Turn left in Buenos Aires, looking for the town hall bridge. We are surprised by a line of people that reaches almost to the Ezpeleta Hardware Store, two blocks from Plaza Venezuela. In an endless line, calm young people wait in order to enter the room and attend the Chill Mafia concert, they tell us. While we wait for a new traffic light to turn green, I get to thinking that, in the early eighties of the last century, a scene like this could have occurred on Wardour Street, to see the Chords live at the Marquee.
We come from the Rocket room. We return home after seeing The Chords live. There were no lines at our concert. Now, young people prefer other revolutions. In “Hey Kids! Come the Revolution”, the Chords sing that from “Hey Kids! in this thing forever”… In this thing, forever. Times change, but some of us continue in this thing forever; standing in lines that no longer exist.
Chris Pope and his team gave everything. They smiled, shook the instruments well, did not stop stoking the fire and spoke with a strong accent that destroyed the illusions of all those who had the advanced. From the beginning with “Listen to the Radio” or “Something’s Missing” until when we were approaching the end with melodic gems like “So Far Away” or “The British Way of Life”, the Chords always kept the bar very high, pushing to the public and precipitating his music. It goes without saying, we all know that this is summarized with an eme, an o and a de, but, suddenly, if you listen well, you also hear the roots of other genres, whether we’re talking about punk, power pop, garage or anything like that. containing amplified guitars with colorful chords. They reminded us that they have a very recent EP with roots in our land, because Brixton Records participates. If I’m not confused, at least two from that collection fell: the one that gives the album its title, “Somewhere beyond the Rainbow” and “Veronica Jones,” it seemed to me. In between, the stories embedded in “In My Street” and “Now It’s Gone” delivered in their consortium with the music. The bass lines punctuated the rhythm and the choruses launched like boomerangs. They sang the one we mentioned in the second paragraph and I hope I’m not confused if I say that I recognized a version of “Pressure Drop” by Toots and The Maytals. The final encore was magnificent, with the volume very high and the audience collaborating with their lungs and their fists. Pope took off his guitar and, without a cross strap, we could see a mod target on his chest. They closed with the catchy and effervescent “Maybe Tomorrow”, and no one stopped to think if it could be (whatever) tomorrow, today or yesterday.
During the concert of The ChordsIn the front row, you could see Rioja, singer of the Paniks, enjoying himself with his arms raised and his fists clenched. She already said it very clearly during his concert: “I’m a fan of the Chords.” I don’t remember having seen Rioja talk so much, and so relaxed, on stage. It was before they played “On my grave.” He began by ironically about his absence at mod festivals, insisted on how good the Chords are, and ended by explaining to us that, when he and Patxi started with the Paniks, they were always compared to the Dead Moon and he didn’t know who they were. He reminded us that the Sex Museum also cover the same song, challenging us to listen to it and then give him our opinion. And, yes, after all this, they played it, and we returned to enjoy the tapping on the pantheon again.
Well yes, what I was telling you, that before The Chords the panics. They played a short but effective set. There, at the beginning, of course, “Jony” played. They made that journey through hell again when they hit, in a row, “ella She ella’s my Witch”, “Blue Moon” and “We Were 7”. Rioja looks like he’s going to take flight when she spreads her elbows to cramp his guitar. David, the bassist, exercises his neck from left to right, with his mouth open, as if he were chasing away internal torments. Zala passes the guitar across the floor, perhaps he is a chord dowser. Patxi has to push on “Maribel”. He opens his mouth wide to breathe while he suffers on the roll. Josu, the saxophonist, looks over his glasses as if watching in case his singer escapes. Then he will hug you. When they play “The Brave Walk Alone” he juggles his instrument. “I collect bones” is that, they all shake you. Rioja comments that they want to play more songs, but that his drums won’t let them. They first do “Drowning” by Reigning Sound, which continues to captivate like the first day, and they say goodbye by agargantado, which is a verb that doesn’t exist but works for me, the controlled madness of “Alvarez Kelly”.
I think it even turned out well for me to go like this, from the end to the beginning. I end by completing a circle and returning to the beginning to make a wink that is intended to be emphatic: we will continue going to the wrong queues, what are we going to do, even though our revolutions already seem extinct. That’s what music has.