Tag Archives: European Tour 2012

LAST SHOW OF 2012: RICH ROBINSON

Last night I attended the last show of the year. I couldn’t foresee it’d be Rich Robinson the performer, considering I flew to Amsterdam to see him on stage. But life’s full of surprises, and there he was, right in front of me and about 200 people, at the best venue in town, Bikini.

Rich had already played live in Spain at a festival, but most audience didn’t get quite satisfied. I knew that was gonna happen. One hour is not enough for the kind of setlist combining songs with jamming he usually plans, and seems that they were starting to warm up when it was time to finish.

Probably this was one of the reasons Bikini wasn’t too crowded, playing in Spain 6 months earlier meant a toll.

People complain about his lack of presence and charisma as a frontman. To start with, Robinson is mainly a guitarist, and actually a great one. The feeling and class he has when playing, his amazing skills when using the slide are worth enjoying and observing. I remember his huge hands shocked me in Amsterdam. It happened the same last night.

Rich Robinson

He left his Gretsch’s at home this time and played another 5 guitars, among them a white SG Gibson, and the rest were these James Trussart’s custom guitars. Stunning pieces, by the way.

He’s really a shy guy, do not interact with audience that much and has this strong complicity with keyboard player, Steve Molitz, who is just the opposite, a very histrionic guy, passionate, wide smiling and pure nerve. Observing the way they were interacting, Rich needed Molitz to reassure himself on stage.

The rest of the band seem to be super comfy on stage. Mr Crabman, Joe Magistro, on drums, provides a solid rhythmic part together with Brian Allen, and the arrangements of Dan Wistrom, who usually plays with Jonny Kaplan in the US, with pedal steel are fabulous.

Dan Wistrom

Set list changed from the show I had attended in February. Opening was quite similar, with Gone Away, Station Man , It’s Not Easy and marvelous Lost and Found. I missed Standing at the Surface of The Sun, which was quite an allegorical time in Amsterdam, but it was balanced with the epic jam of War Drums, again being the closing song for the show. Truth is that length was reduced, but still audience could enjoy was a Rich Robinson show had to be, and the impressions were very positive in general. Everybody, including those who got disappointed at the festival, was quite happy with the show, forgiving the fact that Rich is not a great frontman. I don’t care, I wasn’t looking for a copy of his brother, nor any David Lee Roth. I was expecting to enjoy the performance of a guy who wrote such an intimate album as Through A Crooked Sun, thus I didn’t want any histrionic behavior from his side. It met my expectations again.

steve molitz

Thus, with Rich Robinson, my live shows period has come to an end, at least in 2012. Can’t complain, I’ve attended approx 50 shows, 4 of them being festivals including several performances. I’ve won some tickets in contests, such as Rancid, Lee Fields or Rich Robinson, I’ve been invited by some promoters such as Teenage Head Music and On The Road, and Orange Goblin got me a couple of freebies to attend their show at Sonisphere, so definitely I have no complaints at the end of the day. Hopefully I will post my list of shows this year. Very good stuff, and great bands on the road. Again,  2012 has been an excellent year in music. Great!

ALBUM OF WEEK 43 – ALGIERS, & CALEXICO ON STAGE

Few weeks ago, Arturo, one of my gig partners in crime I knew thanks to a music forum I regularly visit, told me had a spare ticket for the live show Calexico was offering in November. He had purchased the ticket right after they were available, however he received another ticket for as a birthday present. Instead of putting it for sale and acquainted with my musical tastes, he thought it was a good idea to invite me to the show, a very promising one, convinced I’d likely enjoyed it.

To be honest I had never listened to any single chord of this band till Arturo confirmed the ticket was mine unless I was horrified by their music. Facing such offer I felt immediately pushed to listen to Calexico, and the opening record to start with them was Algiers, their last album, released in September.

