Upper [Programmes] Crust

Here is a collection of official programmes from past Upper Crust recitals, along with the occasional comment. You are most welcome to contribute to these archives (as some of your fellow peasants have already done) if you are in possession of a set list that you do not see here. Please e-mail crust@juvalamu.com for further details. And be sure to visit the Drawing Room for live photos and other diversions.

New! The Upper Crust in the UK, reviewed by Steve Coleman! Be sure to visit Steve's sites: The Fleshtones Hall Of Fame, dedicated to New York City's Super-Rock combo, and The Garage, arguably the 'net's biggest and best collection of links to garage-rock and related artists, past and present. Now, here's Steve's review of the show at the Barfly (a/k/a the Falcon) in London on Friday, November 5 1999:

I ran across this show by complete accident after chatting to a pal in a central London pub the night before. Having owned the Titanics CD on Emergo for several years and recently found a bargain bin copy of "Let Them Eat Rock," there was no way I was going to miss the potential experience of witnessing The Sonics crash The French Revolution.

Arrived at the venue after a short walk to the bottom of our street - the Falcon is that close - and stepped into the venue to be immediately surrounded by a roomful of stereotypical "clad in black" rock fans. Sure, it felt a little strange to be the only person in the place wearing a white t-shirt, but then again, what would The Upper Crust make of the regimented ambiance dressed in their 18th Century rags? If the truth be told, I do not think anyone in Camden Town had clue as to what was about to hit them.

After grabbing a second pint of John Smith's fine ale I stumbled into the hall, caught The Crust setting up and I was most impressed by Nat's flying V guitar. After a short break, to allow them time to change out of their late 20th Century disguises, they reappeared looking every bit the Regency Dandies their debut album suggests. Indeed, one could have sliced the air with a silver rapier judging by the jaw-dropping silence from the audience. Bursting into "Let Them Eat Rock" and then proceeding with a mix of tunes from their two albums, the Crust delivered an all-too-rare lesson in bullshit-free rock'n'roll. Although Lord Bendover had serious tuning problems thirty minutes into the set, he continued bravely during the tricky bits of "Rock'n'Roll Butler" with the aid of a grimace or two.

Sadly, the audience reaction was extremely laid back and no one really started to dance. Result - a fifty-minute set without an encore. A great shame as The Crust are an entertaining bunch of aristocratic twits and watching them during between each tune is enough to bring a smile to your face. I particularly enjoyed Count Bassie's mannered tug at each shirt cuff, the way Jack Kickassis stood up and furiously fanned his face, and the moment when Lord Bendover disdainfully threw his empty glass at the dance floor. As for the Duc d'Istortion, I really have no idea what was going on beneath that outrageous and overgrown thatch.

Sure, this was pure pantomime, but there are so few bands willing to laugh at themselves or with an audience and who then deliver such excellent songs. This is a far too subtle a game for most rock punters. Actually, I left the venue a little sad at the fact that once again a London public had failed to respond to a band with musical chops. In short, The Upper Crust were excellent and I have no problem in giving them a generous 9/10 for those convincing posh English accents. Let the bastards eat rock.

Steve Coleman

Note: To conserve server space, and due to very low traffic, I've removed the full-size set list images. If you'd like to see a full-size version of an image below, please e-mail me at crust@juvalamu.com and I'll e-mail you back a copy or put it online temporarily.

[Set List 04/29/98]

May 2, 1998: Middle East (downstairs), Cambridge MA (Reconstructed beer-soaked set list.) A night of Rock & Rule (not necessarily in that order) as the Upper Crust opened for the legendary Dictators. The Crust played a great set to a packed house, and were well-appreciated by the hometown crowd. This was your Web Serf's first time hearing "Into The Breeches" -- for some reason they have not yet chosen to grace the New York-area audiences with this selection.

[Set List 04/29/98]

April 29, 1998: Life, New York NY (Note the "N" for, uh, Lord Nendover. But don't believe everything you read -- the encore songs were "Old Money" and "Luncheon.") A most unusual setting, as the Upper Crust performed in one of New York's most exclusive nightspots. As the Crust were onstage, legendary groupie Cynthia Plaster Caster (yes, the Kiss song was based on her exploits) read from her memoirs in an adjoining room. The glitterati of the downtown scene thoroughly enjoyed the affair, as did some lucky CrustList subscribers (at no charge).

