The capital’s club season kicks off in tougher times

Most of the capital’s major live Greek music clubs have – amid difficult market conditions – just launched their operations for the winter season. In recent years, spending on entertainment, including concerts, has fallen significantly, yet, paradoxically, the sector’s offerings in Athens have been maintained, and have possibly even increased. It will be interesting, then, to see how the various productions fare under these adverse conditions. In one of the more ambitious productions, just launched at the Kerameikos Club (58 Kerameikou & Marathonos, tel 210.522 2222), the veteran songwriter Dionysis Savvopoulos, performing with pop-rock act Nikos Portokaloglou and Giorgos Margaritis, has prepared a festive show inspired by the fascinating world of circus and clowns titled «Electric Circus.» Savvopoulos, who emerged in the 1960s as a balladeer of protest songs and just recently marked four decades in the business with celebratory shows this past summer, considers the slightly younger Portokaloglou to be an «artistic brother.» Among the show’s trio, Margaritis is the odd man out. An authentic singer of the seedier side of laiko (popular Greek) songs, he proved relatively popular in the 1970s and ’80s on the bouzouki-club circuit. Recently, he has enjoyed something of a revival after hooking up with younger musicians, generating more up-to-date laiko-rock fusion as backup for the singer. And it has proven quite successful, both commercially and artistically. Not far from the Kerameikos Club, at the Iera Odos club (18-20 Iera Odos, tel 210.342.8272), another veteran of Greek song, Paschalis Terzis, has joined forces with the young pop act Michalis Hadziyiannis in an obvious attempt by the venue’s management to maximize the show’s crossover appeal for greater market potential. Two high-caliber singers, Dimitra Galani and Alkistis Protopsalti have just commenced a series of shows at the Vox (16 Iera Odos, tel 210.341.1000). Enduring singer Dimitris Mitropanos, one of the most popular figures on the laiko circuit since the ’70s, has teamed up with Themis Adamantidis and Dimitris Bassis, both more recent arrivals, for a series of shows titled «There’s also the Zeibekiko,» which opened in Thessaloniki at the Fix Community club. The show will move south to Athens to the Akti Pireos club in late January. Crossover act Eleni Tsaligopoulou begins her series of shows there in mid-November. Also in mid-November, a popular stand-up comedy duo, Silas Serapheim and Giorgos Hadzipavlou, begin performances at the House of Art (4 Sachtouri & Sarri, Psyrri, tel 210.321.7678). Cretan balladeer Loudovikos ton Anogeion has joined forces with old-school Greek revivalist Maryo for Monday-Tuesday runs throughout November at the capital’s Syrmos club (Kolonou & 14 Odysseos, Metaxourgeio, tel 210.520.3661). Maryo, who provided vocals for the Cretan artist’s latest album «Bit Bazaar,» has also been booked for shows on other nights of the week at the Harama club in Kaisariani, Athens (tel 210.766.4869) with the veteran singer Litsa Diamanti. Vassilis Papaconstantinou begins shows at the Oxygen Live club with a newcomer on the pop circuit, Isaias Matiaba.