The Nuns of Brixton’s singer Jim Yelenick’s spirit being lifted
What’s better than seeing a punk show? It’s seeing guys dressed up as Catholic Nuns and Hasidic Jews playing a punk show. The combination of religious apparel and punk brought out a diverse crowd to the sold out event. There were twenty-somethings with spiked jackets covered with patches of their favorite bands, a guy in a kilt (did he know it’s winter), a woman in micro-mini skirt (did she know it’s below zero outside), a guy in a suit, and a woman wearing a lion mask.
|The Nuns of Brixton|
Bassist, Tim Beckman who was in the Geds and Spell in the 90’s, conceived The Nuns of Brixton. The name is inspired from The Clash song The Guns of Brixton. He recruited Jim Yelenick to front The Clash loving habit wearing musical troop over seven years ago.
They started with Career Opportunities from The Clash’s 1977 self-titled album warming up the Lost Lake crowd. The nuns went through the punk pioneer’s massive catalog of songs throughout the night: London Calling, Brand New Cadillac, Clampdown, and I fought the Law. The self-described transvestites that love The Clash also played deep album cuts such as Charlie Don’t Surf and Police and Thieves. After praying for shots of alcohol to be delivered, Sister Jim drank a sip and blessed the crowd by throwing the rest upon them. Toward the end of the evening Sister Jim was carried to the back of the bar on the shoulders of the drunken crowd without falling. It was a miracle. The Shaloms joined them onstage for The Roman’s Blitzkrieg Bop (the hey ho let’s go song). The night ended with Should I Stay or Should I go? Since it was 1:30 in the morning, I decided on the latter.
Before transforming into a sister that evening, Jim Yelenick introduced The Shaloms by stating, “the band flew in a by private jet from Israel to avoid the new migration policy.” The world’s finest kosher Ramones tribute band took the stage wearing traditional Hasidic attire complete with payots (hair curls). CJ Shlomo, Saul Shalom, and JJ Shalom sang The Ramons’ Beat on the Brat and Rockaway Beach inspiring the crowd to dance and sing-a-long. Much to the audience’s delight, the band yelled, “L’chaim bitches” or “Mazel Tov bitches” between the Godfather’s of Punk classics. Taking a brake from The Ramones songbook, the trio played Tom Petty’s American Girl and Tommy Tutone’s 867-5309/Jenny in true punk fashion. Instead of drinking the expected bottle of Manishewitz, it appeared the band was drinking beer throughout their set. Making me believe they might not really be from Israel.
|The Bad Engrish|
Before the religious punks took the stage, The Bad Engrish (that’s how they spell it) played original songs with Pogo Punk attitude. Gordy lead the band through a raucous set of songs in a striped green and black sweater that matched his hair. He yelled, “Pogo” throughout the night encouraged the crowd to jump up and down. The band finished their set with Glory Days that is a mission statement for their music and life style. Gordy joined the fans in front of the stage singing, “Living for now/Remember the past/Raise your glass/We know it’s going to last.”
The dirty punk duo Ballistic Biscuit started the long night of music. The drummer might have indulged too much before their set. He looked like someone who just got off a roller coaster that had one too many loop-da-loops. There was one heavy-set guy moshing. He was knocking into anyone near the band and was visibly upset nobody was joining him. Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except for death and taxes.” If Franklin was a music fan today, he would add another certain…nobody likes you if you are the only one moshing. Before the band finished, the singer yelled, “We have two more songs until we get off your dick.” This made the audience move further away from the band and the lone mosher.
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one preying with the nuns for punk to never die. The lone mosher is on his own.