Formed in New York's Lower East Side in 1976 by rock'n'roll singer Philippe Marcade and ex-boxing champ Steve Shevlin, The Senders quickly got noticed for their raw RHYTHM & BLUES sound and 50s greasers look, often getting tagged by the press as PUNK BLUES... ! Johnny Thunders joins in for a month in 78 before they settle for their legendary line-up with Wild Bill Thompson on guitar (Robert Gordon band, Stray Cats Tour, Savoy Brown …) and drummer Marc Bourset (Victims), quickly becoming one of CBGB's and Max's Kansas City's favorites. They are often assisted on stage by saxophonist Danny Ray. After Steve Shevlin becomes deaf in 1983, they are joined by Ritchie Lure on bass (Little brother of Heartbreaker Walter Lure) becoming one of New York's most popular bands by 1989. After the deaths of Marc Bourset then Ritchie Lure, The Senders replace their two beloved lost members with legendary drummer Ned Brewster (Action Swingers) and bassist Danny Li (The Bostwanas).
In 2001, New York Press magazine held The Senders as BEST BAR BAND IN NEW YORK, stating that not only The Senders were the best bar band in New York but maybe in the whole world too!!
Over the years, singer Phil Marcade has also taken part in various projects such as first drummer for GangWar (with Johnny Thunders and ex MC5 Wayne Kramer) and singer for blue eye soul band The Backbones (1983-1987) with Brett Wilder (Rousers, Vacant Lot...) Danny Ray and Kenny Margolis (Mink DeVille).
Now also an author, Philippe's first book, AU-DELÀ DE L'AVENUE D was published in France in 2007, then again in 2009.
With 5 albums and over 2000 gigs under their belts, The Senders played their brand of MAXIMUM RHYTHM'N'BLUES up and down the East Coast and from California to France
for over a total of 25 years.
The Senders latest release OUTRAGEOUS & CONTAGIOUS is available on Devil's Jukebox records (England) since May 2010.
Phil Marcade: Vocals / Harmonica / Occasional guitar - Wild Bill Thompson: Guitar
Steve Shevlin: Bass - Marc "Moe" Bourset: Human Drumming Circus - Danny Ray: Saxophone
Basile Nodow (82/83): Second Guitar
Francois Gehin (88): Bass - Ritchie Lure (89/93): Bass
Ned Brewster (94/01): Drums - Danny Li (94/01): Bass
SOME RELEVANT FACTS....
Ugly Things Magazine - Issue #32 - October 2011 - Fall / Winter 2011
THE SENDERS - Outrageous Contagious: 25 Years of Maximum Rhythm & Blues
(Devil's Jukebox, UK) CD
Revelatory career-spanning ('76-'01) comp from these Max's second-stringers, best known as pals of Johnny Thunders. Having not paid too much attention to them before, I'm surprised at the depth of their blues feeling. There's a heft to their swing, a phleminess to Frog singer Phil Marcade's vocal (he sounds like David Johanson sounds now) and a sting to Bill Thompson's guitar that reminds me of '90s LA leather'n'grease bar band perennials the Red Devils (or the Fabulous Thunderbirds, back when they hung with Muddy Waters, dripped hair oil and had Roky pal Mike Buck on the tubs). Hell, they even cover Canned Heat - which is perhaps what kept them from stints on Norton or Crypt.
Still, they have punkitude to spare as well, putting them in a post-'60s lineage that perhaps begins with the early and great J. Geils Band and definitely includes Geils disciples Dr. Feelgood, Eddie & The Hot Rods and the Count Bishops. While sounding best on choice covers like Willie Dixon's "Do The Do", Dave Bartholomew's "I'm Gonna Be A Wheel" and a Dollsy take on Kai Ray's "I Want Some Of That", their own tunes like "My Baby Glows In The Dark" and "The Living End" (heard here in crapfi splendor with Thunders guesting) are more than servicable too.
What this gains from having fantastic artwork it loses from not having liner notes, but if you do what it tells you to - "Play it loud and take your pants off!" - you probably won't be caring too much about that either way. David Laing
Vive Le Rock - Issue #2 - February 2011
Outrageous and Contagious
25 year-spinning collection of dirty NYC rock'n'roll
Timeless, blues-tinged, dirty ass rock'n'roll is what The Senders play, coming across on this collection of live bits and pieces as the Big Apple's answer to Dr Feelgood, but with added scuzz and attitude. Recorded between 1976 and 2001 in a series of New York dive-bars (The Continental, CBGB's, Max's Kansas City etc.), the band's sleaze credentials are further boosted by the appearance of Johnny Thunders, with a guest slot on (appropriately) 'The Living End.
With choice, dirty, quality cuts like 'Don't Fuck With Me' and 'When Girls Do It', this band are certainly not for the faint hearted but fans of everyone from The Cramps to Howling Wolf via Jim Jones Revue can't fail to be impressed by this collection. Though sound quality wavers a little, this is outrageous and contagious indeed. Steve Lee
New York Press Magazine - Best of NY Issue - 2001
BEST BAR BAND
You Send Me. The Senders are criminally unsung heroes who've been boogeying New York City bars since the Max's days. They may be the world's greatest bar band, not just NYC's, and why they're not wildly famous has mystified us for years. Quality doesn't always guarantee success, obviously. We remember seeing the Senders open for Johnny Thunders at Irving Plaza in 1980 or '81 - and blowing the sainted drug addict off the stage. Singer Philippe Marcade has one of the most distinctive voices in the business, a baritone hepcat wolf-holler growl something similar to (and, we've been told, a definite influence on) David Johansen in his Buster and Harry Smiths modes. And Wild Bill Thomson is the king of the bar guitar, a white-hot blues-boogie riffer who's influenced a generation of fan-boys. The Senders have run through a thousand lineups over the decades, and the new one, which can be heard on their fabulous new CD Goodbye Cruel World (Action), is tight, muscular and smart, with Ned Brewster on drums (another longtime scenester) and bassist Danny Li. They jump, they stride, they bop and rock and crawl in the gutter, they do the hully gully and the boogaloo, they do r&b power ballads that'll have the whole joint crying in their drinks, they even do some funny deep-sea psychedelia. We go see them play anytime, anywhere. So should you. And buy the CD.
