Music for The Modern World: Shakin Street Live (WKprod 2004)
Shakin Street is a band of which I always found to have an outstanding witty quality in their music. From the beat of the instruments to the driving force of the vocals and the leadguitars Shakin Street, like their contemporaries The Ramones and The Dictators, seem to spell 'excitement' in the most perfect way.
As with The Dictators (and Blue Öyster Cult before them) Shakin Street has that delightful use of the mock-heavy metalic in the music paired with, as in The Ramones, an unique modern voice in the stylings of singer/composer & harpplayer extra-ordinairé Fabienne Shine.
Originally hailing from Paris, France Shakin Street was among the first wave of french punkbands performing with The Damned, Eddie and The Hot Rods (The Sex Pistols and The Clash having pulled out of the tour over a dispute with The Hot Rods) a.o. at The First European Punkrock Festival arranged by Marc Zermati of SkyDog Records fame, held on the 21st of August 1976 in the Mont de Marsan bullring some fifty miles south of Bordeaux.
Establishing themselves in France Shakin Street was signed to the french chapter of Columbia Records in 1978 releasing their first LP Vampire Rock the following year seeing guitarist Armik Tigrane leave the band in favour of arrival of producers Sandy Pearlman and Murray Krugman fresh from the three LPs they made with The Dictators, at this point working with The Clash on their second LP Give Them Enough Rope.
Ross The Boss from The Dictators was added to the group together with original member guitarist/composer Eric Levy to form the dual guitarattack, an axis between Paris, N.Y. and L.A. was established, and Shakin Street signed with CBS International for release of their second LP Solid As A Rock before embarking on touring in Europe and the US, the band seeing its demise shortly after Ross leaving the band in 1981 to join up with sword and socery conceited outfit Manowar.
Shakin Street Live was recorded at a concert in 1980 during this touring and includes in addition to some not previously released songs in the liveset also bonus studiotracks of those. For any fan of Shakin Street this CD is a real treat, for anybody not aquainted with the band a place as good as any to start with if you wanna let's say 'get a little groovier' and 'get down with the delicate dynamics of Shakin Street'.

It's About 'Excitement'

Presenting a different setlist than the one that appeared on the 1989 semi-bootleg Live And Raw, having an equal mix between the unreleased material and songs from both the Shakin Street albums, Shakin Street Live seems also somehow superior to Live And Raw by being a better sonical representation, the atmosphere of the concert/audience representation cooler than on Live And Raw, the performance more punkrocking than Live And Raw's more heavysounding outing.

Starting out with What Kind of Love one of the unreleased songs it's a dancefloor-killer showcasing all Shakin Street's Ramones-status promise and from there on there really is no stopping. It rocks like Rolling Stones should be ashamed could they have done it any better! Shakin Street is the real deal!
During another of the unreleased songs the great Scarlet there is a pleasant intermezzo with the audience participating in chorus-backing for the band. Then the heat is put on with Every Man and Every Woman is a Star followed by a spellbinding version of Box You before the air is shattered by Fabienne's harp-intro for Blues is the Same the song growing and growing untill the group reaches a cool crescendo showcasing the interplay between Eric's and Ross' guitars.
A few more songs till we reaches the most pleasant surprise of the concert-recording the unreleased I'm Your Girl, another killer again showcasing Eric's and Ross'and the rest of the band's assault, before ending the show with a cool version of No Compromise and we are once again reminded why we found bands like BÖC, The Dictators and The Ramones so good at handling those serious existential themes.

Well... it's a killer live-recording but no less is hearing the studio versions following. The three unreleased tracks presented are simply stunning in their studio versions. The intro to I'm Your Girl sums up The Hellacopters in a moment. Scarlet comes across a real dirty rocker but listen to the vocals! Then: What Kind of Love in all its danceflooryness.... Wrapping up the CD is a track again reminding you of The Ramones which has previously appeared with vocals in french on a couple of bootlegs under the title Momes des Villes, here sung in english and entitled Heavy Metal Kid!


Hmm.... Shakin Street reformed for a special invitation to perform at The Crossroads Nights concert at the 18th of june 2004, with guitarist Nono from the band Trust replacing a missing Eric Levy who has in recent years had the group ERA and has had jobs in composing new-age music. Drummer J-Lou worked with AC-22 for many years and played the drums on Fabienne's splendid 1997 solo recording No Mad Nomad.
Hmm...Rumours has it that Shakin Street is going to record anew and I ask you: Now do that seem a little scary or what?!

Rating: Never Too Pooped To Pop or Rock'n'Roll or I'm lame! 

Anders Röder, Copenhagen 07/16/04