Today Eurorock is off to Italy to have a look at and listen to a classic rock inspired power trio called Johnfish Sparkle. The band came about following the demise of Jackyl Jail after four years on the road.
Bass player Dave Perilli and drummer Rob Gasoline joined forces with vocalist and lead guitar man Al Serra and together the trio power out rock heavily inspired by some of the biggest names of all time. When I see a band listing the likes of Led Zeppelin, Cream, Budgie, Humble Pie, and The Who as their main inspiration, I tend to get a mixture of nervousness amid a kind of eager anticipation.
You see I am very much from that era. One week I would be lucky enough to see the great Steve Marriott fronting Humble Pie, the next I was queuing miles to get Zeppelin tickets. When I saw The Who at Charlton football ground in nineteen seventy something I thought I was catching them for just about the last time. How wrong can you be?
Of course Cream and Budgie are the 'trios' in the Johnfish threesome’s list and they both regularly wake up the sleepy French village where I live when they hit my turntable. Whilst being great at providing inspiration they are heavy names to risk comparisons with. However, within a few seconds of Johnfish Sparkle’s self titled debut kicking off you become aware that these guys have been listening, and listening rather closely.
They open with “Freedom At Last” a sentiment I can identify with having finally escaped the noose of commuting into London last year. A wall of classic riffs hit you as the album delivers as confident-a-start as you could hope for. Involuntarily I reach for the volume and crank up enough decibels to worry glass. You just have to when a band, influenced by such quality, threatens to get it right.
I’m not sure if singer Serra is Italian as you wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell from his well delivered – urm – delivery. Meanwhile his guitar stridently gives us some classic riffs. He also adds some moments that just take me back a long long time ago when bands such as Budgie, Stray, and the like molded my musical taste forever.