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New Candys - (With the Shrines and Baby Naga), Riverside, Sheffield, 27/4/2015

  by Keith How

published: 22 / 7 / 2015

New Candys - (With the Shrines and Baby Naga), Riverside, Sheffield, 27/4/2015


Keith How at Sheffield’s Riverside watches his latest favourite band from Italy, psychedelic act New Candys, despite major technical problems, play an enthralling set

The Riverside in Sheffield was so packed you could hardly move. Opening act the Shrines were on first, and have been causing a bit of a stir recently. It's not hard to see why. The band brings psychedelic visuals and a throbbing garage surf sound that strays nicely into Barrett era Floyd. The enthusiastic crowd was weaving and bobbing. They set the joint on fire, with a vibrant set that gave a really feelgood atmosphere. The keyboards got a bit lost in the mix, the first sign of sound problems that would dog the entire night. As usual with events like this, there were no clear stage times or “M.C.” to tell you what is happening. Hence, what sounded like a bass guitar tuning up turned out to be Baba Naga starting their set. They looked like they had beamed in from a Klingon Bird of Prey. Dressed in black, cosmic fractals as a back drop, led by The Dark Lord Plim. Heavy throbbing drones, huge riffs, unintelligible lyrics, locked into an early ’70’s Sabbath groove. Plim on bass, and dressed in a black cape, was gaunt and haunting. He growled and wailed while guitarist Moz shredded tastefully beside him. At his other side, Laurie brandished a violin bow to good effect. It's still psychedelic, but while the Shrines were trippy and bright, Baba Naga took us in a more Hammer Horror direction. The Shrines crowd had vanished by this point, and those intrigued by Baba Naga returned to the bar. We were able to find space nearer the stage. Four tall, skinny guys wandered on stage, a rather messy changeover from the previous band. Looking not unlike The Ramones or The Seeds, they strapped on their vintage guitars (including a lovely ancient Gretsch). They even set up a sitar, which never got played. New Candys, from Venice, Italy, hit the ground running locking into the surf garage sound they have perfected, drenched in reverb and echo. The audience was thinner than before but enthusiastic. After three numbers, it was clear that singer Fernando Nuti was having serious problems with his vocals that the Riverside sound man could not fix. The Candys ploughed on. Their usual wall of sound was not as full as we might have hoped for, but they still delivered a heady, driving set. Bass player Stefano – with his bowl fringe and vintage Vox bass – and Dario on drums were very tight throughout the performance and locked themselves into a groove. Diego on lead writhed and wriggled across the stage, wrenching taught, neat solos from that Gretsch. Live the band has a raw and edgy sound, more punky than expected. To their credit, the band did a hugely professional job under difficult circumstances. A great evening despite the tehnical problems.

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