Two days in Maserada, Veneto, where the law could not upset the way of life of the many punks (apart from the fleeting appearance of a Carabinieri car due, it seems, to a firecracker exploded in the middle of the morning), who in peace, love and alcoholism participated, physically at least, in the event.
The two days, which took place in a more messed up place than the monasteries of Mount Athos, i.e. the Parabae sports facilities in Maserada sul Piave, were anticipated by a pre-party at Binario 1 in Treviso (Arci), which was held on Friday 7th, organized by Via Zoppo 8, with Tragicz from Treviso, Shitty Life from Parma/Rovereto, and Astio from Trento. Unfortunately, I was too busy and could not participate in the amazing opening night.
A few words about the place. As already announced, it is in the middle of nowhere. In fact, the nearest pizzeria is still too far away (according to google maps) and to get there you have to cross dirt roads lost in the middle of wide expanses of vineyards. Apart from the technical difficulties that can be found in its search, the place is wonderful. It is in fact a facility with a tent, an outdoor bar, an inside bar, tennis court, soccer field, a football table, a couple of small skateboard ramps, a fence with three curious goats and families on a Sunday trip with bicycles and kids, crossing this small area in such conditions as to resemble a post-atomic village (most stopped to look at the apocalyptic scenario consisting of shattered punks, studs and devastation).
There were many distros, including obviously that of Radio Punk (with records, stickers, various materials and books, such as “L’aria Brucia” by Susca and Rotondi), excellent veg cuisine (of which I have professionally forgotten the name, sorry) and spy goats (already said but it is important to reiterate).
A few words about the organization. The concert was set up and managed by Treviso Punx, with the collaboration of Murung Records, Via Zoppo 8 Autoproduzioni and Saetta Autoproduzioni. The guys from Treviso Punx have been organizing events in the area for years (among others, the previous editions of “In Veneto There Is No Law”) and have helped to take to these desolate lands bands of great significance such as Zounds, The Mob, Appalachian Terror Unit, Cress, Contropotere and many others.
In the place there are two stages, one in the open and the other under a big tent. In addition, to those who wanted to burn like a Tibetan monk (the next morning it was extremely hot) was given the opportunity to camp on site. The heterogeneous bands played about thirty-five minutes each.
As soon as we got there, we barely had time to put up our shack, play a game of Dobble and then go into the tent to hear La Dolce Vita. They are a group of musicians who emerged from the post-punk scene in Udine in the early eighties, so they have a lot of experience and a few years on their back. They have gone from the post-punk of the late seventies (Joy Division and UK Decay style, for instance) to tracks closer to Buzzcocks style punk rock but with a bit of wickedness in addition. A nice surprise for me, but unfortunately there weren’t many people because it was too early.
Then, in the open air stage, A Culture Of Killing, who amazed us thanks to their Sect/Spectress style funereal gothic rock/post-punk and the obvious anarcho-punk influences, such as The Mob and Internal Autonomy. I also heard very positive comments from other people there.
Let’s go back under the white tent just in time for the Overcharges. Born in Varese in 2012, they performed a violent mixture of thrash metal and hardcore punk. In short, among Disfear, Motörhead and Discharge.
Going on with the metal-punk series, on the other side there were Distress from Russia (not to be confused with the homonymous grindcore band from Indonesia). Players of a crust punk, sometimes pushed towards grind, sometimes slower, over the years (they have been playing since 2003) they have produced various works, now available on the Internet. The sound is more original and enjoyable than the average d-beat band and they are outwardly political. In fact, the corpulent singer did not hesitate to make social proclamations and in the past they have had as a member, for a short time, Timur Kacharava, a very young musician and activist of Food Not Bombs, AFA and ALF, unfortunately known for being murdered on November 13th, 2005, at the age of 20, by a large group of Nazis. Rest in peace, comrade.
Then, a brief intervention by a victim of psychiatric abuse, Craig from the United States, also present with stand and materials.
After this parenthesis, we go back under the tent for Lester Greenowsky. More rockers and Ramones style than all the other bands, they performed the most festive sound of the two days. The band’s influences are also made evident by the sign that stands on the back of the front-man, L.A.M.F. (a reference to an album by Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers). Among New York Dolls style glam punk, power pop and MC5 style hard rock, they tried to lift the spirits.
To return to more violent and unhappy colors, under a roof of stars Cimex await us. They performed all their classics (Abuso di potere, Non cambiare mai, Anarchopunx) and also gave us a Wretched cover, Finirà mai?, very well performed. For those of you who don’t know them, they’re a north-eastern anarcho-hardcore band that has recently been reformed. They made an album entitled Per te solo rabbia.