It took me half a song to realize Calexico was thousands of miles far from what I expected. I don’t know, I misjudged for their name and thought they were kind of Oi! Reggae ska , or something like that. Guess I mistook them for a band named Dr Calypso. I know…sometimes I think I live in a different planet.

Well, as I was telling, when I started hearing Epic, a super suggestive and atmospheric song, I knew Calexico was something classy and special. In fact, the first word I have in mind when trying to define the band’s style is elegance, and then I’d add their music is a combinations of different sounds, moving from Americana-folkie  to Mexican-border mariachi stuff. Guess my definition is not very helpful to define their style, so you should listen songs such as Puerto or No Te Vayas to undertand what I mean. Brass arrangements and the mighty percussions, adorned with shakers, maracas, in a very old school fashion. Beautiful!

Algiers moves through intense and  relaxing stages, more emotional, as Para or Fortune Teller, more easy going as Algiers or Splitter.  Vocals are carefully taken care of, showing beautiful melodies, supported by work on every single detail. Drums, bass, guitars, trumpets, accordions, lap steels… the amount of instruments used to achieve sound perfection is overwhelming. The work behind this album has been a very dedicated one, no doubt.

Considering some parts are under a strong Latin influence, which I’m not very acquainted with, and usually not interested in, the general impression is that Algiers is probably one of the best albums released this year. PERIOD.

I was so impressed Algiers became the album of the week, as in preparation of what was to come on Sunday.

After Saturday off, meaning free of any scheduled show, I spent writing, baking cookies and chilling out, having rested from this intense week, I was in the mood for enjoying some music for my senses. You know, a show you’re delighted by the music, and admiring the performance on stage, the way the musicians were displayed, they changed instruments, from the point of view of a person who is barely acquainted with the band. I just knew Algiers was fantastic, however I wasn’t too much sure of what was going to happen.

We were 5 of the rock troop eventually, Elena and I were the rookies, while the other three guys were every enthusiastic for seeing this band.

We had been told Apolo theatre was sold out the night The Gaslight Anthem played, however, the audience outnumbered, and the venue was packed. Probably more tickets were on sale, because it was the kind of show bookers know people are not to jump, stage dive, nor get crazy. I thing average age was 40, with people in their 50s and some proud dads with their older children.

The show was very interesting. Epic, the opening song of Algiers, was also chosen for a perfect start. The set list included some tracks of their new album, such as Para, Splitter or Puerto, and there were several in which the Spanish singer Amparo (Amparanoia), who I can’t stand much, was accompanying with some relevant moments. Her voice is powerful and matches perfectly all this Latin sound Calexico is trying to provide their songs with, however as an artist on stage, I loathed her. I know I’m tough. She made a good job, but in my opinion, seeking for extra attention, very noticeable and forced.

 One of the nice suprises they give me was they covered Love’s song Alone Again Or. Been ages since I don’t listen to Forever Changes, and brought me back tons of memories from my teenage days.

With encores, the progression and consequently extension of certain songs, the show lasted almost 2 hours, with all the audience, me included, enthusiastic.

Attending this Calexico show made me think of me becoming more and more open minded, and digesting certain sounds in a very positive manner, something I wouldn’t have thought of 5 years ago. Thus, guess I’m growing up, not only in age and size, but also musically speaking, and have to say I’m proud of it. On the other hand, finishing this last crazy week attending such show made me really happy.

Damn, it was a great week, and I’ve managed to survive.

** Thanks a lot, Arturo. I Owe U

AND THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM FINALLY TURNED THE RECORD OVER…

Last Thursday was a rough day. Euphoria and fun from the previous night turn into massive hangover, which made it difficult to endure at work, but I’m a pro, and finally managed to recover. I must admit a warm shower at lunch time also helped, and as the day was advancing, the excitement of the upcoming evening was getting noticeable.

Again, the rock troop was gathering at the meeting point for the pre-show beers, and everybody looked as motivated as I was. Yeah, we all were in the mood.

