Perhaps the most wonderful thing about living in London is that on any given night you are able to see a variety of bands that figure as the soundtrack to their own universes.
So, when the chance came to see a showcase gig of Italian bands, packaged under the dubious name ‘The Italian Job’ it is of little surprise that I was less than enthused by the prospect of standing through shambolic continental versions of the same crap that I’ve seen on countless occasions by UK bands murdering the Queen’s English with local aplomb.
Jetlag played under duress. Apparently they had lost some of their equipment before the show and didn’t really seem to gel on stage. Their pilot costume shtick while comical didn’t work for me. Worse, it made me angry. However, their saccharine 80s dance rock, detestable in its own right, seemed to move the crowd of happy inebriates and its hard to be dastardly critical of a band that obviously enjoys what it does and doesn’t take itself seriously.
Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti on the other hand, were a revelation. Each and every garage rock chord moved me beyond words. I was completely transfixed and sang every unknown syllable with an aphasic passion unreserved by anything I’d heard in the last year. Imagine a pixies/manu chao cross-over band of skull wearing beatnik addicts who need to impress riot grrls for a place to stay.
Fucking spot on. No fat, no wastage, 100% guitar soul, with a double-hand air helping of fuck yeah. It was perfect; the bass player a lanky acid type really didn’t seem to care where he was, the guitarist, a savant melodic genius cut from the same hirsute bisexual cloth as Lou Reed, and the drummer. My god the drummer, a rake thin dangerous looking Latin type who was obviously laying down some heavy strategies about how he was going to murder a Maltese pimp for ripping him on a days worth of sub-par rocks. Each song an anthem, every chorus a victory, no one left behind.
The Hormonauts were very good. Rockabilly. What can I say: very competent, exciting, fantastic. Wouldn’t necessarily send an email to see them again. Good guitarist though, in the end it was bit too ‘hey hey the past… live it’ for my taste.
The Italian Job
Friday 5th October
Barfly, London, UK