Olympia 66

CD Cover Ralph Alfonso
Bongo Beat

Review by Darren Gawle

45-second excerpt from "My Way of Giving" (various formats)

Poetry is a lot like abstract art or punk music -- anyone, regardless of their level of talent, thinks they can do it, and invariably they do -- and Olympia 66 is an unfortunately good example. This is Ralph Alfonso's paean to mod culture of the mid-sixties and it's offensively trite.

Styled as a "travelogue through sixties rock," the work on this EP seems to assume that merely namechecking Vox amplifiers, Carnaby Street, Rickenbacker guitars, Vespas and the Ricky-Tick club will conjure up the spirit of swinging London circa 1966. It doesn't, and I'm left with a nasty taste of cynical opportunism in my mouth long after the disc is over.

A live recording, Olympia 66 also features Stephen Quinn of Thrill Squad in a backing guitar role, and, despite his best efforts, it ends up sounding like someone trying out a new Les Paul at Long & McQuade. If it's the mod spirit you're after, your money would be better spent on renting Blow Up from Videomatica.

Artist Contact Info: Box 505, 1288 Broughton, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V6G 2B5

First published in Drop-D Magazine on November 17, 1997

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