Musician - March 1992
God Save the Senders
Real Rock From The Lower East Side
by Charles M. Young
Being the only Frenchman in the entire history of the universe who can sing blues and rock'n'roll has not earned Philippe Marcade much respect in his adopted homeland of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Recently he noticed a kid selling albums on the sidewalk and one of them was Do the Sender Thing by the Senders. "Hey, that's my band!" said Marcade. "You're selling it for $2.00??!"
"I'm sorry," said the kid. "I really love the record but I'm kinda broke. Could I have your autograph?"
So Marcade signed the album and went on his way. An hour later he walked by the same corner where the kid was now selling the album for $2.50.
Marcade roars with laughter after recounting the story, but it does sum up the present situation of the senders. They've become a terrific pure rock'n'roll band, one of the best ever to come out of the New York club scene, and they get about 50 cents' worth of recognition. Personally, I noticed them on night at CBGB when my own band happened to be on the same bill. I was about to leave after playing when the Senders kicked into "Please Give Me Something," a super-charged rockabilly cover that caught my ear like nothing has in years. I was thrilled. I wanted to dance. I wanted to laugh. The reasons are fourfold:
1) Philippe Marcade, 32, vocals: a cross between Jim Morrison and Maurice Chevalier. Can snarl bellow and burn with a hugely exuberant attitude. The guy is, of all things, happy - what a concept. Moved here from France in 1975 and has good command of American idiom except for the occasional peculiar pronunciation, like "in the original mo-no." Women like him a lot.
2) Bill Thompson, 35, guitar: Ry Cooder on amphetamines, unafraid to pound away on a great riff. Has such good tone that I take out my ear plugs.
3) Ritchie Lure, 37, bass: Brother Walter is veteran of the Heartbreakers and Waldos, so rock'n'roll chromosomes clearly runs in the family. Converted lead player, has lots of licks but always opts for groove over showing off.
4) Joseph Poliseno, 28, drums: If Charlie Watts ever keels over in the middle of "Satisfaction" at Shea Stadium, Keith Richards would be ecstatic to find this guy. Play the smallest kit possible on theory that less packing means more time to talk to girls.
This configuration is actually the second incarnation of the Senders. The first was prominent in the original New York punk scene from 1977 to 1981. They played Max's until their first bass player, Steve Shevlin, went deaf and embarked on a new career teaching sign language.
"We do an occasional reunion show with him," says Thompson. "He still plays pretty good, but he can't tune so well."
At the behest of Midnight Records, they re-formed in 1988 and had so much fun they've stuck together ever since. Their most recent songs have taken them to a whole new level, but they're not recorded yet, so you'll have to check them out live at Continental Divide (212-529-6924) or CBGB (212-982-4052). Major labels are you listening?
Arts Weekly - November 17, 1982
"ROCK'N'ROLL IS ABOUT FUCKING" DECLARED LUX INTERIOR IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS
The Cramps/The Senders/Peppermint Lounge/Nov.6
by Marc Perton
About halfway through the set on Nov. 6 at the Peppermint Lounge, Lux Interior delivered a striking sermon. "Rock'n'Roll is about fucking!' the lead singer for the Cramps stated. Not only that, but "Rock'n'Roll is ugly!".
Lux's remarks came as no surprise to the hordes of fans who turned out for the show. .../...
Whoever schedules opening acts for the Cramps has remarkably good taste. Earlier this year, when they played the Pep, they were supported by the Gun Club, original home of Kid Congo, and a great psychebilly band on their own. This time around, the Friday night show boasted Levi Dexter, who sang for the Rockats before they became a parody, on a Saturday night by New York's kings of R&B, the Senders.
Last time the Blasters came to town, I told a friend who thought they were great that I thought they couldn't hold a candle to the Senders. I still think so.
The Senders are a real rock'n'roll band, who were born in the garage and never left. In different forms, they've been part of the New York scene for years, but the big move which made them what they are today occurred a few years ago, when they moved their drummer to the lead vocal spot.
As a singer, Philippe has it all. The girls swoon over him, he's got a good voice, and he looks good-but-not-perfect (his long, greased hair never stays in place) on stage.
Like the Blasters, the Senders play a rockabilly/blues influenced form of music. Unlike the Blasters, the Senders haven't become accepted by the mainstream audience. Perhaps it's because they are bluesier, rootier than the Blasters. Perhaps it's because they're too firmly rooted in the New York scene (or what's left of it), to get out. Perhaps it's because they vanished for a year, while the Blasters conquered the Earth.
That's right. The Pep gig was the Senders' first since last September. According to Philippe, the time off was spent on a "tour of the Lower East Side." Their absence was felt by their fans, who had to console themselves by listening to the group's spectacular e.p (on Max's Kansas City Records), and patiently await their return.
The Return of the Senders was not a disappointment. The Pep show was an equal of any performance in their past. Of course, they've changed a bit during their absence. Philippe now plays some guitar, since the group lost their great guitarist Bill Thompson, as well as the rhythm guitarist they added shortly before their hiatus. The new guitarist fills in adequately, though his presence is much more low key than Thompson's was.
