POP : Ezio Borderline, London
Monday 02 December 1996
Ah, yes - this is the band whose sound may shape a nation, for Ezio produced one of our future leader's all-time favourite tracks, as revealed on last Sunday's Desert Island Discs. Could've been a curse or a blessing, but it looked like the latter as mainman Ezio Lunedai surveyed a sea of press lenses and drily observed, "It wasn't long ago me and Booga would play to 14 people on this very stage. We should thank Mr Blair, so I have to say.... Thank you, Lionel." Amid roars, someone wailed, "But it's Tony!" "Hmm," nodded Lunedei. "Well, I'm bloody glad you know that."
News of the Radio 4 revelation had been leaked ahead of time, and the band scrutinised by the media, so we knew Lunedei to be a 35-year-old ex-chartered surveyor and Mark "Booga" Fowell a one-time biochemist. We'd heard the Blair track, "Cancel Today", a slightly depressing piece of wish-fulfilment. (Tony: "It's about wanting today to go away, which is usually how I feel every Tuesday and Thursday when Prime Minister's questions comes along.")
I'd had a listen to Black Boots in the office and been kindly offered ear plugs, because the CD sounds a bit Mark Knopfler-meets-the-Gipsy Kings, Mink Deville without the castanets. Live, you realise the recording was eviscerated by producer Rupert Hine, of Tina Turner fame. Ezio's Spanish- inflected folk-pop is visceral and ferocious, the sumo-sized Booga wigging out in bloody-fingered flamenco frenzy while Lunedei, swarthy, Latinate and throwing his locks about like Antonio Banderas's disaffected brother, matches him with much foot stamping, by grinding his guitar to shreds and by delivering rip-roaring lyrics, often about sexual obsession, drinking alone in bars, your woman marrying another guy, that stuff. That it delivers such a twist is due to Lunedei's literate writing; and when, on "Tuesday Nights", he growls threateningly "I want you... the way I want a Vibra- slim guitar", he's almost choking on longing.
So - mediocre rock for a mediocre politician? Wrong on at least one count. Glyn Brown
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
- 5 John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Comic-Con 2014: Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch and Game of Thrones' George RR Martin set to attend
Hercules, review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson takes centre stage in preposterous movie
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?
George R. R. Martin responds to 13-year-old fan's 'heartfelt' letter asking for a grisly death in Game of Thrones
Star Wars 7: Plot details 'leak', with sequel's opening sequence and premise revealed
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains