VARIOUS ARTISTS - From New York To Luxemburg

Various Artists - From New York To Luxemburg

12 songs
45:13 minutes
***** ****
Hellcat / Winged Skull


On December 20th 2003, The Slackers from New York were playing at the Kulturfabrik in Luxembourg and were supported by three national and regional bands (Toxkäpp, Kunn & The Magic Muffins, P.O. Box). As all concerts by The Slackers get recorded, their label Hellcat didn't make an exception in Luxemburg and parts of the show were released about half a year later.

Opening act were the French ska band P.O. Box whose drummer Damiano also is a member of local punk-rockers Timesickness. They have been founded three years ago and although I missed their gig, what I heard on the CD is quite impressive. Their sound is very fresh sounding and you can't say that they are copying a certain group. Their songs often begin in a very relax way inviting to dance, but they are full of faster parts that get you pogo dancing.

Luxembourg's ska big band (about 10 people) are Kunn & The Magic Muffins (with members of Kitshickers and ex-Carefree) who were playing one of their first gigs. Their songs are a combination of ska and reggae, always very calm and rhythmic. Amettere shows the band even with swing elements. Not bad for a newcomer, but both singers still have to progress. The female one is sounding like Parc Café, a Luxemburgish pop atrocity of the Eighties, the male one is barking like a dog.

The first band able to play before a huge crowd were Toxkäpp, Luxembourg's most established ska band. It's good to have some new songs by them on CD because the songs from their first and only CD from 1998 aren't representative anymore. Their songs have quite simple concepts and are easy to remember, a sure recipe for writing ska songs. All their lyrics are in Luxemburgish, easy to understand and very critical about society. Gudd versëchert seems to have become their new hit. It's high time for Toxkäpp to release finally a second CD.

The Slackers showed immediately that they are real professionals on stage. Although I'm no reggae fan, I was immediately impressed by their rhythmic dubby songs which made me feel like being in the Caribbean. They were also always trying to communicate with the audience which was well appreciated. The songs are nearly as convincing on CD than live, maybe because of the vocals which are not typically reggae like, but have a slight punk attitude.

I recommend you to buy this CD. First of all, the sound quality is far above average. Secondly, how rare are Luxemburgish live recordings? Finally there are only 500 copies. The only disappointing point is that each band just contributed three songs on the CD. There had been enough place for one more song for each featured band.

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