‘ISN’T IT TIME’ FOR THE BABYS?

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All photos: © 2015 Jim Carver/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

The legendary British band, The Babys, performed for a full house at The Tangier in Akron on Saturday night. The Tangier’s intimate sultan style setting is not only beautiful, but also acoustically pleasing. The venue offers a free parking garage and a menu fit for a king. Small round tables are adorned with linens and candlelight. With the 500 capacity seating arrangement, there is not a bad seat in the house. For a brief moment, I forgot I was at the show, but rather I felt as though The Babys were performing in my own living room — just for me.

DSC_6568The Babys, a classic rock group best known for their mid to late ’70’s hits, parted ways in 1981. The original band members at that time consisted of: John Waite (vocals), Tony Brock (drums), Ricky Phillips (bass), Wally Stocker (guitar), and Jonathan Cain (keyboards). After the breakup John Waite went on to release a major solo hit, ‘Missing You‘; and, continues his solo career today. Jonathan Cain left to join Journey (enough said). Ricky Phillips currently plays for Styx. Wally Stocker and Tony Brock have worked with such talented artists as Rod Stewart, Elton John, Air Supply, Keith Urban, and Humble Pie.

DSC_6386crIn 1987 during a Journey break up, John Waite, Jonathan Cain, and Ricky Phillips reunited adding Deen Castronovo on percussion and the legendary Neal Schon from Journey, on lead guitar to form the supergroup Bad English. They put out their first highly successful album Bad English. Six of their fifteen tracks hit The Top 40 Billboard Charts. The second album, Backlashwas very dark and the members threw in the towel before it was even mixed; so, its release was less than eventful.

DSC_6495crIn late 2012 founding Babys’ members Tony Brock and Wally Stocker were ready to give it another go-around. They held auditions to find suitable replacements for the departed members. In order to make the band’s resurrection possible, Brock and Stocker needed a front man who was able to command the stage and belt out the hits made noteable during the John Waite period. They found John Bisaha, whose charisma, powerful lead vocals, and stellar bass playing were just what The Babys needed to begin a new era. Guitar virttuoso Joey Sykes filled the last void. Joining The Babys onstage are the beautiful songstresses, ‘The Babettes’, featuring Holly Bisaha and Elisa Chadbourne. Keyboardists Francesco Saglietti and Brian Johnson also joined the new lineup. They began playing scads of shows to promote their latest album, I’ll Have Some of That, released in June of 2014.

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Entering the venue, I was a bit skeptical about the current Babys line-up not including John Waite, Jonathan Cain or Ricky Phillips.  As we already know, the former members of The Babys are still thriving in the music world. I am happy to inform you that the current Babys’ line-up is doing the same. The collaboration of talent is apparent, and after 34 years of waiting, fans can once again experience the glorious music that is The Babys.

The show kicked off with The Babys’ classic hits, ‘Back on My Feet Again‘, ‘Midnight Rendevous‘, and ‘Give Me Your Love‘.  The crowd was completely engaged as the band continued with ‘Isn’t It Time‘ and ‘Every Time I Think of You‘. All of these classic hits reached The U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts in the late 1970’s. They also took us back in time with ‘Anytime‘ off Union Jacks. The Babys were not just reminiscant of their glory days. The new line-up kicks some serious ass. Their latest single, ‘I See You There‘, reached No. 5 on the Billboard sales charts this past year. They performed their new material with pride and panache. Another single, ‘Not Ready to Say Goodbye‘, off the new CD was well received. They played ‘Darker Side of Town‘ and ‘Postcard‘ from the 1980 album On The Edge.

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Drummer Tony Brock showed off his mad skills with a drum solo leading into an extended version of ‘Looking For Love‘, from the Babys’ 1976 release The BabysDuring this tune it was easy to see that the boys were up there playing good-ole’-fashion, no-nonsense rock-and-roll, and having the time of their lives doing it. They played out the evening with ‘Turn and Walk Away‘, (one of my personal favorites), which can be found on The Babys’ Greatest Hits album Anthology. The crowd went wild when The Babys returned to the stage for a powerful encore of 1978’s ‘Head First‘. The nearly two hour show ended far too soon for my liking, and I think the crowd agreed. Judging by the audience’s response, the verdict is in. Classic Rock is alive and well and The Babys will be bringing a phenomenal show to a city near you soon.

All photos: © 2015 Jim Carver/The Rust Belt Chronicles.

 

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Michele Loparo About Michele Loparo

Michele Loparo is a Cleveland native raised with the classical influences of her father and the 70’s music of her mother. At 10 years old she found ACDC’s “Back in Black” vinyl in her Easter basket and her life long love affair with Rock N’ Roll began. “My first born son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 4. He did not respond well to verbal commands, so one day I just sang them to him and BAM! Immediate results. I’ve always known that music was powerful… But in our family it was life changing. When my words failed, Music spoke.” Her son Tristan (the oldest of three boys) is a musician and plays in the local band Destination (Original Raw Music). He studies Recording Arts and is going on to achieve a degree in Music Therapy to help others. “I know for certain that music… in it’s raw form, changed my sons life. Music is not what he does, but who he is.” Michele enjoys attending local venues and experiencing the many talents of North East Ohio’s local musicians as well as taking in as many concerts as possible. “I look forward to working with the Rust Belt Chronicle’s team and sharing the love of all things music with our RBC readers!”

Comments

  1. SHAWN WILHELM says:

    I just have to say it was the best show that I’ve seen in years . Me and the wife sat in front of Wally in Akron show OMG ONE HELL OF A SHOW LOVED IT please come back to OHIO .PLEASE WE WILL BE THERE

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