The major change for the Senders is an addition of a full time sax player, a change which give the group a fuller, bluesier sound.
At the Pep show, there was an added surprise: Wayne Kramer (of the MC5) popped in to "Kick out the jams" with the Senders, and he was more than welcome. The Senders sounded good, solid, and professional. Not professional like a perfectly polished act, cleaned up for the public, but professional like a group that, after years in the garage, just finished fixing up their car, and are going out to test their wheels and burn some rubber.
The Senders are burning now. Let's hope they don't run out of gas.
Left: Village Voice - 1977
/ Right: Trouser Press - 1978
The Aquarian / April 5 - April 12, 1978
We're alI Chuck's Children
The Senders/The Place
by Bob Cianci
If you told the Senders they were a highly polished musical organization, they'd undoubtedly laugh out loud and then perhaps tell you to leave... at least their surly ambience says so.
The Senders are an uncompromising New York City rock/r&b/blues band, uncompromising in that they refuse to refine or in any way commercialize their brand of raw rock and roll. Veterans of the CBGB/Max's circuit, as well as the Philly and Boston new wave clubs, the Senders are a direct throwback to Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry right through to the Pretty Things and early Stones.
The band's lead singer, Phil Marcade is French-born, and interestingly enough, lead guitarist Jorge Ritta and rhythm guitarist Laurie "Reedy" Reid are Mexican and English-born, respectively. Europeans somehow never forget America's own rock roots.
Featuring a two-guitar/bass/drums/lead vocalist lineup, the Senders two sets were intensely energetic. It could not be said that anyone member was a master of his axe Ritter's solos were ragged variations of familiar blues/rock riffs, and vocalist Marcade blasted searing harp with abandon.
They did, however function tightly as unit, and their own songs like "Casino" and "New York Nightlife" were high-powered boogie rockers that did not let up. Marcade was effective on "I'm A Hog For You, Baby" an old blues standard. When a malfunctioning microphone grew to be an annoyance, Marcade vociferously screamed "Fuck" in the classic bar-band manner. His greasy DA, pointed shoes and funky sport jacket accentuated his gruff vocal style. The Senders also covered standards like the Coasters' "Yakety Yak" and Van Morrison and Them's "Everything" with equal vigor, reconstructing these to fit their own style. Ritter put his old Gibson through some grinding, jagged riffs, striking poses he must have copped after years of watching Chuck Berry on TV. We're all Chuck's children.
The Senders brought some much-needed new wave rock and roll energy to New Jersey. The Place will be presenting more new wave in upcoming weeks.
A little more Senders, please.
New York Rocker - 1978
by S. Andrew Schwartz
Hey, have I got a band for you. With a big beat and energy to burn. The old riffs played with the new ferocity. A sense of history and a glimpse of the future. Not a work of conceptual art, or a comedy act, or an extraterrestrial invasion. A real rock and roll band. The Senders. (Van Morrison - ''Goodbye Baby Goodbye'')
Great Gildersleeves is a funny place. It is potentially the best rock and roll club in New York. There's a great long bar, plenty of seats upstairs and down, a reasonable or non-existent cover, a big high stage and a real dance floor (but no house P.A. yet), living in the neighborhood, I've wandered in on half a dozen weekday nights and never seen more than sixty people in the joint. "Weekends keep us alive" says the bartender. I read the ads and wonder: Who are these bands? "Truth." "Revolver." "Wonderland." Once in a while, a Mink DeVille or Dirty Angels, and and once each week, a ten-piece swing band, Widespread Depression. The rest never seem to make it to wax or print or even into C.B.G.B. just down the block. (The Animals - ''l'm Crying'')
A few days after Christmas, I walk again into the half-empty club. A band called Gizzmo is finishing up a lengthy set of recycled early-70s guitar cliches, beamed from high atop platform heels. There's a long pause for drinks, pinball, the jukebox. Then a flash of bright light and monitor feedback, and the Senders are tearing into "Bright Lights Big City." At center stage is Philippe Marcade, singing with the force of a "D" train and blowing his brains out on harp. He whirls, he splits, he shudders and shakes his fist, a cross between Jean-Paul Belmondo and James Brown. Jorge Ritter cradles his big brown Gibson high up on his chest, careening around the stage and tearing off his jagged Chuck Berry licks. Ex-Miami Georgie Day pounds the piss out of his drum kit while Laurie (Reedy) Reid and bassman Steve Shevlin hold the Senders down to earth. This set, only thirty minutes or less, is split about evenly between covers and originals. Jimmy Reed's "Bright Lights," a nasty "It Hurts Me Too" (Philippe singing as though the words were pulled from inside him with pliers), and the Senders' own "Night Time In New York," "Killing In the Family," "For Me Tonight." They've got that cool nouveau grease look down cold, all D.A. haircuts, skinny ties, and pointy shoes. Soon the final rave-up of "Keep A-Knockin'", cheers from all fifty or sixty of us out front, and the Senders are gone. I must know more. (Larry Williams - "She Said Yeah")
The air in this apartment is musty with the smell of the shut-in. Philippe is sick today, and the Senders cancelled their second night at Gildersleeves. A woman, Babette, is on her way out as I enter. A Christmas tree is perched on the kitchen counter and a Fender Teiecaster leans against one wall under a picture of Dr. Feelgood. From the start, Philippe laughs easily and often, and speaks English with more of an accent than he sings it. (Muddy Waters - "Trouble No More")
"I came here for the first time in 72 with a friend I met in Amsterdam—that was Bruce, who is now our manager. I've been going back and forth (to France) a bit since then. At first I just traveled around, Arizona and places. And I worked for the Heartbreakers, doing their sound and all. But that was later. . .
