Bassy Club always points to the past with its projector screens of vintage music videos, soundtrack of pre-1969 rock’n’roll, and its speakeasy decor, but when Hot Trigger was the night’s entertainment, it was a genuinely 1950s rockabilly night. The dollies were shaking their tail feathers and the guys with their pompadours and cuffed jeans were keeping up. Meanwhile, Hot Trigger delivered. The band is a bit of supergroup with JB Carter on vocals, a man who resembles and sounds like a heartthrob who could easily sit alongside Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. There was also Pete Deville (Snake Charmers, Varmints & Vagrants) keeping the band steady on drums, Tex Morton (Kamikaze Queens, Devil ‘n Us) wailing on guitar, Kris Fiore (Boppin’ Kids, Mad Voodoo, Boomtown Three) maintaining the low-end with his stand-up bass, and Rollo Van Beathoven heating things up on the saxophone.
The audience congregated in the side bar first, smoking and waiting, drinking and waiting, chatting and waiting. The general consensus was an impatient anticipation to hear Berlin’s newest rockabilly outfit. As a new band, there was no expectation of how packed the room would be. Everyone seemed rather surprised at the lack of space after the dance floor became full and sweaty with onlookers.
During the set, the saxophone outshone the rest during its smooth and sexy solo in the instrumental intro, and then Rollo Van Beathoven waded through the crowd to take his place alongside the rest of the crew on the stage. The set started with a few of JB Carter’s originals, including “Rattle-Shake Boogie” and “Lovin’ Baby,” all with walking bass lines that didn’t allow a single pair of feet to stand still. The audience wanted to sing along and it was clear in the faces of those in the room; captivated by JB’s charming vibrato and perfected coif, they wanted to embark on an aural time-travel route. Hot Trigger answered this request with a cover of Roy Orbison’s “Go Go Go” that fed into Elvis Presley’s “Kissin’ Cousins” and ended Bill Haley’s “Shake, Rattle, and Roll.”
An hour and a half passed quickly and no one showed signs of exhaustion. Only the sweat on brows and empty drinks indicated that a few were feeling the physical effects of the passionate environment. Tex Morton spoke up and soon the audience discovered the fact hat he could do more than shred the six-string, as he belted out Carl Perkin’s “Your True Love.” The audience, intrigued by what other surprises the band might be hiding up its sleeves, paid closer attention. Now it was Kris Fiore’s turn to showcase his pipes; from “Burnt Toast and Black Coffee” to a gritty cover of “Tainted Love,” he went ape tossing his stand-up bass in the air and crooning. Then there was silence and an audible sigh of awe from the audience, after which the stage lights dimmed and the house music started, and everyone rushed outside for a post-climax cigarette.