We had heard some rumors about Apolo theatre sold out. If that was the case, tickets were quite limited. Truth is that the venue was packed, much more than the night before. It was a nice surprise to discover that, apart from people in their 20s, older generations’ presence was remarkable. Probably this fact is one of the things I like most of The Gaslight Anthem: their sound is young, their lyrics are more adult oriented, and the influences for the band are classic artists and bands we’ve also been growing up with.

Mae was the atmospheric intro which led to the overwhelming first part of the show: The ’59 Sound, Handwritten, Old White Lincoln and “45”. The audience was insane almost levitating in happiness. We all thought this was going to be an epic set based on hits.

Unfortunately the setlist became irregular right after Here Comes  My Man. The fact that Fallon was quite talkative, interacting with the audience, unfortunately contributed to more empty spaces with radical change in rhythm and  people seemed to be quite confused at some point, and even distracted. I don’t know, they focused on mellower tunes very early when we were all demanding hits and energy I guess.

The band recovered the pulse as they were getting closer to the end, and The Backseat, the song that closes The ’59 Sound, was also chosen for finishing the core of the show, before the encore, which was demolishing, with She Loves You, Mulholland Drive, 1930, American Slang and Great Expectations. This time the band covered Bob Dylan’s Changing of the Guards, which didn’t get me crazy as in the previous show in 2011, when they played State of Love and Trust.

If I had to rate the show, it’d be 7,5-8/10. This could have been a memorable show, because the band is at its best, they’ve found their sound, much more solid this time, and although I don’t think the extra guitarist’s contribution is quite remarkable, the truth is that with his support, Brian Fallon looks more comfortable and can focus on the vocals more properly. The members of the band, however, are overshadowed by their frontman, who takes control and provides the band with the charisma the other members seem to lack of, or perhaps aren’t interested in putting up front. It’s a pity American Slang’s presence was reduced to almost nothing, because, even though I don’t think it’s their best, includes many great worthy hits. Finally, the creation of the set list and the order of songs arranged was their biggest mistake. The distribution of tempos and rhythms was irregular and as explained, left a bitter taste in all of us.

Witnessing their increasing popularity and the path they’re advancing by, I’m sure next time they visit us, the venues they’ll be playing at will be bigger and colder, because right now they’re one step behind the mainstream. I’m glad about them, not so much for me as a fan, but have to admit, when being surrounded by youngsters I felt relieved thinking part of the new generations will keep rock alive when I can’t do it anymore.

The show wasn’t perfect, I wasn’t looking for perfection anyway, I just wanted to have fun, yell songs as if I was a teenager, and sharing these moments with my friends, and that’s exactly what I did. I know eventually I’ll attend one of their shows in the future and will feel overwhelmed, because I can feel they’re actually evolving and improving, and hell, they got a bunch of anthems many would sell their souls for having them.

Thus I can say that In The Gaslight Anthem I Trust regardless, with the strong belief that this tiny turning click of the engine to take them to the top is about to happen.

If you feel curious and have time for more videos, I strongly recommend you to visit my friend rocknrollmfs Youtube channel, his stuff is terrific.

 

THE MELONS IN BARCELONA

It was half year ago when Blind Melon tour dates calling Spanish cities were confirmed. I didn’t stop and think twice and purchased the ticket as soon as they were available thinking of the possibility of being sold quickly out after the amazing and emotive show many of us lived at Azkena Rock Festival in 2008.

Unfortunately I was wrong. I didn’t have in mind on one hand that we’re not in the 1990’s anymore and many of their former fans are in many cases pater familiae or just forgot about their rock past, and on the other that people get very passionate in festivals, but in real life with just one time in their music curriculum is enough of the experience, and considering the wide offer of shows in Barcelona this month, the economy tightness affecting everybody and many other circumstances, Apolo theatre was at barely 2/3 of its capacity. Pity!