"I'm 22 now. I did play when I was in school, in Paris, but nothing professional. Steve (Shevlin) has got a loft on the Lower East Side, so we used to jam there—this was like, oh, summer of '76 and actually the band formed from that. I met Steve, he met Jorge, and Georgie has been with us now for just four gigs. We had another drummer, Billy, before that and I played drums also in the beginning. But it was getting hard, playing drums and keeping up the high en-aire-gy singing. (Little Walter - "Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)")
"We really dig old blues. I grew up with the Stones, Yardbirds, and all that. I was too young for '50s rock and roll, got into that later, more or less learning those songs from the English bands. But like "Bright Lights Big City" I knew by Jimmy Reed, heard it in Paris. Someone told me recently the Animals did that one but I never heard it. (Rolling Stones - "Cops and Robbers")
"Why France has never had any real rock and roll bands? Well, I guess that fact that it never started there in the '50s make it hard to start now. You know, Little Bob Story really opened a door kind of, 'cause a lot of Frenchmen that used to sing in English used to get turned down by the kids, you know? They always like the 'real thing,' what comes from across the sea. (Bo Diddley - "Pretty Thing")
Steve Shevlin is tall and soft-spoken, a rock-steady bass player and… "Before I joined the band, I was a boxer. I fought Golden Gloves for two years and pro for another three. (Rocky) Graziano was my manager and I fought at the Garden, fought at Shea Stadium. Yeah, sometimes rock and roll is like the fight game." (Philippe says: "Some guy punched him on the head and he's been playing bass ever since!") "Johnny Thunders is an old friend of mine, and the Heartbreakers were rehearsing and jamming in my loft on 10th Street when I met Philippe and Jorge.
Village Voice - May 1978
For the Benefit of Mr. Blitz
It was like a punk telethon, with Cheetah Chrome subbing for Jerry Lewis, as Ny's top bands packed CBGB's for four consecutive nights, proceeds going towards the medical and legal expenses of Dead Boys' drummer Johnny Blitz who's back home in Cleveland recuperating from some serious stab wounds.
For some reason there was an unusual no re-entry rule in effect, and with a packed house, going to the bathroom became virtually impossible. Furthermore there were bouncers, and a couple of old-fashioned barroom brawls; but in the end the music prevailed.
The Ramones turned in their usual manic and feverish set, their last with drummer Tommy, who's leaving the group for personal reasons. The Sick F*cks - who just keep getting better and better - were marvelous. (Catch them this weekend at CBGB's for a real treat.) Former New York Dolls Arthur Kane, Syl Sylvain, and Jerry Nolan (who sat in with the Dead Boys on drums, as did John Belushi), were represented by their respective groups, the ghoulish Corpse Grinders, the Criminals, and the Idols, with Nolan's group easily the best of the lot. The Dictators pounded out a high-energy guitar onslaught, while Blondie - with Robert Fripp on guitar - was dazzling, even featuring an extended disco tune. Helen Wheels was terrific, and the Senders, with a vigorous set reminiscent of the early Stones, proved they're the best of the city's unsigned bands. A Sirius Trixon-Neon Leon fronted aggregate tore the place up with some Detroit-styled rock.
But the best was saved for last. At this point I doubt that there's a rock'n'roll band anywhere that's as exciting in concert as the Dead Boys are. And perhaps the most insane thing I've ever seen on stage occurred when Divine - in full drag - along with three "strippers", joined Stiv Bators and the Dead Boys for two New York Dolls songs, cavorting about like some Fellini vision gone mad. And the topping on the cake was applied when former Alice Cooper guitarist Glenn Buxton joined the Dead Boys for an encore of "Eighteen". Best of all, it was good to see New York's bands and fans come together for a good cause, and the event was an unqualified success for all concerned. (Approximately $8,000 was raised for Blitz's medical expenses.) - Bruce Paley
Left: Rock Scene Magazine - 1978 / Right: Village Voice - 1978
Rock Action - 1978
It's always a hot night at Max's Kansas City when Johnny Thunders (left) steps on the stage and the Heartbreakers do a set. But it was a double special event for the sold out show when Philippe of the Senders made a guest appearance. Watch for the Johnny Thunders and Heartbreakers albums at your record store, and if they haven't got them, tell them to order them.
Village Voice - 1978
The Senders add Johnny Thunders to their line-up
R & B Clash
It's an unlikely marriage on the surface but for a couple of gigs, at least, the Senders have a new guitarist - none other than Johnny Thunders. The Senders, who are an explosive band in their own right, are deeply in R&B and with the addition of ex-New York Doll, ex-Heartbreaker Johnny Thunders, the results are bound to be interesting, if not downright spectacular. The bew line-up makes its debut at Hurrah's July 25 and 26. (with a later Max's date to follow) and if the chemistry's right, well, anything might happen.
Definitely not one to be misses. - Bruce Paley
In Cold Blood [ Johnny Thunders Official Biography ] - Nina Antonia
.../... Fresh from the coast, Thunders then joined up with local boys, The Senders, a rhythm'n'blues combo whom he considered at that time to be "… the only good band in N.Y.", to help them out on a short term basis while they hunted for a guitarist to replace their own who had to split in the middle of a series of dates.
Soho Weekly News - Aug. 10, 1978
Thunders Lights Senders
The Senders with Johnny Thunders
Max's Kansas City
One of the more exciting things about Elvis Costello's This Year's Model is the remarkable adavancement it represents over My Aim is True. The addition of his group, the Attractions, gives the second album a focus and an unrelenting quality that suggests not so much a change of direction, but that this is the sound Elvis was looking for on the first record as well, but didn't yet know how to achieve. This is not the feeling one gets listening to the second album by Television, Blondie, and most other new bands.