[Set List 03/28/98]

March 28, 1998: Mama Kin Music Hall, Boston MA (Thanks to peasant Jon for lending me Lord Bendover's set list for scanning!) This was the Crust's triumphant return to Boston, concluding the Something Wigged This Way Comes tour. The two encores (!) were "Luncheon" and "Friend Of A Friend..." followed by "Who's Who Of Love" (yeah!) and "Little Rickshaw Boy."

[Set List 03/21/98]

March 21, 1998: Euclid Tavern, Cleveland OH. (Thanks to peasant Chad for scanning the set list and e-mailing this image!) And speaking of peasant Chad, here's his guest review:

Six of us made the two hour journey from Columbus, Ohio, to Cleveland, just for the privilege of grovelling at the feet of the mighty Crust. Two bands opened: the first one had a guy with a T Rex shirt on (bonus points). Fugazi played next (well, not really, but it was hard to tell the difference).

The Crust then majestically claimed the stage, although Lord Bendover had some problems with the blasted guitar. Count Bassie took up the task of keeping the peasants in line (by flashing a well placed Ozzy).
[Editor's note: if, like me, you are unfamiliar with the term "Ozzy," it is apparently a colloquialism for the act of taking your two middle fingers, placing them under your thumb, then raising the remaining fingers. Also known as the devil or Satan sign.] Beyond that, words fail me. Roque, to a truly regal extent. The new songs rocked, and I got a pick!

The trip back (we got home at 5:30 AM) was peppered with occasional giggles and my friend Fes saying "Man, the fuckin' Upper Crust!" at random intervals. Astounding. We must surely pay homage again, at a later date.

Besides, Lord Bendover is probably the only man in Roque who can say "Hello Cleveland!" and sound like he means it.

[Set List 01/10/98]

February 21, 1998: Coney Island High, NYC. This was an outstanding performance! During the encore, the Crust premiered yet another new song: "We're Finished With Finishing School!" (Ask for it by name when they come to your town!) "Cream Of The Crust" was perfect, and the rest of the set went off without a hitch as well.

[Set List 02/20/98]

February 20, 1998: Court Tavern, New Brunswick NJ. (The first two songs were "Let Them Eat Rock" and "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (natch!). Great show, but not the Crust at their best. They got out of sync with each other during "Cream Of The Crust," and couldn't get themselves back on the same page. Rather than end the set on that note, they did "Friend Of A Friend (Of The Working Class)" before leaving the stage. For the encore, they did "Old Money" (I think; it's a little foggy already!) and "Who's Who Of Love." Though they're listed on the set list, "Ne'er Do Well" and the mysterious "Medley" were not played.

[Set List 01/10/98] February 7, 1998: Middle East, Cambridge MA. (Set list includes bonus Duc footprint; thanks to peasant Kevin for sending it in!)   Here's a guest review from a long-time fan:

[This] might have been the best Crust show I've ever seen. They were tight, focused, etc, and the result was completely spectacular. It was nice to see, particularly because the ME was packed to capacity for a change.

There were a bunch of new or nearly new songs:

Into The Breach
Gourmet Love
Eureka, I've Found Love
Paradise Lost

Also Rock N' Roll Butler, Cream Of The Crust, Let Them Eat Rock, Who's Who Of Love, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Persona Non Grata, Heirloom, Tell Mother I'm Home, Rabble Rouser, Vulgar Tongue, High Falutin', Luncheon... phew.

I went to get you a set list but they were all gone by the time I got there. Sheesh.

Sheesh indeed. Now that Lord Rockingham isn't with the band any more there's one fewer set list to dive for. Please remember your friends here at Monarchy In The USA when the Crust come to your town - even a photocopy of a set list would be most appreciated! Thanks again for the set list to peasant Kevin, who adds "it was an amazing show--two brand new songs, 'Bedlam' & 'Into the Breeches'. The way they segued from Falutin into Persona with no count off was amazing!!"

