Skillet Lickin!

And Southside and the Yardbirds are kickin!

Call me a hypocrite after mercilessly bashing so many other geezer-band reunions that have lacked key original members, but for some reason, I'm moderately intrigued by the notion of the so-called YARDBIRDS playing the Coach House on Friday night. While guitarist Chris Dreja and drummer Jim McCarty remain with the group, the rest are ringers—which only makes sense, as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page are much too big-time to indulge in a small-time reunion and front man Keith Relf has a better excuse: he died in 1976. Still, there's the matter of those songs—those songs: "Over Under Sideways Down," "Heart Full of Soul," "A Certain Girl," "For Your Love," "Still I'm Sad," "Mr. You're a Better Man Than I," "Shapes of Things" and rave-up versions of such blues covers as "I Wish You Would," "I'm a Man," "Train Kept A-Rolling" and "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl." You could argue that no other British Invasion band was ever as consistently ahead of the game and manic as these acid-drenched limey loonies, and none of their songs (aside from "For Your Love") have been played to death on classic-rock radio—probably due to the fact that their often darkly psychedelic vibe doesn't jibe well with the cartoon nostalgia of the '60s. If this version can recapture even half the magic that characterized the ever-changing early lineups, the Yardbirds will still be worth the price of admission.

LAVAY SMITH & HER RED HOT SKILLET LICKERS PLAY AT THE GALAXY CONCERT THEATRE, 3503 S. HARBOR BLVD., SANTA ANA, (714) 957-0600. SAT., 8 P.M. $15; SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY PERFORMs WITH PEEPSHOT AT THE GALAXY, TUES., 8 P.M. $25; DOUG KERSHAW PLAYS AT THE ORANGE COUNTY FAIR, 80 FAIR DR., COSTA MESA, (714) 708-3247. SAT., 7 & 9 P.M. FREE WITH fair ADMISSION ($2-$6); THE YARDBIRDS PERFORM AT THE COACH HOUSE, 33157 CAMINO CAPISTRANO, SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, (949) 496-8930. FRI., 8 P.M. $19.50.

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