Birthday of Stella Nera and Olé Festival Report and Gallery!
In today’s report we’re going to tell you about our weekend with distro in Modena on Friday and in Bologna on Saturday. For technical and logistical reasons we thought to group the two evenings, even if in different places and days, in a single report.
Day 1: Friday, May 24th
We leave for the first time with the new – actually old, used and beat-up – car and, except for warning lights, the journey runs smoothly. We arrive at Stella Nera in Modena on time and say “happy birthday” immediately, since this squat in the Modena area has turned 4 years old. In fact, this evening is one of the four days of celebration. We set the distro today with a new table, the other one is injured but will recover soon!
Papal Discount House begin, today with reduced lineup: guitar/voice and drums. Lorenzo screams loudly, he chews his guitar to the sound of power chords and the drums beat hard. The bass was missing, it’s true, but being a very raw punk halfway between anarcho and crust it was fine. There were impact and energy! Ah, the split with Schifonoia has been released, we hope to listen to it soon and maybe see them live with full lineup!
Then there are Cosa Nostra, a punk band from Bologna that covers and rearranges in an amazing way historical and legendary songs by bands such as Nabat, Nerorgasmo and Isola Posse All Stars and so on. There are also some songs of their own, very good ones! Great presence on stage, we are not fans of covers and such, but with so much passion and so many beautiful ideas expressed in this way … Chapeau! Always nice to see Cosa Nostra in action.
Stage change and Ultimo Respiro from Mantua start. On stage there are four of them and they propose a hardcore very similar to Attrito’s, fast, screamed and impactful. The boys move well on stage – and off – and do not let themselves be discouraged by the few present.
We go back to the stand and after having a chat with the comrades of Stella Nera and with Alessio from Assurd records, Intothebaobab start. What can we say, we never get tired of seeing them because each of their live shows is a blast. Simple punk but at the same time enriched by the very rhythmic drums and powerful bass lines, it involves us very soon. There are also “hits” like “Mangia Tortellini”, “Verde Acido Pensiero” and “Sottoculture Unite” feat. Marconcio and the cover of CCCP “Vita” (which we like much more than the original).
We can’t understand why, but tonight all those present are a bit tired but despite this all the groups give their best. The evening is not over yet, so we head to the stage for the last group: the Finns Vivisektio. Active since the early ’80s, they succeed in awakening the very sleepy / very drunk present. We, today in sober version, belong to the first of the two and we can assure you that the band knows its business. Theirs is a hardcore punk very influenced by Scandinavian crust and d-beat, with great mastery of the instruments and lively presence on stage. Some funny stage diving starts. Very good these Vivisektio, we are very happy to have seen them and also to have exchanged a few words with them at the end. Currently they are on tour, do not miss them!
At the end of the shows we go away, being very tired and seeing that we have been standing for almost 24 hours. We say goodbye to everyone, and happy birthday to Stella Nera! As always it’s a pleasure to be in this place, where in addition to the fun, the political issues always stand out thanks to the events that take place before the concerts. Being election time, it was rightly reiterated several times that it is the struggle that pays, not the farce of delegation. Having said that, we take the car, we barely rest for long enough not to have dark circles and we head to Bologna.
Day 2: Saturday, May 25th
Returning to XM24 is always something mystical. One of the most beautiful places, with the right vital energy and where many comrades think and act, paraphrasing the inscription on the mural that stands on the entrance facade. As soon as we arrive in Bolognina, we park, curse for the ticket and bring in the distro. Throughout the week, knowing that the Olè Festival is the meeting place for all fans of publishing, self-productions and so on, we have worked hard with pins, key rings, magnets and so forth, all obviously recycled and do it yourself. The wonderful thing about the Olè – besides publishing – is that it’s a festival from the bottom, independent, anti-fascist, anti-racist and anti-sexist. In short, it’s cool, for those who believe, as we do, that cultural events of this kind should necessarily be combined with politics. We are also very grateful to Olè and XM for giving us the opportunity to put our stand on, next year we sincerely hope to be able to be there every day of the fest, this time for various reasons, alas we have not succeeded.
