Never judge a book by its cover…or a record for that matter. However I love the pleasant surprise that often comes in doing just that. That was how I came to stumble upon Vadoinmessico, a five-piece based in London with members hailing from Mexico, Italy and Austria. They met at music college in the city in 2006 and it’s no wonder the summertime drizzle and grey skies made them yearn for home and create these uplifting and colourful pieces.
Their name translates from the Italian to “I am in Mexico” and that is definitely how one feels listening to them: akin to the sounds of crazy French duo Herman Dune, or perhaps Beirut in their multi-instrumental diversity and ability to transport their listeners to another place, climate and time. They sound like they are on a road-trip down to South America from Eastern-Europe, via Spain; all gleefully piled into an ancient vintage car crammed full of obscure instruments.
They played the tiny upstairs room of The Enterprise in Camden last night which was made up of friends and family in the main. Probably no more than 50 people in the audience it was an energetic yet intimate affair with the floorboards shaking under the weight of dancing feet which couldn’t help but tapping in time to the Latin and Spanish inspired sounds of Harry Sullivan & Salvador Garza’s combined percussive drumming. With a penchant for collecting weird instruments bought on Ebay and incorporating them into their kaleidoscopic summer sound their on-stage line up often employs two drummers, a melodica, glockenspiel and banjo with the regular guitar/vocal mix: all five mucking in with these; with three or four of the members playing multiple instruments in any given song.
Despite only a seven track self titled EP under their belt their performance didn’t feel short – they crammed in as many instruments, inspirations, nationalities and smiles as they could muster. And as the night went on and reached its raucous peak with “In Spain” there was such a sense of shared love and happiness that they could have won us over by playing the same track ten times.
They are essentially something very new, almost verging on the kind of amalgamated world music performances you might find at Foyles Jazz Cafe – it’s Giorgoi Poti’s vocals that help push them into our vision however with lyrics that go from the downright positively sunny of “In Spain” to the more introspective “I see so many faces sculling me” of “Sisma”.
I’m surprised these guys aren’t bigger, but in many ways I’m glad their secret isn’t out just yet, plus they made a drizzly Camden an extremely pleasant one to walk through after the show – for me I was in Mexico after all.