Thursday, 23 April 2015

I flew out to Slovenia around a month ago for the Tozibabe gig, and whilst I was there got a chance to do a couple more interviews, one with Robert from Quod Massacre. It was interesting to hear from someone that, despite being active in a punk band at the same time as the rest of the Ljubljana hardcore scene, wasn't really a part of the 'Hardcore Collective' as such. I'll be writing more about this, and about Quod Massacre in the future, but for now, here is are a photo I took after the interview. Robert now works as a sound engineer, and has worked on several of the Ne! Records releases, including the release of Quod Massacre's 'Kje Je Odgovor'.

As I mentioned however, the main reason for my trip was the chance to see Tožibabe. They were reforming for a one off gig (which took some persuading to make happen) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of their only 7" EP, 'Dežuje'. The rumour I had heard before the gig was that they were only going to play one song, but in actual fact they ended up playing 5 (if i recall correctly, I had drunk a few Laškos by this point) and returned to play Dežuje again at the insistence of the crowd. They switched instruments for a couple of songs and whilst you could tell they hadn't played together for several decades, it just wouldn't have made sense if they were super tight. The general atmosphere was enough to carry them along and the fact that they were playing songs from a complete classic obviously helped too.

The other bands were all local and were picked via some sort of contest. Inevitably they were of varying quality. I ended up talking to my friend Jaka about the current scene, and he said he found it strange how a city which was able to produce several great bands in the 1980s, would have so few legitimate current hardcore bands. From what I've seen myself, it seems Zagreb has a thriving DIY hardcore/punk scene, and whilst Metelkova has gigs happening every night almost, a lot of tours end up skipping Ljubljana.

After the gig I managed to speak to Mojca again, having previously sent her some questions via e-mail, and introduced myself to the other members. I also showed them my Dežuje tattoo, which seemed to confuse, intrigue and maybe scare them in equal measure. I didn't manage to get too many photos from the gig that I am happy with, as it was difficult to find a good place to stand, but here are a few of the best ones that I took...

I should also mention that FV Music and Ne! Records reissued the 7" and it's available to buy now, on black, clear or yellow vinyl, or a picture disk featuring the cover art. It also comes with a reproduction of the original lyrics sheet, in both English and Slovene, and a chunky booklet with photos, stories, press cuttings and other great stuff. I'll be doing a separate post dedicated purely to this record, so I'll save a full dissection until then. For now, I highly recommend getting a copy of this as Ne! Records have done the great job I expected.