Handelsbeurs Venue, Ghent – March 2, 2015
Today it’s Lou Reed‘s birthday (born March 2, 1942). Just before the show starts the sadly missed Godlike genius is on the speakers with ‘Rock and Roll Heart’. Great memories. Great artist. He started a sonic revolution with his friends back in the sixties. A new sound for the city. New York City. Allah-Las are also from the sixties. They are reincarnated jingle jangle guitar kids, but not from the city. They are beach boys. Los Angeles, California. Different place. Different sound.
As reincarnated musicians they own a time machine. They actually live in 1966. Now and then they return to the present to release records and tour the world. So far they produced two LP’s. You can listen to the 2012 self-titled debut album and the 2014 follow-up ‘Worship The Sun’ as a double album. An impressive wealth of dreamy pearls. Sixties pop, surf & garage psych. A delightful celebration of 60s beat romanticism. A winning song formula. Tambourine songs you can play anytime, anywhere.
After a sold out show in Brussels, last October, the quartet is already back in Belgium, now playing for a full house in my hometown, Ghent. Allah-Las attracts, needless to say, different generations. From teenagers to old beatniks. They know all the songs, all the words. They sway their bodies to the mid-tempo grooves throughout the gig. For me guitarist Pedrum Siadatian is the man. His sparkling guitar play is just luscious. No hard to imagine why two of their instrumental tracks are part of their set. Delicious stuff.
Frontman Miles Michaud joins in regularly for a Byrds like guitar duet. Lots of reverb and distortion. Michaud does more than that. He’s the frontman, he’s the one that steps to the front of the stage to charm the pretty girls from close by with his smooth vocals. One female fan gives him her beer. Quenching the thirsty ones is a good deed. Funny moment !
The party is in full swing by the time drummer Matthew Correia, armed with maracas, takes the central spot to sing ‘Long Journey’ ! Their beats, grooves, harmonies, guitar duets, sunny tunes and overall floating psych vibes are not influenced BY the sixties, they ARE the sixties. ‘Catamaran’ is the delirious winner of the night. The whole venue sang the chorus out loud ! The sixties are not over yet, they never will be. Thanks, Magic Time Machine.
(All concert pics: JL)
Here’s ‘Worship The Sun’ in full…