Sophisticats and Sophistikittens

Rosy's Jazz Hall

October 21, 2004

I first time I saw The Sophisticats and Sophistikittens was at The Howlin' Wolf about two years ago. I didn't like them. I wondered why a band would want to be so derivative. With the go-go dancers up on platforms around the players, I thought the whole thing was creepily misogynistic. Also, barely anyone was dancing to their music in the hard-rock environs of The Wolf. I couldn't get into them, and now I know why. One, I needed to lighten up. Two, the atmosphere of the The Wolf did them in. At Rosy's Jazz Hall Thursday night, the band had the dancefloor full of people goin' crazy for their '50's surf/boogie rock. I enjoyed them more last night. They weren't creepy, and even though they were still derivative, that was now a good thing. It was obvious the band was trying to have fun with old music. What's wrong with that, as long as you do it well, which they did? The band was tenor saxophonist Hep Saxsmith, organist Miss Meow, vocalist Butterfly DuJour, guitarist Pharoah, bassist Dez Presley’s and drummer Johnny Nine Live. There were also four Sophistikittens on the prowl. They shimmied well.

The band mixed swingin' instrumentals with more rockin' vocal numbers. Ms. DuJour did a great job of leading the band's energetic charge. She was confident, and her voice was pleasant. Also deserving notice was Johnny Nine Live, whose rock-hard, tom-oriented drumming was a perfect fit for the nostalgic music.

A lot of the songs sounded similar, but that was OK. The people were dancing, which was the most important thing. For a good time, go see these guys.

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