Sure, they were technically a New York City band…prone to hanging out in suitably sleazeball metal haunts like the Lismar Lounge, the Scrap Bar and The Cat Club (all vanished, of course), but their whole aesthetic seemed kinda out of place.
Ostensibly, Circus of Power aspired to be New York’s answer to L.A.’s post-glam scene (ruled by acts like Faster Pussycat and Guns N’ Roses). As gritty and as tough as they were, they just didn’t make sense, basically playing heavy, bluesy roadhouse rock when the rest of the New York City concentrated on more extreme strains of the genre (ala Anthrax, Overkill, Carnivore and the whole NYHC scene). If Circus of Power were going to connect with anyone, they were probably more likely to find fans in the Midwest sooner than in their native hometown.
Also, it wouldn’t have hurt if they wrote catchier tunes, but that’s just my opinion.
That all said, somebody thought they had big potential, as they signed a major label deal and released a few albums and made an unlikely amount of videos. But, their day never really came.
I'm not writing this post to needlessly pick on Circus of Power. I don't believe they're still a going concern today, but good luck to'em, wherever they are. No, I penned this post as I found myself trawling through YouTube recently, and caught a couple of their videos. This one below for, ahem, "Call of the Wild" struck a particualr chord with me as it was basically shot but a relative stone's throw from my front door.
Herein we see the Circus boys playing their Doorsy brand of tattooed biker/garage-mechanic rawk at the late, lamented Cat Club (which I talked about in some depth here), and strutting around the nearby environs of 4th Avenue, a short offshoot of Park Avenue South that stretches between 14th Street and Astor Place. I can only assume they were going for a "Welcome to the Jungle" vibe with a little Manhattan flavor.
Regardless, there's some nice footage of the interior of the Cat Club, and some fleeting shots of the deli on the southeast corner of East 13th and some "Taxi Driver"-ish scenes of rain-slicked 4th Avenue.
Today, of course, the Cat Club (and all the venues it became afterwards) is long, long gone, as is that deli across the avenue, which is now a newly-opened business called, strangely, Pie Face. The southwest corner of East 13th is now home to a massive, and very expensive-looking hotel. The notion of Circus of Power and their feathered-haired acolytes haunting this neighborhood seems inconceivable today.
Just for laughs, here's another C.o.P. vid, this one filmed on a stretch of landfill in the shadow of the World Trade Center. Other clips filmed around this area include Belfegore's "All That I Wanted" and Lady Pank's "Minus Zero." Anyway, here's Circus of Power trying to assert their New-Yawkitude with "Vices." Spot the locations....