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The Krays did their rock thing at the Wing

A live review of local cover band The Krays

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The Krays
Wild Wing Café, Mt. Pleasant
Jan. 2

Formed last year as a fun side project, local bar-rock band The Krays have only performed around town a dozen or so times, but they've already mastered some of classic rock's most challenging renditions. Fronted by singer/guitarist Rotie Salley and singer/drummer Morgan Sprott (both of Soul Fish), the current lineup includes some fine talent: rhythm/lead guitarist Marcus Leonardz (Sprott's bandmate in Baby Fat), keyboardist/organist Bill Nance (formerly of Hot Sauce), and newly-enlisted bassist Matt Goodrich. As far as local cover bands go, this one certainly qualifies as a "supergroup."

At the Wild Wing Café in Mt. Pleasant, The Krays played two pretty solid sets of deep cuts and familiar classics, with plenty of guitar-based hits from the late-'60s and '70s. Sprott usually plays a small drum kit, but he went all out on Saturday with extra toms and cymbals. As with Soul Fish, Sprott and Salley split the lead vocal duties, while Leonardz and Nance enhanced the rhythm section and took extended solos.

They dragged a bit through versions of The Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane," Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle," and The Beatles' "Drive My Car" — all of which are standard fare for local bar bands. Fortunately, things cooked on heavier, less typical selections, such as Toto's "Hold the Line" (on which Sprott and Salley nailed the high-pitch vocals), Deep Purple's "Hush," and Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak."

There's no shortage of cheesy cover bands in Charleston. Some are skilled and tasteful at what they do. Others are sloppier and less creative. If The Krays continue to dig deeply into the classic rock library, belt things out with genuine enthusiasm, and nail the right accents, harmonies, and solos on fun obscurities, they might emerge as one of the better bar bands around town.

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