I have to admit I almost sold my ticket, fearing this show wouldn’t be as special as the previous one, and because wasn’t ready for disappointment of any sort coming from a band I’ve loved so much. I told you in my previous post that I was more excited for seeing Abandon Jalopy, and this was the main reason, FEAR. I had a buyer already and almost sold it, also for the money to allow me to buy another ticket for another show, but at the end of the day someone convinced me not to make such a terrible mistake I’d probably would regret for the rest of my life.

The previous night I had attended Jim Wilson’s and mighty Dan Baird’s show after being invited by Manny, their European tour manager. It was completely unexpected and I really enjoyed the show, especially Baird’s. My soul brother Gonzalo is a diehard fan and I just had seen Baird with The Georgia Satellites many years ago, and his solo project also long ago, thus it was a great surprise and I loved the performance from top to bottom. Very powerful show, pure rock and balls.

After the show I was having a beer and something to eat at our meeting point, a bar named Can Eusebio, which has Budweiser and bravas (Spanish potatoes in mayo and spicy sauce) on special offer. Jonny Kaplan, Brad Smith and Kevin Haaland were having tapas like craze, and both Jonny and Brad stood up to greet me and they introduced me to Chris (Thorn!). They told me about their day off, changing hotels and taking it easy before the Big Night.

As I’ve always been a bit cheeky, in a good sense, and was a great opportunity, I threw this question to Brad: What were we to expect from Blind Melon on Wednesday?

The answer was that we wouldn’t get disappointed, and they had decided an hour and fifteen-twenty minutes set. “Make it one thirty”, I said, making him laugh. It was going to make us enjoy and travel back in time, thus I read For My Friends album wasn’t to be much present.

Wednesday arrived and I was nervous anyway, very optimistic after my chat with Brad. I knew for sure i was going to enjoy, still I was afraid to lose the emotion I experienced years back. Nah! Unnecessary worries which diminish thanks to Jonny Kaplan’s songs during his opening act. The rhythm, the set list, the vibe, the attitude of Blind Melon and the atmosphere were perfect, surrounded by the regular troop I’m usually joining for the shows, I couldn’t ask for more.

The band chose Soup’s 2 X 4 to open the night, however the set list was mostly based on their debut album, Blind Melon including 9 songs, from Change and Sleepy House, to Soak The Sin, No Rain or Paper Scratcher. The absence of songs from Nico, with only Soup, and For My Friends, was balanced with 6 songs from Soup. Mouthful of Cavities really gave me the creeps, Skinned sounded awesome, and closing the show with Galaxie, in my humble opinion, was the best decision ever. It’s great to see the band supports Brad Smith’s project, who invited his pal Kevin to come up on stage to play the beautiful I Won’t Be The Same as the first encore song. I have to say this songs really moves me, and I can’t keep it out of my head these days. I’d say it’s in my top #3 singles of the year. Honest.

I don’t have many complaints about Travis Warren’s performance even though I must admit I tried to avoid looking at him. Sorry but I can’t. I know it has to be way too hard to stand overshadowed by Shannon Hoon’s eternal presence, and due to the general not so enthusiastic response of people to For My Friends, he had this, we could say, emotional outburst, which led him to leave the band some years ago. I can understand what he did in some way, but Hey! He knew the story of Blind Melon, he’s the personification of Hoon from voice and  melodic style to tattoos in his body, so justification for his actions is not acceptable. Probably this has to do with the feeling I’ve had, reading many comments posted these days in different sites and forums, killed the possibility of the band going on with Blind Melon and record more albums. Hope I’m mistaken, but apart from nostalgic tours, I can’t see further actions. And I don’t blame them. In fact, I’m very proud and excited with Abandon Jalopy, and as I’ve heard, there are already many tracks ready for a second album. Crossing my fingers wishing to have it delivered to my Hellhouse really soon.

