Sunday, 8 February 2015

Live Review: First Punkalovich showcase - The 1840s/Mock Up/Woolly Boy @ Koro, Tel Aviv [5th February 2015]

   Thursday saw Punkalovich put on it's first ever show. The show took place at our most loved venue, Koro. The show was initially put on to be my band Woolly Boy's first show in Tel Aviv. With the addition of The 1840s as headliners and finally young band Mock Up closing the line-up, we were all excited for this show. All three bands are different in style and this show could either be filled with all sorts of people or could be a poor turn out.

Woolly Boy

Photo by David "Doh Doh" Rosen

   Like the Haifa show, I'm not going to give my own band, Woolly Boy, a review as such. We tried a few new things this time around. I still used a hi-hat, frying pan and triangle as extra percussion but also brought my macbook with me to incorporate some samples including a purposely made recording of my friend's sister saying our name which I used as an intro. I think this worked pretty well, but the other sample I used during the show probably could not be heard above the guitar. Ah live and you learn! I think our songs sounded pretty good and we even did the folk-punk type song "He Didn't Love You Anyway" which we didn't do for the Haifa show. Most of our crowd seemed to be friends of Mock Up and the other bands. I guess we were competing with a few other "punk" related events tonight so were missing some of the usual suspects. We still got a bit of "moshing" action at the beginning but I think a good number of those guys left the room as I definitely ended up with far more space to move around in. Hopefully people enjoyed us. 

Mock Up

  Jeronimo were originally meant to play this show but for personally reasons had to pull out. Luckily, rock band Mock Up came highly recommended by them and were more than happy to do the show. Good thing they did as they brought the majority of the audience tonight. 
  After a short intro, the band kick off with the explosive Closing The Gates, which after the punkiness of Woolly Boy gave people a dose of almost Led Zepplin-mixed-with-Muse tinged rock. The kids here tonight seem familiar with it and completely get their "push mosh" on.  Numbers such as Quiet Desperation and Beginnings may have softened the mood a bit but still got a good reaction from fans. The former has an extremely beautiful and groovy harmonic middle melody which had me smiling. The song Weapon heavily brings the groove with a super solid bass line and slick drumming.
 The whole band are incredibly good musicians. Guitarist Nativ plays amazing riffs and uses his pedals to make the absence of a second guitarist almost unnoticeable, bassist Ilay plays cool licks and rocks out with his beautiful long hair (not going to lie...I might have a small guy crush here..) and drummer Rom is incredibly energetic and plays without fault. Singer Gooly has a vocal delivery similar to that of Kelly Jones of Stereophonics or even Matt Bellamy of Muse. The overall style he was giving off was also quite similar to "Madchester" bands like Oasis and Charlatans. I find him a bit static tonight, not really moving or showing much expression. That changed with set closer Apple, their heaviest song with a riff I find so familiar. The more I think about it, it reminds me a little of Disturbed's cover of Genesis's  Land of Confusion but i'm sure there's something else. Either way, it's a hell of a riff and got Gooly jumping into the crowd and getting them all riled up again. 
  Mock Up are definitely a great band with some beautiful musicianship. I did however feel like this was some sort of "high school prom" concert. All the fans here today just seemed to be kids from school; that may be why they all decided to leave immediately afterwards if they indeed have school in the morning. Now..I was in a band when I was at Uni so I've had fans who were mostly classmates and friends of classmates but you never really know if the fanclub comes based on merit. Hopefully they will get more recognition and more outside fans.

The 1840s

  As mentioned in a pervious write-up, The 1840s are a band I've always had a soft spot for. Their show the other week had a bar completely full of people checking them out. Tonight, however, a lot of people have gone and only about a total of 10 people have remained to watch. We were all actually uncertain as to whether the band started already or was still doing sound check as there was hardly anyone there when they started playing.
  The setlist was similar to the Rothschild show, including older songs like the catchy This Different Life and tonight's closer the 60s-like rocker Rainbow and newer songs like Get To Me, the bouncy Take Off Thy Clothes and the absolutely mesmerising Heart of Midnight, with it's tribal rhythms and sparse vocals. Unlike last time, the Smiths' cover (There Is A Light...) got more of a reception as I and some of the Koro owners were jumping and singing along. It still sounds so different to the original but they somehow make it sound like theirs.
  Why more of 1840s fans didn't show up tonight..I don't know. Maybe because it wasn't a free show? Maybe because it was with bands they hadn't heard of? Maybe because they all work Thursday night? Who knows? The important thing is that the band still played in a fairly empty venue and sounded great and I for one are glad they came. 


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