By Jordan Mooney.
In this world of rock and roll, live DVDs and CDs still pepper the big-label groups’ repertoire. They are often over produced, under enthused and, more often than not, simply not very interesting. This is the curse of the rock and roll star – forty years of playing grinding them into a shallow, out of tune husk.
Thankfully, if there’s one group of stars I know will never reach that sorry state, it’s our good friends at Alexa De Strange, and, in order to celebrate their imminent return to the United Kingdom (Underworld, Camden, November 9th… be there!) we’ve popped in their Live DVD Con Conjones…
We’ve featured the group plentifully since we first met them and there’s a solid reason; we believe the Strange crew are one of the finest independent live acts in the United Kingdom, bar none, and have never not enjoyed their over-the-top, glittered excess of operatic vocals and catchy riffs.
Does that make us biased towards the little disc I’m about to pop into my steam-powered DVD player?
First off, it’s worth noting this is the first time I’ve witnessed a live performance of the complete De Strange line up, and it’s rather stunning to see the full six piece hammering away on stage. Often, the line up of Alexa’s minions is forced to shrink or grow in adaptation for certain venues; our only cemented members are Frankie (vocals), Shannon (Bass) and George (Guitar) – this DVD showcases the optimum set up – sort of an Alexa premium, and alongside the ‘big three’ we’ve got Miss James on Synth, Dany on backing vocals and Robin on the drums.
It acts as proof of a particularly meaty dish – a full, hefty and particularly voluptuous sound ticks all of the boxes here, and at a venue like Underworld (in support of Cherie Currie), there couldn’t be a better set of circumstances for the group to make a live DVD. The production quality is stunning; mastering, direction and sound quality is all up there with the best, despite the lack of several-thousand-pound budgets.
Beyond having a fantastic show, the disc is emblazoned with a fantastic set of extras; uncut music videos, interviews, teasers, a guitar lesson, extra live footage, soundchecks… this all forms a far bigger package than the old boys of rock are usually willing to pass onto the shelves, brilliant value for money, but most of all a great souvenir of the group’s constant high bar of performance.
It’s been quite a while since we last saw Alexa De Strange; and I can confidently say that here they still provide goosebumps just as readily as in the flesh. Frankie’s vocals remain some of the most utterly astounding in the scene today, Shannon’s flamboyancy is all present and correct, Georgie’s masterful swagger is still cemented, Missy is still brooding away – it shan’t provide any surprises to the dedicated army of fans, lunatics and stalkers behind the group, but will provide a fantastic keepsake of gigs past and present. We’ve always lauded Alexa De Strange as one of the independent scene’s ‘biggest’ sounding groups, the closest we know to bona-fide multimedia rockstars, and we think this perfectly presented package only reaffirms that.
Simply unmissable for fans, friends, sceptics and every other fucker – no exceptions!
Con Conjones finished three full prints, selling out on each – but an extra-special rerelease will be unleashed upon the public to coincide with the band’s return to British shores on November the 9th. If you’ll be there, pick it up – once it’s gone it’s gone! If you’re unable to attend, but simply must get it into your sticky mitts, pop along to the Alexa De Strange Facebook Group and make your demands…
I Am Monster
Twilight Is Our Playground
I Wanna Be Your Doll
Filmed at The Underworld, London, November 18th 2015.