Anyway, after a perfect show with souvenir included (Thorn‘s pick), the night went on to be perfect in booze and fun, and to take it to the top, I crossed Brad, Chris and Kevin on my way home, so I could thanks them for coming, congratulate them for the incredible show they offered, and warmly wish them the best in the most appropriate manner…with the feeling of saying goodbye to good friends.

These 3 days with the Melons around have been unforgettable. I could get used to have them around in the city as neighbors. How cool would that be, huh?

Thank you guys! Come back soon!

FIRST ROUND: JONNY KAPLAN AND ABANDON JALOPY

The hottest gig week in the year started on Monday, with two acoustic sets I knew they weren’t to disappoint me: on one hand good vibes California suntanned hippie rider Jonny Kaplan, and on the other, the portable version of Abandon Jalopy, Brad Smith’s new project aside mighty Blind Melon, with Kevin Haaland. It’d be too obvious to say the show was a blast, but I have to.

You might think I’m crazy, but I was more excited with Abandon Jalopy’s show than with Blind Melon’s…I’ll explain why later.

On Monday, in front of barely 25 people, Jonny opened the evening with the only companion of his acoustic guitar, and sometimes the assistance of his harp. He introduced some songs to be included in his upcoming album, due to unknown date hopefully in 2012. As he put into words, he was looking for a set filled up with mellow tunes, thus, when I suggested Ride Free to be played on the encore, he said precisely that one was totally forbidden, in order not to break the vibe. Still, I couldn’t complain because he played Seasons right after my request, and said thanks to me at the end of the song! Should be ME thanking!

There were two remarkable moments during this show. On one hand a new beautiful song named The Child Is Gone, featuring Kevin and Brad of Abandon Jalopy, which was pretty intense and on the other hand, to realize that the story of Damaged was also my story. Good ol’ Jonny, another storyteller. I never get tired of him, and this time playing solo, was as solid as with a band. Kaplan is a rolling stone for real, so experienced and positive, he doesn’t need support of any sort to attract all our attention and conquer audiences. I can’t recall how many times I’ve seen him playing, probably 7 or 8, he’s always fantastic.

Second part of the show was pretty as short as amazing. Being in Spain prior to Blind Melon tour shows in our country, it was a good opportunity to advance and appetizer of what an Abandon Jalopy full band show might be in the future after the good reception of the beautiful album Death & Joy. Unfortunately those self labeled as Blind Melon diehard fans didn’t make it to the show on Monday, and it’s not acceptable to excuse saying the show was on Monday. It was a shame we were so few. Of course all the attendants were delighted with this set.

I Won’t Be The Same was the starter, with Shannon Hoon’s memory refreshed in our memories as, according to Brad, the song was inspired in his loss. Absolutely thrilling.

Brad Smith’s voice was stunning, and wonderful arrangements made by Haaland on guitar, sometimes including slide, made of this acoustic set something quite unique and special.

Up till Now, Love Has a Way, a cover of I Won’t Get Down, a revised version of Black Cloud, pretty cool actually, and 5 more songs, left us begging for more.

Forgetting an awkward moment caused by “someone” who gave Brad my former Blind Melon’s Soup vinyl for signing, right next to me (shit like that hurts and it’s lame), the aftershow was fantastic with the guys completely easy access. Kaplan is like an old friend you meet from time to time and everything is fun and easy, and I’m really happy after realizing how humble and adorable Brad Smith is. We were meeting at bars and streets for three days and he always spent some time having chats with me. As I said to him, I could get used to having them around. Wonderful people, both Kaplan and the Jalopy-Melons. I can’t wait to see them back in town.

AND FINALLY HA HA TONKA PLAYED HERE

Oh dears! This Sunday’s been rough. I had such a great time last night, hangover has been merciless to me and I’ve been dumber and lower than usual. In my head I had plenty of things planned which I’ve been unable to accomplish, and I feel kind of frustrated now. I thought taking a break from going out at nights and reducing the booze was fine, but after this hangover I confirm my forced retirement from night life is definitely something positive.