[Set List 01/10/98]

January 11, 1998: Coney Island High, NYC. Virtually identical to the previous night's show in New Brunswick (see below), except that there was only one encore. This was due primarily to the inexplicable haste with which the dj/sound person started playing music while the last strains of "Heirloom" were still dying out.

[Set List 01/10/98] January 10, 1998: Court Tavern, New Brunswick NJ. (Set list appears to be Lord Bendover's master list as the others looked like photocopies and ended with "Cream.") Here is a review by your Web Serf:

    The Court Tavern was transformed into the private court of the Upper Crust on this night. I awaited their arrival on stage with some trepidation, since this would be the first time I'd be seeing them without Lord Rockingham. His Lordship, as you well know, is responsible for the more power-punk tunes in the band's repertoire ("RSVP," "Minuet," "Versailles," etc.), and has also been supportive in the development of this site. However, because of his new job and other matters, Rockingham is no longer roquing.

Much as I hate to admit this, my fears proved unfounded. The Crust were still an amazing, compelling (and funny!) live act. They were resplendent in their finery, sporting new brocaded topcoats for the occasion. They kicked off the set with "Let Them Eat Rock," and the nobles immediately had the sizable Court Tavern rabble eating rock out of the palms of their soft white hands. This was followed by "Little Lord Fauntleroy," which has one of my (and, I'd wager, your) favorite Upper Crust verses: "I caught him playing with his hard on/In the formal garden/He said 'Whoops, beg your pardon!'"

The Crust continued to enthrall with favorites like "Vulgar Tongue," "Rabble Rouser," "Rock & Roll Butler," "Luncheon" and "Highfalutin." We also reveled in newer compositions, including "Gourmet Love," "Paradise Lost," "Eureka (I'm In Love)" and the debut of "Matron," featuring Count Bassie on lead vocals.

The crowd was totally into the band, which was great to see. I'd heard that the Crust had a pretty good following among denizens of the Court, and this was borne out at the show. The set ended with "Cream Of The Crust," and the band repaired to the dressing salon but quickly returned for a four song encore (the four songs at the bottom of the adjacent set list). They again left the stage, but the crowd continued asking for more. Finally, after five minutes or so, they returned and favored us with two more selections from the first album, "Who's Who Of Love" (the song that got me hooked on the Crust in the first place) and "Friend Of A Friend Of The Working Class."

[Set List 12/12/97] December 12, 1997: Paradise, Boston. ("Persona Non Grata" was not played; the encore song was "Ne'er-Do-Well," despite the fact that the set list says "Luncheon." Thanks to peasant Kevin for sending along this set list!)

[Set List 11/01/97] November 1, 1997: Middle East, Cambridge. (The first encore song was "Ne'er-Do-Well," followed by "Beauty Spot" and "Luncheon.")

[Set List 10/31/97] October 31, 1997: Brownies, NYC. ("Beauty Spot" and "Luncheon" were the encores.)

[Set List 10/31/97 party] October 31, 1997: Brownies, NYC. (from the CD release party. The two encore songs were not played.)

[Set List 3/01/97] March 1, 1997: Brownies, NYC. (Set list reconstructed after being stomped on by the Duc d'Istortion all night.) For the record, "Gourmet Love" was not played. Snapshots from this show are coming... one of these days.

No set list January 25, 1997: O'Brien's, Allston MA (Sorry, no set list available yet but through the good graces of one of your fellow peasants, I may have one soon.)

[Set List 1/11/97] January 11, 1997: Maxwell's, Hoboken NJ

[Set List 1/10/97] January 10, 1997: Frying Pan, NYC (Two sets - this set list is from the 2nd set)

[Set List 12/07/96] December 7, 1996: Brownies, NYC (21k set list)

[Set List 9/21/96] September 20 & 21, 1996: Brownies, NYC (Set list from the 21st)

[Set List 6/16/95] June 16, 1995: Brownies, NYC Thanks to peasant Janie for lending me this well-preserved relic!

Please direct all enquiries to your Web serf, crust@juvalamu.com.

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