Koupes & R For Renegade, Prague Draft Live Stage, Kastoria Greece
I can't get away from this stuff even when I'm on holiday in Greece it seems that I'm still invited to watch bands and give my opinion on them. I been in Prague Draft Livestage before it is sort of a lounge bar that has a lot of rock band playing in there. In fact a week after I leave Gus G will be bringing his solo band to the same venue.
The last time I was here though it was for local act made good Scars Of Tears but they say that the more things change the more they stay the same and that was true on this twixtmas night. The last time we were here the support act was R For Renegade, this time the support was R For Renegade (5) a Greek rock band that plays their own songs interspersed with covers. The covers were the probably the best received except for one of their own numbers but when you bring out Wicked Game (Chris Isaak), What I've Done (Linkin Park) and Seven Nation Army (White Stripes) you'll get that response. However the problem remains that their playing is a little simplistic and the singer's voice, in Greek and English, is not very good at all, still the locals enjoyed it as the alcohol flowed like water.
A short change over and the band (that translates to mugs/cups or the Hearts suit in cards - thanks to my Greek companions for the translation) came to the stage, again they were a home-town band and much like in the Cardiff scene they were made up of members from other bands including Scars Of Tears and Slavedom, both of whom have been reviewed in these pages. They feature drummer Christos Polizos, bassist Sakis Sarafas, guitarists Babis Stephanidis and Achilleas Parzikas and lead vocalist Athena Delliou. Together the band play excellent alternative/gothic heavy rock at a level that was far superior to the support band. You can clearly tell that the members of Koupes (8) have all served their time on the Greek rock/metal scene as they were a slick drilled unit who are currently supporting their debut album.
The lyricism was all in Greek yes but that's not a barrier to great musicianship or the absolutely superb voice Athena who is talented beyond her years and glides above the riffs brought by the rest of the band, the contrast between her and the gruffer voices of the two guitarists was brilliant and it made the songs really stick in your head despite the language barrier. At times straightforward but at others more progressive they were a warmup for the Lemmy tribute night later that evening and what better way to remember the man himself by getting out there and watching some live music. With an album under their belt and representation I expect them to be playing bigger stages soon.