But it happens all the time in concert. Last week, the Senders with guest guitarist Johnny Thunders put on a show better than they gave any indication of ever doing when I first saw them six months ago. The band plays good old fashioned rock'n'roll, with an emphasis on the good. Their roots are in the blues, making them rather unusual for the downtown scene. The playing is tight and energetic which, coupled with the exciting singing of Philippe Marcade, would be enough to recommend them. But they also have at least one great original song in "Killing in the Family" and tough stage presence, particularly Philippe.
And they also have Johnny Thunders, for a while at least. By no means responsible for the improvement in the Senders; they'd be great with or without him - but the man leaves his mark. At Max's he was dressed in red, the rest of the Senders' front line in black. On lead guitare, he never plays fewer than two strings. When he sings backup vocals, it's only because the microphone has been pushed into his face. All of this taken together equals Johnny Thunders' chief contribution: He drips style.
Whether or not he stays around, the Senders should stick with the two-guitar lineup. It's hard to play traditional rock'n'roll with a trio. That the Senders have stopped trying is one big reason for their success. A group like the Senders risks becoming lost in the past, a tribute to their idols. But they get away with it for the same reason the Stones did years before: They don't make you wish you were listening to anybody else but them.
Left: Original Rock'n'roll Flea Market program - 1978 / Right: Village Voice - 1979
New York Times - 1978
On the Music Beat
Let The Senders Send You
The Senders, a group of five hard-core rockers, play rhythm and blues with an early Stones sound and sass. When they play the clubs of lower Manhattan, they pack the crowds in. Folks love to boogie with The Senders.
There's Philippe out front (yes, he's French), Steve on the bass, Wild Bill, Parker and Tony. They combine to put out a rock'n'roll beat that draws dancing fans.
If you can't make it to Max's Kansas City on Saturday night, try to get your hands on The Senders' hit new single, "The Living End". It's just that! The flip side, "No More Foolin'", is a solid hit. The Senders are planning trips to L.A. and London, so watch for their club bookings or write to: The Senders, Box 1233, Stuyvesant Station, NYC, N.Y. 10009
Teen Beat - 1979
Villager - 1979
The Senders at TR3 - by Dan Coben
The Senders are a superior rock'n'roll band with a firm grip on their blues/rockabilly/rock roots, which include Little Richard, Little Walter, Slim Harpo and Jerry Lee Lewis. They whipped last Friday's audience at TR3 into a euphoric frenzy, using only their musical expertise. There is no theatrical schtick or dependence on one man's personality to carry this band through.
The Senders started two years ago, went on to play with (legendary, I was about to say) Johnny Thunders, and regrouped last year to form their current (and fantastic) lineup.
"Wild" Bill Thompson and "Slim" Parker offered excellent guitar solos, particularly on such Senders' originals as "The Living End" and "No More Foolin'." Lead singer Philippe Marcade and bassist Steve Shevlin were both simple, yeat meaningful in their styles, taking care to support the band as a whole. Marcade, who vaguely resembles Harvey Keitel, knows how to get gutsy without taking attention from the other band members. Drummer M.T. Heart (arrgh!) is as dynamic as Blondie's Clement Burke, and manages to work in some creative moves of his own.
Instrumental proficiency and teamwork are second-nature to the Senders, so they spend their time on stage creating a super-charged, dancing audience. It felt like being part of a musical/dance number in and Elvis Presley movie* (?)
The Senders and the TR3 club are for real. Don't miss them.
THE SENDERS will be appearing at Max's Kansas City, Thursday, Nov. 15, 213 Park Ave. South.
Left: Very first color ad in the Village Voice - 1979 / Right: 1979
Top Left: Phil & Lee Brilleaux (Pic: L. Rokes) / Rock Scene - 1980
New York Rocker - 1981
THE SENDERS: The Living End
The Senders have been playing their own brand of raw, R&B tinged R&R around NYC for almost five years now to their own gang of loyal followers with almost no acknowledgement from the local rock critic community (collectively the biggest bunch of spineless worms this side of the Tri-Lateral commission) and no big record company action (just as bad).
So just what are the Senders about? A hard, tough rock 'n roll band modeled somewhat on Dr. Feelgood (best British band of their time) who can approach the glories of R&B grunge outfits like the Pretty Things and the Downliners Sect on a good night. Their taste runs to vintage American R&B and blues along the lines of Don Dewey (whose "Justine" they cover), Larry Williams and Howlin' Wolf. Frontman Philippe Marcade has his Vince Taylor routine down better than Vince himself has in many a year (VT for the unacquainted was an American expatriate rocker who became France's no. 1 rock 'n roll idol with great songs like "Brand New Cadillac" and "Jet Black Machine"; he also became the inspiration of Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" when he appeared at an early 70's comeback gig sans clothes, band and brains draped in a white sheet and ordered the audience to worship him). The Senders have an incredible stage presence, tons of confidence and Philippe is full of "my gal " jokes ("my gal is so ugly… when she was born they slapped her mother").
Their new 7-song EP (they shoulda made it a 10" like Vince's first) showcases the band's strength (tight rhythm section, great taste in material — they should do "Wang Dang Doodle") as well as a few of their weaknesses, like Philippe's heavy French accent (although it's sort of charming as one girl put it) and a tendency for a very heavy guitar sound (last time I saw them the guitar player played the whole set with a Gibson SG Les Paul, which sounded like Black Sabbath revisited, he should really invest in a more appropriate instrument). Still, the song choices are right on target with two solid originals: "6th St." and "Don't Make Me Mad," Little Milton's ''I Feel Bad," Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" (they should do "Wang Dang Doodle" too), and Little Richard's pre-Specialty classic "Fool At The Wheel". The only out of-place cut is "Please Give Me Something" (an obscure rockabilly gem by Billy Allen, they should leave this one for the Zantees)
Anyway, as much as I like the record, they're primarily a live band, and I can't recommend them highly enough. They play often and have gotten amazingly consistent (before their current line-up was secured they were pretty erratic including gigs with the absolutely awful and overrated Johnny Thunders on guitar, but as of late they're hard to match for sheer energy). Check 'em out ... they beat the shit out of anything Britain's come up with in years.
