Wednesday, 21 October 2020

The Big Nose Attack homecoming gig

How about a free gig on a Saturday night? Sounds good, right? This is what happened last year at the end of September and this was a gig that I actually decided to go to at the last moment. The Big Nose Attack were playing in Athens, not just anywhere in Athens, but in Brahami, the district the district they grew up in, went to school in and the one which they call "home". The gig was taking place at the district´s main square as part of a summer festival organized by the municipality. So the band were playing to an audience that included their parents friends, neighbours and former classmates as Boogie Man (not the drummer, the other one) said.

However, this time, the setup was different. It had been a long time (by my standards), since I had last seen The Big Nose Attack live. My last BNA gig was at the 2017 Music Highway Festival. In fact, 2018 was the first year in a very long time (probably since they had formed) that I hadn't been to a Big Nose Attack gig. This time, there were four musicians on stage: Apart from Boogie Man on guitar and vocals and Little Tonnie on drums there was also a conga player and a bass player (Bass! Bass! on The Big Nose Attack! Sacrilege?). 

Their fourth LP "Deader Than Disco" had come out the previous spring, which presented a bit of a change from their usual sound. Not really disco, but it definitely has a 70's feel with just 8 tracks, each more than 5 minutes long. It was the first time that I heard those songs, but they mixed them up with older favourites from their three previous albums. Meanwhile, I had the chance to walk a few meters to the nearby kiosk on the edge of the square, buy a can of beer, then go back to enjoy my alcohol listening to the music of the band.

At the end of the gig. seeing as the local metro station is also located at the square, I grabbed the last train home, to end a Saturday night filled with wonderful music having spent only the equivalent of a (large) can of beer. 

Nowadays, with no gigs, I drink my beers at home...

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

The Monochrome Set live in Athens September 2019

I remembered The Monochrome Set from the early 80's. Back then they had come, together with another band (The Passage) from the same label (Cherry Red) in Athens for a gig. I was too young to go then, but a few years later I bought theirs and The Passage's records of that period ("Eligible Bachelors" and "Degenerates" respectively) in Monastiraki, the flea market area of Athens. Unfortunately The Passage are no longer with us, but The Monochrome Set are still active so this was an ideal chance to see them. The circumstances reminded me of what had happened the year before when I returned to Athens from my holidays in Santorini to immediately go to a Chemical Brothers gig. This time I returned from my holidays in Antiparos to see The Monochrome Set.

Ticket for gigs at An Club are usually not sold online beforehand, so I arrived very early in order to ensure I got in. (As it turned out later, I needn't have bothered because not many people had shown up). In fact I arrived so early that An Club was still closed and I had time to grab a souvlaki from nearby Exarchia Square. As I was returning from the square with my souvlaki in hand I noticed, Bid (real name Ganesh Seshadri), having a drink outside the club! I finished my souvlaki, got my ticket and went inside, in time to catch the support act, Cosmonuts, a Greek prog band. There were a nice surprise, so nice in fact, that I bought their EP "Holidays In Andromeda" at their merchandise stand, after their set, sold to me by the lead singer himself!

After that it was time for The Monochrome Set. Second in the set, was "The Jet Set Junta" my favourite song from "Eligible Bachelors". The band played on but it was not the singer, it was the keyboard player who stole the show, looking a lot like Jesus. He even went on to "bless" the audience. As I've said before, not many people showed up, but those of us who were there had a great time!

So that was the first indoor gig of the autumn of 2019. There would be another open air gig though, before we went back "inside"

01. Super Plastic City
03. Alphaville
05. I Can’t Sleep 
06. Ruling Class
07. I Feel Fine
08. Rest, Unquiet Spirit
09. Walking With The Beast
10. Maisieworld 
12. Jack
13. Summer Of The Demon
14. Mating Game
15. Mrs Robot
16. Cowboy Country
17. The Z Train
19. Eine Symphonie Des Grauens
21. He’s Frank