Diamond Baby

Diamond Baby
The Viper Room, The Sunset Strip
West Hollywood, California
September 5, 2012
By Victoria Joyce

Friend Jackie shouted from across the room “Viper Room – I put you on the list – 9:15.” Oh, OK. A rock band? Tonight? Really hadn’t planned on that but sometimes being a Rock Journalist is like being an EMT. When the bell goes off, you gotta go.

So glad I did.

I hit Jackie back with, “it won’t be 9:15, it’ll be closer to 10.” And of course, I was right. It’s Rock and Roll and it’s The Viper Room. LA got a nice cooling that day from the last of the summer swelter with an unusual drizzle that left us with a sweet night chilled like a glass of Riesling. Diamond Baby got a good crowd for a Wednesday.

Intro’ed with their own video projected on the side of the stage, “The Last Rock Star,” the DBs brought their A Game with them. This stunner of a mini-movie revolves around a wonderful song and has cameos by Jane Lynch, Verne Troyer, Juliette Lewis and Lemmy Kilmister. Without doubt the star of the show is the Diamond Baby’s lead singer, Ace of Diamonds aka Ace Harper.

Ms. Harper is very petite and very blonde and almost too pretty to have serious Rock and Roll credibility. This was quickly overcome with her amazing voice and delivery. Skin-tight silver hip huggers, white boots and a striped midriff baring sleeveless striped tee emphasize her highly stylized and elegant appearance. Ace’s performance was dramatic and compelling, sweet and engaging, very grown up and sensual without a hint of sleaze. It’s so easy to go there.

The rest of the band has very Prince-like nick names with Lisa the Lover on keyboards, Mr. Fitz on bass, Duke Oz on guitar and someone calling himself Baron Von Storm playing drums but we’d recognized Matt Sorum (Velvet Revolver, Camp Freddy) anywhere. The attitude is fresh and sassy without any pre-packaged contrivance.

Note on Mr. Sorum, he’s got more talent in his baby finger than most drummers have in their entire kit. No smoke – just a fact. He is a sophisticated and worldly musician and we understand he is romantically linked with Ms. Ace. No surprise there. They have a great deal in common.

The D’Baby has a distinct classic and polished hard rock sound with dimension and depth and clear nods to Depeche Mode, Prince, Blondie and T-rex.  We even hear some Abba Euro-sophistication in the celestial vocal harmonies and Missing Persons with the cutie pie lead vocals. Stand out song “Only the Lonely.”

Songs and lyrics are radio-ready with well-known themes of heartbreak, searching, disobedience and noisy lovemaking. The kicker was the Swarovski crystal studded mic and stand.  Ace worked it well. Blinding.