Rotten River camp 2019: unity is strength!

The 2019 edition of Rotten River camp goes on scene at Agripunk

In order to write this report we should start by describing the shameful facts that forced the Rotten River crew, composed by Kaizoku, Rumagna Sgroza and friends, to change location at the last minute.
I said that we should, because actually we have no will to talk about the ordinary bastards that have, as always, abused of their power resoundingly, also because we prefer to talk about the awesome and positive part of the fest, of the final victory of the Rotten River Camp, of Agripunk, that hosted the fest and of all of those who have supported this project ‘till the end.
But we also feel in duty to say something to you guys, who may not have a clue of what happened, so, briefly, what happened? The system’s dogs, by order of who holds their leashes, have prevented the happening of the fest by repealing the authorizations and permits they had signed months before, adducing a ton of bullshit excuses.
From now on we are going to refer to these “dark forces” with the delightful term “the shitheads”.
Our favorite pirate crew from Romagna decides to spread the word in order to communicate the decision. The Rotten River will take place and it will happen at Agripunk! So it happened, the two struggling realities of Rotten River and Agripunk- which will have the eviction trial on the 31st, we are close to you!- are capable of sustaining each other, give us great emotions and put smiles on our faces, smiles that will remain carved in history! The proof that, when there is need, if we want we can walk on our own feet and that, as written in the title, unity is strength!
But let’s go by order. We set off from the wasteland and after hours of asphalt, traffic and men at work we finally get to Bucine (Arezzo), precisely in the town of Ambra, where Agripunk managed, through a very hard struggle, to rip lands and buildings out of the hands of an awful mass turkey breeding, turning it into a beautiful shelter for animals, humans, punks, bands and any more, all of this embedded in green and after various structural works.
Chapeau!

Back to us, after we had assembled the distro in almost complete darkness, we make a round of greetings, heat our livers and please ourselves with a vegan crescione (typical food of Romagna, N.d.t) cooked by the lavish staff of Carè & co.
Path kick-starts the party with his acoustic music, entertaining and making us sing along with his classics and tracks from his new “Cinema”, which he rearranges and serves very well even without a band. Pure poetry!

Carlos Dunga, a band I hadn’t seen in ages, speak of soccer and much more, screaming in our faces and entertaining us as no one else can. Heavy metal gets mixed up with hardcore punk of great power and technique. It’s always a great pleasure to see them again.

Tadà! Here come Nabat! But not the ordinary Nabat, it would have been too easy! Today Nabat are going to play in a semi acoustic manner: they play seated, with electric instruments, without drums and with Steno delighting us with his harmonica. This version didn’t please everyone, we liked it, although we clearly prefer the original version, and it was good to hear them in a different way and the skins and punks under the stage really appreciated it too.

Oi! Have yourself a laugh! After a such an exciting moment, the legends from Savona, Klasse Kriminale, jump on stage ! We had never seen them live before and to your surprise we discovered them with their song “Siamo tutti antifascisti” from the split “Smash Fascism”. From that moment it was love, a band able to play street punk in an authentic and innovative way at the same time. Great live show, we hope to see them again soon!

“We are Azione Diretta, we are storm!” with these words Azione diretta start the show and in the meantime we take a look around us just to realize we’re in the middle of what looks like a small town feast, in a piazza del borgo style.
Azione Diretta playing their release party in their homeland is an unbeatable experience. Will they be able to amaze us outside? Of course! The band has by now its own steady style, complicity with each other and the public that makes them unique and special.
Maybe it’s the lyrics, which get in your head in no time and fill your heart, maybe it’s the powerful and melodic riffs: Azione diretta are, studio or live, simply incredible!

Urban Vietcong are the last band to play on Rotten River’s prestigious stage. Today the quartet from Leghorn is full of bad intentions and of Txalaco, a Basque beverage which has now become my new addiction. Today they are fitter than last week and with the last survivors, singing and making turmoil they put up an Oscar worth show.

In the meantime we realize midnight has come and a thought inevitably goes to Carlo Giuliani, to that day in 2001 when in Genova State and Capital proved they were willing to kill for their interests. We do not forget, we do not forgive.

And so, after a couple of dances, we go to sleep tired and drunk in order to embrace properly the next day.

