Thursday 30 May 2013

Giuda live at The Buffalo Bar Islington May 24th

Tenda from Giuda - Photo Copyright Paul Slattery
I’m beginning to wonder recently just how many times I can get back from a show, sit down and write “best gig of the year!” I mean, it’s not like I’m working for any of the bands or have any vested interest and I'm certainly not trying to appear flippant, it just happens to be true. I have been spoilt rotten with some excellent live music this year. So, the latest recipients of my "Best Gig of the Year" award must go to the Rome based Giuda, who were back on British soil for a one-off show in the tiny, crammed to capacity Buffalo Bar in Highbury last Friday. It was, at first, a choice of venue that raised eyebrows as I was sure that Giuda could fill a much larger place considering the buzz following their previous gigs and the ecstatic response to their immense debut album “Racey Roller”. Still, the organisers of the fantastic Club night “Some Weird Sin” pulled off a coup getting the band to play here, as demand certainly outstripped supply, and it created one of those “you just had to be there” moments; one of those gigs that I am sure will be revered as something very special in years to come. It could happen, Giuda have the image and the attitude and the buzz about them, but most importantly, they have the songs. Timeless terrace chant anthems that stick in your head and give it a right good kicking.

Tenda, Lorenzo and Michele - Photo Copyright Paul Slattery
Tonight, after a really superb set by Jonny Cola and The A-Grades (more about them on the Blog in due course…) Giuda fight their way through the crowd to take the stage and hit us with a three song blast of “Wild Tiger Woman”, “Rave On” and “Fat Boy Boogie”, which I guess are from their forthcoming second album as I wasn’t familiar with them. Well, not until the first verse and chorus of each that is, as Giuda have that knack of writing melodies that hook you in immediately and you feel like you’ve been listening to these songs for years. Then we are on more familiar territory with tracks from “Racey Roller” and the band slam out “Tartan Pants”, “Back Home” and the fantastic “Coming Back To You”. Vocalist Tenda is an imposing front-man, with tattooed biceps the size of my legs, he has the physique of Idris Elba’s Stringer Bell in The Wire, and I feel thankful that I don’t have to write a bad review about Giuda. When he’s not pressed against the crowd, fists pumping the air, he’s playing air-guitar along with his superb guitarist playing colleagues Lorenzo and Michele, who back him up with their consummate riffing. 

Danilo and Daniele - Photo Copyright Paul Slattery
“Get It Over” is a prime Giuda anthem, a repetitive, foot stomping classic where all the best moments of the Seventies Glam Rock scene are distilled into one song. The Glitter Band, The Sweet and Slade of course spring to mind, and on this number drummer Daniele and the street tough looking bassist Danilo come into their own, laying down a rock solid foundation. The absolute perfection of latest single “Number 10”, is somewhat predictably one of the night’s highlights with its footie related imagery and clap-along audience participation, but there’s another more surprising hit with the instrumental “Racey Roller”. Here Tenda takes a well deserved breather and hands over to his band mates to show us what they can do. The crowd surge to the front, bodies are scattered and everyone sings along, well not exactly as there aren’t any words, make that mimic what must surely be one of the most insanely catchiest guitar riffs ever. There’s a classic TV show theme tune there all ready and waiting. Giuda fuse all the greats of the Seventies whether, it’s the street-fighting Boot-boy sounds of Jook or the Hammersmith Gorillas or the Punk energy of the Ramones and the harmonies of Buzzcocks to Slade, T. Rex and The Faces – it’s all distilled into a fresh, exhilarating and yet thoroughly modern, wall of sound.
Giuda - Photo Copyright Paul Slattery
There’s a surprise special guest appearance from Clive Jones of the short-lived late 70's/early 80's outrageously theatrical Agony Bag, who takes over lead vocals on a run through of their Rocky Horror Punk masterpiece “Rabies Is a Killer”, apparently one of the first songs Tenda learned to sing in English. Clive revels in the role and puts on a great show with his shock of blonde hair and swirling black cape adding a bit of theatrics to the proceedings. Giuda then take the reins again and treat us to some more thumping tracks before ending on the immense anthem, “Here Comes Saturday Night”. The band are soon called back for a well deserved encore of “Give Us a Goal” and the floor shaking “Roll On”, which leaves the audience dazed and bruised and very, very happy.
Clive Jones of Agony Bag - Photo Copyright Paul Slattery
Giuda’s second album will be released on Damaged Goods Records who have also just put out a stunning looking vinyl version of the “Racey Roller” album. It’s a real work of art, with its grey vinyl and authentic Seventies retro cover and inner sleeve, check it out at the Damaged Goods store here, you’ll want to frame it! A reminder that you can listen to Giuda on Episode 5 of Retrosonic Podcast and also in Part 2 of our Damaged Goods Records Story special.

Tenda - Photo Copyright Paul Slattery
Michele - Photo Copyright Paul Slattery
Lorenzo - Photo Copyright Paul Slattery
Here's a little bonus video, up very close & personal with Giuda live at The Buffalo Bar...for more videos please head on over to the Retro Man Blog YouTube channel...

With many thanks to Paul Slattery for the excellent photos. For more pics please "Like" the Retro Man Blog Facebook page for access to the Giuda photo album.

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