Italian punk-blues one-woman-band ELLI DE MON heralds her new album with a video which she’s premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
The brooding, slow-building ‘Blue Spirit Blues’ is her interpretation of a song by blues legend Bessie Smith and is taken from the album Countin’ The Blues.
Comprising songs from the repertoires of Smith, Ma Rainey, Memphis Minnie, Elizabeth Cotten and others, the album can be seen as a soundtrack to Elli’s book Countin’ The Blues – Indomitable Women, a celebration of the blues queens of the 20s, published last year.
Speaking about the song, Elli says, “Sometimes you forget about them. They live hidden in dark places and they move very silently. But you can feel them and you can’t escape… and they get to hurt you so deeply. The BLUE DEVILS. Well, you can recognize them and this is the first step to get free. Bessie Smith knew it and she burnt her demons out. This is her song and I tried to make it mine.”
Hailing from the historic city of Vicenza and firmly established on the European garage-blues scene, Elli has shared stages with the likes of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Cedric Burnside and Voodoo Rhythm Records boss, The Reverend Beat-Man. Releasing albums since 2014, her last album was a split release with brilliantly-named psych-blues exponents Daily Thompson.
Recorded live at Sonika in Ferrara, the video was shot by noted filmmaker Ares Brunelli.
A landmark gig in international hardcore will be heard by a whole new generation of fans thanks to a new reissue of a seminal live album.
On 4 December 1983 eleven of Italy’s top hardcore bands – BRONTOSAURI, JUGGERNAUT (pictured), STATO DI POLIZIA, PUTRID FEVER, DEMENTS, USELESS BOYS, WARD DOGS, A’UFSCHLAG, CHEETAH CHROME MOTHERFUCKERS, I REFUSE IT! and TRAUMATIC – assembled at the deconsecrated church of San Zeno in Pisa, Tuscany for The Last White Christmas, organised by GDHC (Gran Ducato Hard Core), that has since gone down in the annals of HC history.
The gig was recorded via a cassette deck wired directly to the mixing desk by sound engineer Alessandro Sportelli, and issued the following year on two cassettes – one C90, one C60 – by San Diego label Bad Compilation Tapes. Copies of both tapes now change hands for absurd money.
The recordings, completely remastered by Sportelli, are now being made available once again as a brain-frying 71-track double CD Last White X-Mas through top Italian punk label Area Pirata.
“I’ve been goin’ to gigs since 1970 and there is none other like this,” says Bad Compilation Tapes founder Chris BCT. “IT WAS THE GREATEST RECORDED PUNK ROCK GIG OF ALL TIME! (Not that it’s a contest). HC blew up from about 1980 thru about 1986. It’s still around but the world blast happened then. These are some of the great Italian punk bands of the mid 80s. This gig is a historical document. It’s high art for future generations. This gig has no bands that suck. And probably all making great music. Some of the best bands I’ve ever heard. To let this gig slip into forgottenness would be an artistic crime cuz there was never anything like it during the heyday of HC from around 1980 through 1986 that I know of. It’s not a perfect recording. I think it’s as close to our punk equivalent of Woodstock as I’ve ever run across…”
Already being talked up on the Euro garage-punk scene, Italy’s SMALLTOWN TIGERS are all set to drop their debut single next month, and will be playing a bunch of UK dates to support it.
Hailing from the northern seaside city of Rimini, the trio came into existence a year ago, earning their stripes playing squat clubs and beach parties, before scooping the support slot for NYC powerpop aces BABY SHAKES on their jaunt around Italy this spring.
Now signed to Area Pirata Records, the band are due to release their debut single ‘Just Friends’ on 27 September, followed by a mini-album in the New Year. Both were produced by punk-blues guru Stiv Cantarelli (J.D. Hangover, The A.C.C.) and mastered by legendary Detroit producer Jim Diamond (The Sonics, White Stripes).
‘Just Friends’ is available to pre-order now via Bandcamp.
Smalltown Tigers head to the UK in early October for a handful of dates, including an appearance at Loud Women‘s 4th Birthday Party at London’s iconic Hope & Anchor. Full dates are…
Thurs 10 Oct – The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea Fri 11 Oct – The Shacklewell Arms, London (Garageland Club) Sat 12 Oct – The Hope & Anchor, London (onstage 5pm) tickets Sat 12 Oct – Biddle Bros, London (onstage 10pm)