uf, I wasn't on some two day trip for ages, really can't remember when was the last time I was on some gigs two days in a row or on any festival, so when I first heard that La Casa Fantom will have gigs in Rijeka and Zagreb on their October tour and especially when I found out that gigs will be in Podrum and Klaonica, already legendary spaces and I still wasn't visiting them never before (actually Podrum maybe once but it was like 7 or so years ago when it was even smaller than it's now, I don't remember it well) also I become really obsessed with La Casa Fantom in last few months so it was nice opportunity because of all that and of course because of testing myself if I can still handle two days party, intoxication and everything what goes with it, hehe..
it's funny how things sometimes just sort it out by themselves, I mean, few months ago I accidentally found live video of La Casa Fantom who I used to listen even before, superficially although, but only now discovering all the power and beauty of this band, then I get their LP, few weeks ago I heard they will be on tour and at the end they play in two interesting places in Croatia - I couldn't miss that..
so there weren't any problems, the deal with L was easy, I succeed to get few free days at work and finally we were ready to hit the road, once again like in good old times..
- day 1: Rijeka
this time L was driving so we meet in Marof somewhere about 16:00 and there were already some guy who was sharing the ride with us and he was bringing his cat with him, hmm interesting.. first we pick up some fresh from print posters for upcoming gig in Marof, just to spread the word about it in Ri and Zg, quick stop at gas station to buy gas and few beers and we were on our way to Rijeka.. atmosphere in car was kinda strange with constant, already little annoying meowing from the back seat, but luckily ride wasn't long, some speed records were made that day so we arrived in only two hours with only one quick stop.. we settled down in L brother's B apartment, have few more beers and sandwiches and we headed toward Podrum..
there was already a lot of people, we greeted few familiar faces, have some more beers at the bar and hang out outside,somehow usual and already standard pre-gig situation..
shortly after, the gig started and first band was Ruinas, interesting, something newer stenchcore act from faraway Argentina.. interesting was also the fact that both bands were playing on absolutely mighty and amazing La Casa Fantom's backline and equipment, because Podrum is actually as it's name says basement (podrum = basement O.E.) and it's pretty small, so with first touch of bass guitar string the walls was literally shaking and I had the feeling everything will collapse every second.. Ruinas treated us with about half an hour of standardly good stenchcore crust, in one moment they reminded me a lot on Last Legion Alive, very similar music and mighty female vocal, but the thing that is chronically missing in their music is speed or at least some faster parts here and there in songs, I mean I like to listen such bands but mostly at home during some cold snowy day and live this gets me bored sometimes.. but to be completely honest if they would have faster songs they sure wold be in my top 5 or so stenchcore bands..
after short pause and of course few more beers it's time for La Casa Fantom.. well, expectations from my side was huge and when they opened the show with "Timewaster/Decisionfaker" which is extra long song and to me personally little boring I was having some question marks above my head but already with 2nd song that was it.. amazing energy, unbelievably skilled drummer and bassist with wooden board on the floor, like 1.5 m long full of pedals with various effects and distortions, they both sing and have great vocals, all together for huge amount of noise but not any kind of noise but somehow perfectly arranged and beautiful.. also something slower set by them, they do have a way faster songs then this from this time's setlist, but that didn't bother me in their case 'cause they have something special anyhow, don't know what and can't explain it, you should just try it, hehe.. I think that I watch them on mute and just by seeing with what passion and intensity they play that wold be enough for me.. something more than half an hour by them, more like 45 mins, which actually passed really quickly but I wasn't sad 'cause I knew I will get another doze of them tomorrow.. later I found out that this was 8th time they were playing in Rijeka and that's awesome.. it seems they like the place and crew here..
and after the gig, well what was that.. L told me already before about after-parties in Podrum but I was pretty surprised.. after few old punk hits, they started with some old dance hits, than there was some also old rave songs from Prodigy to Darude and I don't know what, and interesting was how all the punks there, including me knows those hits, all dancing and singing, already drunk and stoned, naked guy dancing on the stage, well it was hell.. until the morning we drink like beasts, beers, gemišts (white vine+mineral water) with member of same named band Gemišt, then red wine with mineral water and similar strange drinks, when the bar left without beers we go on nearby gas station to buy some supplies, so it was very "interesting"..
like this wasn't enough, somewhere around 6 in the morning few of us made us little after-after-party in the park which lasted till 7:30 when we finally come to B's place and were going to have some sleep..
- day 2: Zagreb
we wake up around 15:00 next day, pretty much hungovered.. L was cooking some pasta and after we eat and after 1 or 2 hours of ineffective and confused agreement of when we will go to Zagreb and where and how we will pick up V and R who were supposed to go with us we were ready to road up.. the whole day was heavily raining and it was a real challenge get to the car which was parked 20 m from the apartment.. we managed in that by getting almost completely wet and was thinking that the worst part is behind us, completely unaware of what is waiting us just around the corner..
we arrived in Klaonica after 21:00.. on 1st impression really awesome place but totally fcked up entry into the complex, if I wold go there alone I wouldn't find the place until the morning..
when we buy tickets, CC were having sound check and shortly after they opened the gig..
they are new band but with already familiar crew and from what I saw on youtube I was sure they will not be by my taste.. but they totally surprised me.. really good fast and uncompromising hc punk, great female vocal, on some song dual vocals.. in short really pleasant surprise.. they were playing with new drummer (or he is just temporary replacement, I didn't get that part well..) and have only two or so rehearsals with him but I didn't noticed that they had any trouble with that..
then again Ruinas, or how would singer all silent and sweet said "vi ar ruhinas from arhentina" and then switch to the most bad ass vocal ever and they cause some serious thunder just like in Rijeka.. this time me and L were counting how many fast songs they have and we didn't count more than two.. how I said already before that's the only minus of this band..
after short pause La Casa Fantom are taking the stage, not only taking - conquering it!.. again same setlist like in Rijeka, I think.. slow and full of despair and depression intro with 10min long 1st song then absolute madness until the end.. there's no pause and silence between the songs, huge amount of feedback noise is always present and it plays with your nerves and eardrums.. I'm still not expert when it's about knowing their every song but I'm pretty sure that they played songs from latest album "Kill Me Clean" and maybe some newer.. I'm sorry 'cause they didn't play some older songs from Feed my Silence, Selection by Elimination or earlier releases, they have some seriously awesome songs there.. but I sincerely do hope that this isn't the last time I watched them live so there would still a chance to hear some other songs.. immediately after the gig we say goodbye to the crew and are going home, already exhausted and tired but with smile on our faces..
at the end all 3 bands were great that two days but I must repeat how I'm fascinated with La Casa Fantom, I won't say that they are the best band ever to me but definitely they are the most interesting band on the entire diy hc punk scene for sure.. don't know which genre they play, it can be hardcore, black metal, hc punk, neo crust, I don't care and that's also awesome that today when already everything has been played and then there is one such original and unique band, so much devoted to diy principles (btw all the amps, speakers, effects, etc. which they are using they fix or made by themselves and they succeed in making one monstrous sound system) and so simple and relaxed people.. just great..
I'm glad that I attend those two events, prove myself that I'm still not for the scrap metal and had some awesome time.. thanks goes to B on hospitality at his place and to L for the driving and sharing the same enthusiasm about punk as me.. until the next time, cheers!..
P.S.- pictures are stolen from LCF instagram page..