My ability of dragging people to concerts seemed to be somewhat depleted. Maybe because it was a Monday (13th December) when Amycanbe came to play here in Rome, at Dimmidisì, and perhaps Monday is not the ideal day for a night out for most people. But that didn’t stop me!

I have to admit that I didn’t know this band before they signed up to frestyl, but I have been admiring how active they are not only on frestyl (thumbs up!) but on many other social networks. They’re getting the word out about themselves to the web2.0 crowd, that’s for sure.

So even though I didn’t know much about Amycanbe, their dedication to the internet made me curious. I wasn’t even sure what sort of music they played and I was a bit on guard as there are certain music genres I’m not a huge fan of (hmmm…heavy metal? nothing against it…). Anyway, I checked out their MySpace just a couple of hours before the show, and I was pleasantly surprised: I couldn’t stop listening to their first song in the playlist (which is still my favourite), “The Song Of Matthew And Mark”. I also realized not long before that there was gonna be a supporting band to Amycanbe, the Romans “I Quartieri“, a name which I remembered from one of the Rockit compilations (they have badly-tagged but free monthly compilations of Italian indie music on their website).

So there I go, by myself (after failing to convince deadroxy and lamanu to tag along) to Dimmidisì (which is actually down the road from my flat). I do like this place (roxy and I came to see Iori’s Eyes and JJ a few months ago), which has the right size and atmosphere to enjoy a chilled out live music show. The only thing that was a bit too detracting was a huge projection with silent b&w movies in the middle of the venue.

Not long after I got there I Quartieri started playing, announcing that their drummer was missing that night. But that was fine as the bassist took his role temporarily. I quite enjoyed their show, even if their songs started to sound a bit similar after a while (it happens quite a lot with Italian bands these days, even good ones!), and a bit too depressing as well. More than depressing I should say “emo” perhaps, even if I’m not an expert of the genre. But you know what I mean, songs about suffering from love, loving despite suffering, and other variations on the topic. I have to admit though that the lyrics were well written, and, on top of that, it was pleasant to watch I Quartieri singing as the singer/frontman is quite an attractive young man (damn I sound old!) even if a bit nerdy (but it did fit the style).

I Quartieri @ Dimmidisì

It was like if you had a cute boyfriend who was a bit too deep and sensitive and after you dumped him ’cause you couldn’t stand it anymore he started writing songs about you and became famous, and now you see him surrounded by loving girl fans and feel a bit jealous and regretful, but also hopeful that he’s still suffering because of you (wow I got far with my imagination this time). At times I Quartieri reminded me of the romantic side of Radiohead (the “Creep” side, let’s say), perhaps even as the singer looks a bit like Jonny Greenwood. Anyway, 42 Records, one of best indie labels for talent scouting Italian bands, saw the potential in I Quartieri and produced their first EP. I suggest checking out the song “Confessioni di un artista di merda” (the title is emo itself!), which sounds ike an odd but nice remake of “Agosto” by Perturbazione.

I Quartieri: Confessioni di un a.d.m. (Watch out! The person in the video is not the singer!)

Later our Amycanbe came on stage, 3 men and a restless girl with a beautiful voice, all playing a variety of instruments. The sound was a bit loud, but they delivered a good show nevertheless, varied and pleasant. What most frustrated me about them (but in a good way) is that I couldn’t fit them in any music genre. They reminded me of electronic bands like Lali Puna and Ms. John Soda, but a lot less electronic and a lot more folky. A few other songs even reminded me of Calexico, with almost South American sounds. I took it as as a good sign that I couldn’t label them, as it shows their originality, even in mixing or reinterpreting existing styles and genres.

Amycanbe @ Dimmidisì

Amycanbe sound extremely international, and, at the same time, somehow follow a small trend of Italian bands that recreate very dreamy and fantasy-like atmospheres (such as Denise and LE-LI). This might prove that Italy is starting to accept and appreciate bands that are trying to reach a broader audience but still develop a rather unique style. Still, although Amycanbe is picking up now in Italy, the band was first signed up in the UK by Dancing Turtle Records and only a couple of years later managed to get their first (and double) album produced in Italy by the digital label Sounday (one of the Italian music startups we recently befriended). “Being a Grown-Up sure is Complicated” is a double, very nice album, once again (see my take on Denise) more chilled out than the live show, but it’s better this way, right? I really enjoyed their concert and was happy to come and support them. It was their last date of the tour, but they’ll come back to Rome in February (12th to be precise, at Closer Live, ex Traffic), so you’ll have another opportunity to see them here in the Capital (check out their full schedule on their frestyl profile for other dates!). You should also keep an eye to the other music project of their singer Francesca Amati, Comaneci, another Italian band very international and pleasant to listen to, coming to play in Rome next week at Fanfulla 101!

Amycabe: Killer Bees

UPDATE:: The guys from Fusoradio rightly pointed out that they were the ones organizing this night, so we should give them some credit for it! Basically Fusoradio is an Internet radio from Rome which is supporting a lot of Italian emerging bands through their radio show and music night called “IndiePatici”. You should check it out!

:: karmanet