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NASHVILLE PUSSY - Live in Toronto

Horseshoe Tavern - September 26/19

Not having seen Nashville Pussy for about 15 years or so (when they opened for Motorhead in Toronto), this reviewer was definitely ready for a great evening of punk-tinged rock’n’roll (southern punk’n’roll according to my brother).

Nashville Pussy have been around for more than 20 years, and therefore are vets of the bar touring scene. Led by lead vocalist/guitarist Blaine Cartwright and his Canadian wife, lead guitarist/backing vocalist Ruyter Suys (pronounced “rider sighs”, kind of a Bond girl name), the band know how to whip smaller crowds into a sweat. And the 200 or so in attendance on a work night were ready for a good time.

Nashville Pussy are experts at jamming during songs, just letting it rip and continuing for as long as it feels good while still keeping the proceedings moving along at a fair clip. When the band is in punk mode, mostly with their older material, they are at their best. Oldies such as “Piece of Ass”, “First I Look at the Purse”, Strutting Cock” and “Go Motherfucker Go” were the highlights of the evening. Newish bassist Bonnie Buitrago was an imposing force, a master of her instrument and having a great stage presence, and new drummer Ben Thomas is young and enthusiastic to say the least.

Like most bands with a new album to push (2018’s Pleased to Eat You), they included a healthy helping of new material, including “We Want War”, “She Keeps Me Coming and I Keep Going Back” and “Go Home and Die”. While the band has the chops to pull off any material, the new songs are slower, and sometimes a bit bluesy, and that tended to make the set list feel like it was dragging. But that may just be the personal taste of yours truly, a speed freak to the end.

Overall, Nashville Pussy are a veteran act that remain fresh and edgy despite their advancement into middle age, and they are not to be missed if you are into good time rock’n’roll along the lines of the Supersuckers.

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