Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Armageddon in Italia 2 - The Darks were WHERE ?

One reason that the Italian gigs of ’85 have entered TSOM folklore is the fact that they were all recorded to a high audio standard by local bootleggers, amongst the most sophisticated in Europe at the time, and it didn’t take long for said recordings to surface on the (appropriately) black market.

One of the best known “live” recordings of the time is “The Darks were in Milan” from the gig at the Odissea 2001 in Milan, which as you can see by using the building on the left of each photo as a point of reference, is now the site of some very upmarket flats.
If you head out of town towards the San Siro, you may well take the via delle Forza Armate, which as its name suggests takes you past a very large barracks. This street name is usually given as the location of the Odyssey 2001 club, but it was in fact situated just off it, up a street named via Ernesto Bensenzanica. As can be seen from the photo on the left (lifted from the website of well-respected newspaper “Corriere della Sera”), the Odyssey was a popular club in the early 80s, and was a regular stop-off for UK positive punk bands on tour. The Cult, Bauhaus and Danse Society are all bands whose performances at the suburban venue were heavily bootlegged, and as can be seen from the Corriere’s photo of the inside, the relatively low roof was perfect for both acoustics and atmospherics.

Sadly, its heyday did not last long, and after becoming for a short while the Prego and then the Zimba (specialising in African and jazz music), it enjoyed a new lease of life as the Rainbow Rock Club, which is still fondly remembered in Milanese heavy metal circles, so much so that a young artist Oliver Pavicevic has created a “virtual visit” of how the club was, which can currently be enjoyed on YouTube. Apart from the rainbow lighting effect, this virtual tour gives some impression of what it would have been like to be at the Sisters gig on Monday 29th April 1985.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUld9PHPtcU

Although the Rainbow was closed down and then demolished in the noughties, and nothing now remains of the rock institution that was the Odisseia/Rainbow, the various projects to keep the name alive (such as the one below http://www.rebeccaagnes.org/modelli.html) mean that we have more than a block of flats to remind us of one of the many lost venues from the Sisters’ legendary tours.

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