Tomorrow night, it will be a year since I first saw La Alma Sucia play at a Bandsoc Open Mic Night. It was one of the first nights of the year and I was a relatively new face in the society, I hadn’t been in front of a microphone for about nine months but I’m an old fan of open mic anyway, so I thought why not?
Jessica Cody and Alex Atkinson got up to play and I had no idea who they were or what they were about. My friend Beth leaned in and said “These guys are really good, they got to the final of Battle of The Acoustics last year”. I gave her a look, that kind that says “Ooooooooo-eerrrr”.
And then they started to play. First they did Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, and I didn’t expect those harmonies. Then they did a mash up of Fever and Hit the Road Jack, and I didn’t expect those voices. And then they played Favourite Cliche, and I couldn’t breathe.
After they finished their set, I went home and found that both of them had added me on facebook. I have no idea how but without even thinking, I messaged Alex and said: “OMG YOU’RE THE DUDE FROM LA ALMA SUCIA YOU GUYS WERE AMAZEBALLS”
A somewhat shocked and bemused Alex replied with “Haha, thanks!”
And then I realised what had happened and I hid behind a cushion for a while, before summoning the courage for a disclaimer: “Wow, that came out a lot crazier than it sounded in my head…” I think it’ was safe to say the ship christened “HMS Fangirling Everywhere” had well and truly sailed.
Their lyrics are so powerful, so passionate, so….filthy. I love it. I mean, you know when you hear a song and not only are the lyrics dictating your life and every emotion that has ever confused you, neatly summed up by a rhyming couplet, but the harmonies just make you want to tear your shirt off in the rain and scream “YEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH”?
J-Cod and Big-Al have always been one of my favourite acts to watch. Every word they sing is drenched in emotion, wisdom and soul. Their new song, in particular, is written about my favourite book, The Great Gatsby. I was lucky enough to have a sneaky cheeky peaky at it around a month or two ago and I suddenly realised just how talented these two are.
Aside from their musical prowess, Jess and Alex may be described by three words. Humble, Empathetic and…Chemical. Their friendship is impossible to miss in the conversations you have with them and it’s not a pretentious, in-joke kind of conversation, it’s a shared passion for what they do and how they do it. And even though it shouldn’t be, that’s quite rare these days.
After hitting their EP Launch Party tonight at Maguire’s Pizza Bar in Liverpool, I bought their CD. Never before has 50p been better spent in the history of the universe. I got home with aching fingertips.
A year on, and the pair on on top of their game and I have the honour to call them my friends. The world needs to hear La Alma Sucia, and it needs to hear them now.