We’re back home after three days of noise* and what should be Feedbacker‘s first (mini) tour. We did Sofia, Plovdiv and Thessaloniki gigs along with great bands, had a great time, met cool people, drove like a thousand kilometers and now we’re back in Sofia and hungry for more. Here’s a
short (well, I lied!)… a fucking long-ass gig report.
Gigs started off from Sofia along with Australian astral-space-core heroes Alithia (now that’s a fucking weird genre tag). But let me rewind back a bit…
Our initial plans included taking our new friends from Autumn Acid here in Bulgaria and share a total of four gigs with them, with dates both in Bulgaria and Greece. Long story short, almost a month before the start of said tour we fucked-up and had little to no luck with finding a vehicle big enough to fit both bands, so Autumn Acid had to cancel the Bulgarian gigs and we had to leave Athens for another time…
Bummer! But hey, we’re both bands that do everything DIY and we actually learned a lot from that experience, so no big deal. Trying to book a gig in Plovdiv for the first time, I contacted Nikola of TDK (and Post-Culture Stage) and we were lucky enough to catch him in the right moment while he was also booking Alithia for exactly the same dates we needed. So we ended up with gigs really fast. Thanks a ton, mate!
Now, Alithia turned out to be top blokes, but I could never imagine playing with them otherwise… let’s just say it was a unique and very diverse combination. We started off from Sofia at Live & Loud Club, which is a quite big venue, at least in my book.
Фондация Обещаното Нищо (Nikola’s other band, young lads from Plovdiv) were on the bill as well. This night we had to provide the whole stage backline, drums and amps and all that jazz. We don’t have much to write home about in the amplification department yet, but luckily I got some ace friends, who let me borrow some cool amps. This is the time to say thanks to Paco from Comasummer and Mihail Ballou from King of Sorrow for providing us with decent guitar and bass rigs.
Day I: Sofia
27 october happened to be a very busy day in Sofia, gigwise. The Ex and Bernays Propaganda were in town, and some other cool events were happening in different locations at the same time, so we were a bit fucked and not many people showed up. However, the guys from ФОН played a good show, and Alithia… well Alithia are real pros and played a show that easily could’ve been a fucking arena thing. Now these guys have some stage presence! Feedbacker played a short set that went really well, imo.
We were happy when we came off the stage, but not that happy when we had to haul all the gear in the back of my trusty old Renault wagon. Thanks to Niki (Comasummer) we succeeded to fit a whole drums set + 2 amp heads + huge ass 4×12 guitar cab + a bass cab + 2 guitars + all the drum paraphernalia + 3 persons and unload all this crap into 3 different locations. I got home as early as 4AM and I was barely able to hold my eyes open. Yay! Rockstar life!
Day II: Plovdiv
28 october – we took a 2 hour drive to Plovdiv with Desi and landed in the center of the city right into Rorschach’s (aka Post-Culture Stage).
We met the Alithia guys and our new friends from Plovdiv and had a cup of nice hot coffee while waiting for the soundcheck. We had a nice little chat with John Rousvanis – thanks for that, mate! Mindflux from Plovdiv were the opening act that night and they were really fun to watch.
They are really young fellas and it was their first hometown gig, and the audience cheered them up a lot and I got myself thinking about my first gigs when I was their age, some 15+ years ago… duh, I guess that doesn’t make me old at all… more like ancient!
We kicked off with a little fault-start. Some dumb fuck (me) pressed the mute button of one of my amps, so I started the first song with half a rig.
Soundguy wasn’t very happy with the fuzz mayhem coming out of my pedals, but I was, so fuck it, right? Here’s some more lo-fi footage from that night.
The venue had really small stage and it was all vibrating from the low frequencies, so one of my amps was constantly trying to jump off the cab. I had to literally kick it back in place inbetween songs, and on one occasion – during a song. This kind of shit is pretty stressful, I’ll tell you that, so we skipped our last song and got off stage faster than usual.
All in all it was a fun gig to play and there were some familiar faces in the crowd, so we were happy. We had to stay in one of the ФОН guys’ place that night, but right after the gig we decided to drive back to Sofia and take a proper shower before heading to Greece the next day. So we did exactly that. We fucked a little with the GPS taking us to weird dark places in Plovdiv, but eventually we got back on the speedway and made it home. We got in bed earlier than the previous day. Sweet!
