Marco Mendoza/Bad Actress –
The Yorkshireman Rock Bar, Sheffield, Friday 8th April, 2022
Well I haven't been in here for a good three years or so and coincidentally enough, it was to see the headliner tonight. It was known as The Mulberry Rock Bar & Venue then but has now changed hands and run by the guys who had the Yorkshireman in the centre of town, which was demolished so they brought the name with them to this spot.
Set List: Poison Snake/High-Speed Heartbreak/Red Hot/She's Got Fire/Talk Dirty To Me (Poison cover)/Mama Ain't Talkin'/Low Down 'N' Dirty/Actin' Like An Animal/Hellbound.
We initially caught Bad Actress many miles away last year at the first show witnessed after the you know what which was over at the Lake District – a cool label run festival by John Craig of 'Forge' called 'Smoke On The Water', that as you can imagine was an outdoor do. To see 'em a bit closer to home was an easier trek to say the least.
Born and bred in the highlands of Scotland – Inverness to full pinpoint it these boys are made up Vinnie Vexx (Lead Vocals), Chick (Lead Guitar), Tommy B (Rhythm Guitar), 80-R (Bass) & Lui Q (Drums). They are quite simply out to rock and relight the fire down here in these parts of England – well all of the UK and beyond to be exact.
It's hot, sure-fine, banging and bouncing sleazy action that takes you back to the days of Poison, Skid Row and Motley Crue in a modern day setting but keeping that solid, flamboyant 80's flashiness and colour especially when it comes to Vinnie and Chicks get-up.
Something that grabbed my attention apart from their visual look and cock-sure confidence was have engaging they were with the just about packed audience on this warmish for early April Friday night, asking four times, “How ya doin' tonight Sheffield?', and from the start, getting them 4 times louder for the opening 'Poison Snake' that mixes ZZ Top's 'La Grange with old school R 'n R with swanky guitar soloing that's followed up immediately by 'High-Speed Heartbreak' with its tongue in cheek, cheesey lyrics.
We were treated to the ballsy forthcoming new single 'She's Got Fire' which the Steel City people appeared to love which had Vinnie saying 'God Bless Sheffield' – well someone has to I guess... only kidding... hahaha... and it might as well be an up-and-coming Rock band right? The 'Actress then decide to p*ss everyone off and play Poison's 'Talk Dirty To Me' – actually it didn't lol – the folk loved 'em even more.... even Steve Baranovich dug them and it's usually in the Baranovich set list.
Mr. Vexx told us that they had spent a week with Marco Mendoza and what a lovely bloke he was while wearing a massive throbbing smile on his face, before cranking into their 12-bar based 'Acting Like An Animal'. Before the last song of the set all the band members were introduced to us coming out with, “We are Bad Actress, this is 'Hellbound'. A ballsy well-fitted number to finish their performance with. To say that Bad Actress handed it to them would be an understatement!
Set List: Viva La Rock/Hey Baby (Ted Nugent)/Hole In My Pocket/Give Peace A Chance (John Lennon)/Rocketman/Look Out For The Boys/Sue Is On The Run/Your Touch/Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder)/Chinatown (Thin Lizzy)/Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy).
Well it's been a good couple of years since I have seen the Double M here in Sheffield and funnily enough it was at this very venue too before all the sh*t hit the fan in one way or another. The energetic Bassist/Frontman is still plugging his 'Viva La Rock' album which I am very familiar with and the line-up completed by Guitarist, Tommy Gentry of Gun & Drummer, Kyle Hughes, also of Bumblefoot and more recently, The Graham Bonnet Band.
It was all going good somewhat.... well okay, I guess but Marco was not happy with the mix since he could not hear what was going on so halted it and got the engineer to sort it. Marco apologised saying they had come all the way from LA, California (well he had to do the tour, the other two members being UK based somewhat) and wanted us to have a good time. It got sorted and all was good to go – so from the top 'Viva La Rock' (Take 2) – spot on.
The man had cold but it seemed so took a wee bit to fully get warmed up – but bless him, he got there and he moulded into the groove. In good old Mendoza style he had us finger-clicking to some of the songs in the nice 'n' packed red hot room but they took quite a bit of convincing to get into it.
He came out in crowd a few times since he liked to make sure we are having a great night and if we are all paying attention to the proceedings too – hahaha – well folk paid their money so they ought to be part of the show somewhat right? Even asking if the crowd are there at the back and managing to have folk singing a bit, although they do seem to be hard work to get going at times – they were probably already rocked out by Bad Actress maybe?
He went down well with a classic set with a few covers thrown in to vibe everyone up such as Steveie Wonder's 'Higher Ground' that many in here may be more familiar with from Red Hot Chilli Peppers; Ted Nugent's 'Hey Baby' since he did a stint as his bassist a few years since and a bit of John Lennon with the anti-war Anthem, 'Give Peace A Chance' which is rather relevant at the moment to say the least.
He told us tongue-in-cheekily that “If you like it spread the word but if not say nothing”. Well the people of Sheffield will always let you know what they think and Marco went down fine. Highlights of his own repertoire included 'Rocket Man'; 'Look Out For The Boys' and the cool as hell funky assed rocker, 'Hole In My Pocket'.
It's always good to see Kyle take to the mic for a double helping of Thin Lizzy in the form of Chinatown & Jailbreak as well, who actually closes the gig which had no encore - 1st time I have known Marco do that actually... I wonder why?
Anyway, it was overall a decent performance with Marco having photos with folk, chatting away and signing albums etc. Hopefully next time he will have a new album to promote and play for us.
Review by Glenn Milligan
Mainly by Mal Whichelow apart from
two of Vinnie Vexx by Glenn Milligan
Black & White By Mark Richardson.
Colour By Mal Whichelow.
Kyle Hughes & Tommy Gentry by Glenn Milligan