There are rock stars, and then there’s Danny Kroha, the man behind Danny & the Darleans. I had a chat with DJ Topkat tonight, and we both agreed that one of the great things about Kroha is his apparent lack of any obvious ego, his humility. That’s why he’s the real deal – a genuine rock star – because it isn’t forced. Kroha doesn’t know how to be any other way. Tonight, with his Darleans ably backing him up, he’s part Baptist preacher, part James Brown, part Warhol-ian androgyny, part Detroit auto assembly worker. It’s a potent combo when crashing around on a stage, and one that would amount to diddly-squat if the tunes were shitty. Thankfully, they’re not. I don’t know what they’re called yet, not until the Stink album is released in the coming weeks, but they kick ass. It’s garage rock, but it’s fresh, lively and fun. The wheel isn’t being reinvented, but it’s had a brand spanking new splash of paint.
In from Brooklyn is former CBGB’s faves the Fleshtones, a band that has managed to write a ton of awesome melodic punk tunes yet stay largely invisible to the masses. Think the Buzzcocks with a Nu Yawk drawl, and you’re part way there. Front man Pete Zaremba looks like he got drunk and lost, and found himself on a stage in Hamtramck, but it works. His band is tight and bouncy, and dripping in leopard skin, and they praise the Darleans at every opportunity.
Two great bands, one great night.