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3/19/14

Show Review: The Sex Doll Tour with GLEN MATLOCK & SYLVAIN SYLVAIN at Smalls in Hamtramck

I could think of plenty of worse things to do than spending a Sunday evening with members of two iconic punk bands. Luckily for me I didn't have to.

This past Sunday (March 16) Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls) and Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) came to town on what they dubbed the Sex Doll Tour. A stripped down North American "punk goes acoustic" tour.

Openers for the night were Brian McCarty and Ricky Rat of The Trash Brats performing an acoustic set. The set spanned from classic Trash Brats songs, to solo material, and some covers thrown in as well. I couldn't have thought of better openers. Formed a decade later than The New York Dolls, The Trash Brats were surely our Detroit equivalent to the band in attitude and style.

 
 
Sylvain Sylvain and Glen Matlock walked into Smalls in Hamtramck with just themselves, their guitars, and a small bag of merchandise during Brian and Ricky's set. I was running the merch booth at the time when Glen comes up to be and asks if I would sell merch for him and Sylvain. That's was no-brainer. A honor in fact. Merch on their end that evening included two of Glen's solo CD's, one of Sylvains, and Glen's book "I Was a Teenage Sex Pistol" which ended up being the big seller that night.

Both Sylvain Sylvain and Glen Matlock grabbed some drinks and hung with fans who came up with assorted goods to sign including CD's and vintage vinyl records that have been in some fans collections for a few decades. They were gracious to take pictures with fans and were up for good conversation. Sylvain asked me when Ricky was going to take the stage and I told him he was on at that very moment so he quickly went into the performance area to listen.

Sylvain Sylvain hit the stage shortly after Brian and Ricky's set. Just the legendary New York Dolls guitarist and his guitar. Sylvain has great stage presence. He loves to interact with the audience and share stories on stage. A real treat to hear. Sylvain's set included Dolls staples like "Trash" and "Jet Boy", solo material, and covers including the classic Bo Diddley "Pills" that the Doll's made their own with their smokin' version.. Sylvain ended his set offstage, singing and playing within the crowd.   
 
    
 
Glen Matlock was hanging out in the crowd during Sylvain's set. He would take breaks from his viewing to get drinks and chat it up with myself and fellow fans. Here's the man who co-authored most of the Sex Pistols "Never Mind the Bollocks" and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 1996 with the band and he's enjoying chumming it up with us common folk. My kind of artist. 
 
Glen Matlock was up next. Glen's set included Sex Pistols staples like "Pretty Vacant" and "God Save The Queen" with enthusiastic audience vocal participation. He also performed The Rich Kids material, solo material, and covers. 
 
 
 
Glen finished off his set and brought on Sylvain Sylvain for a jam session. A highlight during the jam was a cover of "Money (that's what I want)". During the song a audience shoved a $20 bill into Sylvain's shirt. Glen was impressed by the amount. 
 


 
I've questioned several audience members about the set list from the night following the show and none of use remember exactly who did what and with whom. We all lived in the moment, our ears filled with music and bellies full of alcohol. It was like a jukebox of great tunes played throughout the night. We may have all heard "Personality Crisis", but we are not insistent about it. 
 
After the stage antics ended, the offstage ones began. The guys hung out and met with every single fan who wanted a picture, autograph, or just some conversation. Both Glen and Sylvain are delightful guys who love performing music and everything that goes along with it.
 
 
  
 
After meeting with fans Sylvain was steadfast to get a Ricky Rat Pack shirt from the merch booth and was happy to find the size he wanted. Glen also came up to me after the the show and asked  "Can I give you a copy of my book for taking care of our merch". I glady accepted.  



 
 
The Sex Doll tour continues through March 29 and has one more Michigan stop taking place on March 21 at Bells Distillery in Kalamazoo.   


Enjoy this live footage from the night of Sylvain Sylvain performing "Pills" and sharing a story beforehand. Courtesy of Rob Wagner from http://www.detroitmusiclive.com/