By chance, I found myself walking behind Jamie Burke, singer of Bloody Social, while I was en route to his gig, so I followed him along 2nd St. and then down to Pianos.


Before the show, he walks off, fast. Girls are heard murmuring, “He’s the lead singer of…,” before we turn off down Ludlow St. 


Back at the venue, Burke is wearing a leather hoodie. Clothing as props, gimmicks of expression. Nice. Boxer stance. Symbolism is important in performance delivery. Freedom and branding fight for the same human bandwidth. 


Burke stands with his back to the audience while the band preps. The supposed midnight time slot opens to a beautiful, packed house at 1:30 a.m. Keep their attention, kids.


The band finally plays.  A first-time listener who knows nothing abut the band might think, “This is old metal.”  People bob. They are into it but one song seems similar to the next. Burke’s thanks are given to the crowd.  Well, thanks for another song with the same chord structure as the last. Look, we can’t decipher the lyrics through the filters and pedals, so some other element in the music ought to vary. 


The microphone falls away and I feel as I’m writing Bertrand’s treatise on insects. So I decide that I’m just going to enjoy the show and respond to “Don’t you want to rock it?” with a “yes” today.  Why not give the band a little back?  It’s easy. 


“It’s hot today, shouldn’t have worn the leather hoodie,” grins Burke. The third song starts in with some new sounds, more feedback on the guitars, promising stuff! Nevertheless, Bloody Social still leaves me with the question: why this music now? Is it a reaction to the success of pop in smaller productions? Is this a tribute band with original material? 



I must mention that underneath Burke’s unbuttoned leather hoodie is nothing but his bare chest, and even so, the crowd is thinning. (Perhaps because the band’s fourth song is a ballad).  It is late.  And of course, there are still more people here at Pianos than at another up and coming party I stopped by in this city tonight. My suggestion: get a night and use your charms to make it really dirty. It worked for Andrew W.K.   


Someone from the back of the crowd screams, “Get on with it!” during the band’s between-song chat. It turns out that it’s the next band hoping to show us their wisdom through love and acoustic waves soon. I realize people do not throw their hair wildly tonight because they may be on the business side of the music, but it also seems that jumping up and down in a corset is a great way to sew.--Tim Nestor/photo © Andrzej Liguz/