I’m happy to report that Thomas August Darnell Browder, a.k.a. August Darnell, a.k.a. Kid Creole, made a triumphant return to Hollywood Wednesday night.
The Kid rocked Sunset Blvd. with three fresh, firm Coconuts from overseas... and a freelance band from Long Beach. The Key Club was full of friendly faces giving him nothing but love. By the end, they were dancing in the aisles... conga lines, the whole shit.
I’m really curious as to what this gig was about. A showcase of some kind? There seemed to be a lot of badge-wearing “V.I.P.s.” Is Kid Creole trying to kick-start his recording career in the States, after years of living in London?
I does not know. But he also played a gig last night in San Juan Capistrano. I tell you, a few more shows like the one Wednesday night, and people are gonna start buzzing.
After 16 years without a major-label deal, Kid Creole probably can’t maintain a regular touring band, I figured. The surprise came when one of Wednesday night’s opening acts – local jam band Delta Nove – stuck around as the Kid’s rhythm section.
Not a problem, because Delta Nove smoked during its own set... a pastiche of heavily percussive white-boy funk with elements of reggae, D.C. go-go and New Orleans gumbo.
For the Kid Creole set, the band came out spankin’ the familiar hits like “The Sex of It,” “I’m a Wonderful Thing, Baby” and “Endicott.”
And what about the Kid? Oh, the Kid was sharp. From his gaucho hat to his two-tone shoes. Not to mention the purple zoot suit in between. He can still move, he can still sing. He can still command a stage.
The Coconuts were new, but their stage choreography I remember from two decades ago. Hey, if it works, it works.
Kid Creole’s longtime sidekick Bongo Eddie was up there doing his thing. As a hype man, Eddie is no “Sugar Coated” Andy Hernandez, but he certainly helped Kid Creole feel at home onstage.
The 90-minute set (including encore) featured “Stool Pigeon,” “Don’t Take My Coconuts,” “No More Casual Sex” and “My Male Curiosity.” Plus an oldie I wasn’t familiar with – “Gina, Gina” from 1981.
Let me leave you with the studio version of “Gina, Gina,” streaming on my Vox site. Click here to hear it.
I’ll let y’all know the next time Kid Creole & the Coconuts perform stateside.