I knew little of LaFaro from Northern Ireland before the gig having heard the single “Tuppenny Nudger” being hailed as yet another life changer by the perpetual Zane Lowe. However, after checking them out on Myspace and the fact that I wanted to see the newly refurbished “Well” (formally Josephs Well) I decided to check them out. I bought the self titled album a couple of days before and was expecting some heavy riffs similar to 9 Black Alps with a bit of Sonic Youth thrown in.
The Venue The Well was looking good, a traditional pub area decorated with memoroblia from all the bands that have played there over the years - Plus loads of choice of draught and bottled beers. The staff were helpful to and knew their stuff importantly about bands and beer. Then at the back was the vault area where the bands play.
The support first band (that I saw) We Say No exploded onto the stage with “Burn this F***ing place down” which was loud and aggressive as you would expect. With only 18 people watching though I think we would have been able to escape the flames if we had left in a calm orderly manner. The Lead singer looked like Freddy Mercury before the bad AIDS struck with his ‘tash and vest and the drummer was a nicey nice looking ginger kid – I don’t hold out much hope.
That was their only song of note and soon 50% of the crowd had returned to the bar area including us. We were then embarrassed by one member of our group by asking at the bar for a pair of earplugs because it was to loud – I don’t know why he bothered coming.
The second support band was a female Irish singer with some session artists and was a vast improvement on the band before - I didn’t need to hear a song to call that one, she was the hottest gypsy I had ever seen, much to the mainly thy rubbingly male crowd’s delight. The session artists she was with didn’t stand up to much and it was clear that some of the music was piped in with her just singing along which wasn’t great….. or am I being too hard on her.
On to the main act LaFaro who tonight were a four piece and in my drunken state I thought the lead singer looked like Frank Ribery – but maybe not. They went immediately into a hardcore frenzy with big riffs and frenetic drums with their song “Leningrad” with the repetitive lyric “Must go to Moscow.” The next song of note was Mr Hesky which I can only guess was about Porn rather than football… well it mentions some dirty words anyway.
Next they dedicated a song to their 3 groupies which seemed to be about Prince William’s John Thomas, but lyrics were often undecipherable amongst the very domineering guitars and drums.
Their best song “Tuppenny Nudger” goes down a storm and you can see how they have managed to live off it for the last number of years and been compared to Nirvana which was never going to help them. All in all the other songs don’t quite match that one but are all good grungy rocky songs almost merging into techno at certain points. They will always do a top quality gig and would be well worth a watch in a tent this summer at a festival but I think Zane Lowe will have to find another band to hail as the next Nirvana.