Tuesday 2 June 2015

There - Stone Upon Stone Festival, Nis

Janko Džambas
True to its seedling roots the Stone Upon Stone festival went underground at the Klub Feedback with a performance by There in their hometown of Nis, Serbia. The club itself was seething with bodies, heat and smoke, in the darkest of conditions 5 men took to the stage. Projected upon them was a kaleidoscope of colour and patterns. A feast for the restless eye and this sketchers hands moved unseen and unfettered.

Uros Kostic - guitar

Headed by the charismatic stoicism of Janko Dzambas there was little to feel in the blackness except foreboding. The dapper attire and stiff upper lips of There represented a formality from another century but the music was very much cast in this time. Although modern it was a Grimm fairytale of a start with the twin guitars of Janko Dzambas and Uros Kostic chopping with their axes down indiscriminately in the dark.

Pavle Dinic - Keys

There is a cinematic thread to much that flowed out after the guitar chop, with a narrative that came from the hunched back of Pavle Dinic on keys. The rhythm section made sure the tide was forever building, there was a pressure that made it impossible to escape, yet the imagination did. The film which played across our minds was one of loneliness and chase. Running through empty corridors until the sense of solitariness became too much.

Luka Basic - drums

Introspection was the byword that would have escaped the lips if anything had been muttered. The circus lights pulsed in scything sabres of yellow and electric beams. The harsh pool which cascaded down upon Pavle Dinic gave him an orthodox beard of shadow, it pulled our eyes toward him as though a blessing was just moments away.

There is no communication between the players and the lights give us the animation which mirrors the music's energy. Spider webs of slippery eels pulsed over the 5 players but still our drummer Luka Basic languished in the dark recesses. The anthemic sound, the darkness and loudness of the venue suit the Stone Upon Stone's cutting edge. Despite the deadpan demeanour of There it didn't take long for their flavours to rupture and splatter over us.

Marko Mitić Čapa - Bass
The guitars broke the veins with their sawing themes but it was the bass of Marko Mitić Čapa who burst the dam. As we approached the end of their performance we rallied ourselves as an audience, creating that breakwater, for we were the stones in the raging river. Our bodies piled up to resist the punching blows from There, the blood pulsed in our ears, garbled pedalled voices persisted until our rubble collapsed. A thousand pin pricks of light pierced the smoky fug of the Klub Feedback and there was just a twinkling melody that persisted as though Labi Siffre had been locked in a music box.


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