Live Review: The Bobby Lees + Cor de Lux @ Cats Cradle Back Room – April 12th 2023

Last Fall Woodstock NY’s garage punk rockers The Bobby Lees released Bellevue, their barn burning third album and first for Ipecac Recordings.  This Spring they hit the road on a North American tour in support of the album, this past Wednesday night they stopped at The Cat’s Cradle Back Room, in Carrboro NC.    

Kick starting the evening was local North Carolina band Cor de Lux.  Hailing from Kill Devil Hills, a town in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Cor de Lux entertained the building crowd with an all too short set of songs that mixed shoegazey indie rock with postpunk.  The blast of energetic guitar hooks and shimmery atmosphere provided an interesting soundscape that managed to connect with an audience that was amped up and ready to cut loose.

Rather than storm the stage for their set, the Bobby Lees started with a bit of a solo striptease.  Drummer Macky Bowman made his way from side stage, danced his way to his drum kit, and then proceeded to strip down to nothing more than white briefs with his socks and sneakers.  With a grin on his face and the room leering and cheering, he casually took his seat as the other members made their way on stage… And then Boom!!  The band exploded into life.  Frontwoman Sam Quartin was magnetic from the word go.  Her unique vocal delivery consisting of equal parts howl, wail, and roar, combined with her aggressive guitar assault threatened to seize all the attention.  But her bandmates were up to the challenge and left no doubt that the Bobby Lees are a cohesive unit.  Guitarist Nick Casa’s brash and frenetic playing bordered on being unhinged at times, but always seemed to find the ideal line between sonic bluster and gritty restraint.  Bassist Kendall Wind took up residence stage right, often moving between the front of the stage to interact with the audience and retreating into the shadows at the back, but always driving the songs with her deep basslines.  While from the back of the stage, in his skivvies behind the kit, drummer Macky Bowman was every bit the magnetic equal to Quartin at the front of the stage.  Bowman, with a huge smile on his face, was ferociously pounding away while seemingly channeling the spirit of Keith Moon via Animal from the muppets.

The quartet roared their set of garage rock, punk, and blues at a blistering pace.  They played a large chunk of songs from Bellevue, but also mixed in a few from their previous albums and even managed to work-in a raging cover of PJ Harvey’s “50ft Queenie”.

The Bobby Lee’s have been riding a wave of critical acclaim and caught the eyes and ears of iconic rockers like Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, and even Debbie Harry.  With several albums under their belt, and fiery live shows, the praise is every bit deserved.  The crowd that filled the Back Room at the Cradle certainly roared their approval as the band left the stage, and were reluctant to leave, hoping for just that little bit more.  The Bobby Lees are one of those bands that sound great on record but come alive on stage.  They need to be experienced live.  Do yourself a favor. If you get a chance to catch the Bobby Lees, make it happen.  You will be glad you did.

The Bobby Lees + Cor de Lux @ Cat’s Cradle Back Room
Photos © Dan Kulpa // Clashdan Photography

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