Yesterday evening I had the fortune, nay, the privilege to see Stelios Tsoukias and his band performing live at Zigfrid von Underbelly at Hoxton. The gig was a tribute to the late Pavlos Sidiropoulos. I didn’t know what to expect but I was very pleasantly surprised.
For the ones that know Pavlos’ voice will agree with with me that it’s not easy to imitate. Well, Stelios did not try that at all. He gave his own interpretation, with his own voice and sometimes with his own (and Kostas Georgiadis’) arrangements with a result that did not disappoint. He added his own colour and style to the songs with the respect required but without fear of being unfaithful to the emotion that kindled them.
The band seemed to have spent quite some time together and they have gelled nicely. The sound was good and the sound engineer (he was the venue’s engineer) managed to keep everything in check considering the size and shape of the venue. Back to the band; Kostas, the guitarist, played very well, with clear strumming and clean sound. Although a typical flamboyant lead guitarist he was never over the top or repetitive. It is quite obvious that he is an accomplished musician that can produce beautiful soundscapes without sounding too loud or distorted.
Vassilis Lazouras on the bass guitar was as visible as you expected him to be. He provided a more than adequate floor for Kostas and Stelios to walk on and take us places. If Kostas was the floor, then Babis “Flou” Margaritidis (see what I did there?) on the drums had to be the foundation. And what a foundation it was? Metronomic yet playful and clean is how I would describe his drumming.
There was a short, 3-4 song session by Stelios with his acoustic guitar. He sang some of Pavlos’ ballads that created a cosy atmosphere as if he was playing for his mates in his own front room.
All in all a great experience and I have to admit that I felt guilty for not having been to one of his earlier gigs.