Friends of Luca Brasi

Written by Matteo Sedazzari
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ZANI At 12 Bar Club
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From the words of The Comic Strip’s Bad News, “Sound checks are very boring”.  The fine tuning of the sound is completed hours before the audience arrives, then the band has to find ways to kill time before showtime… which can vary from having a drink to just going for a walk, anything to shake off the combination of pre-gig nerves and boredom.

Moreover as I enter The 12 Bar Club in Denmark Street WC1-one of London’s smallest but coolest venues-I manage to catch up with Friends of Luca Brasi before they go on stage. In the background I can hear the unmistakable cracking sound of pool balls being broken as I pay my value for money £6.00 and walk in. The setting is wonderful, dark, dangerous, complete with the inevitable plastic beer glasses and a collection of colourful rock & roll characters; the only thing that is missing is the smell of cigarettes. As a smoker, I agree with the ban on public transport, flights, cinemas, the work place and restaurants… but clubs, pubs and live music venues? No way. And tonight at the 12 Bar club, without the smoke, something is missing.

Nevertheless I enter the backroom of the venue, to find the boys of Friends Of Luca Brasi, hanging round the pool table, as lead vocalist Adam Bishop is just about to pot the black, and in doing so he will beat guitarist Dave Powell. As the ball rolls into the top right hand corner, Dave digs deep into his pocket, and pays Adam a fiver. So that’s how they kill time in between the sound check and the show I think to myself.

Adam seems pleased. “On form tonight?” I ask, “Well it was the lyrics of Maggie May, ‘Or steal my daddy’s cue and make a living out of playing pool, Or find myself a rock and roll band that needs a helping hand’, that got me into playing pool… and got me in a band!” replies an upbeat Adam. This remark is met with by laughter by the other members of the band: Tim Mardell (guitar), Kevin Barry (bass), and Paul McEvoy (drums). Oh, you can’t beat a good game of pool and a bit of banter between friends, and it is a nice way to wile away the hours.

friends of luca brasi matteo sedazzari zani 2.Fast-forward an hour or so later… Friends of Luca Brasi hit the small stage, and open up with a power-pop number ‘Moving’. At first it’s the usual nodding of the head from the audience, but the band don’t seem bothered as they hurtle straight into their next number with determined vigor… and are accomplished on their instruments of choice.  

Very quickly the room starts to fill up, and their thumping powerhouse sound is enthralling the crowd. Then the dancing begins down the front, from a group of casual looking teenagers dressed in Adidas raincoats, Stone Island jeans and a selection of classic eighties terrace trainers. They add tension to the scene, but it’s a positive tension that enhances the music.

Now Friends of Luca Brasi are clearly enjoying themselves, and entertaining the audience with their sixties garage sound, mixed with a smattering of The Buzzcocks, The Clash and The Sex Pistols, matched with aggressive, observant and very British lyrics “Well, it’s Saturday again, That’s when Tottenham run away, And the day that they cure Aids, We’ll all be fucking in the street.” (From Fell Apart Again.)

As the band interact with the crowd, with their smiles, their music and banter an energy has definitely filled the room that is both mesmerizing and magical. As they bring their set to a deafening close with The Pistol’s ‘Did You No Wrong’, I am left wondering how amazing it must have been in 1976, seeing bands like this, playing for the pure pleasure of playing, with verve, anger and attitude… and not just a show case for a pointless bunch of clueless, expense claiming A&R men.  

With that in mind, hopefully the kids dancing at the front, who took the audience hostage, will take note and follow the famous punk fanzine Sniffin’ Glue’s sage advice, “Here’s three chords, now go and form a band.”
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Read 5103 times Last modified on Wednesday, 07 April 2021 13:00
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Matteo Sedazzari

Matteo Sedazzari

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ZANI was conceived in late 2008 and the fan base gradually grew by word of mouth. Key contributors came from those of the music, film and fashion industry and the voice of ZANI grew louder. So, when in 2013 investor, contributor and fan of ZANI Alan McGee* offered his support to help restyle and relaunch the site it was inevitable that traffic would increase dramatically and continues to grow. *Alan McGee co-founder of Creation Records and new label 359 Music..


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ZANI is an independent online magazine for readers interested in contemporary culture, covering Music, Film & TV, Sport, Art amongst other cultural topics. Relevant to modern times ZANI is a dynamic website and a flagship for creative movement and thinking wherever our readers live in the world.