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Måneskin live in London: Italian Eurovision champs deliver loud love letter to classic rock

The Italian rockers pay homage to the genre's greats at intimate London show.

4.0 rating

By Ali Shutler

Maneskin perform live in London
Maneskin perform live at London's O2 Academy Islington (Picture: Paul Harries)

“Rock and roll never dies” promised Damiano David after Måneskin won the Eurovision Song Contest in May with the hard rock, heavy riffing ‘Zitti e buoni’ (or ‘Shut Up and Be Quiet’).

Since then, the Italian four-piece have made a compelling argument for being the torchbearers of the genre – international chart success, countless viral moments, co-signs from the likes of Iggy Pop and Miley Cyrus as well as a 2022 headline tour selling out in under two hours. Tonight though, at a free, last-minute gig at London’s Islington Academy, the band only seem to care about having fun.

They kick things off with the groove-led, Rage Against The Machine inspired ‘In nome del Padre’, which sees bandmates Victoria De Angelis and Thomas Raggi duelling with their guitars. It’s immediately followed by *that* Eurovision winning single, which immediately gets the crowd onside.

An entire room of English fans belting out every Italian word proves an impressive sight, before it’s followed by a playful medley of indie disco staples from The Killers (‘Somebody Told Me’) and Franz Ferdinand (‘Take Me Out’).

Later in the night, they offer a punk-driven contemporary twist on The Four Seasons’ ‘Beggin’ and a faithful take on The Stooges’ punk anthem ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’. It’s the soundtrack to the ultimate guitar party and the mood in the room is just as celebratory.

And while the covers are a lot of fun, faithful but delivered with Måneskin’s unique energy, it’s the original material that rightly steals the show. The Ed Sheeran-esque ‘Chosen’ (from their debut EP of the same name) has David rapping about self-belief before the atmospheric, doomed romance of ‘Coraline’ sees the band get emotional without letting up on the intensity. Despite their penchant for rock & roll, their set giddily pulls from pop, punk, folk and theatre.

David is every bit the polished frontman, equal parts charisma, and crowd control but the rest of the band shine just as bright, ripping solos and looking like they’re having the time of their lives. Everyone but drummer Ethan Torchio gets in amongst the crowd numerous times and they return the favour for the furious ‘Lividi sui gomiti’, inviting members of the audience to thrash about the stage with them.

New song ‘Mamma Mia’, a tongue in cheek riot against expectations and the band’s new found fame, goes off like an old favourite while ‘I Wanna Be Your Slave’, a song so euphoric, angsty and infectious it’ll be soundtracking rock club nights for years to come, is so joyful, the band play it twice.

There’s been a lot written about Måneskin, both celebrating their role as saviours of the six-string and dismissing them as a novelty act, but tonight sees them shrugging off any and all outside voices. Instead, the four-piece do what they’ve always done –  try and have the best time, with as many people as possible. Måneskin are a party and it’s only just started.