Friday, November 21, 2008

Muzine One Year Birthday Party in Thessaloniki

The most beautiful and well written Greek music magazine, Muzine, reached its sixth bi-monthly issue - so it's birthday time! One year since it first came out, introducing lots of great new artists to us and filling our CD players with lovely music from the two CDs packed in each issue. Three parties in three different cities (Thessaloniki 20/11, Patra 22/11 and Athens 23/11) mark the occasion, with concerts by artists featured in the magazine like Limousine and Plumerai. Thessaloniki had the joy to welcome for the first time in Europe the Boston group Plumerai, along with locals Jane Doe and Berlin Brides from Athens. After the concert, Elias Fragoulis was scheduled to keep the party going deep into the night. This event was made possible within Thessaloniki's International Film Festival and Independence Days

Jane Doe (above) opened the concert, after a lengthy (and honestly annoying after a while) sound check by the three bands - sound kept being problematic throughout the evening, with monitors not working, microphones screeching, a thing that did not help the groups at all. The rock group from our home town gave a very good performance, and even though they sounded a bit too hard for my taste, the last two songs were brilliant. I think we are going to see more of them in the future.

Then it was Plumerai time. The US band was in Europe for the very first time and lucky us were the first ones to catch a glimpse of them playing their first live concert here. And what a concert it was! The band is very tight, and with the addition of an excellent and very energetic violinist (hi Laura!) gave us the best performance of the night by far! They played almost their whole album "Without Number", making us all dance to their melodies and their beats. The singer, Elizabeth Ezell, alternating from sex kitten to pop goddess to rock nymph, enthralled us with her unusual husky voice and sassy moves - that smile of hers can move mountains!

Guitarist Martin Newman made his guitar sing, wail and scream, giving an edge to the band's music. The amazing and very cool James Newman on bass punctuated the rhythm with gusto, being helped by the swinging Todd Richards on drums. The shoegazing post pop (God I hate labels but what else can you call them?) music stayed in our ears long after their gig ended. Thankfully, their cd was sold at the Muzine counter along with their latest offering, a split 7" vinyl single with a new song of theirs (Vacant Eyes - they share sides with another US band, The Brother Kite), which of course I bought!

I was extremely lucky to meet the band before the concert, and had them sign the CD for me (forgetting Laura, stupid me) and got to talk with Martin after the gig again. He said that he grew up in Germany, and had travelled around Europe before, but it was Plumerai's first time abroad. He liked the Greek audience, found it very warm and accepting, and was happy to hear me telling him that people in the audience loved their set and thought them brilliant. They had not played live in almost a month, and they are in the process of releasing a free mp3 single from their website. They have new material ready for recording, which should be due to start by January. I must say I am anxious to listen to it!

The venue, although not ideal for a music performance, is so beautiful (an old unused port storage building turned into a cultural centre, housing each November the reception areas and stands of Thessaloniki's International Film Festival) that, along with Plumerai's lovely music made us forget the bad sound. We were sorry that it could not last more! I do hope we see them again here soon (Nek, are you reading this?)

And soon it was time for Berlin Brides. The all-girl Athens foursome burst onto the stage to a very expectant audience (I heard lots of people saying they had come just for them) and gave us their punk oriented electro music. I must say I was expecting something better; I was disappointed listening to them They have some nice song ideas but they get lost in the middle of bad vocals and fuzzy sound effects. If they work their stuff a bit more, they might hit their stride, I will pass for now.

(Berlin Brides photos by the brilliant Miss Tati!)

Of course, after the end of the Brides gig, we had another treat: the great DJ from Athens, Elias Fragoulis, gave us one of his brilliant DJ sets, making people dance till the wee hours of the morning. Elias, pleas come more often here to play (or I must visit Athens more frequently).

I must thank Nektarios from Muzine for the hospitality and the introduction to Plumerai. The party was great and I hope it will be repeated next year. I wish the next two gigs at Patra and Athens are this good! Don't miss them!


  1. nice to hear you had such a good time... If I feel any sober tonight (cause, even now I sense there's blood in my alcohol), I might go to Kyttaro (to become wasted again xexexe)

  2. Meniek τα "if" και "might" να τα πεις αλλού!
    Σε περιμένουμε σήμερα!

    Κρίμα που δεν είμασταν παρεούλα Στράτο time