Yes! This is not a review. It is my 5 Reasons why CITY OF THIEVES are still my September highlight!
*by Maria Kouvarou
Hi friends! I heard that some of you were asking where have I been hiding lately. Oh, well, it’s a busy time indeed, but when you really need to write about something, the topic will explode within your head unless you let it out. You know how it is… to be kept busy does not mean you should be silenced.
OK, OK, I am pulling the brake here, right before I step into (yet another) philosophical rant, and I jump right into my topic:
Almost a month ago (on 14th of September) I went to Savino Live to see the CITY OF THIEVES and I am still being followed by the reverberations of that evening. It is exactly these reverberations that led me to write this piece. A belated review, you might say. A list of observations I would respond.
So, without further ado, here is my 5 Reasons why CITY OF THIEVES are still my September highlight.
5. I love tight bands.
And this is not some kind of a fetish. Neither some type of a diversion. Tight bands can send their music right to you – no obstacles, no holdbacks, no interventions – and provide you with an aural experience that is whole. Tight bands mean good chemistry, hours and hours of practice and people who know their art. Tight bands mean hard work and sweat over one’s craft. Tight bands can get you, even if their music is not of the style you love. Were the City of Thieves tight? You bet they were. Tight as leather leggings worn on a hot midsummer evening. In Cyprus. Got it now?
4. I respect unpretentious bands.
Which means, bands who do not spoil their music by trying to go the “extra mile” in skill exhibition, or to serve us unnecessary portions of sophistication. Some styles of music call for “simplicity”. Not simplistic-ity. Mind the gap there, mind the gap. So there you go. City of Thieves. Skillful musicians, all three. And they showed it clearly, without going out of their way to exhibit their technical abilities. Because authentic needs no pretension.
And City of Thieves played authentic, raw, hard rock, unapologetically served with an audacity dressed up in its 70s aura (as one good friend of mine who definitely knows her music also pointed out). No unnecessary elaborations added. Just some good rocking.
3. I salute openness.
The City of Thieves did not play for us. In their way, they played with us. They invited us to participate. They kept us engaged from the beginning to the end, even without an opening band to warm us up. And engaged we were… some more actively than others (Hello, Francois!)
2. I understand appreciation as a two-way exchange.
These three musicians came all the way from London, to play in Savino Live for an audience who – in its majority – had never heard of them before. They did their show, but not their show-off. And they did it right, with people loving it and being engaged, and appreciative. City of Thieves reciprocated the appreciation, clearly and outspokenly. “How many of you had heard of us prior to this gig?” “And still you spent your money and time to come to Savino tonight” The band was as thankful as we were, acknowledging that every single individual who had been there that evening participated in their own way for the awesome outcome. It was clearly a give and take, with good music as a protagonist.
1. I need more reasons to dance.
That evening, I entered Savino Live quite early. I sat at a corner of the bar at the very back of the venue. Tired, a bit grumpy and fully stressed (don’t ask). The end of the evening found me next to the stage, dancing to both City of Thieves originals and some of the covers they shared with us (from what I can recall, these included songs from AC/DC, Credence Clearwater Revival, Audioslave) and having a blast with friends that I love. And that, my dear City of Thieves, is not only a win, but yet another reason why one should thank you for visiting us… and please do come back.
That’s all from me for now! Those of you who were not at the City of Thieves’ gig you definitely missed out, those of you who were, well... I hope that I managed to help you relive the experience.
To the next, then!
** As an ending note, I feel the need to add a personal view here, something like a call to all the musicians, music fans and rock aficionados of the island. Not every day are we visited by foreign bands, and most of them are not easy to catch when we travel abroad. It is better to stop the Wovenhand phenomenon (you know, the one with the LEGENDARY BAND visiting our island and playing for less than 200 fans)… I am not preaching, just saying.