It’s probably easier for a cover band to get gigs in Italy than for a bonafide original band such is the state of affairs for booking live gigs, at least in northern Italy, but sometimes somehow bands get their foot in the door even if it means playing really small locations as is the case this evening at the ‘Musici Per Caso’ club in Piacenza. Tonight the band, Any Other hit the tiny stage, this the brainchild of Adele Altro, singer songwriter, guitarist and an absolute talent. The bands third album ‘stillness, stop: you have a right to remember’ has just been released and it continues the delectable musical journey of this indie soft rock band. The songs on the album are simply wonderful, with probing lyrics, written by Adele in the most competent English; poetic almost, with a surprising turn of phrase; indeed lyrically the songs are both challenging and a delight . Very very rarely have I heard an Italian band really seem to grasp the English language and its nuances. The well known Maneskin for example have next to no subtlety and are even deliberately Italian, for better or for worse, in their manner, whereas Any Other seem so worldly in their demeanour and so much more colourful in their expression.

Adele has been making and producing records for nigh on 10 years , able to release her first record whilst still a teenager . The Any Other band members often change allowing Adele to have various musician friends and colleagues take part in this ever evolving project in an organic fashion and this has in time culminated in their superb latest album. Tonight the band are long term collaborator and co producer Marco Giudici on bass, Ariana Pasini guitar, Giulio Stermieri keyboards , Nicholas Remondino percussion and Adele on electric acoustic guitar, electric guitar and vocals.
There are about 90/ 100 people in the house with all in all has pretty good acoustics and thankfully a bar too.

They play all of the new album and quite a few songs from previous records. Adele really has a wonderful voice with a weight and texture that is appealing and captivating. A sort of cross between the warmth of Joni Mitchell and the sparks of Bjork. The band have fun, very focused with their playing with the intent of serving the song. No solo flourishes, no over complications but subtlety and dynamics are the key. But it’s Adele who holds centre stage with an intense glare and commitment as she performs, singing and playing majestically throughout the songs, building them up and then breaking them down with apparent ease. Songs that stand out for me at least are the indie pop marvels that are ‘Zoe’s Seeds’, ‘If I Don’t Care’, ‘Capricorn No’ and ‘Need Of Affirmation’. As for ‘Awful Thread’, well it should be on everyone’s Spotify playlist.
Adele does one cover, singing the Angel Olsen song ‘ The Waiting with Virginia ( stage name Tutto Piange, who as the support act played a short but smart set just vocals and guitar) as a duet and it is indeed rather special.

There was a good vibe in the room tonight and as the band took a series of bows from the small stage at the end, the crowd were warm and appreciative for this most enjoyable gig. I gladly coughed up 30 euros to get the vinyl version of the last album as these bands need to exist and make waves. Gigs are already lined up in Germany this spring and I rather hope they can get something in England in the festival circuit this summer where I am absolutely certain they would do very well.