Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Kings of the Underground

They may not be as active as other bands album-wise, but Versus will always be one of my favorite bands of all time.

I read somewhere that there was this predominantly Fil-Am band from New York City that made some great music and put on a fab live show so I just had to check them out. Since the internet wasn't in full swing, I checked them out the old-fashioned way.

That was the time of Secret Swingers and the year was 1996. And since then, I was a fan of the band.

I didn't know of many Filipino Versus fans and for awhile it was only Diego Castillo of Sandwich who I conversed with.

It wasn't easy tracking down their albums because indie still was a dangerous word and much like a secret society. Whenever I would travel, I'd always make it a point to look at the "V" section of record stores. I looked in Hong Kong, China, Thailand and in the US. I eventually got almost all of the discography save for Let's Electrify and Drawn and Quartered.

But that was part of the fun -- the search. I didn't find most in New York, I bought one in Philadelphia!

As a fan, I was also lucky enough to catch them perform live twice in the US.

It's been years and when the band -- minus Fontaine who had to fly back to NYC -- came over along with their brother outfit Plus Minus -- I wasn't going to miss the show at Magnet for the world.

Set list:
Play Dead (from Hurrah)
Mirror Mirror (from The Stars Are Insane)
Dumb Fun (from Two cents Plus Tax)
Underground (from Two Cents Plus Tax)
Blade of Grass (from The Stars Are Insane)
Double Suicide (from Secret Swingers)

Great great show and it was so nice to meet other Filipino Versus and Plus Minus fans.

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