Band: Vinnie Caruana
Location: The Macbeth, London
The warm up acts have left the stage and The Macbeth is packed front to back with rowdy, drunken punks. Vinnie Caruana has just released his debut solo EP ‘City By The Sea’ after 15 years in the business and has brought the first batch of them with him, making tonight the first chance for anyone anywhere to pick up a copy.
Tonight’s not really about the new release, though. Tonight the fans are looking forward to hearing acoustic renditions of songs from Vinnie’s extensive back catalogue. People are expecting an intimate set comprised of songs from his bands; I Am The Avalanche, and the currently (but perhaps not permanently) broken up The Movielife.
By 10pm Vinnie is on stage and explaining how he’s having an excellent time because he’s just taken a whopping great dose of pain meds. (He recently damaged his back and is awaiting an operation to have it fixed.)
As he strums out the first chords of the set it becomes immediately clear that this gig is going to be fun – everyone knows all the words to everything Vinnie has ever written. After the audience have warmed up their vocal chords Vinnie takes things up a gear, launching into party anthem ‘This One’s On Me’ which summed up the general mood of the room perfectly. (“Excessive drinking is well in order this evening/I couldn’t imagine any other way…“)
On stage Vinnie jokes about how most people in the audience probably can’t even remember The Movielife, but if anything these oldies went down the best of all, and ‘Hand Grenade’ had the whole room bellowing along in the chorus.
Tonight we heard only one song from the new release, and although ‘Somehow The World Keeps Turning’ was the only song of the night that not everyone knew the words to it was still well received. These songs will make a great addition to the set once everyone’s had time to learn how they go.
By the time Vinnie was banging out ‘Brooklyn Dodgers’ at the end of the set he barely needed to be singing at all – everyone in the room was more than happy to do it for him – and even after the encore it felt like everyone could happily keep on going if he would just keep on playing. Sadly, the DJ was getting impatient, so Vinnie stepped off the stage and into the crowd and let him take over for the remainder of the night…
These shows are really for fans of Vinnie‘s work, but if you’re familiar with any of his bands it’s definitely worth heading down to one and having a bit of a sing. Great night!
Reviewer: Solomon Radley