Left: Trouser Press: Guide to New Wave Records - 1983
Right: Trouser Press: The Ultimate Guide to Alternative Music - 1985
The Bob, by Pat Grandjean - 1989
Top Left: Flipside Fanzine # 61 - July 1989 / Top Right: Dangerous Rhythms, July 1989
Bottom Left: Noise for Heroes - Spring/Summer 1989 / Bottom Right: Billboard, June 10, 1989
CMJ New Music Report, by Jeff Tamarkin - April 21, 1989
New York Post
Wednesday, April 5, 1989
NEW YORK POST ON THE TOWN
OF NOTE: Big Rock Hotel show tomorrow night at Downtown with Electric Angels, Mother Love Bone, Kill for Thrills and Dog's D'Amour… Throwing Muses, Silos at the Palladium tonight… The Senders are packing them in every Monday night at Continental Divide… /...
New York Times - 1993
Left: Musician - 1992 (see the full article at the top of this page) / Right: Tribute to Johnny Thunders, Marquee Theater - 1992
Times Union - Tuesday, January 5, 1993
Senders deliver rambunctious rock'n'roll
By Greg Haymes
Special to the Times Union
ALBANY - There's no secret to kind of no-frills, sweat-inducing rock'n'roll that the Senders have been churning out for more than 15 years in small Manhattan rock clubs like Max's Kansas City, CBGB's and the Continental Divide.
The four musicians simply play rock'n'roll because they can. Because it makes them feel good. Because it's fun.
On Saturday night at Bogie's it was rambunctious stuff to be sure. The Senders barnd of rock'n'roll hit the crowd right in the solar plexus with a powerhouse delivery that left them gasping.
Black-clad vocalist Philippe Marcade oozed a charismatic blend of charm and danger. Looking like a cross between Harvey Keitel and Christian Slater, Marcade curled his lips in a mysterious half-smirk, half-smile, and the voice that came out of his thoat was a righteous, rasping roar that resonated with the same urgent, sometimes cold, sometimes romantic, New York City street-truths that david Johansen (in his pre-Buster Poindexter days) and Willie DeVille used to unleash.
Bassist Ritchie Lure and drummer Joe Poliseno were locked so tightly into the groove that it seemed as though they must have been Krazy-Glued together at the heartbeat. It didn't matter whether they were dusting off a nearly forgotten rockabilly rhythm or chugging through a full-steam=ahead ropm of the Equals' buoyant "Baby, Come Back," the rhythm tandem was on the money and in the pocket every single step of the way.
And guitarist Bill Thompson ruled the fretboard like a mad king. A big man towering over his vintage guitar, Thompson spent the night bending strings at a whim and stretching notes somewhere deep into the next dimension. Let him loose on a slow-grinding Koko Taylor blues tune, as the band did late in the night, and it seemed as though he might never come back down to earth.
Marcade reached deep into his bag of tricks and admitted, "We'd like to do something that we don't usually do because we're bored tonight," before reeling off a razor-sharp New York Dolls nugget.
If these guys were bored on Saturday, you'd better have a fleet of ambulances on and for a night when the Senders are really hopping. And let's hope that their return appearance is soon.
New York Waste - 1999
... Then Wild Bill from the Senders arrived. Shit I haven't seem him in twenty years. His guitar leads were calling from some place far away. Then, Philippe, lead singer, guitarist and harmonica player from the Senders appeared, he hasn't changed at all. When he put down a harmonica track, I was literally blown away. It is amazing how relentless musicians only keep getting better and better. .../... The Senders play in NYC every month, and we can expect to see them at the next New York Waste show. Go see them, the Senders play for the love of it and I love that.
January 11 - 24, 1999
The party ended with The Senders, who incorporated a heavier sound than the previous four bands. Mixing originals like "The Skeleton" with covers such as 'Storm Warning" by Dr. John, lead singer Phil Marcade refused to stay on stage during his set, even playing harmonica lying on the floor.
The Hound Blogspot - 2008
by James "The Hound" Marshall
RETURN TO SENDER
With the exceptions of the Fleshtones (1976- present), Wild Jimmy Spruill's Hell Raisers (1955- 1996) and possibly the Jive 5 (1959- 2006) the Senders where the longest running real rock'n'roll band in NYC history, I think they lasted for twenty five years (1976-2001).
And they were one of the best. I've probably seen the Senders five hundred + times. I never saw them do a bad show. The Senders began in 1976 with Flipper starting out behind the drums and Johnny Thunders' occasionally filling in on guitar. In their earliest incarnation they were kind of a New York version of Dr. Feelgood, covering classic R&B and R&R tunes in a greasy, bar band style. Dressed in sharkskin suits with pointy boots, pinstriped sock and greasy pompadours, they cut a striking figure. And one that stood out among the then fashionable spiky hair/bondage pants combo that took over New York in the wake of the Sex Pistols.
