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LIVEREVIEWS
 

 [Scene Magazine] [Birmingham Online] [Entertainment Ave] [The Un-Official Fun Lovin' Criminals Page]

Scene Magazine - Livewire
Peabody's DownUnder
November 30, 1996
 
Other bands on stage: Love In Reverse, Rumor Has It
Every once in a while, it seems, we just need a good old-fashioned butt-kicking at the hands of the British to set us straight. While the British Invasion of the '60s rivaled the original British invasion in terms of overall impact, the latest wave, featuring the likes of Oasis, Bush and now Republica, may very well stir up a much needed revolution amongst their American counterparts.
Hailing from London, Republica administered said butt-kicking in fine fashion Saturday night at Peabody's DownUnder, as a full house danced and sang along with spunky singer Saffron as she lit up the stage with a display of unbridled energy and seemingly endless enthusiasm that would likely send Eddie Vedder running screaming for the hills.
Leading off with their current single, "Drop Dead Gorgeous," Republica showed early and often during their nine-song set that they could rock with the best of 'em, as well as kick out the jams. Following the straight-ahead, radio friendly opener, keyboardists Tim Dorney and Andy Todd turned up the techno for "Bloke," the band's first-ever U.K. single and the second track from its self-titled American debut. With guitarist Johnny Male riffing up a storm, drummer Dave Barbarossa pounding out the live beat behind her, and Dorney and Todd to either side, Saffron went to work, strutting, pouting, bouncing and prancing her way through an array of salacious songs full of sauce and sass such as "Bitch" and "Get Off."
Clad in form-fitting black leather pants and a white T with a splash of red running through her close-cropped black locks, Saffron was part cheerleader, part biker chick, her sparkling personality a perfect match for her exotic voice.
Versatile, too, as she showed on the almost ballad-esque "Picture Me," where she traded vocals with Male, who donned an acoustic guitar for the occasion. This somewhat mellow moment was but the calm before the storm, however, as Saffron coyly asked the audience crowded before her, "Are you ready?"
While most bands these days express disdain when "forced" to play their hit singles, Republica wholeheartedly embraced theirs. As Saffron cooed the intro, the crowd immediately sprang to life, as she and the band offered up an extended reading of "Ready To Go." I don't know if you'd call it a mosh pit -- a dance pit, maybe? -- but whatever it was, it looked like something straight out of TWISTER as Saffron led a chorus of Always love the one you hurt.
"Are we ready for some dancing on the next one or what?" Saffron asked as an intro to "Out Of The Darkness," a Gary Numan-meets-Duran Duran number that ensured the energy level remained at a maximum.
The synth-driven "Wrapp" got a bit of crowd-surfing going, with Saffron yelling "Catch him" or "Catch Her" as fan after fan leapt from the stage into awaiting arms. Todd got into the act as well, making his way back to the stage just in time for the set closer, a rambunctious "Holly," which found the delightful singer tossing off clever lyrical twists such as Who cares anyway, in a Hollywood Bowl of serial killers.
"With a simple, 'Thank you very much Cleveland, cheers,' Saffron and company left 'em hot, sweaty and wanting more, paving the way for a return engagement sometime down the road.

Birmingham Online
The Nick Friday, November 20, 1996  

The night air was crisp as I approached the Nick. A thumping from the sub-woofers was masking the noise of the Red Mountain Expressway. A slight anticipation was felt as the bouncer carded me. The British group Republica was to perform and I had on my red dancing shoes. Beer in hand and cigarette in mouth I made my way to the front where Love in Reverse was warming the crowd. The drummer was ill and could not perform, so a drum machine took his place. The staleness was apparent from the electronic beat, but I didn't mind because Republica was on next. 

After a few more beers and half a pack of cigaretts the boys from England were making their way to the stage. The girl next to me went to get a drink and asked if I would save her a spot up front. Of course I would, but I never saw her again. With a blast from a British chorus played from a track the group blasted into Drop Dead Gorgeous. In between songs Saffron spoke with a British accent that gave away that she was no aristocrate. The entire album was performed before they left the stage for the evening. The high piont, Picture Me. The low point, their U.S. single Ready To Go. If you like Ready To Go. You'll love the rest of the album. 

These kids have alot of talent and alot of energy. If you could somehow harness their energy and use it for good the world would have another rubics cube to play with. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Author: Sludge


 Entertainment Ave    
Q101 Jamboree '97 In The Concert Hall
May 25, 1997  

Heading back quickly to the Buzz Stage I only had a few minutes to catch my breath before Republica began their 30 minutes of music. Here was another group I really didn't know what to expect. I was slightly familiar with "Drop Dead Gorgeous," and a couple of other Republica tunes, but was more curious than excited at seeing them. 
Another band in the techno-punk-rock category, at first I wasn't thinking too much of Saffron and her band. They sounded great, and the crowd was having a blast, but I didn't really see any energy coming from the band.
The Republica fans were working it, and many of those trapped in the front of the mosh-pit had to be pulled out by the big and burly security dudes else they would have collapsed, but Saffron really was just standing there, singing her tunes, on a wireless mike, and I'm thinking "What a waste of a wireless - let a band who would use it have it." But then, maybe the band was starting to warm up, maybe they fed off the energy of the youngin's mixing it up, but Saffron started to work the stage, got rid of the mike stand, and this Shrug was moving its way up a thumb or two. I was just starting to get excited when I had to leave to catch The Cardigans (I should have stayed and finished watching Republica), so it's only ONE THUMB UP for Republica. I will be watching for them to do a full-blown show, but this one started way to lackadaisical to get that extra thumb.


 The Unofficial Fun Lovin' Criminals Page
Anson Rooms April 8, 1997

Warming up a docile Tuesday night crowd is a tough job at the best of times, but Republica tried their best to set us on fire with their distinctive electro-punk. Unfortunately, most of the crowd found Saffron and the boys a little too in yer face to be roused and felt more like pulling the duvet back up and dozing off again.

Their cool reception was not because of a lack of effort on the band’s part. Saffron was her usual pumped-up, hyperactive self, shadow boxing mid song and trying her best to diffuse a little of her energy throughout the crowd. But cries of  “Come on you fuckers!” did little more than scare people to the bar, and no matter how lively and full-on the band were, the music rarely matched. Republica’s one hit to date, ‘Ready To Go’, was the one rabble-rousing point of true sonic inspiration, where the band seemed to have gathered all their good points - their unbridled vigour, poppy tune-writing and the booming armament of musical back-up - into three turbo-charged minutes. For those who had only heard this one song, the rest of the set was a disappointment, having some of the right elements but never sparking the same reaction.