I‘m From Barcelona, Soko

Alisha Ahmed 26/11/2008

When I was in Latvia last summer to review big bands like Travis and Manic Street Preachers, the last thing I was expecting was to actually fall for the support group. That was actually the case though, as I'm From Barcelona initiated such a party on stage that by the end of their slot if I was the hadliner, I would've been worried to play after them. They outshone the other bands.

So when I heard they were coming to London with the tour that promotes their second studio album "Who Killed Harry Houdini?" I didn't question the chance to go for one second: I wanted to be part of their party again. Because that's what they do: they throw a party on stage where the guest of honor is the crowd, they bash and smash down the invisible wall that usually exists just at the edge between the stage and the stalls. They make me, the one who tries the most to look serious and profesisonal about this stuff, loosen up: dancing and screaming while washed up alive in confettis. -Cause there's always gonna be this little girl inside of me-

What impressed me back in Latvia is still the main feature of I'm From Barcelona: their humbleness. As much as their music is really good -and this second record proves the fact they're not standing still but they're always trying and developing further- they try to look like they are just playing, not taking themselves too seriously just having fun for the sake of it.

Anyone other act that uttered the words "Our highest aim would be for you to be our friends" from the stage, would got me nauseous for how affected he/she would sound. But if the act saying that are the guys who walk in between the crowd when they are queuing outside, the guys who give the mic to the people in front of the stage, the guys who crowd-surf and who come out to the stage once it's all finished to take out their own instruments and stay and chat with everyone that is still there, that shows a coherence in words and actions I've never really seen in other musicians, which deserves nothing but respect and support.

The only downside of yesterday's performance? I thought quite a while whether to include this or not, but truth is, to be honest I have to say it, and it's something I cannot ignore. The true downside was the support girl who was also some kind of integrated in the I'm From Barcelona collective during the show: Soko.

I tried, believe me, to understand what exactly couldn've been saved of this girl, but it certainly couldn't be the songs: as Kate Nash-ish as she might've wanted to be, she never succeeded. Most of her lyrics are tasteless and the melodies are beyond obvious and plain, giving me the feeling she's not even trying that hard. Her music along with her stage persona it looks more like she just wants to seeminly impress and stand out no matter what, regardless of any particular reason for this to happen. Well she stood out for me as it's the first time I have to struggle and admit, I really, completely didn't like a musician.

Soko-aside though, it was such an famazing experience. No one makes you loosen up like I'm From Barcelona. Just maybe...given the 5-inches deep layer of red confetti on the floor, I wouldn't like to be the cleaning lady at Scala today...