says:

    He does indeed.

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