Monday, 28 September 2015

Meet Restless Ocean

When I went to see Mamma Kin back in December of 2013, little did I know that this was going to be their last gig ever. Sadly Mamma Kin have now disbanded. Their singer though is in a new band called Restless Ocean and back in June I was happy to attend their first ever gig.
The night was opened by Violent Cartoons and you can check them out for yourselves since a few days after this gig, they released their debut EP which is free and you can get it here!

Restless Ocean went on next. On their BandCamp page they describe themselves as "Influenced by both older and contemporary bands, their music is an alternative mix of garage rock, blues and 70's punk". I am confident that we can expect a lot from them in the future since they are apparently working on their new album now. Meanwhile, on that night they gave us an enjoyable 11-song set.

One more important thing to note: There was another band, Bad Treat appearing after Restless Ocean. Unfortunately, I could not stay to see them since I had to hurry in order to catch the last train and bus home. I promise I will try to attend one of their gigs in the future. The funny thing is that looking back to the poster from that last Mamma Kin gig I just realized that Bad Treat were also due to appear on that night but for some reason they didn't... Oh well... So, one more time: I promise I will try to attend one of their gigs in the future...

01. Your Addiction
02. More
03. Lose Our Minds
04. Pieces Of Me
05. Going Down
06. See You There
07. Rainy Days Revisited
08. Not The Same
09. Down To The Ocean
10. Valley Of Death
11. Let Me Be

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Rockwave 20 Part 1 - The Black Keys and The Big Nose Attack

After last year's fiasco (for which of course Eric Burdon was not responsible), the organizers of Rockwave Festival must have realized that they needed big names, for this year's 20th anniversary in order to bring the crowds back. And so they did: The Black Keys, Robbie Williams along with an artist that is a sure-fire success when he performs in Greece, Manu Chao. The only weird thing was that the festival's 4 days were spread over the space of approximately 3 weeks although I guess that this has got to do with the availability of the artists.

But first, let's talk about the negative things to get them out of the way Surprisingly enough those were similar to the ones before the Lady GaGa concert where some Greek rock fans were bullying those who wanted to see her, because she wasn't "rock enough". But why would a similar thing happen for a Black Keys concert? Surely, The Black Keys are a rock band, aren't they? Well, there are several reasons those "Greek rock fans" got upset. One was the fact that The Black Keys are popular among a younger audience in this country, who apparently don't listen to other rock acts. They were also accused of being familiar with only one of their songs "Lonely Boy" which was indeed very popular here. Another complaint these fans had was targeted towards The Black Keys themselves, namely that they "sold out" after their first two albums, don't play the same kind of "raw blues-rock" anymore and that they mostly played songs from their last three albums which were deemed to be "very commercial". Finally some complained that "the sound was bad", but a friend of mine who is a sound engineer assured me that the sound was great (And, the sound quality may vary at different spots in the venue anyway). As I have said before  these people seems to me that they are in possession of a very particular device called the "Rock-O-Meter" which apparently measures how "rock" an act is. And those who fall below the standard that they have set are condemned...
Anyway, enough nagging, let's get on with the music. Puta Volcano, the first band were playing as we arrived and settled down so we didn't get to hear much from them.
The next band on the bill though, was the reason I insisted on getting to Terra Vibe early (apart from securing a good spot). Readers of this blog will know that The Big Nose Attack are a regular feature here and that's because I regurarly attend their gigs, stand-alone, or support sets. But that was not all. What was really special this time was that they would be appearing on the same bill as The Black Keys, a band that they themselves have admitted that they've been influenced by (apart from the obvious similarities like two members in both cases). And from what I saw on the web the following day, they did get to meet The Black Keys backstage and take several wonderful photos with them! So that was a support set I definitely did not want to miss. And I didn't. They played a very good set as usual (with stunning and "fiery" visual effects) and yes, "That Girl" was included although Elena Pitoulis could not be found in the audience to do it with. Oh and they debuted their new gear having ditched the navy "Paint It Blue" design in preparation for their new album which will be called, as they announced, ahem... "69". Oh and the forthcoming tour is pizza-themed, pizza being the band's favourite kind of fuel...

Before they left they stage they told us to watch out for the next band 1000Mods. I will admit that maybe the heat and the sun blazing down on us at that time was not the ideal setting for the "stoner rock" (as other blogs have called it) that they play, but even if you were not impressed by it you would have to admit that they really know how to get the most out of their instruments!

"We're The Black Angels and we're from Texas" announced the next band and as the sun was gradually going down and the heat started to dissipate we were happy that we were going to listen to some southern rock.

It was dark when the time for The Black Keys finally came and before they came on stage we realized that the organizers were determined to turn this into a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the festival with the laser projections targeted at the hills behind us.
All these were forgotten when The Black Keys did come on stage. We did not care anymore whether the audience was young or old whether they had gone too far into the mainstream or from which album the songs they were playing were. They delivered a great set that included not only songs from "Turn Blue", their latest album, but also my favourite "Run Right Back" and of course "Lonely Boy" for those who only knew that song.

What we did not get was an encore, because the organizers decided that they would come up on stage instead in order to receive our applause for their 20th anniversary. 

The projections screens informed us that the organizers team was thanking us. I'm sorry, but the feeling is not completely mutual. For the last 10 years we have been forced to travel to the end of nowhere to see our favourite artists (when they are our favourite artists and not some who have agreed to play for less money). Not to mention that when concerts were cancelled due to band members health reasons (understandable), no effort was made to reschedule them at a later date or the following year even though those artists were still on tour in Europe (The Rolling Stones and Depeche Mode come to mind). Or how about rescheduling a gig not only from a convenient venue (Olympic Stadium) to a far-off one (Terra Vibe) but also on a different date (I am of course referring to Roger Waters in 2013, although thankfully that decision was overturned after complaints and actions by the ticket holders). So remember dear organizers, it's not about you, no matter how many years you are celebrating, it's about The Black Keys and all the other bands we came to see. If you do your job properly we will be more than thankful every time...


Puta Volcano
01. Black Sand
02. New Song
03. Rockability
04. Indri
05. Indigos and Vulgars
06. Raindance
07. Await
08. Fou
09. The Sun

The Big Nose Attack
01. A Bite to Eat
02. All by Myself
03. Yeah! (That Girl)
04. Drunk & Gibberish
05. Adam & Eve
06. Left Alone
07. Wild Cherry
08. Down With Me

01. 7 Flies
02. Road to Burn
03. Claws
04. Low
05. Vultures
06. Set You Free
07. Big Beautiful
08. Vidage
09. El Rollito
10. Super Van Vacation

The Black Angels
01. Entrance Song
02. The Sniper at the Gates of Heaven
03. Yellow Elevator #2
04. Black Grease
05. Evil Things
06. The Prodigal Sun
07. You on the Run
08. Waterloo Waltz
09. Indigo Meadow
10. Better Off Alone
11. I Dreamt
12. Bloodhounds on My Trail
13. Bad Vibrations
14. Young Men Dead
15. Molly Moves My Generation

The Black Keys
01. Dead and Gone
02. Next Girl
03. Run Right Back
04. Same Old Thing
05. Gold on the Ceiling
06. Strange Times
07. Nova Baby
08. Leavin' Trunk
09. Too Afraid to Love You
10. Howlin' for You
11. I Got Mine
12. Money Maker
13. Gotta Get Away
14. She's Long Gone
15. Fever
16. Tighten Up
17. Your Touch
18. Lonely Boy
19. Little Black Submarines