June 25, 2009
CD release party at Paladino’s
Review and photos by Susan Thorsen
Until recently, Harlot was a band I had never heard of or seen before. A five-piece band that was well-known in Hollywood, CA during the mid-‘80’s scene. Last year Harlot was offered a “resurgence – come back out and play” deal from Sam McCaslin, CEO of indie label, Retrospect Records. Now completed, the CD features many of the tunes Harlot was known for way back when. Fueled by the release and a great fan base that is still out there in droves, Harlot is back. With plans to play three shows on three separate days on the “Retrospect” stage at the huge Rocklahoma Festival in early July, Harlot has officially resurfaced with all of the zest and zeal that they were known for in years past.
Harlot’s CD, entitled “Keep The Dream Alive” (which is also the title of one of the singles on it), is primarily driven by the scene that they experienced firsthand two decades ago in Hollywood. Harlot co-founder and lead guitarist/song writer, Jeff Schofield states, “The 1980’s in Hollywood was a great time and a legendary time – a good time to be in a band”. He goes on to describe the scene as being a major party in all the clubs that were packed every night of the week with the same party going on out on the street which was also packed. There were many, many excellent and extremely talented bands that were overlooked back then due to the overabundance of competition. Harlot was one of those bands and are ecstatic to be offered a chance to replay and expand the act that their popularity was built on.
Catching Harlot’s show last weekend was a lot of fun. These guys (three of the five are from the original lineup) are a great “classic ‘80’s rock” band with excellently written music by Jeff Schofield and Steve Zoelle, the two guitarists. Very energetic and in fine form, Harlot played a picture perfect 45 minute set of their entire eight-song CD. Opening with the tune, “Lock Up Your Daughters”, the crowd was immediately on their feet and onto the dance floor to rock out. Harlot couldn’t have sounded or performed better. The entire band was very well practiced with excellent vocals from lead singer, Wayne Webb and lots of nice, technical guitar work from Jeff and Steve. Drummer Dante Pacifici and bass player, Rodney Rocha played extremely well together and kept the rhythm side of things very nicelyl balanced and consistent.
Moving on through their set list, other songs played were “It’s Party Time”, “One Night Stand”, “Keep The Dream Alive” (and they are!), and finishing the set with, “Where There’s Smoke (There’s Fire)”. Loud, though sounding great, I really, really liked this band and their energy and definitely heard their influences, Van Halen and AC/DC rooted in their tunes. They definitely proved they belong(ed) on bigger than club sized stages.
Harlot no sooner finished their set when the crowd called them back for an encore. The encore was the icing on the cake of this show. The band brought on special guests, Jaime St. James (lead singer of world known band, Black ‘N Blue) and Betsy “Bitch” (of the band, Bitch). All together they played a totally rockin’ and bottom end thumping rendition of KISS’ “Rock And Roll All Nite (And Party Every Day)”.
So far, Harlot is currently booked to play several dates July – Rocklahoma in Pryor, Oklahoma (as mentioned above) and a show in Las Vegas. Their complete schedule is posted on the band’s MySpace site (www.myspace.com/80sharlot). Harlot’s CD, “Keep The Dream Alive” can be purchased at the band’s shows (along with T-Shirts, Buttons, etc.) and by mail by contacting them on MySpace or by contacting Retrospect Records (www.RetrospectRecords.com). Their tentative plan and goal is to move forward with more new songs and another CD written in the ‘80’s rock style they were made from.