So many stands, indeed, sooo many. The many tables, ideas, debates/presentations/workshops and diy repairing are really complicated to describe in a few lines. Stands of illustrators and particular printing techniques (the printing with the linoleum matrix is very cool, of which we mention the work entitled “Gatto Scrauso”); Bugzine with the possibility to see and listen to some of their video-interviews; Paolo and Ivan from DisASStro with their “Handmade Queer Propaganda against the dominant paradigm” who besides the sublime company delight us every time with goodies including pins, patches, t-shirts and more; Padiy and his stand (we recommend you to read this article to better understand his project); Ricette dal Kaos, various silkscreens, things never seen before, and of course the inevitable local hero, Paolo Spillaman who delighted us with a pleasant chat, tips and even with live pins including that of Radio Punk made with our contact card.
The day is long, please note that the distro has remained up from 14 to 4, and on this full day we are also lucky to meet again “nu poco di vino man”, do you remember him from our old report?! As always, but we did not doubt it, there is a lounge behind the distros of Radio Punk, Disasstro and Padiy, with Martina, Federica, Adrian and Bologna Punx who as usual are always a great support and company. The workshops and presentations run smoothly, enriching the present with culture and above all demonstrating that from below, with self-management everything can be done.
As for the musical part, very rich and varied during the span of three days, today we happened in the punk evening. Krasue, a band added all of a sudden and that shoots its punk rock/hardcore in a series, start. Girls who want to do and break everything. Recommended some time ago by Gina from Hyle, this band warms up the audience perfectly and goes straight with great determination.
Then it’s up to IntoTheBaobab. Seeing them the next day is interesting, because it makes you notice the differences. Surely, compared to the day before they feel more of the audience’s response, today definitely more energetic and in fact they give everything and also something more. Absolutely unique melodies, bass that makes you dance and shake your head to the rhythm, Lara who beats on drums and Modi who screams with charm and elegance. There is also room for an improvised featuring with Sangre from LaTebra. Superlative as always our favourite baobabs!
Krav Boca: hehe, here a parenthesis would be necessary. Wonderful people, huge and immense lovers of diy liqueurs, they literally go crazy for zenzerello, coffee liqueur and limoncello. Extremely nice, engaging, humble and helpful. It was a great privilege to meet them before the show. The French-Greek band mixes hip-hop and punk hc with firework shows and more and with an amazing stage presence, with very original masks. You have no idea what they are live. They rap, move like crazy on stage and alternate with the voices, creating delirium. Frankly, one of the most incredible and original bands we’ve ever seen. Magnificent, go and see them because it’s a fascinating show that involves all the senses!
The live part is closed by the amazing Call The Cops. Our punx with the smartest brains in Bolognina came back from a tour – de force – between USA and Mexico that apparently went so well that they didn’t want to come back. Luckily, the punx cheered Call The Cops, throwing themselves around and following the set with energy. The band is always in shape and with their proposal of street punk and raw/crust punk makes our hair fly with a sound violence of unprecedented level. As always, speeches between one song and another that also remind us that “it’s better to fight for these spaces when they still exist”. In short, Julia, Scimmione, Marconcio and Zilla always guarantee high quality and we under the stage, always guarantee high alcohol content.
At the end of the concerts, we slowly move towards the exit, on the other hand, the organizers have worked hard and are tired, and there is also a last day of festival to do.
In short, against repression, capitalism that commodifies everything, including relationships and against the “advancing nothing”, the Olè festival has given moments of culture, politics, entertainment and has given one, indeed several answers to those who would like us to be silent and dumb to consume and so we hope that “the story of xm24 is neverending”. For those who were not there we paraphrased the banner to inform about the event to be held on June 29th (more info here) which reads “The Neverending Story … Against the advancing nothing”. Long live independent publishing, long live self-productions, long live the olè festival! Until next time and thanks to xm24, to the comrades, to those who went to our stand, to the bands and to all of you we forgot to mention because of our neurons fallen in the alcoholic battle, and finally thanks to Olè!
Report by Tom and Zoe
Photos by Zoe (ask for the high definition images at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook and Instagram)