Ivan Julian expresses ‘the visceral joy of rock ‘n’ roll’ at New York show

ivan julian cutting room


From left, Ivan Julian, Steve Goulding and James Mastro perform at The Cutting Room in New York, Sept. 13.

NEW YORK — On Sept. 13, The Cutting Room presented a concert by the electrifying singer-songwriter and guitarist Ivan Julian and his skillful and engrossing band The Magnificent 6. A co-founder of the seminal punk group Richard Hell & the Voidoids and a member of many notable New York and New Jersey bands, Julian played a passionate and raw-sounding set.

The Magnificent 6 included James Mastro and Al Maddy on guitars, Jared Michael Nickerson on bass, Debby Schwartz and Judy Ann Nock on vocals, and Steve Goulding on drums. This was the first time that I have seen London-born, New York-based drummer Goulding keeping the beat. (He has played with Graham Parker & the Rumour, the Mekons and others). His presence added some excitement, for me.

The cover of Ivan Julian’s album, “Swing Your Lanterns.”

Julian performed songs from his 2023 album, Swing Your Lanterns, including some of my favorites such as the title track; the swoon-worthy, Lennon-esque “Love Is Good,” and the raucous “Wild” (watch video below). He also played a cover of Joe Cocker’s 1972 hit, “Woman to Woman.”

“Hardwired” (watch video below), from Julian’s 2011 album The Naked Flame, was majestic, especially for a quiet Wednesday night, with Julian and Mastro exchanging conversation via dueling guitars. Singer-songwriter Freedy Johnston, who attended the concert, said that Julian’s swagger reminded him of Mick Jagger.

Julian brought his punk presence into the room, as well as a healthy dose of the Beat era when he recited a poem. His songs cover much ground, including romance, passion and challenging obstacles. If you haven’t seen him perform and you want to experience the visceral joy of rock ‘n’ roll, catch him soon.

Rogers & Butler (Edward Rogers and Steve Butler) were scheduled to open before heading to England to record their next album at Abbey Road Studios in London, but canceled due to illness; Schwartz and Nock substituted with solo performances. Both women perform in the high-energy band Psych-o-Positive, who will perform on Oct. 13 at the Parkside Lounge in New York.

For more on Julian, visit ivanjulian.com.

Click HERE for an in-depth 2021 NJArts.net interview with him.

Here is a photo gallery and, below that, two videos from the show.


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