February 1, 2008
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, NYC
Mikel J. McCoy
Photographed by Andrew Harris
Photo: Aaron Burk
Smith Island is theatrical…that
much is obvious from the movie screen projecting
scenes of sex, drug use, and beach/shower singing
above the band on stage to the fact that they have
conceived and perform a ROCK OPERA. The costumes
are angels and nurses in lingerie, disheveled, tattered
lost beauty, and those two parts of their show alone
may just be worth the price of admission. Add that
their music is a mix of glam 70s, think Bowie and
T.Rex showmanship, big rock, like say Queen’s
epic rock grandeur and heavy metal with an exacting
female lyrist and you have a bona fide original
ROCK OPERA that’s as much rock show as it
is theater piece.
When we took in Smith Island performing Asylum
the afore mentioned opera at their monthly show
at the Bowery Poetry Club in the East Village we
were a bit amazed. Amazed by the spectacle, this
band has a definite aesthetic vision of their music,
by the ambition to make a somewhat old clique, rock
opera, if not all new again at least not a tired
retread, and their chops, from what it looked and
sounded like Smith Island know what to do and just
how to do it for maximum effect.
Gabriele Stubbert, Aaron
Burke and Angus Clark
Asylum is the Story of Zelda Zardoz, a
young woman who dreams of Hollywood stardom only
to face the trials and tribulations of drug
use and indiscriminate sex that drives her literally
crazy and lands her in the Smith Island Asylum.
The band tells this story with convincing hard rock
sounds and an original stage show/movie projection.
Singers, Gabrielle Stubbert and Steve Dawson weave
a tale as dark as gothic girls’ eye-make up
and the rest of the group leaves it all onstage
with precision vintage, not retro arrangements.
Smith Island performs
its rock opera, every first Friday of the month
at the Bowery Poetry Club. We suggest you go see
what the darkness and decadence is all about while
rocking out to these unique performers.
For more information about Smith Island, log onto:
For more information about the Bowery Poetry Club,
log onto: bowerypoetry.com.