By far, Old House Playground is one of my favourite up and coming bands of 2015. This three piece band from Athens consisting of Tryfon Lazos (lead vocals/guitar), Andreas Venetantes (drums/percussion/backing vocals), and Conor Loughran (bassist) prove to be amazing with their captivating blues/surf rock guitar riffs, powerful vocal presence, and crafting of brilliant songs.
I am a huge Tom Waits fan, so instantly when I heard Old House Playground’s music, I fell in love. Then, as I read a little more into the band I came to find that Tom Waits is actually one of their major influences along with Nick Cave, whose stuff I really dig as well. The band has a great sound that is unique and extraordinary yet has the warm classic sound of a vintage lo-fi blues that keeps the listener entranced and entertained song after song.
The new album called ‘The Great Escape”, coming out June 22nd 2015, features a wonderful song ‘Polite Fiction’ which embodies the blues rock style guitar of Tom Waits, with its upfront vibrato style guitar and classic simplistic melodic lines. The vocals take on a more dark and sinister vibe with a deeper tone a lot like Nick Cave’s amazing voice, but also could be similar to the vocals of bands like Morphine and Danzig (previous lead singer of The Misfits). The lyrics are of a more sombre tone and could be said to have a goth or early 80’s vibe to them by the way of the singing, which is very similar to the vocal and lyrical style of bands of that era such as The Smiths and Depeche Mode. The song ‘Swiss Chocolate’ off their previous album “God Damn That Gold” (2012) really sums up the lyrical content with the great line “oh my lady, oh sweet whore” and gives the music a sombre bluesy tone that is really consistent throughout most of their songs.
Currently, Old House Playground is residing in Manchester and have added another instrumentalist Jago Furnas and continue to play with bassist Conor Loughran on a more occasional basis. They have also been working on composing a film score with Oscar award-winning music producer Clive Martin for a documentary by Barney Spender called, “The Road To Sparta” that should prove to be nothing less than spectacular.
Old House Playground have built up quite a live show reputation, playing with the likes of Vini Reilly, and seem to be winning over a pretty loyal fanbase in the Manchester area. They kick off a five show spree in June with the first two being in Manchester and the second being their launch party for ‘The Great Escape’ EP.
June 6th – Tiger Lounge, Manchester
June 18th – Gullivers, Manchester (EP launch party)
June 19th – Ship and Anchor, Southport
June 23rd – Bristol
June 24th – Paper Dress – London
If you are in the area of any of these shows it will promise to be a performance you won’t want to miss. As for me, I’m just gonna have to wait and hope that at some point they will make it over to the US for a show. For now it looks like I will just have to settle for the new EP and cross my fingers.
For the latest on Old House Playground visit any social media site such as Soundcloud, Facebook, and Twitter. Or visit their webpage.