thebandsm1.jpg The Best Things In Life Are Free

The Afterglow

Date: 20/07/2006   —   Free   —   Music

product page

Rating:

As seems to be the norm I got the lethargy before the gig, which was surprising in one way because I’d been looking forward to the gig for some months and after the surgery saw it as being a date by which time I might be feeling a little better and more able to get out and about. The post-30 Baron though is made of sterner stuff and I know to conquer my incumbant sloth and get out there into the world. It is just as well I did.

I came across The Afterglow via myspace, since they spend a lot of time over in Italy this is quite a useful way for artists to get some airtime and I was pleased that the band’s myspace site offered their music for download so that I could listen to it at my leisure. Whilst they may be a band of Italians singing in English they are taken seriously enough to be working with producers like Steve Orton and have their music distributed through EMI. And I liked the music, a lot, it was just the right combination of rock and melody. I reviewed their second EP here and I wrote what I like to think were constructive and positive without being sycophantic comments about the songs they posted on the myspace site. Furthermore this gig was to be within throwing distance from home so it seemed only right and proper to give the band my support.

redsetsm.jpg

Playing a backwater pub and a specialist biker’s pub my be an interesting choice of venue but The Victoria is a friendly place if it’s website and consequent publicity is a little lacking. Support act for a more local band is also not exactly the stuff musicians dreams are made of but exposure is exposire after all. And besides, the venue was local for me so who am I to complain? The support slot is a variable one, over the years I’ve seen some really good bands play and some pretty poor ones as well, this is only the second time I’ve gone to a gig primarily to see the support since I saw Editors support Franz Ferdinand.

I stood somewhat alone at the soundcheck but the band played a couple of tracks and I tapped along. The drummer approached me afterwards and said “you seem to know some of our songs.” I replied that I did on account of having heard the tracks on myspace. “Are you Dom?” he asked, I replied naturally that I was and was subsequently greeted like an old friend by all of the band who then presented me with an advance copy of their album. It appears that my words of encouragement and reviews had been received warmly. I was slightly taken aback initially but delighted to be greeted thus and even more pleased to be invited to share dinner with them.

ragazzism.jpg

The band got up to play shortly after 9.30, they’d already bought me a drink and given me their album and first ep by this stage so I was in a good mood! Their set was 45 minutes and had the right mix of old stuff, new stuff, known stuff and unknown stuff. 4 out of the 9 tracks in their set are unreleased so even the die-hard fan will have something new. ‘All Of You’ their opening track is a foot stomper which I hadn’t heard before, then on to the familiar ‘Things I’ve Lost’ and ‘Journey’ followed by what seems to be one of the band’s old songs ‘Pride’. The musical style is good solid rock base with more accoustic verses, heavier in the Middle 8 and refrains. Dave’s accoustic guitar compliments Mik’s much heavier electric style whilst David on bass clearly has the talent and ambition to play good complicated bass rhythms.

At the opening to ‘Love’ the first single of the band’s that I came across, lead singer Dave dedicated the song to me personally as, “a new friend”, it was a touching gesture and if the band do manage to make it big and start playing stadia in the future it’ll be the moment I bore all my friends with for years to come. ‘Love’ is real single material, very catchy, and happens to have a video with some foxy chicks in it as well which never goes amiss!

I hadn’t heard ‘Guilty Lover’ before, it’s catchy and funkier than most of the other songs and it’s definitely worth keeping in the set, hopefully it’ll make an appearance on a future EP or the myspace site, well worth a listen. The backend of the set was ‘Supermarket’ from the forthcoming album followed by ‘Clown’ another of the band’s older songs. Finally they rounded of with ‘Nothing Happened’ which is also off the new album. The sound was right for the pub, they played the more load and upbeat of their tracks the set didn’t include the very excellent ‘Easy’ but in this venue at least it probably wasn’t missed by any but the afficianados.

theband2sm.jpg

I like the fact that the live performance is not a formulaic rehash of studio songs but a proper performance of the songs with all the nuances that a live performance should bring. One also has to bear in mind that to the band’s credit they were playing in sweltering heat under bright stagelights, it was sweaty for us watching, one can only imagine what it must have been like up there.

If the British can overcome their usual suspicion of anything foreign they will find The Afterglow very much in the tradition of their own rock music. There is a stream of bands that have fallen foul of this snobbish prejudice and the number of hits from outside the native anglophone world has been disproportionally minimal to the talent out there.

Of course such an evening’s wining and dining could lead to accusations of me being “embedded” with the band in the same way that US and UK journalists had travelled with the military during the invasion of Iraq, however I would like to think that I still have enough integrity left to be objective in my reviews, besides I was spared the quandry since the performance more than lived up to expectations and I can therefore, with a clear conscience, urge anyone near Camden Town and Liverpool over the next couple of days to go and see them and those in Oxford and London to keep in mind the September gigs, for the sort of small amount of money you are likely to have to pay if at all there is no question The Afterglow are probably the best value currently on the circuit.

Original Comments:


kevin g made this comment,
Concert sounded, from your review, as amazing. I’ve never heard of this band before, will have to study up on them. Thanks! Happened to tag using That Petrol Emotion, and your site came up, so I stopped by.

-Redbaron responds- Thanks for stopping by Kevin, any fan of That Petrol Emotion is a fan of mine, smashing group sadly missed. If you liked ‘Chemicrazy’ then I think you’d like The Afterglow a lot. If you go to their myspace site on the ‘more information’ link at the top of this review then you can download their songs for free and see what you reckon.-

comment added :: 22nd July 2006, 03:43 GMT+01

Advertisements