Friday, 29 May 2015

Boxing Day with The Big Nose Attack

More festive fun, the day after Christmas with The Big Nose Attack. I had seen them only two months before, at the end of the summer at the same venue on their Vinyl Release Party. However, I missed their big hit "Yeah! (That Girl)" because... well because I was outside drinking beers with friends (They shouldn't have played it so early in the set). So, now, this was a chance to rectify that mistake. So, I got there early, secured a good place and I was ready!
Well, not early enough, I missed the first band, Drunken Gramophone, but I was lucky enough to catch the second one, Underjoyed with an incredible stage presence by lead singer Athena.

Time for The Big Nose Attack next with a stunning revelation: Boogie Man was down with tonsilitis! But that didn't stop him from appearing and his voice sounded as good as ever. Maybe the tea (or so he claims) he kept drinking on stage helped. "Don't worry, it's not contagious" he said, and at that point I noticed there was a big gap in the crowd in front of the stage at the point where Boogie Man was standing... :LOL:

I was happy to listen to them mix "Spare Some Change" with "Seven Nation Army" and yes, they moved "That Girl" towards the end of the set. But who was that girl with them on stage?

They even played songs from their forthcoming new album. This means that the "blue theme" is one its way out and I, for one, will miss that guitar...
However I look forward to seeing them tomorrow at this year's Rockwave Festival supporting one of their favourite bands: The Black Keys
And so, another year ended with a Big Nose Attack gig. For some strange reason my last gig of every year and the first of every year is a Big Nose Attack (or a Down & Out one). Also the first post of every year on this blog is a Big Nose Attack one. Weird...
And as you will notice from the next post coming up in a few days, the first gig of the new year also featured The Big Nose Attack...

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Christmas with Nouvelle Vague

Christmas eve. That time of the year most people want to spend at home with friends or at another friend's house. Or maybe out having an expensive(ish) dinner... We decided to spend our Christmas eve with Nouvelle Vague. In a way, this was also a night out with friends. But who are these friends? First of all the songs. Old friends from the late 70's and early 80's with who we grew up with. But also Nouvelle Vague themselves, who've been playing live in Greece every year for the last 10 years as they admitted during the gig. (I have actually seen them 5 times: 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and this time, 2014. Once every two years and this time it was the first that I saw them sooner and also the first on an even-numbered year!).
There was no support band, instead there was a DJ set by Greek radio DJ Liana Mastathi. This sounded promising, but because of the low volume, its duration and (some people say) bad choice of songs, the audience soon grew tired of it.
We forgot all about that though, when Nouvelle Vague came on stage. They started with what is considered a rarity for them, "One Hundred Years" (originally by The Cure). But afterwards all the favourites were there, some in different versions: "Master And Servant", "Dancing With Myself", "The Guns Of Brixton", "Just Can't Get Enough", "Friday Night Saturday Morning", Too Drunk To F*ck" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart".

Then they came back with an encore. After "Escape Myself" we all took a selfie together
After that there was a very pleasant surprise with "Mala Vida" and the moment we've all been waiting for: "In A Manner Of Speaking"

Finally, it all ended with "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" and we all scattered into the Athens Christmas night, having enjoyed our best Christmas party ever!

Oh, and while were leaving we happened to glance at one of the walls of the venue and got an idea of which gig we would be attending in the new year...

01. One Hundred Years (The Cure cover)
02. Master and Servant (Depeche Mode cover)
03. Dancing With Myself (Generation X cover)
04. Ever Fallen in Love (Buzzcocks cover)
05. Metal (Gary Numan cover)
06. The Guns of Brixton (The Clash cover)
07. Human Fly (The Cramps cover)
08. Blue Monday (New Order cover)
09. Putain Putain (T.C. Matic cover)
10. Just Can't Get Enough (Depeche Mode cover)
11. Dance With Me (The Lords of the New Church cover)
12. Bela Lugosi's Dead (Bauhaus cover)
13. Friday Night Saturday Morning (The Specials cover)
14. Blister in the Sun (Violent Femmes cover)
15. Too Drunk To Fuck (Dead Kennedys cover)
16. Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover)

