Middle Class Fashion / The Ladybirds / Via Dove @ Cicero's, St. Louis, MO

Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
Ah!  Saturday night and I’m back in my element.  As much fun as it was to test the waters in a big venue like Scottrade Center on the previous night, I still feel at home photographing bands in smaller clubs throughout St. Louis.  This show came to be through an invite from Jenn Malzone, lead singer of Middle Class Fashion.  After reviewing the band's album Girl Talk earlier this year, I was anxious to get out and see this band and hear their live sound.  I was in no way disappointed. Middle Class Fashion played a majority of songs from the aforementioned Girl Talk album.  Jenn, Brian, and Brad brought with them a large, local following that sang along with many of the songs from the new album.  At this point, I must mention that all three bands on this bill played varying styles of music but all three were very good at what they do.  Middle Class describes their sound as minor key pop.  I describe it as pretty darn cool.  Middle Class Fashion has a Facebook page that is full of useful info and links to the band’s music.

Cicero’s has a knack for bringing in a variety of music to St. Louis, as tonight’s lineup was no exception.  Sandwiched in the middle of the night’s festivities were the Ladybirds from Louisville, Kentucky.  This band appealed to my country and rock side, with their all too slick rock-a-billy sound.  The Ladybirds brought big hair and cut off jean jackets (complete with a Black Cat Fireworks logo cat sewn on the back) to Cicero’s stage.  With a sound that is reminiscent of Southern Culture on the Skids, the Ladybirds tore through a high energy set.  The set included material from the bands' recently released Shimmy Shimmy Bang!  Sarah Teeple, lead singer of the band, puts a fresh, memorable spin on a classic sound.  After the band finished their time on stage with a powerful Little Richard medley, I spoke briefly with some of the band members.  They explained this was their second time in St. Louis and Sarah had done some vintage clothes shopping while in town.  If you are out on the town and see this band is playing at your favorite watering hole, make sure you stop in and check these guys out. More on The Ladybirds can be found at their Bandcamp

Last but certainly not least, the St. Louis band Via Dove closed out this night of great music at Cicero’s.  As the band took the stage, I was almost immediately transported to Marquee Club in London, England circa 1962.  Lead singer Andy Shadburne bears a striking resemblance to a young Mick Jagger, with his looks and stage presence.  Now I’m seeing a young Mick but I’m hearing a Black Sabbath guitar.  I know a strange mix but this band makes it work.  Just when you think you may have this band figured out, you better think again.  As the band slows the pace with “Your Blue Eyes”, you can hear flavors of the Police in the guitar work of Aaron Vaught.  With Radiohead still fresh in my mind from the previous night, it was an easy to compare the bands next song, “Art of Living”, to a song that may have came from the mind of Thom Yorke.  One of the bands more powerful tunes, “Panic Attack”, had me lowering my camera to enjoy this Loverboy-styled rocker.  Tonight the band was celebrating their 5th year anniversary.  After their set, I talked with Aaron Vaught and he said that new songs were in the works.  He also noted that the band likes many different styles of music and they attempt to incorporate these styles into their songs.  Via Dove has three albums out and all three can be found at iTunes.  My appreciation goes to Jenn Malzone for the invite and Cicero’s for the venue complete with cold beer.  Pictures of the show are below:

Middle Class Fashion
The Ladybirds
Via Dove
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Middle Class Fashion / The Ladybirds / Via Dove @ Cicero's, St. Louis, MO Middle Class Fashion / The Ladybirds / Via Dove @ Cicero's, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on March 27, 2012 Rating: 5
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