Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Seen It>>Desaparecidos at Electric Ballroom, 11 February 2013

Eleven years after the release of Read Music/Speak Spanish and their subsequent break-up, Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst finally brought his hardcore band, Desaparecidos, over the pond, playing three shows in London, Manchester and Glasgow. After the efforts of Detour and Songkick, Desaparecidos were able to head to the UK for their first ever shows, including the tour finale at Electric Ballroom, which was packed to the rafters to see the band who had reunited in 2012, to play a local festival in Omaha.

Oberst appeared clad in long black hair and indoor sunglasses, neither what you’d expect from punk activist, nor appropriate attire for the incumbent weather. However, new song and opener, “The Left is Right”, saw a crowd push of excited fans eager to get their first glimpse of the Nebraskan quintet. Another newbie in “Anonymous” is greeted with the fist pumping anthem “you can’t stop us, we are anonymous”, whilst “Greater Omaha’s opening chords are greeted with excited loud cheers. The relentless set vary rarely offers an opportunity for a rest, just an enthralling political noise on stage, supplemented by a passionate following within the crowd.

“MariKKopa”, written after their reunion in 2012, about a racist sheriff of Phoenix, Arizona, seemed to be Oberst’s vocal calling. They returned after the encore with a cover of The Clash’s “Spanish Bombs” and set closer “Hole in One”, which saw guitarist Denver Dalley, diving into the crowd.

Even some eleven years after they first came to our attention, the passion and message of Desaparecidos is still there to see. With youth unemployment and disillusionment still at rife, this is their time to speak. Perhaps Oberst means the truth, when he says they will see us again. This isn’t a reunion to pay the bills. 

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