G Fest brings in more great acts

The newly introduced G Fest summer concert series at the Olympic Beach Volleyball facility along the coast of Athens is proving to be one of the highlights of the capital’s entertainment agenda. Last week the event’s organizer, Astra, owner and operator of the Gagarin Club in the winter, brought together an eclectic mix of local and imported cult acts, among them the Skatalites, Himerini Kolymvites, Thanassis Papaconstantinou, and Tonino Carotone. Turnout was solid, in fact the biggest for the series so far, and the music went on until way past midnight. This week, the series offers another impressive lineup comprising the Fantomas, led by Mike Patton formerly of Faith No More, Peter Murphy, the man who fronted Bauhaus in the post-punk era, «noise-artist» Merzbow and DJ Spooky, all at the Beach Volleyball stadium, tonight. Finally here Patton never made it to Greece with Faith No More, the popular metal-funk-hip-hop band, but he will be fronting the Fantomas tonight. The act was formed seven years ago after the breakup of Patton’s previous band. He recruited Melvins guitarist Buzz Osbourne, Mr Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn, and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. Following several very promising releases, the Fantomas released «Delirium Cordia,» a haunting epic, a year ago. Murphy, one of the evening’s other highlights, will always be best known as the singer of Bauhaus, the legendary post-punk/new wave group from Northampton in the UK, which is widely regarded as the inspirational force behind the ensuing «goth-rock» scene. Despite lasting just four years, between 1979 and 1983, Bauhaus proved to be an immensely influential group. Murphy’s current backing band includes musicians that have played with Tricky, The Mission and Skinny Puppy. Life after Bauhaus Immediately after Bauhaus’s demise, Murphy formed Dali’s Car with former Japan member Mick Karn. They managed to put out just one album, «The Waking Hour,» in 1984. The duo split not long after and Murphy reluctantly started his solo career with a cover of Magazine’s «The Light Pours Out Of Me.» He released his first full-length album, «Should the World Fail to Fall Apart,» in 1986. It featured various guest artists, including former Bauhaus bandmate Danile Ash. A second solo album, «Love Hysteria,» followed two years later. Both albums, however, received lukewarm reviews but were popular among Bauhaus fans. Murphy’s next album, 1990’s «Deep,» produced a surprise hit, «Cuts You Up,» which topped various charts, and even made it on pop charts. A couple more solo albums, 1992’s «Holy Smoke» and 1995’s «Cascade» failed to make impact on the mainstream, but, by the new millenium, Murphy found new vigor to carry on. In 2002, Murphy put out «Dust,» an effort that brought in world instrumentalist Mercan Dede for a mix of prog rock, trance and classical music. It was followed by 2004’s «Unshattered.» Art of noise Also on tonight’s G Fest bill, Merzbow ranks as a leading «noise» artist who has collaborated with countless acts, contemporary and experimental, over the past couple of decades, including Mike Patton, John Zorn, Alec Empire, Russell Haswell, Keiji Haino, Otomo Yoshihide, and Zbigniew Karkowski. DJ Spooky returns to Greece for tonight’s event following a recent Herod Atticus performance as part of the Athens Festival. G Fest concludes next week with a performance by one of the world’s hottest rock acts at present, White Stripes, on July 13. The Detroit minimalist rock duo of Jack White, on guitar, and Meg White on drums will be appearing just days after headlining at the Glastonbury Festival, a major event on the international rock circuit.

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