Words & Photos by Greg Jacobs
February 23, 2018 – Alex’s Bar, Long Beach, CA
I’ll admit it, I was not familiar with Professor and the Madman. I heard about them only recently when they recorded their new record (Disintegrate Me released February 23, 2018, digital, cd and vinyl) with Rat Scabies and Paul Gray from The Damned, on drums and bass. This piqued my interest … Plus, the “Professor” – Alfie Agnew has an impressive resume including DI, Adolescents, Crash Kills Four, as does the “Madman,” Sean Elliot, who also played in DI plus Mind Over Four among others.
Can I be a grumpy old man for a minute? Thank you. This was a ONE BAND ROCK SHOW! This is perfect! I don’t want to go to a club and sit through 8 bands to get to the one band I actually want to see. Sure, occasionally, VERY OCCASIONALLY, you’ll stumble upon a good band amid the masses, but my ears are tired by then and I don’t care… Anyway, thank you Professor and the Madman for the adult rock show that was your record release party, I gotta get home and go to bed!
The USA, live touring version, of the band features Alfie’s brother Frank Agnew (Adolescents) on bass, Nick Scalzo (The Critens) on drums and Mark Tolbert (Doggy Style) on 3rd guitar. Alfie and Sean both play guitar and trade off on vocals and keyboards. Musically, they are as diverse as their band members and former bands … I hear (Black Album era) the Damned, the Beatles, early Bowie, Adolescents and gangly pop influences, plus, maybe even some Sisters of Mercy too … So, yeah, eclectic and amazing. One of the songs that has been stuck in my head since Friday night is Dearest Foe, from the 2016 LP Good Evening, Sir and the new single from Disintegrate Me, the purposefully Beatle-esque, Space Walrus.
I don’t know what the plans are for Professor and the Madman, but I hope it includes more shows and music because the were great on Friday night and I really need to see them again.