Day III: Thessaloniki
29 october – I was really excited to play this city as we never did that before and there were some really good bands on the bill that night. We had some company – my main mate Koko and his friend Veni with us and he did most of the driving, which was way cool for me as I was a little tired and absent.
We had an easy ride and got to the venue like an hour earlier. As always, we missed out the left turn that had to take us straight to Biotexnia so we did a fucking full circle around and man – finding a parking place in Thessaloniki is almost as fucked as it is in Sofia! We started unloading our stuff only to see Stratos from Autumn Acid (and Hak Nam Collective, who were organizing the gig) coming down the street with his drums stuff on his back.
Now comes the good part! Biotexnia is a great self-managed place in Thessaloniki, ran by three different collectives who make gigs and whatnot there. Being a political (read anarchist) place, I felt very much at home. We got a yummy warm meal immediately and got treated really nice by all the guys and gals we met.
The Rita Mosss and Friend of Gods guys were there as well and they were also doing a three day tour around Greece, so we were pretty much on the same page. I have to say all these folks were great company, we felt like we’re friends for ages with all the dumb jokes and nice chats we had throughout the night. It seems that gigs in such places start really late, like 12PM the earliest, so we had plenty of time to do a proper soundcheck, hang out, have coffee, pizza, vegan gyros, smoke 10,000 cigarettes and all that. Here I do exactly that (the smoking part) on the amazing terrace they have in Biotexnia.
After playing gigs for so many years this was the first time someone (aka the most calm and easy-going soundguy, ever!!!) came to me and said “You just set everything the way you want to, like you’re rehearsing, and we’ll make the front of house sound from that!“. I was in heaven! You can tell it was a good soundcheck just by looking at this picture:
Also, I felt in love with that fucking Ampeg VH-140C amp, it sounded so clean and transparent and had the best reverb channel that I immediately decided to use live. A fucking thing of beauty!
Actually, because of that amp we started our set with a intro we never played live before. Everything was so at home with us in Biotexnia that I knew we’ll play a good set hours before we came onstage. And we did. Room was full, spirits were high. We had a great time!
Rita Mosss came out first around 12:30 and man did they do a great set! They started and finished as they were playing one big track consisting of many songs… amazing! Their drummer Dimitrios hit so hard that he broke the floor tom at some point, but didn’t stop (two guys fixed it in the meantime). Fucking flawless! Fantastic bass/drums duo noise-punk madness, I loved every fucking minute of their set. I really wish we had more bands like this back home. Now that would make our local gigs a lot less awkward…
Halfway through their set I just brought my phone out and shot a little video, fully aware that it will both sound and look like turd… but I had to. Here it is:
Feedbacker came on second and we did our set in front of a very cool crowd, I really hope that everyone was having a good time. I know we did!
Friend of Gods were third on the bill. They play a very energetic blend of math rock and punk. You should check them out! They are also really, really cool blokes and it’s super fun to be around them. We’re definitely going to join forces again in Athens and I really hope I can bring them to Sofia sometime soon.
Autumn Acid got onstage and then things got really heavy. They sound huge! And a lot better than the last time I saw them in Serbia, where the sound was a bit fucked up. They play really exciting post-metal sludge thing with growling vocals and weird time signatures. I hope we’ll have more to write home about very soon with them, but I won’t talk much until I know shit’s being done for sure. But, man, what a band they are!
After the show we put my wagon to another test – this time it was 6 adults + a dog (Kim) + our gear – and we made it like this to his place. Stratos was an amazing host and I cannot thank him enough for that. We had perfect place to sleep and rest, and his pets are so darn cute it’s almost embarrassing. We got to bed somewhere after 5AM and had a good rest.
In the morning we had a cool chat and a cup of coffee and after that we spent some time wandering around a desolate Thessaloniki, having more coffee and buying useless shit here and there before heading home.
Now that’s a really huge gig report, but I had so much to tell, and believe me when I tell you this is the short version. Thanks to all wonderful bands we shared a stage with in Bulgaria and Greece and hope to see you guys somewhere down the road very soon!
* P.S. I stole this headline (“Three days of noise”) from Rita Mosss & Friend of Gods. Sorry guys, it was too good not to!
Shentov | Feedbacker