Precious Little with SADOCEANSPACEBEAR opening for STATION TWANG at the Silver Dollar, August 24. Tickets: $6. Attendance: 30. Rating: NNN
although station twang was the headliner of the oddball Silver Dollar bill, most of the 30 people present, at least those who weren't there from the previous night, came to check out the openers, Precious Little. Not that folks were overly curious to find out what singer/guitarist Leorra Newman and bassist Jean Brophey have been up to since Hello Kitty dissolved or to catch up with drummer Joey Bechta, but the involvement of celebrated scenester Gord Cumming and fellow Lawn-boy Patrick Gregory made Precious Little's stage debut worth checking.
It's Newman's band -- she's the chief songwriter and sings lead -- yet even though Cumming was clearly making an effort to remain a supportive sideman, tossing off rhythm licks and adding harmonies, there was no getting away from the Lawn vibe. Having Gregory step forward to saw off fiddle fills now and again wasn't as big a factor as Cumming's unique way of warbling and slashing slide licks.
There's nothing else like that screech. Heck, you could put Cumming onstage with the Barenaked Ladies or Godspeed You Black Emperor! and they'd both wind up sounding like Lawn tribute acts. The fact that Newman's Cat Poweresque microphone technique was lost in the muddy mix didn't help matters.
Still, with a substantial repertoire accumulated over their 18-month gestation -- including choice cover material ranging from the bubblegum drama of Stephin Merritt's I'm Sorry That I Love You to the Bee Gees' suddenly popular To Love Somebody -- Precious Little show enormous promise.
After a righteous honky-tonk-style rip through Iggy's Lust For Life as a capper, they announced that this performance thing is going to be a habit from now on. You've been warned.