Anyway, the night was a blast. Finally Ha Ha Tonka, the guys from Springfield, Missouri, came to Barcelona to offer a wonderful show at Rocksound. I told you about their last album, Death of a Decade, some weeks ago. I voted for it among my top 5 albums of year 2011.

It’s true the rainy night didn’t help, but that wasn’t reason enough to justify we were only 25 people attending the show. Very sad. The wide offer of life shows in town is overwhelming, and it’s impossible to attend all of them, considering the rough times we’re living, even though the price of tickets are reasonably affordable.

At least I gotta admit I feel very proud of myself  for managing to convince some friends to give a try to the band, and then make  it to the show, because nobody was disappointed and the band deserved it.

Death of a Decade was chosen to break this unfriendly night, creating a warm atmosphere and getting the audience very packed and close to the stage. The band based their set on their last album, although they recover few songs of his previous work, Buckle in the Bible Belt.

Voices were what impressed me most last night. On one hand the voice of the lead singer Brian Roberts, very solid and rich, and on the other the work on double voices and melodies from all the members of the band. Love bands in which all sing, and in this case the intensity the 4 voices created was magic. This moment when the four guys were singing a capella only with Anderson’s mandolin as their guide was wicked.

The more I listen to this instrument the more I like it. With his mandolin, it was as if Brett Anderson’s was bringing us back to the rooted Missouri, you could feel these folks’ passion for their tradition.

The show was quite short, or at least we all missed few more songs in the setlist. I think the band was pretty stoked by the reaction of the audience during and after the show. We all went to talk to them, they signed up records, took pictures with us, and I could have a nice small talk and a shot of Jager with Lennon, the drummer, very good vibes! Special mention to the merch guy, Mark. One of the hugest men I’ve ever met, his moustache was awesome.

While stuffing the van, despite the rain, Roberts took his old guitar and started playing and singing Death of a Decade in the middle of the street. Awesome! Pity they couldn’t stay for some drinks, and perhaps more songs, they guys had to be up at 6AM on Sunday to drive till Zurich!

The future of these hard working guys is promising. I’m not really sure about seeing them again considering the poor audience in most of the shows in Spain, but I bet that, in future occasions, when they’ll get proper attention from media, they’ll play in front of larger crowds, at bigger venues, and then only 25 will be able to say “When nobody knew them I was there”. I’ll be one of those.

Good luck guys! It was a great pleasure.

FU MANCHU VOWS RENEWED WITH THE ACTION IS GO!

Some months ago I told you about me attending Fu Manchu’s The Action is Go 15th anniversary show in London. Well, as it’s always been said, what’s worth enjoying takes its time to arrive, and once here, the pleasure it causes is very intense but too brief.

I purchased tickets for this show mentioned early March, and since then many things have occurred. The event took place on Saturday evening, and I’m already back home, relived after resting in my own bed (God bless!). 36 hours invested in London, just to see one of my favorite bands’ live show. Likely you think I’m nuts, and this has been an excess, a whim, but you know, this is the way I am, and this show was something I couldn’t miss, for many reasons, some of them personal, as to close a circle which started in London, in 1999. You can call it nostalgia for the good old times. I won’t disagree. As explained, my love for Fu Manchu started with this album.

Everything had been quietly arranged in advance, with my favorite gig flash trip partner, Verónica, who’s also devoted to the Orange County boys. A low cost stay in London for a couple of nights being Saturday the day to wander around. I’ll explain about meeting London later on, because I have many feelings which need to be processed first.

Saturday arrived and we spent most of the day walking and enjoying one of the coolest and most beautiful days I’ve ever remembered in the city. We’re not used to early scheduled shows and as the doors opening were announced at 6pm, we managed to be around early, so we could be told the actual hours and the name of the supporting band.