The second day starts and, after we had explored the surroundings, we get to the concert area where between beers and chats with and about Agripunk we put up our distro and the time for the concerts comes.

As starters we have Ostile, oi-core band from Lombardy that puts things clear immediately by spitting venom and rage against “the shitheads”, masters and fascists. Dalila has great charisma, rides the stage masterfully and the crowd slowly starts getting closer to the stage and supporting. These guys are no bullshit and have a load of grit!

Right after come the only foreign band: Brazilian band Desacato Civil, to which we had the pleasure to speak and also gave us an awesome fanzine translated into English.
These Brazilian guys delight us with their aggressive and political hardcore punk, proving they know how to keep the stage thanks to a perfect harmony among the members and very direct, fast and impacting songs. A great Rotten River discovery!

… And then come No More Lies, from Rome with fury! Captained by the Sailor, the band takes out great hardcore punk as we like it and combines it with street punk shadows and attitude. Seen them in Pescara last month, we can confirm they are a band who knows what they’re doing, No More Lies are by the way made of scene’s veterans and they surely have experience on their side.

We would really have wanted to tell you guys about Ghetto 84 and CoSka, but unfortunately fate wanted that both of these bands weren’t able to come, we hope to see them soon. Anyway the Rotten River crew took the rabbit out of the hat: Plakkaggio appear on stage with the original line- up to celebrate their almost 15 years of activity. Fuck yes!
Last time, at the Distruggi la Bassa festival two weeks ago, it ended up with half of the world’s population on stage and a great party. This time there were fewer people but a lot of moshing and singing went on anyway. Our favorite Venom cover band, which doesn’t play Venom, always does its job thanks to their original metal/hc/oi musical overture and rousing songs. Vote: 666!

Right after Contrasto get on stage. About them, hardcore legends from Cesena, old school and old manner, we would want to write much more and a report wouldn’t be enough. The start is given by the unmissable political discourse by Max, who as always foments a great show, because of the content and emotional moving he is able to create through those hypnotic bass lines which could wake even the most politically-sleeping souls. The show kicks off with “Credere obbedire crepare a testa in giù” and goes on with songs from the latest album and “Tornare ai resti”, others from the Kalashnikov split which, other than causing a great mosh, make us sing to the sore. As usual the live show is emotionally embroiling, with no truce and very exciting. The band gets on well with the public and is itself so excited that Max can’t resist stage diving in the sea of delirium! When everything seems coming to an end the band is threatened if they won’t keep playing – obviously joking- and so Contrasto play “Lontano” from the split “Alla vecchia maniera” . Goose bumps, thanks Contrasto!

After their show, sweaty and with no voice left, we have to regain forces quick because it’s time for Bull Brigade to play, the last band. Their lyrics are written with the heart and capable of giving emotions, also ‘cause let’s say it, we all feel the situations they describe. They are so damn effective, after a quick listen you’re already singing. Not mentioning the musical proposal: original, unique, and catchy; no wonder they’re very requested all over Italy and abroad.
This time as well we loved their exhibition and we had a great fun during this last concert – for a very long time, before the last date at Punk and Disorderly in Berlin, Skin and punks in the crowd
sang non-stop, stage-diving as there were no tomorrow; great job Bull Brigade, you made us live the dream, under that stage at that oi concert, to semi cite their “Mai confonderla”. So beautifully ends the Rotten River 2019 concert experience.

To end the day the unforgettable dj set by El Pollo Loco and Luca of Radio Shakedown makes us dance to the sounds of trash, dance, 80’s and 90’s and lots of rarities!
The day after we leave after giving our best wishes to Agripunk and the Rotten River camp crew, and well, you got it, we’ve come to the end.
We’d like to thank you who kept reading to this point, thanks a bunch, it’s fun but also difficult and it takes a long time to write a report. We thank Agripunk, terrific place and terrific people, the Rotten River crew, Rumagna Sgroza and Kaizoku Records for the incredible devotion and demonstration of love and willfulness, all the bands which gifted us with ineradicable memories and emotions, all of the crowd that supported this wonderful two day festival and this project ‘till the end. Finally we would like to thank the distros that were there, our new and old friends that passed by our table. Thank you all! See you soon!

Translation by Dende
Report by Tom and Zoe
Photo gallery by Zoe – Radio Punk
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