Upper Crust

One Eyed Jack's

February 04, 2005

BY MARTY GARNER


The self-proclaimed "Monarchs of Aristocratic Rock" pranced onstage in a two-person horse costume and rocked like it was 1799 at One Eyed Jack's Friday night. Upper Crust featured Duke D'istortion on lead guitar, Lord Bendover on vocals and rhythm guitar, Jackie Kickasses on drums, and Count Bass-ie on, um, bass. Except for one power ballad, the music was loud, hard, balls-out AC/DC style Rock--songs that are usually about girls, cars, hell, Satan, and heartache. The Upper Crust's songs, however, were about ascots and dickies, finishing school, boudoirs, rabble-rousers, and beauty spots.

The group kept their shtick together even though they were completely, utterly, and hopelessly tanked. Lord Bendover, in particular, became less and less coherent as the set entered the 3 a.m. hour. Amazingly, he didn't lose his swarmy Victorian accent, and Count Bass-ie didn't stop leering at the crowd. The insane songs, accents, costumes, names, and stage banter would have been worth the ten dollar cover anyway, but the Upper Crust actually rocked. D'istortion played technical, complicated leads over '70's grooves. The band fit in perfectly with openers Dash Rip Rock and Supagroup. Still, Upper Crust wrote more precise melodies, more interesting riffs, and overall catchier pop songs(Yes, I am the one person in New Orleans who does not like either of these bands. I know).

Unfortunately, without the gimmick, there would have been no Upper Crust. Since the entire package was so well done, if the songs were taken out of the Victorian era, the group would have been rendered silent. I guess that without the gimmick, they would have been Supagroup or Dash--another loud rock band with nothing much to say.



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