CULTURE

Greece’s springtime surge of concert action not over

The local concert circuit’s springtime surge of visiting acts, following a quiet spell in previous months, is set to continue later this week with another flock of bands, old and newer, booked to fly in for shows. The agenda, which offers contemporary acts Mogwai and Death in Vegas, will also bring to Greece two veteran acts, the «British Invasion» R&B-pop band Manfred Mann, the more obscure, yet influential David Thomas, formerly of Pere Ubu, and his backing duo of recent years, Two Pale Boys, as well as garage-punk band the Cynics. The experimental rock band Mogwai, touring with a new album, «Happy Songs For Happy People,» will open its European tour here with two shows, first at the Mylos Club in Thessaloniki (56 Andreou Georgiou, tel 2310.551.838) on Friday, and Ark Nr.6 in Athens (18 Themidos, Tavros, tel 210.338.8400) the following night. The relatively recent Glasgow quartet, which has worked prolifically to release four albums since 1997, will be appearing in Greece for the first time. Back after performances here in the recent past, the British «big-beat» electronica duo Death in Vegas has been booked for two shows, at the Mylos Club in Thessaloniki this Thursday and the Rodon Club in Athens (24 Marni, tel 210.524.7427). Band member Richard Fearless, who had emerged as a DJ at major UK events before the band’s formation, will set the mood on both nights with warmup DJ sets. Fearless and his band partner, Tim Holmes, have attracted several big-name guest vocalists on three albums to date, including Iggy Pop and Paul Weller. The band’s most recent album, «Scorpio Rising,» released last October, includes Hope Sandoval, the sensual and dreamy voice of Mazzy Star, as well as Dot Allison. Veterans Manfred Mann, essentially an R&B band that played pop to get on the charts back in the 1960s, have reformed after several splits and will perform career-spanning sets at Ark Nr.6 in Athens on Friday and the Mylos Club in Thessaloniki on Saturday. The peripheral, yet well-respected David Thomas, who, as frontman for the avant-garde rock group Pere Ubu – formed in the late 1970s – influenced and inspired innovative younger acts such as the Pixies years later, will front a less abrasive, more atmospheric project of his, David Thomas and the Two Pale Boys, for one night in Athens on Saturday at the Gagarin 205 Club (205 Liosion, close to Attiki Station, tel 210.854.7600). His backing band, an atmospheric, trumpet-and-guitar duo, provides a wayward musical trip for Thomas’s bizarre stories – sung and told. The Pittsburgh-based garage-rockers the Cynics, formed in 1983, have broken seven years of silence with a new album, «Living is the Best Revenge,» which brings them to Greece for one show on Friday at the Gagarin.