Gig Scene: Caligula’s Horse, Alithia – The Evelyn (25.01.15)

Forgive me if this piece is far more esoteric than usual, but Alithia and Caligula’s Horse inspire much introspection, philosophising and plain old belly button gazing. We’ll begin with Alithia, which is Greek for ‘the truth’. Their music has previously been described as ‘astral space core’, and that ‘kinda’ covers it except that it’s a hundred times more abstract than that.

Most of their music has a chant-like rhythm that could easily propel your average Joe punter into a spacy ‘shroom vibe without actually imbibing any of the said hallucinogens. John Rousvanis (guitar, vocals), Daniel Constantino (keyboards, vocals), Mark Vella (drums), and Tibor Gede (bass), are truly passionate about their ‘truth’, which is what their music encompasses. John made particular mention of their song ‘Here I Am’, which belies its lyrical simplicity. It has only eight lines (some of which are repeated), but to Alithia and maybe to us, those few words encompass something of what’s important in life.

Caligula’s Horse too has a philosophical take on music. We know that Caligula was the third emperor of Rome and that he was very self indulgent to say the least, but what of his horse? And how does Caligula’s horse link to…well…Caligula’s Horse? To cut a very long story short, Caligula’s Horse was called Incitatus, and this was no ordinary nag, but Caligula’s favourite nag. Incitatus is Latin for ‘swift’ or ‘at full gallop’, and that’s how Caligula’s Horse the band plays music.

Okay, there’s another less contrived link and it’s here: Incitatus the pampered equine was so adored, and probably smarter than Mr Ed, and Caligula fully intended to make the horse a consul. These days Incitatus has morphed into an allegorical figure that exemplifies political ineptitude. Do you see the link now? Think about a government…any government and you’ll realise that Caligula’s Horse will never have any shortage of lyrical inspiration.

Jim Grey (vocals), Zac Greensill (guitar, vocals), Dave Couper (bass, vocals), Geoff Irish (drums), and Sam Vallen (guitar etc.) meld a plethora of musical styles together to present a real surprise package. At one time heavy, the music slides into an eighties rhythm and then becomes orchestral. If you’re not sure about some of the beats, wait a few moments and change will come. In many songs you can hear the band’s influences especially those of Muse, which is a good thing indeed. This is definitely a band for the thinking punter. Onward and upward Incitatus!

About Sharon Brookes 67 Articles
Sharon is a freelance music journalist with 20 years experience writing for street press, web publications and blogs. She specialises in reviewing gigs, books, CD’s, and theatre productions.