Saturday evening after a long and tiring week… the weather is finally getting better, following a couple of rainy days. There are beautiful clouds over the sunset near Fabrika Avtonomia, where we are waiting for people and bands to gather for another DIY LIVE.
Around 7 pm we greet the local acts and shortly after that our Greek friends Rita Mosss show up with their blue van. They have been on tour for the past week or so, and in fact this show was set up last minute, thanks to Fabrika Avtonomia for being flexible with their schedule!
I am very glad to see my buddies again, maybe two weeks after our Athens show with Feedbacker which they attended. Working with friends, or rather making friends among the people you’re working with is one of the best benefits in the DIY punk scene.
After short and painless load-in/soundcheck we’re ready to start. Around 9 pm there’s still less than 30 people in the venue, which is a bit weird, but we try to stay positive.
S.B.R. opens the show with a completely massive wall of crackling harsh noise, drenched in reverb. He’s 100% into his performance, and spends a good part of the 45 minute long set lying motionless on the ground while we pray for the PA to endure the excruciating frequency attack.
Noone in his right mind opens a 3-band show with a HNW set, but in our case the gig is so niche we can get away with it.
Next are FezBastard. It’s not their first gig in Sofia, but it’s their first time at Fabrika Avtonomia, and, boy, do they nail it! After some technical problems in the beginning, these two execute a killer, highly energetic set. Their rather eclectic mix of hip-hop, electro, and explosive hardcore is hard to describe, but they certainly have the energy to deliver their message. FezBastard’s set is absolutely raw and unrefined and people respond well to it.
We go out for a smoke and some chit-chat, while Rita Mosss pals set their stuff on the floor. While usually a two-piece, this tour Rita Mosss has inflated to a 4-member complete noise monster: with Mike (Friend of Gods) on guitar/electronics and noise artist Ghone. I’ve seen the original line-up a couple of times, but there’s nothing that can prepare me for the massive outburst of fury and weirdness in the next hour.
Rita Mosss is probably the craziest and best live show you can ever see in a sweaty basement, and their legendary status is more than deserved. They are also amazing human beings.
The gig ends with friendly chatter and feasting on some homemade vegan pasta and beans salad. I’m happy and tired, and overwhelmed with thoughts.
Every single person who has ever been involved in organizing DIY shows (or something similar) could probably confirm that this kind of community work gives you an amazing experience. You can be a graphic designer, driver, cook, sound engineer, bartender, merch guy, and Human Resources manager—all of this in a single night. Of course, the only difference is that you’re not getting paid for it. It may seem overwhelming and not exactly worth it… and if we were to measure our success with money—it would more often than not a a complete and utter disaster.
In our case, this night we had an absolutely fantastic gig with really good and original artists playing their hearts out to a small handful of people.
DIY is awesome!
Photos: Ivan Shentov
(Mju II/Fujifilm C200)