After many personal changes and Philippe stepping out front as lead singer and harmonica player they settled into what became the classic Senders line up with Wild Bill Thompson on guitar, Steve Shevlin on bass and Little Moe Trucks on drums. This group cut a 45 that they issued themselves ("The Living End" b/w "No More Foolin'", 1977) and a seven song EP on Max's Kansas City's own label issued in '79. Since I don't have a turntable w/a USB port plug I can't post them. Later, after a brief break up they would reform and record two full LP's Return To Sender (Skydog, 1998) which unfortunately Thompson only plays on half of, and Goodbye Cruel World (Action, 1999), their best and most representative waxing. Here's "Takin' That Train" from Back To Sender recorded with a later line up with Simon Charbonet on second guitar (Simon's another one of those great, unheralded NY rock'n'roll institutions whose ship will probably come in the day after he dies) and Chris Cush on bass. For a decade the Senders played every Monday night at the Continental on 3rd Ave between St. Marks and 9th St, before that it was called Jack The Ribber and Screamin' Jay Hawkins played every Monday, and before that it was a very scary drag bar called Frida's Disco whose doorway always seemed to have a large, black, drag queen with an askew blond wig and a head to toe five o'clock shadow draped over a bar stool blocking the way. I never ventured into Fridas. But Monday at the Continental was always fun. In those days I bike messengered from 2-9:30 PM, I'd go home and shower and head out to see the Senders. It was a great place to meet girls, usually skinny one with too much mascara, straight blond or black hair, black cotton tights and spike heeled shoes. They were always crazy and I still walk around the block to avoid some of those one night stands (nowadays they're often pushing baby strollers on their way to AA meetings). The Senders' brought 'em out-- rockers, hipsters, strippers, nut cases, anybody with the vaguest notion of cool would end up at the Continental on Monday nights from '83-'93.
Here's a few of my Senders' favorites from that era: their version of Howlin' Wolf's "Do The Do", their rendition of Glen Glenn's "One Cup Of Coffee (and A Cigarette)" and best of all, their spidery take on Sin Alley fave "Crazy Date".
Left: High Times Magazine - 1978
Right: CBGB's bathroom, (in some italian magazine.. !) - 1982
PRESSE FRANCAISE & INTERNATIONALE / FRENCH & INTERNATIONAL PRESS....
Best - Juillet 1983
"Retour a l'envoyeur"
(Celluloid - Sky 2222)
Le meilleur disque de Willy De Ville depuis… Non. Epargnons aux Senders l'étiquette téléphonée qui les attend a coup sur. Rhythm'n'blues sale, frime greasy, exil new yorkais du petit frimer parisien… L'image des Senders a tout pour ravir le coeur des critiques, susciter une carrière en montagnes russes et les envoyer inéluctablement réviser leurs classiques ad vitam aeternam dans un bouge du Bronx… Avec Justin Trouble pour tenir la chandelle et Johnny Thunders pour compter les points. Depuis cinq and qu'ils revisitent leur Jimmy Reed downtown Manhattan, que leur a-t-on offert de mieux?
Aussi, laissons tomber le désespérant scénario habituel et rêvons un peu. Aux success storIes. Celles qui ont envoyé les trois petits chats de Long Island dans les éthers du top-ten américain. Celles qui ont permis au pseudo Dylan-Ryder du New Jersey de devenir le dernier héros américain. Success story! Les Cats! Springsteen! J.Geils Band même! Faisons comme si le Rock and Roll était encore une affaire qui tourne et les Senders, cinq braves garçons vivant soudain le rêve hollywoodien…
Ils pourraient être les Artwoods, les Shadows of Knight période Willie Dixon, les Outsiders, le Downliner Sect… La même fascination pour le jeu staccato de Steve Cropper et le son Atlantic, le même sens du blues et gout de la ballade à la Otis. Les Stones de leur quartier, les Stones d'une saison. Cet album est leur acte de foi envers la musique noire perdue - blue eyed Soul, comme on disait alors - mais Dieu, les Inmates, Wilko ou Willy De Ville ont payé cher pour savoir qu'être un rocker aujourd'hui, c'est jouer au poker avec de la monnaie de singe…
Philippe Marcadé est pourtant parti vivre son rêve à la source même. Il mérite cette histoire d'amour avec ses fantasmes que cinq années a New York lui ont fait caresser d'un peu trop près. Le disque des Senders à lui seul pourrait lancer une mode: l'improbable retour du r'n'b à l'avant scène. Un serpent de mer pressenti depuis les lustres des New York Dolls… Même Willy De Ville n'avait su à ce point catalyser toutes ces images perdues. 'Retour a l'Envoyeur" se permet d'évoquer la mémoire du Spencer Davis Group ou des meilleurs Mitch Ryder. Je ne connais pas plus grand compliment.
Alors… Success story? Plutôt qu'éternellement ronger les mêmes os du talent gaspille et les coeurs restés en gare…
Rock & Folk - 1979
"Tiens, ça me rappelle une fois qu'on ouvrait pour James Chance. Ouais, les types bookent n'importe qui avec n'importe quoi! Bref, j'étais enrhumé et à la fin du set je me suis mouché sur le micro - pour rigoler quoi! T'aurais vu la tête de l'autre quand il a attaqué le premier vers de la première chanson."
Well, on pensera ce qu'on veut d'une telle anecdote. On jugera peut-être aussi qu'elle n'a rien à faire ici. Soit. Mais pourquoi l'information serait-elle toujours ce que la bienséance souhaiterait qu'elle fut? Or donc, c'est Phil Marcadé, le chanteur français des Senders, qui cause dans le poste. On est au deuxième étage de Max's, dans le bureau de Peter Crowley, patron de l'endroit - et il faudra attendre un petit peu pour le papier d'atmosphère, car aujourd'hui le temps presse.
R & F - Depuis combien de temps traines-tu dans le coin?
