The reason Sha Na Na went over so well at Woodstock, a glowing reception the band itself was shocked and gratified by, is because ya just can't write the past off, Jerome, no matter how hard you try. The music of the 50s, something I was once revolted by due to a knowledge of the socio-political clime of the times, is a genre that even I'm cultivating a growing appreciation of, divorcing the antiquated from the articulate, but the Ladybirds, a young band of sassy cut-ups, seem to have developed their affinity straight out of the gate. Thus, Shimmy Shimmy Dang! is a way-the-hell-cool blend of 50s, rockabilly, radio rave-up, and twangy rebel rokk.
The oft-naughty temptress Sarah Teeple is kinda like a Downtown Julie Brown with a bit of Debbie Harry and Pearl Harbor (& the Explosions) mixed in, a female-cocky, take-no-BS, passionately and fierily monogamous wanton forever in the middle of man troubles and ready to find The One no matter what. The band takes on a vintage exposition of the post-WWII bang-around but also tosses in a lot of the bump and raucousness of the punk milieu without ever overpowering the fun and shakin' nature of its antecedents. You can tell by the irreverent photo on the inner liner that they have a lot of fun with their work, no doubt cutting up and posturing in concert as well.
The Ladybirds are the kind of group that would've been the perfect opening act for a three-card bill topped by Devo and seconded by the B-52s: fun, head-boppin', kinda wild, never taking anything seriously. Kiss the Euro-synth movement good-bye, it'll never (thankfully) come back, and this quintet took up the right banner, ready to party, born to rock, gigglin' 'n 'n snortin' all the while. As much as I like oceans-deep prog, jazz, and neoclassical musics…man, is it ever a relief to trot on over to the beer hall and catch an ensemble like this for a nice bit of R&R, letting my hair down, guzzling vino, and whooping it up all night long. That's whatcha get here.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles