Pikes In Panic
Pikes In Panic
Biagio dei Librai won’t be forgotten in a hurry!), a Fender Leslie amplifier with a powerful ventilator; Michele often used to play a Luca’s a set of Hollywood drums with trolley; Roberto never abandoned his Ibanez bass from his punk origins. The powerful and relentless rhythm of Michele, Roberto and Lorenzo (the overwhelming punk energy), Marco’s cutting guitar riffs, distorted and pure, Angelo’s melodious arrangements, his solos on the Farfisa, on the Hammond and on the electric keyboard are a few of the Pike’s characteristics that made them stand out from all the other bands. Finally we can't forget Luca’s deep, black vocalist voice that so distinguished itself. An important presence for the band was Marco Begani, their manager. He offered his friendship but also searched for gigs, record labels, distributors and maintained contacts with other aficionados up until his departure, He produced (together with Massimo Mini) the first e.p. Chiavoni Day (Microbonf 1985), four songs mixed and recorded in just one day ! The 1000 copies were quickly sold out. This period was characterised by enthusiastic reviews and articles in fanzines (the real source of the underground scene), in specialist magazines (Rockerilla, Il Mucchio Selvaggio, Buscadero) and nights spent playing and listening to the music of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. An important acknowledgment and a great satisfaction for the band was a letter from Jello Biafra (singer of the Dead Kennedys, an expert of sixties punk and a legend for all generations) that spurred the band on to continue and asked for information on the band’s sound!!! The band was constantly supported by a group of wild aficionados that were musically very up-to-date going to all their gigs wherever they played: in and around Siena there was a movement of people, ideas and music that made this Tuscan town one of the liveliest places in central Italy for the sixties-oriented music scene. The ep “Chiavoni Day” was recorded at the Gas studios in Florence that later proposed a contract that brought to the recording of the album Keep it cool and dry (1988) and taking part in the Eighties colour vol. 2 (a compilation edited by Claudio Sorge for his label Electric Eye) The tiresome wait for the debut album, with months and months of delay and the diverging ideas regarding the production became a real burden for the Pikes.
The aims of the record label were a far cry from those of the band and so were the different ideas on just about everything (sound-gigs-photographs). The 2 record producers insisted on separate recordings for each instrument the Pikes were totally against this (in fact all went well when a live recording was decided) and apart from the excellent relationship with the sound technician (Mario Fani) and the less than poor results of the recording, the year and half delay, the long time spent in the recording studios, that was so far from the Pikes’ concept of live band, and lastly the horrendous album cover led to the first real crisis. Soon after this, Roberto Censi, who wanted a much harder musical approach whilst the other members were listening to more and more rhythm & blues, left and Paolo Migliorini, who definitely preferred this kind of music, took his place (he had played with a rhythm & blues cover band at the same time as the Pikes: Fat Peep Combo where every now and then Luca and Marco would session). The band took part in a compilation “Lose your mind” (with a demo version of Summer Girl) together with the best Italian psychedelic/garage groups. With more than 50 concerts throughout Italy those that will be mostly remembered are as support band to the Prisoners (one of the Pikes’ members favourite groups – James Taylor played with Angelo’s farfisa and leslie-fender!!!!!!) and to the Lyres of Jeff “Mono-man” Connolly. The Pikes like to remember and greet the great bands of that period of the Italian music underground scene with whom they had the pleasure to play: Birdman of Alcatraz (the group that the Pikes most admired and were tied to through mutual respect and friendship) – SteepleJack – Kim Squad & Dinah Shore Hearthbangers – The Storks – The Liars – Gli Avvoltoi – Funhouse – Joe Perrino & the Mellowtones – Double Deck Five – The Gift – The Lager – Psychomotor Pluck. Once the Pikes broke up: Michele has sung and played in Barbieri, Goldfingers. Quarrymen, Ray Daytona & The GooGooBombos and now in the B-Back. Luca has sung and played in Ghostrider. Roberto has played in Wilderness Underground and in Modulo 101. Angelo has played in Goldfingers. Read more on Last.fm.
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