Topic: Franck Carducci & The Fantastic Squad

Innisfree Social Club, Longbenton – 6th Dec 2022

Well then, this was a new one, or two: new-to-me venue and new-to-me band in the form of Franck Carducci & the Fantastic Squad. A name I’d heard, but one not in the usual blues/rock genre, but more psychedelic/progressive that the seem to do so well over on the continent. So what do you get for your money? An eclectic 5-piece including a leather-clad firebrand guitarist, looking like a cross between Catweazle and Ka D’Argo (Go Farscape fans!), a Disco belly-dancer and a Mat Hatter type band leader: a little bit Alice Cooper, a little bit SAHB and a dash of early Genesis. In all, about one patchouli joss-stick away from 1970; we even had a theremin solo, for the love of…..

So as you can imagine, we got plenty of long, prog songs; though one was actually “an extended version of the shortened version of the original”; (Love is) The Answer certainly hit the early 1970s vibe; an acoustic Police cover, Roxanne gave the band a “change” break, and then we got a couple of performance pieces, such as Alice’s Eerie Dream, an alternate take on the Alice In Wonderland tales. There were also some pacy numbers, and I’ll tell you now, when these guys lock in, they rock! And when during the encore, they were joined on stage by Russ Tippins, they ripped the roof off the joint with a blazing Rock and Roll.

Thinking about show highlights, as well as the Alice, A Brief Tale of Time included an unexpected (for size of venue) laser show, The Angel, with dance section, The Betrayal of Blue which broke down into a Morricone “Fistful of Dollars” section.

So definitely an assault on the senses, great visuals, great numbers and a such a good band; Barth Sky on guitar/vocals; Cédric Selzer on keys & vocals; Léa Fernandez on drums; Mary Reynaud on rhythm guitar, vocals, dancing and unusual theremin technique; all led by the charismatic Franck on vocals, bass and twin necked bass & 12 string guitar.

On a wet Tuesday night, on the outskirts of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a good 200 people had an amazing night and made as much noise as if they were watching a World Cup match; so would I see these guys again? Hell yes, and you’re welcome to come along.

Not from above show: -
Love Is The Answer -
The Betrayal of Blue -

When life gives you lemons; don't make lemonade.
Give back the lemons.  Why were the lemons free?  What's wrong with the lemons?
Do Not trust the lemons...