I also had a very important target to accomplish, which was to purchase the limited re-edition of The Action is Go gatefold album, in red and blue vinyl. I HAD to have it, since I wanted it for so many years, and wouldn’t allow it to run out in front of my eyes. I’d feel miserable. So I had to make sure I could get it and keep things under strict control. After a beer at a pub nearby, with full of people watching soccer and long haired guys in rock-metal t-shirts likely to be also attending the show, we got in the venue.

I was frisked in a way I had to ask the security lady what she was looking for. She didn’t care about my camera, but opened and registered my wallet, looking for drugs (!!!). I couldn’t believe it.

Once in and after our visit to the merch stand, we were finally ready for the show. The Shrine, a Venice Beach trio, were the opening band. This punk-hard-heavy-metal-rock band, delivered several powerful tunes from his recently released album Primitive Blast, for half an hour, starting to warming up the audience, quite large, considering there was still an hour before Fu Manchu hit the stage. Their performance was really solid and the tunes were quite good. Wild riffs, very influenced by metal 70’s bands, and their song quite punk speed,  their formula is likely to hook many new fans during this tour, as they sounded very intense and fun, and songs were catchy. These young guys confessed being  pretty stoked for this  first time in Europe, and super honored to open for Scott Hill’s band.

Quarter past 8, Islington Academy sold out. Tony Alva’s aka The Action is Go skater’s anniversary design banner shining on top of the stage, everybody is nervous, we are in second row, in front of Brad Davis, the bass player, and we’re excited and hysterical.

It was kinda obvious the hit which would open the show, Evil Eye. In fact, they followed the correct track list, with no changes. The audience got crazy with Burning Road, Laserb’last and Strolling Astronomer, and I was delighted, singing and dancing nostop. Fortunately there was not massive mosh pit, as the last times I had seen them in Spain, and even though we received some shoves, it wasn’t too dramatic nor unbearable, and could remain in our current position for the whole show.

More fuzz and distortion than ever, Scott Hill and his poses, with his Fender Jaguar and his SSD classic see-through guitar, seemed to be really happy for being in London, as this is a very special city for them. Davis seemed more histrionic and funnier than usual, having Coronas all the time, Balch, as usual, playing his riffs in another planet, and, Oh God! Scott Reeder, the drummer (reminds me of Guy Pearce, by the way), playing sharp and accurate, yet with this groove, he was awesome. With the voice delay effect, the fuzz and other distort pedals beyond my knowledge, those slower tempo tunes, there were very lysergic moments creating a dreamy atmosphere. Some other times they were groove as Hell making audience dance merciless as if in a kind of celebration. So damn cool!

When they came back to stage to play the encore, we were all uncontrolled. Hill asked which songs we’d like them to play fo the night, and obviously we wanted all of them, but finally the winners were real Fu Manchu anthems: California Crossing, King of the Road, and the acid trip of Godzilla. What can I say? When the show was over, and the roadie guy attended my request of having Bob Balch’s set list (Hell Yeah!) I was plain and simply happy. I couldn’t care less about the rest of the world. I had seen Fu Manchu for the 9th time in my life and the show had been one of the most intense and fun I had enjoyed. The feeling of being in London, listening to The Action is Go songs, and then meeting Ben and Joe from Orange Goblin as it used to happen when I was living there, brought me back a familiar feeling as recovering those good old times I enjoyed in London 12-14 years ago. Time’s passed, but I had the same feelings and my mind was as fresh as young as back then. It was wonderful.

Thus, on Saturday I renewed my Fu Manchu fan vows for at least another 15 more years, and now it’s time to wait for a new album, said to be released next year, and the 15th anniversary of the wild King of the Road. In Spain? I don’t think so, the band seemed to lack motivation when playing if front of barely 100 people, and it’s justified they don’t feel like coming back here. Spain, musically speaking, and with pain in my heart, we get what we deserved, and sometimes even more.

Hail to Fu Manchu, one more time! Hope to see you soon, in London, Tokyo, LA… with you, anything goes, dear friends!