28 March 2012

[Live Report] Villagers Of Ioannina City, Sky Pup @ Larissa, 25/03/2012

Villagers Of Ioannina City, Sky Pup @ Larissa, 25/03/2012

Last weekend I had a great time in Larissa. Having quite a long time to leave my hometown, I headed to Larissa to see a few friends and catch a couple of lives or in other words to have an awesome weekend. On of them was Villagers Of Ioannina City with Sky Pup. And I'll grab the chance to write a few things about VIC since I've never talked about them until now and they really worth your attention.

I arrived at Stage Club few minutes before Sky Pup's set reached to its end. These youngsters played a kind of reggae/ska mixed with balkan and punk sounds. Not my cup of tea but they are good in what they're doing and fans of this kind will really appreciate them.


Now allow me to write a few things about VIC. I found out about these guys a couple of months ago by a good friend of mine (thanks Lyk!). They had released a promo two years ago but I never had the luck to cross paths with them.
The band consists of four members, Alex on guitars/vox-Akis on bass-Aris on drums and.... John on clarinet! Now about their music... It is an interesting and unique mixture of psych experimental rock smoke-blended with traditional Greek soundscapes and a generous dose of desert rock. Probably many of you aren't familiar with Greek traditional music so VIC are a great way to dig in and explore a lot of its interesting aspects. Clarinet plays a major role in VIC compositions and of course in their covers/adaptations of traditional songs. And since polyphony is one of the characteristics of Epirus (Epirus is a region  in  north-west Greece where Ioannina city is located too) music, John has the role of the backing (and quite special too) vocals.

When I first heard their promo I loved it (and consider the fact that I'm not a big fan of tradition). And I was convinced that they're a band you have to see live in any means. So when VIC got up on stage and started with a more down-tempo tune I knew that the night will be awesome! If I recall correctly "Echoes" was the second song they played where John joined the rest of the band with his clarinet. And the trip had started...

Villagers of Ioannina City
Their set included their promo's songs as well as many surprises. Of course "Nova" stole my heart and soul. What an amazing tune and being performed live makes it even better. "Yianni Mou To Mantili Sou" was another cool adaptation where the audience responded by dancing and creating a warm atmosphere. They also played a potpourri of a few other traditional tunes making them look like a continuously jam where clarinet and guitar worked perfectly together. They finished their set with  "Krasi", one more of night's highlights which is another traditional adaptation through a heavier, rocking prism (which you can find in their promo).

But the night wasn't over... They continued with a couple more songs. One of them was a cover of "Hashishi" by Kultur Shock (please guys consider making a Hawkwind cover too... I think it's obvious which song I mean).

Villagers of Ioannina City
The live lasted something above 90 minutes. And honestly was one of the best gigs I've seen. Band's energy was great from the start 'til the last second. They feel what they played and their music came out straight from their heart. The songs sounded even better and heavier than in the studio version. Alex's guitar work was excellent, full of power and I have to mention the fine voice this guy has. Akis' bass grooves made the tunes really stand for, adding the appropriate amount of thickness and Aris completed the work perfectly. John of course was the man! Of course club's sound helped them. Only John's clarinet had some minor problems at the start but all of them got fixed quite soon (On the contrary with previous night in Stoner Fest II where the bands had a lot of sound problems).
Band's interaction with the audience was amazing adding more warmness and making us a part of them (when John got down in the crowd and played his clarinet was a "super moment"!). Another thing that really impressed me was the audience's diversity... You could find all ages and fans by all kinds of music, sharing (and enjoying) the same experience. And this is what really matters! Well done guys!

Villagers Of Ioannina City will release their debut album probably in May. Until then you can download their 6 track promo from Downtuned Magazine's download archive and of course don't miss the chance to see them live!

Written by Thanos
Photos taken by Involvedradio.gr

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