Archive for the '2010' Category

31
May
10

#014 Livonia – Vengeance is Mine (live)

Photo by Mark Wong

For a band whose second EP was self-mockingly titled¬†Three Years Late, my experiences of Livonia have always been marked by some kind of delayed gratification. For example, the last time I’d seen the band was at the Stasis 2 gig in 1999. What I took back from that gig was less the band’s actual performance and more the sensations of suspense and anticipation, of wondering whether the band would even play at all. The band had been due to play earlier in the evening but kept getting pushed back until they became by default the closing act of the evening, their lead guitarist delayed on his return flight from Australia. In fact, my memory of Daniel Sassoon at that gig was less his flamboyant guitar solos than the image of him lugging his guitar and bags into the old Substation Garden, straight off a cab from Changi Airport.

Fast forward to 2010 and I found the prospect of seeing the band live again after more than a decade quite exciting, more so since I really didn’t expect them to ever regroup again after a reportedly acrimonious bust-up. As a familiar synthesiser melody began playing, I was reminded of the fact that I’d never actually seen a live performance of their radio hit, “Vengeance is Mine”. Somehow, I’d missed their earlier performances when the song still featured on their setlists, and after it topped local charts, the band had gotten sick of the song and had refused to play it live anymore. And so as the extended synthesiser refrain droned on (there’s your dose of heightened anticipation again), the band gamely trooped out: Robin and Alfe to their respective drums kits, Ami picking up his bass, Daniel his guitar and Joseph with his guitar to the mic stand. Then…

Before we know it, Robin taps out a 1-2-3-4, Daniel and Joseph begin chugging their machines and Joseph’s rich tenor finds its way into the mix after a momentary false start. The rest exists for me in vivid snapshots: Ami going footloose and dancing in perfect rhythm, Joseph’s lanky stature and commanding presence, Robin and Alfe thumping away in unison like little boys set free, Daniel’s delicious guitar licks, any other number of gravity-defying leaps by band members…

Here was Livonia. Back with a vengeance, as they say. And boy, did it taste sweet.

mp3: Livonia – Vengeance is Mine (Live at +65 Indie Underground pt. II, Apr 11, 2010)




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