Canada seems to have a number of top notch hard rock bands around and about these days – Priestess are surely near the top of the pack. I first saw them open for Motorhead, where they did an excellent job. Subsequent shows have only affirmed their mastery of 1970's metal tropes, and their blend of early UFO and Sabbath simply kicks ass. They have a large number of admirers in Ottawa.

Perched between a nice, solid bass cabinet and an even more solid man with a goatee and skull rings on every finger (bassist Clammy from Canadian speed metal titans Exciter, as it turned out), I thought I had a reasonably safe spot to survey the crowd from the front row – or, as it should be known, “the crash barrier.”

The crowd began shoving forward as Nashville Pussy kicked things off with their newly minted theme song, ‘Pussy Time’. Nashville Pussy attracts a sizeable female crowd, so the foxy 21-year-old who tried to piggyback over me as the band tore through ‘Hate and Whiskey’ was not a huge surprise. The man with a fright wig and trident who asked if he could pop by me to get on stage was a little more so.

As for the band, the rhythm section – bassist Karen Cuda and drummer Jeremy Thompson – leave an impression of solid competence. When it comes to showmanship (and showwomanship) they left most of the heavy lifting to the husband-and-wife team of Blaine Cartwright and Ruyter Sus.

Guitarist and lead shouter Cartwright wore a permanent look of inbred bafflement (or perhaps it was squinty-eyed bemusement). His hoarse vocals and the band’s faster and louder ethos reinforce the impression that Nashville Pussy is a hillbilly Motorhead – and why not? When not facing off in guitar duels with his wife or drinking Jack from the bottle (“I feel good, and am about to feel better”), he howled his roadhouse rock anthems into the microphone with bitter vigour.

Armed with a battered SG and the second-hardest working brassiere in show business, Sus dazzled with a combination of fiery fretwork, high kicks (one of which whistled mere millimeters from my face) and bug-eyed tongue-waggling. She finished the show riding on Clammy’s shoulders.
My taste personally runs more to Priestess (I rate them higher as song writers, vocalists and musicians), but no one can deny Nashville Pussy put on an awesome show, particularly after walking out on a carpet of broken beer bottles.


















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Commenting On: Babylon, Ottawa, 21/9/2006 - Nashville Pussy and Priestess








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