Ask and ye shall receive – Venice is saved

Although it baffled some people it seems that I’m not the only person who has heard of Rondò Veneziano’s La Serenissima. Some kind, but anonymous soul has sent me a link to the video in the comments field.

Anyone else remember this now?

Venice in Peril

Rondo Veneziano - Odissea VenezianaHave you ever had an image in your mind’s eye? An image so real it has to be a memory, albeit a memory whose origins are lost in the haze of youth.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve recalled an animation of Venice’s final moments where the watery city falls into the sea while a string quartet with smooth faces of reflective glass played a classical piece. Thanks to the magic of radio I’m no longer haunted.

A piece by Rondò Veneziano reminded me of the Live at 3 theme tune back from old school RTÉ. When I went searching about the band, I found out that my memory was a video for one of their songs.

Nice to know I wasn’t hallucinating.

It’s been Five Years

I approached last night’s gig with much trepidation; The Polyphonic Spree could either have been very good or absolutely terrible but before going onto them I have to describe the first band we saw.

Mull Historical Society, a Scottish band, were really happy and chirpy. Even though the lead singer’s mike was plagued by feedback problems for the first couple of songs, he just carried on with the keyboardist’s one and made light of the roadies running about the stage. They put on a very happy, rocky, almost 80’s sounding set which left me feeling uplifted and happy that I went to the gig regardless of how The Polyphonic Spree were.

A bit of a break later while more setup was going on The Polyphonic Spree came onto the stage. If you don’t know anything about the band, just imagine twenty five Texans in robes singing, jumping, playing instruments, and just being infectiously happy. Every song was just a glorious multi-layered mix of Pink Floyd, the Flaming Lips, and a gospel choir. Backed by videos of some of their bigger gigs, the dream sequence from the Big Lebowski, and Disney’s Robin Hood they weren’t so much a band as an experience. And as if all that wasn’t enough to sate, they did an encore in their spiffing Glastonbury red robes, finishing with some beautiful harping to make us sleepy. Wonderful.


Cover of "Radio Ga Ga"
Cover of Radio Ga Ga

Okay so I said that The Cooper Temple Clause were bloody brilliant but tonight’s gig surpassed even that. Electric Six were even better, surpassing all levels of the Ryan Rating System and bring about a new grade of gig coolness. They were “Fuckin’ Deadly”. They rocked pretty much with the stuff that I hadn’t heard, but once GayBar came on I found myself sucked into a pit of moshing joy from whence I didn’t emerge for an hour.

A mix of disco, heavy rock, punk, and a stage presence to rival Sir Lawrence Olivier made for the perfect gig to bounce around to like a mad thing and bounce around I did. I imagine I’ll be unable to walk in the morning but it was very much worth it. Especially with their well-timed monarch dissing, and the slightly ironic timing of their cover version of Radio Ga Ga, which confused the younger members of the audience.

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Powerwalking to Jesus

Yes I know it’s been a while, but I haven’t been to a gig in ages. Tonight was Harvest Time at the Portland Arms and, as usual, The Broken Family Band were headlining. It was a very poor turnout gigwise, with only myself and Red Setter attending, but turned out to be absolutely smashing.

First up was Rob Jackson and friend. The singer was pretty good in a James Taylor style and Rob’s lead guitar led to a fairly mellow but toneful start to the evening’s proceedings.

Lionshare are another band much in the Americana mold. Having a bad start where I was tempted to head to the bar, they got into the swing of things with some dark, almost gothic, country style music. Filled with harmonica, textured guitar, and a growling Johnny Cash type voice I do believe they rawked.

The Broken Family Band this time around played a lot of new stuff which will be on the album, aparantly coming at the end of June. Of course, they played old favourites like Twisted and The Devil’s in the Details but I think the highlight for me was Walking Back to Jesus: Part I, which was nice and Pink Floydy for my tastes.

Another highlight of the evening was witnessing Red Setter’s change from relative gig virgin to full fleged groupie. I feel so proud since she left with both a t-shirt and CD and chatted to the band.

Next week is The Bluetones.