Temple Bar in Athens is sold out and people are queuing round the block to get in. Two hometown bands doing well for themselves are coming together on one stage for one night of loud riotous music and nobody wants to miss it. The t shirts are selling well and you realise that the live music scene in Athens Greece is doing pretty well for itself and tonight we hope to see exactly why.
Black Hat bones hit the stage with a mission. Opening band did you say? Just watch us. Hi tempo, adrenaline fueled, yada yada yada, enter more cliches here as you wish, classic hard rock that ensure the crowd, whether it be filled with fans or newcomers, are having a good time. From the very first note guitarist Mikko is throwing classic rock poses, Dennis, hidden away except for the occasional mass of hair coming into view from behind his kit, is banging the drums with fury and bass player Panokas is dancing like a man possessed. Welcome to the Black Hat Bones, a band who believes in what they deliver and tonight, Athens loves them. The crowd sing, clap and dance while the band deliver an incredible display of musical virtuosity amid a set of tight, funky hard rock. The band don’t stop, the audience don’t stop and by the time things slow down towards the end with 'I am The Sun', everybody is happy.
Puta Volcano come on to a tape of the swampy blues lick of Neon, taken from their latest and rather good 'Harmony Of Spheres' album. The mood changes slightly and their dark, grungy low tuned sound engulfs the stage. 'Raindance' and 'Zombie' soon follow as the swirling guitars and incessant tribal beats underscore singer, Luna’s, lowly mixed vocals creating a vocal affect not completely unlike 'Murmour' era Michael Stipe. There, I said it, so shoot me. The beauty of this approach being that the band played to create a sound and an atmosphere rather than showcasing their individual chops. It worked quite gloriously with their Alice in Chains guitars mixed with QOTSA rhythms and lines punching through the smoky air. Later in the set songs such as Afterglow and Dune raged ferociously as strobes and thrashing hair filled the stage. Following an encore of 'Burn The Rest' and 'The Sun', the band posed for a quick photograph and, with new fans won over, fled from the scene leaving the crowd to disperse into the Athenian night clutching their new found swag. Quite glorious.