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

November 8th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg
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”).

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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.

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

3 thoughts on “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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