I saw the New York Dolls live for the first time this year, and came away quietly impressed. Although, having said that, I'd have been hard pushed to pick out Steve Conte from a police line-up, given the large amount of hair lacquer and polka dot shirts on display.
But here he comes, complete with his own band, The Crazy Truth, and a new album which, strange to relate, is being released a couple of days before the New York Dolls return to these shores for another batch of live shows. An amazing co-incidence!
Now it's safe to say that there is absolutely nothing new on offer here but, speaking as someone who grew up thinking that Hanoi Rocks and Mink DeVille were the two coolest bands in the world, it's safe to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this. However, even if I had thought it was rubbish, I probably would have lied just because Mr Conte has entitled one of the songs, 'Strumpet-hearted Monkey Girl'. I mean, come on. How great is that!
But it's not rubbish (unless I'm lying). It's sleazy, down at hell, guitar rock-Blues that anyone who fell in love with Hanoi Rocks, Sea Hags or even early Dogs D'Amour will take to their tattooed bosoms. Mr Contes boss, David Johanson, pops in to honk his harmonica, and these are songs you can dance, cry, sing, and waggle your tush to. Be it 'The Goods Are Odd', 'Get Off' or 'Busload Of Hope', with the latter a song the late Willy DeVille would have been proud of.
An album that left me feeling a wee bit grubby, but in a good way.