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Hard Rock Hell, Pontins, Prestatyn, North Wales
5 December 2009

New York Dolls, photo by Noel Buckley
Photo by Noel Buckley

It's probably fair to say that The New York Dolls are one of the most legendary and influential bands that Hard Rock Hell has managed to book so far in its short history. However, although they went a long way to laying the foundations for both punk and glam rock, a pure Heavy Metal audience is probably not where their appeal really lies.

Consequently the audience reaction is slightly subdued, as although there is a healthy contingent of hardcore fans in the audience who greet every song with rapturous recognition, the majority don't really seem to be that familiar with the Dolls repertoire.

New York Dolls, photo by Noel Buckley
Photo by Noel Buckley

This doesn’t however take anything away from the band’s performance. The two surviving original members, Sylvain Sylvain and David Johansen, add a large slice of camp glamour to the proceedings and lead the band through a rip-roaring set of high energy rock’n’roll, New York Glam style.

Opening up with Babylon, the band zip though a set of largely the old classic material, especially from the self-titled debut album from 1973.

The set only features three or four from the two recent albums – Cause I Sez So and Dance Like a Monkey being the highlights. Bassist Sam Yaffa, formerly of Hanoi Rocks, dedicates Private World to his legendary predecessor Arthur ‘Killer’ Kane which is a nice touch and frontman David Johansen wears a big grin on his face from start to finish.

Although we don't get Personality Crisis tonight which is a surprise, the set finishes on a high with the undisputed Dolls classic, Jetboy. This was a tough audience for the Dolls to crack, but crack it they just about did. I suspect they’ll get an easier ride on home turf on the rest of the tour.

Review by Jimmy Rowland

Photos by Noel Buckley


Hard Rock Hell Part 1 (3 Dec)

Hard Rock Hell Part 2 (4 Dec)

Hard Rock Hell Part 3 (5 Dec)

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