Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An Ex-Wave Hits Chicago


Singer-guitarist Katrina Leskanich, who once led Katrina And The Waves, has a gig at Reggies in Chicago this Thursday night, along with The Handcuffs and The Injured Parties. Those who only know Katrina And The Waves for “Walking On Sunshine” and “Going Down To Liverpool” (both composed by fellow band member and former Soft Boy Kimberley Rew) have missed out on a bunch of other fun songs this band recorded in the mid-1980s. Some of the highlights on their first two LPs include the irresistible driving beat and clever wordplay of “Lovely Lindsey,” “Sun Street,” a deceptively bouncy look at addiction, the 1960s-fueled “Game Of Love,” and rollicking “Mexico.”

Katrina didn’t write as many tunes as Rew and bassist-backup vocalist Vince de la Cruz, but her efforts—particularly “Tears For Me” and “Riding Shotgun”—were also impressive. These days, she performs songs like “Que te Quiero” and (in a bluesy take) “Walking On Sunshine” from her days with The Waves, along with material from her first solo effort in 10 years, Blisland. She’s backed on this tour by Kevin Tooley, along with former Joan Jett and The Blackhearts members Jimi K Bones and Sean Koos.

The Handcuffs, founded by vocalist-guitarist Chloe F. Orwell and drummer Brad Elvis, have drawn considerable praise here on Broken Hearted Toy for their CDs and live performances. Their songs are often used on TV shows and they’ve opened for Blondie. Brad Elvis also tours with The Romantics. The Injured Parties, featuring the prolific power pop and indie rock singer-guitarist Larry O. Dean, are International Pop Overthrow veterans who adroitly mix catchy arrangements with funny subject matter.

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