The darker Belgrado follow under the tent. The best band of these days (a personal opinion, eh!), they come from Barcelona (but the members are also from Argentina and Poland) and play old style coldwave and post-punk. They come from the squatters scene and are promoters of the DIY ethic, they enchanted most of the people present with their sound, colder than a Serbian February (a bit like Joy Division, Lebanon Hanover, Skeletal Family, Xmal Deutschland and Siekieria, a bit like something more original) and the Ian Curtis style movements of the very elegant and charismatic singer, Patrycja (former Sect drummer and member of the synth-pop band FataMorgana). Much better than the average of the Sisters Of Mercy and Cure nostalgic bands, they rework gothic rock according to their own personal style, supported by a simple but hypnotic guitar (also thanks to the various effects and reverbs) and by a very good rhythmic section that seems stolen from Gang Of Four. Like many members of similar bands, the various members in the past have been part of hardcore and anarcho-punk groups (such as Jauria, Infame, Drömdead, Los Dolares) and have maintained their libertarian and militant attitude. Finally, the lyrics of the songs are in three different languages, English, Spanish and Polish, and unlike other known groups they aren’t pretentious at all, as they have proved to be very open to conversation with anyone.
We move again, for another band from Barcelona: Una Bèstia Incontrolable. Scratching hardcore punk in Catalan language, engaging and energetic, with dark colors but without resulting in death rock, which is having a certain following lately. They have the advantage of not running too fast and their songs are clear, even if they are dedicated to experimentation, and they sound a lot like the European hardcore punk of the early eighties.
Last but not least, The Boys. Old-school British pop punk (Buzzcocks, 999, Undertones, Generation X style). Personally, I expected more energy from a historical group like this, even if they have proved to be enjoyable. Unfortunately, their age is a little bit felt (they’re part of the first wave of British bands belonging to the genre, of those who took up guitars in ’76), and also the repetitiveness of the ’77 punk. However, the performance of their classics (first of all “It’s my first time”) warmed the heart of nostalgic and newcomers.
And after all this, Dj set by Sepolcro Zero and a very wet and cold night.
The announced street punk vs anarcho punx football match unfortunately did not take place (of the two teams, Street and Anarcho, the latter weren’t there), and so those like me who remained in the area without worrying about taking a tent wandered aimlessly and quarreled with the goats until the evening creating a Romero zombie-movie scenario.
First on the list (now all the concerts take place in the tent) are Blind Pride. If you’ve ever wondered how an anarchist crust band from the Czech Republic can be, here, this is an excellent anarchist crust band from the Czech Republic. Alternating tracks where they make use of the typical voice play (female and male, Anti-Product style), they give immediately a good impression. The drums are very aggressive and the front-woman is full of energy and anger. Really not bad for a band that comes from a place that we do not even know how to pronounce (Brno). Moreover, their demo (obviously available for free on the web) has been recently released.
Another hardcore crust politicized band by Brno, is Godot Youth. Here, too, female vocalist accompanied by a male vocalist, just anger enunciated without shame and aggressive sound.
At the end of this other band’s show, Craig’s prolonged intervention on psychiatric repression in the United States follows, giving way to a break and a welcome breath of fresh air.
It is followed by the Paduan Cioran, who dedicate themselves to black metal with death shades, raw but with an avant-garde look that gives space to moments of (post?) hardcore, grind accelerations and sludge/doom slowdowns, depending on the song. The existentialist lyrics are almost like a brutal spoken word and are of some impact for those who can catch them.
And so we get to Messa. Also from the areas of Padua (Cittadella), they immediately impress for their restless and wonderful mix. Doom/drone, occultism, dark jazz, progressive punk, blues, ambient, witchcraft and incense (which they really used). Keyboards (which sometimes act as interludes), 70’s guitars and the expressive, powerful and granitic voice of the singer contribute to calcify this sketched mixture effectively, moving from calm to storm with ease. Theirs is a calm and inexorable pace, which results in vigorous metallic outbursts. Hats off.
Now it’s the turn of the Bolognese Horror Vacui. Belonging to the new line-up of bands that mix post-punk with anarcho-punk, they stand out because they renounce the typical quiet of the genre, filling it with the greater urgency of classic hardcore punk, resembling more aggressive bands (compared to the more hypnotic Belgrado or Dead Cult) such as Cemetery, Lost Tribe and 1919. In fact, they define themselves with the right nomenclature of a visceral “DIY death rock”. Their works are highly recommended, which perfectly enclose all the joy (so to speak) of independent gothic rock through their reverberations and lullabies.
Active since 2009, the group of the evening are The Bellicose Minds. Also thanks to wonderful albums such as The Creature and The Spine, they are part of the leading bands of what I personally define as anarcho-goth punk, along with other bands like Moral Hex, Annex, Crimson Scarlett and Rosa Apatrida. The Portland trio in their bandcamp say they are inspired by “rain and clouds”, which seems to be the best definition for a band sad in sound but vital in style and processing, also expressed by very good musicians who have as obvious influences The Cure and a pinch of Killing Joke.
Last and completely different kind (we’re talking about a scratching and powerful grindcore), are Cancer Spreading. They annihilated the last neurons of the two-day survivors with their DIY stenchcore with nihilistic, self-destructing lyrics, proclaimed by the guttural voice of the front-man. A bit of death metal and a bit of crust season their violent sound and, unlike many other grind bands, the songs don’t last two seconds but are also several minutes long and the technique is much more complex than the canons of the style.
Finally, warm, heartfelt and due thanks to the organizers, the bands and especially to the guys from Treviso Punx who worked hard to set up this two (three if we count the pre-party) days and allowed us to show off the Radio Punk stand. See you at the next “In Veneto There Is No Law”!
Live Report by Alessio Ecoretti
Translation by Elvira Cuomo