It was only the start of the year when news first broke about The Bayonets, a band formed by Brian Ray (of Paul McCartney and Etta James fame) and Oliver Leiber (famed for working with Rod Stewart and Aretha Franklin and being son of Jerry Leiber of Leiber and Stroller). However 8 whirlwind months and 5 fantastic singles later, The Bayonets have proved to be one of the freshest indie rock bands in years.
Throughout the second half of 2012 Brian had hinted at the possibility of a new musical project being on the horizon, however it was at the start of 2013 that he finally announced his upcoming 5-singles-then-out burst of creative awesomeness. Teaming up with Argentinian rock minx Lucrecia Lopez Sanz (of 60’s tribute band Nube 9), Brian and Oliver began their onslaught of criminally infectious singles in February.
The Bayonets’ first single was the bouncy and 100% radio friendly Sucker For Love (review here). Released, rather appropriately, on Valentines Day, the surf tinged pop/rock song introduced the world to the new band, hooking them with the infectious riffs and an endearing parody music video in the style of a 1970’s dating TV game show. The reaction to Sucker For Love was universally positive, with Steven Van Zandt (of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band) creating his own radio edit of the song and heavily promoting it on his Underground Garage radio show on SiriusXM.
On the back of the strength of Sucker For Love, The Bayonets’ pushed back the release of the rest of the singles and in May embarked upon the “Tourette del Sol 2”: a mini tour of Argentina. They opened their string of shows with a intimate gig at the swanky Faena Hotel, before moving on to play a late night/early morning gig to the full-to-capacity MOD club. They returned to the MOD club the following night, and rounded off the live shows with a performance at Mr. Jones Blues Bar. But before leaving Argentina, The Bayonets performed two songs on the Duro de Domar national TV show giving a tantalizing taste of what was to come. You can find a more detailed roundup of the tour here.
May 18th soon rolled around and The Bayonets finally followed up with the more gritty single, Smartphone (review here). Accompanied by a stylish and sexily slick music video, the release of Smartphone stepped up their game, showing that they were not just a one trick pony; That they could do both perky pop and raucous rock. The insistent one note guitar riff and vivacious chorus not only had people the world over cranking up the volume but air guitaring along.
The next single came in the form of reflective and rocking soul ballad Vagabond Soul, featuring some backing vocals and a sizzling harmonica solo from Areosmith legend Steven Tyler (review here). Quickly becoming a fan favorite, Vagabond Soul also introduced The Bayonets to the already massive and well established Aerosmith fanbase. Backed by the stark, bold sound of the TexiCali Horns, Brian and Stevens vocals blended perfectly, often melding to become one and the same.
Hitting the airwaves on August 12th, Whatcha Got was The Bayonets final ‘proper’ single (review here). Previewed during their “Tourette del Sol 2” in May, it was originally planned to be the third single. However due to the loose, free and easy style of the band, they switched it with Vagabond Soul. Featuring Lucrecia sharing lead vocals with Brian, Whatcha Got had more than a little sass and an abundance of sexy ‘girl power’!
And finally as a thank you to all the fans that had stuck by the band and helped them grow and mature, The Bayonets’ released Big Man Down exclusively on their website to people that had bought all four previous singles (review here). Slower than all the previous singles but once again boasting quality TexiCali horn section, Big Man Down is a dustily atmospheric political commentary and final tip-of-the-hat as The Bayonets headed off into the sunset.
But wait, have The Bayonets headed off into the sunset?
In a recent newsletter on the bands official website, Brian wrote:
On the day of the final single, “Big Man Down” being released, Oliver and I began writing new music for The Bayonets first album! Yes, we are expanding this musical carnival due to your incredible feedback and suggestions and will inform you of the details for our future plans as soon as possible.
Stay tuned and watch this space as we leak new lyrics, licks and titles to tease you into a lather over the coming weeks and months.
There you have it – straight from the horses mouth! New music and even an album! So instead of that being the end of it, fans are left with something to look forwards to.
I guess the song was right: there is no end to the road as the years come and go for those vagabond souls!
What was your favorite Bayonets single! Be sure to vote in the poll below and don’t forget to leave any comments or suggestions about what you want to hear from Brian, Oliver and Lucrecia in the future!