Mac Attack: Los Fastidios
I’m sitting watching Enrico; who is the lead singer of Los Fastidios; eating a vegan pizza. He’s telling me that it doesn’t matter who they play to, whether it be a crowd of five thousand, or just five, his performance won’t change. And I must say, although I’m trying to snap out of marvelling at how lush his cheese-free pizza looks, I have to concur.
The small nightclub above L’etage, ‘Frenzi’ is the sort of place you could imagine some truly incredible gigs taking place in. ‘Sweatbox’ would be an apt word, were it filled with over 100 people. However, tonight it seems very sparsely populated. Flags adorn the walls, one proclaiming ‘Wrexham Fans, Virtus Verona’ (a flag owned by a local Wrexham F.C. fan, who helped organise the gig. Coming all the way from Italy, Los Fastidios somehow make the room feel like their own. Whether it is the charming manner and relentless affability of the band members, or indeed the decoration of the room, you feel like you’re about to witness a truly great gig.
Unfortunately however, once Chester band ‘Skullet’ manage to interest a crowd of about fifteen with their fast paced punk stylings, a trickle of people into the room brings the crowd to about twenty. For Los Fastidios, this must surely be another day at the office, for every band plays to one man and his dog at some time or the other, but the discomfort of the audience is shown by the gap directly in front of the stage, and the way in which the audience hugs the side walls as if afraid to get sucked into the centre of the room.
Los Fastidios start up, and a mixture of Italian and English encouragement from Enrico leads way to some fast, melodic, and meaningful punk numbers to get the night started. The sound suffers a bit, but in a venue of this size you’re always going to struggle with the sound bouncing towards you from all directions. The drummer, Giacomo, pounds at the skins as if his life depended on it, whilst the bassist and guitarist hop around and howl down the mic in backing to Enrico. You sense that if the room was full, then the place would explode like a firework, however the thin crowd means Enrico’s forays into the crowd just end up being him walking onto the dancefloor in front of the stage area.
At this point, you’re wondering whether Los Fastidios will actually make an impact on the people gathered here tonight (save for the five or so onlookers singing the words right back at them). And then something special happens. Enrico announces a song (in rapid Italian) called ‘Animal Liberation’. The song is, you guessed it, about animal rights. With its imitable cry ‘FIGHT FOR ANIMALS!’, you see one or two onlookers start to nod their head and move their hips a bit. Three songs later, and almost everyone is on the dancefloor in front of the stage area, skanking and dancing as if their life depended on it. Against all the odds, and unprecedented to any similarly poorly attended gig I’ve ever seen, Los Fastidios manage to win round a crowd that, ten minutes previously, looked as if they would rather be anywhere else.
Four more songs fly by in what seems like an instant, including the superb ‘Football is coming’, and then the final song is announced with a cascade of rapid Italian (I caught ‘non fascismo’ and ‘Wrexham’ a couple of times), and then the battle cry ‘COME ON, COME ON’ introducing the punk anthem ‘Antifa Hooligans’, a call to arms for anti-fascists everywhere. With lyrics such as “we are singing, and we scream, all our hate for the Nazi scum”, what’s not to like about this band? The song sends the amassed crowd into raptures, and I’m not ashamed to say this reviewer lost his composure and managed to sing a few words down the mic in the singer’s outstretched hand!
It’s somewhat sad that the gig was not better attended, however witnessing a room of twenty or so people enjoying themselves, dancing, singing and bouncing would make up for two hundred disinterested people any day. At the end of the day, it’s the messages and stories being given to us by Los Fastidios which makes the night, and as Enrico tells me, it makes no difference whether there was a thousand people there or one. And Enrico my friend, I completely agree.
Joe McNallyEmail: email@example.com
Joe McNally is an English Literature student from Wrexham. He studies in Bangor, but in his spare time enjoys going to gigs and writing reviews, the culmination of which you're about to see! View Joe's blog here: http://joeymcnally.livejournal.com