P.M. - Ca va faire cinq ans cette année. Quand j'ai débarqué, j'avais un visa d'une semaine. J'ai tenu quatre ans avec, et puis quand ça a commencé à trop sentir le roussi, je me suis marié. Depuis, tout est O.K. avec les autorités.
R & F - Comment tu vivais au début?
P.M. _ Oh, j'ai pas mal zoné. Pour m'occuper et aussi rafler un peu de monnaie, je faisais le road pour les Heartbreakers du temps de Richard (Hell). C'est comme ça que j'ai rencontré Steve, le bassiste. C'est un vieux pote de Thunders. Steve était boxeur professionnel. Il s'est même battu au Madison Square Garden. Mais avec la vie qu'il menait, c'était plus possible. Alors il a raccroché les gants et s'est mis au rock pour de bon. C'est moins crevant. En 77, on a lancé le groupe. On avait un guitariste chicano à l'époque, mais les services d'émigration l'ont epinglé et l'ont renvoyé au Mexique. C'est alors que Wild Bill s'est pointé. Il a joué dans au moins quinze formations de blues avant de se joindre a nous. Mais aujourd'hui, c'est nous qui l'avons. C'est l'un des meilleurs guitaristes de N.Y. Il faut les voir, Thunders et lui, quand on joue ici.
R & F - Ah bon? Thunders monte avec vous?
P.M. - Ouais. Souvent, même! Parfois il est tellement fait qu'il nous casse le show. Mais on lui en veut pas. C'est Thunders.
R & F - Tu chantais déjà avant de débarquer ici?
P.M. - Non. En France je faisais un peu de batterie, mais j'ai laissé tomber. J'ai juste repris les baguettes pour rendre service à Johnny, quand Wayne Kramer et lui sont allés jouer a Detroit. Johnny m'a dit qu'ils étaient sans batteur et m'a demandé de partir avec eux. J'y suis allé. C'était cool.
R & F - Les journaux parlent de vous comme d'un groupe de "punk blues"?
P.M. - Ben, quand on joue Penniman, Chuck Willis ou Howlin' Wolf, on les fait sonner comme on les sent. Pour nos propres morceaux, c'est pareil. Apres ça, les journalistes peuvent appeler ça comme ils veulent.
R & F - Et toi, t'appelles ça comment?
P.M. - Du rock'n'roll. Je peux te prendre une Kool? - L.C
Le Monde - 1979
Nouveau temple nocturne de New York
…/... On ne saurait imaginer réunion plus improbable: Joe Perry est un pro du hard-rock, Thunders un authentique pionnier du punk. Leurs perceptions respectives du rock sont pratiquement antagonistes. Un chanteur aux cheveux gominés monte également en scène. Johnny Thunders le présente comme "Philippe, venu droit de Paris", mais malgré son accent français évident il appartient à un groupe local, les Senders. Après une version assez incertaine de Bright Lights, Big City, Perry s'empresse de rejoindre son entourage au bar. Méprisant, Thunders déclare: "D'habitude, je ne joue pas avec de filles. Je pense que leur place est à la cuisine." Mais Joe se contente d'en rire…/... - Hervé Muller
Rock & Folk - 1981
RETOUR A L'ENVOYEUR
Skydog Sky 2222 (Celluloid)
Pure New York rhythm'n blues. Tout est là? Pas tout à fait. Mais qui se sentirait l'âme (appelez ça les tripes, appelez ça comme vous voulez) à s'épancher en millions de versets lyriques sur un bon album de bon r'n'b estampillé "rues mortes de la Grosse Pomme. mon pote"? Pas tout à fait moi. Pourtant, Dieu, que ça mérite, "Retour à l'Envoyeur" ça mérite un max, comme on disait à Kansas City. Cette très fine plaisanterie pour rappeler au lecteur - qui en connait pourtant un rayon et fait parfois ses courses chez Music Action - que paraissait il y a trois ans, le Seven Song Super Single des Senders, combo mené par le screamer français Philippe Marcadé, sur Max's K.C. Rec. Mille et quelques jours et nuits de "galère" (je suppose) plus tard, voici nos gaillards relancés par Marc (Skydog) Zermati. Retour à l'envoyeur. Mais qui est l'envoyeur à part le blues? La liste des suspects pourrait s'allonger à mesure des écoutes comme la figure d'un musicien affamé dans la grande ville. On se contentera de Mink DeVille (le Mink du début, celui de "Gunslinger") en remontant toute l'écurie Stax jusqu'à Booker T. & thé MG's… Encore des Blancs qui auraient bien aimé cirer les pompes de S.M. Otis va-t-on penser. Aussi, Burdon des Animals et pourquoi pas Southside J. et donc pourquoi pas Little Bob S. (?) Les Rolling Stones période Bo Diddley. Je proposerai encore Frankie Miller côté roast beef (mais sans le gras) pour arriver enfin au bon Doctor Feelgood. Ben oui, pour en arriver là. Toutes ces années après, le Style new-yorkais en plus, la superbe, la morgue, si on veut. Si les murs desselles sombres de leur chère cité pouvaient parler, ils diraient la chaleur formidable initiée par les gigs des Senders (je suppose, encore). D'ici, on ne peut pas en dire beaucoup plus. Pur rhythm'n'blues new-yorkais. F.G
Left: Rock & Folk - 81 / Center: Rock & Folk - 1981 / Right: Best - 1981
Left: Jukebox Magazine - 1998 / Center: Jukebox Magazine - 2000 / Right: Ruta 66 (Spain) - 1989
Jungle Magazine - Finland - February, 1995 (Click on picture to read the article in Finnish)
Rumore Magazine - Italy - January, 2011 / Rolling Stone Magazine - Italy - July, 2011
Max's Kansas City drink menu, 1978
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