17. Escape Myself (The Sound cover)
18. Mala Vida (Mano Negra cover)
19. In A Manner Of Speaking (Tuxedomoon cover)
20. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (Eurythmics cover)

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Last Of The Famous Vegetarian Cowboys

I bought my ticket for the Morrissey concert in Athens back in September last year. So in order to prepare myself, during my trip to England for the Bryan Adams concert I had taken with me Morrissey's Autobiography as a reading companion.
Learning more about the man (more than I already knew from reading Record Mirror and Smash Hits during the 80's) before seeing him live would prove useful to me just before the concert started.
It wasn't so simple however. The concert was scheduled for the 5th of December (a Friday). Lots of people from all over Greece, even fans from abroad had bought tickets. However, as I was approaching the venue it was announced that the concert was postponed. The official explanation was that Morrissey had missed his flight to Athens. Not a lot of people believed that, especially with rumours circulating about his health. A few days passed without any further news and finally it was announced that the concert was rescheduled for December the 15th (a Monday). The original tickets would be valid and no refunds would be issued to those who could not attend. As you can understand, this made a lot of fans angry, especially those coming from other parts of Greece. The rescheduled date was not on a weekend so those few who still have jobs in today's Greece would not be able to make the trip. But even those who had the time, they could not afford to make the trip again. Some people claimed that these particular organizers have never issued a refund when something went wrong with a concert. I cannot verify that, but in my case I remember there was no refund issued when at the 2007 Ejekt Festival the headliners, Underworld, did not appear after they were attacked by rioters who set the venue on fire. However since I had attended that festival in order to see the two bands that appeared before them (Madness and The Beastie Boys) I did not really mind...
So it was that 10 days later I made my way to the venue once again to finally see Morrissey. There was no support band, but before he appeared several videos from his favourite artists were displayed (among them The Ramones and Penetration).

And that's where reading his Autobiography came handy, since it was in there that he described them and how they shaped his childhood and his musical tastes. It was interesting to note that one of these videos was a performance of "Don't Dictate" by Penetration which was one of the first new wave songs that I listened to back in 1979 in a compilation given by Greek music magazine "POP + ROCK".
And then Morrissey came on stage with a rousing version of "The Queen Is Dead" followed by his own debut single Suedehead.

Now, his latest album was a very good one in my humble opinion, one of the best of 2014. So i did not mind that he played several songs from it including the title track "World Peace Is None Of Your Business" which he renamed "World, Greece Is None Of Your Business". Thank you Steven!
Other highlights included my favourite "Every Day Is Like Sunday" and "Asleep" which I had a hunch it was one of the Smiths songs he would play on the night.
But what was embedded in most people's mind was the last song "Meat Is Murder" which was accompanied by an explicit video showing exactly how the animals that we eat are treated and killed. By looking at faces in the crowd while this video was playing I can bet there were several people who turned vegetarian on that night. You can say what you want about Morrissey, but you have to recognize that his beliefs are strong and he knows how to promote them.
But, this was not really the last song. He was back with an encore of "How Soon Is Now?" that brought the house down.
Upon leaving the venue it was ironic to notice all these canteens selling meat-based fast food. There is a rumour that in the past he has cancelled gigs because he could smell them inside the venue. Of course, nothing like this happened in Athens.
Ignoring the food smells, we started the long walk to Athens city centre since there was of course no public transport at that place. There was however a lot of beer...
01. The Queen Is Dead (The Smiths song)
02. Suedehead
03. Speedway
04. Kiss Me a Lot
05. Staircase at the University
06. I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
07. World Peace Is None of Your Business
08. Neal Cassady Drops Dead
09. One of Our Own
10. The Bullfighter Dies
11. Scandinavia
12. Yes, I Am Blind
13. Everyday Is Like Sunday
14. Smiler with Knife
15. Asleep (The Smiths song)
16. I'm Not a Man
17. Certain People I Know
18. Trouble Loves Me
19. Meat Is Murder (The Smiths song)
20. How Soon Is Now? (The Smiths song)