Firewater - Live@Art House, 9/5/2009

Arriving at Art House on Saturday night I feel like an athlete approaching the starting line of the Marathon. From now until the end of July, there are going to be more concerts in Athens than we've seen in years and the start is tonight with Tod A's Firewater, a very good band that, unfortunately, has not received the recognition it deserves.



Arriving at Art House on Saturday night I feel like an athlete approaching the starting line of the Marathon. From now until the end of July, there are going to be more concerts in Athens than we've seen in years and the start is tonight with Tod A's Firewater, a very good band that, unfortunately, has not received the recognition it deserves.

My acquaintance with the music of Tod A goes a long way back. In August '92 I had the opportunity to see him live with his first band, the excellent Cop Shoot Cop, at the Marquee in London playing a deafeningly loud mixture of industrial rock and punk. The emphasis back then was on metal percussion, samplers and his bass. After the band dissolved in 1996, he formed Firewater and changed musical direction by adding Eastern European melodies in the punk rock mix. And to complicate things further, the most recent Firewater album, "The Golden Hour", was recorded during Tod A's adventurous 2 year trip in India, Pakistan, Israel and Turkey (more information here), incorporating the oriental sounds of these places. The exotic music that he recorded on his laptop with the help of local musicians found its way on the new Firewater record and, eventually, arrived in Athens, the last stop of the current tour.

 

The oriental musical styles, very familiar to Greek ears, met with gypsy melodies, latin rhythms, ska and  punk energy . For an hour and a half the Balkans came closer to India and Pakistan by way of New York through the power of music, with main protagonists various percussive instruments,  a manic trombone, sturdy bass and electric guitars played with a different logic to that of western rock. All these heterogeneous elements were mixed to perfection and led the majority of the crowd to crazed dancing - the pogo-tsifteteli was born! As expected, the set list was based on "The Golden Hour", with songs such as "Hey Clown" (dedicated to ex-president Bush), "Electric City", "Three Legged Dog" and "This Is My Life", which was the absolute highlight of the night. The most notable track from the past was "Another Perfect Catastrophe". Firewater left an excellent impression to the relatively small crowd that attended the gig (around 100?), but I am sure that if they had  some better advertising, or if they were to play in one of the upcoming festivals, they could easily increase their popularity in Greece because their brand of oriental rock matches our musical sensibilities and their fun is seriously contagious.

Below you can watch a clip of the excellent "This Is My Life" from the night in Athens, and we are also taking this opportunity to remember Cop Shoot Cop and the 1994 track "Any Day Now":


Firewater - This Is My Life (live)




Cop Shoot Cop - Any Day Now

Photos & video by alegra00
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