ALBUM REVIEW: Los Fastidios – From Lockdown To The World (Kob Records)
Nothing is guaranteed to raise your spirits in troubled times more than a slice of sunny ska, so to say this release is welcome as we emerge from the global coronavirus pandemic is a bit of an understatement.
Los Fastidios are an Italian streetpunk band from Verona, who have been spreading their message of equality, socialism and anti-fascism since 1991. Last year they played 101 gigs in 14 different countries, racking up 55,000km on the road, but their plans for this year were brought to a juddering halt by Covid-19.
Undeterred, they began making acoustic recordings from quarantine and over the course of three months used social media to share the videos with their fans so they could continue spreading their message of positivity. Now you can hear all those lockdown recordings together, and while they’re a little rough around the edges, I think that adds to their charm.
The band’s founder Enrico De Angelis is joined on vocals by their manager and record label owner Elisa Dixon, with Filippo ‘Bibol’ Francesconi contributing guitar, bass and trumpet, Bacchetta on drums and Paco Galicia on saxophone.
It kicks off with Joy Joy Joy from their 2019 album of the same name, and three more tracks from the record, It’s Time, A Message Pour Toi, and the Paul Heaton (The Beautiful South) co-write I Have A Dream also get a joyful airing. They’re upbeat tunes which can’t fail to lift your mood.
There’s a selection of older songs from previous albums, including fan favourites Rudy Rude Boy and Skankin’ Town, as well as a medley featuring The Specials‘ classic You’re Wondering Now and Cock Sparrer‘s We’re Coming Back, and their 2004 anti-racism anthem Antifa Hooligans, later covered by The Oppressed.
The record is dedicated to George Floyd, whose death at the hands of police sparked Black Lives Matter protests around the world, all the people who suffered during the pandemic and the loved ones who are no longer with us. It’s also in loving memory of ’60s reggae singer Millie Small, who died in May at the age of 72, so it’s apt that they cover one of her tracks, Oh Henry, with Dixan’s voice a perfect fit for the jaunty vocals.
There’s 12 tracks in all, and the positive, upbeat mood doesn’t let up from start to finish, making this a wonderful feelgood record. 8/10.
* Los Fastidios’ From Lockdown To the World is available on CD, LP and digitally from Kob Records HERE.