“DEMOCRACY” TOUR 2016
Thanks to all our wonderful fans and friends who came and shared such amazing nights with us over this tour, including celebrating our 800th live show. You’re the best – thanks so much for all your support and we look forward to seeing you all again on the next adventure…
(obo all in “Team Brilliant” and “Team Courageous” – Anté, Geoff, Malc, Joe, Dobrota)
So, special thanks and drinks up to my band comrades-in-arms Malc and Geoff, our most favourite roady Flo, the uber-fantastic Dave Hollingworth (Dorje/Tuska) for producing our albums, and all those who are part of the extended Djevara family. So, if you’re able, please come and celebrate and share this night with me, with us – to celebrate our past, our present, and our future – come shout. Come cry. Come dance. Come scream. LIVE = VIVA
*which, it turns out, was actually quite a close call. But a story for another time..
**amazingly, 17 people have played as part of the band live at least once since conception!
*** the photo is from the tribute post from my baby brother after we hit 750, which was almost enough to bring a tear to my eyes…
Tonight, I suffered the curious and rare sensation of simultaneously feeling both immense pride and overwhelming shame, as thousands of us stood in the cold outside the UK House Of Parliament to make our protest against the government’s insane plan to join in yet another war. We stood and chanted, with our mothers and oldest friends beside us, we sat and “died”, we listened to impassioned speeches, we cheered and we jeered, we lost our voices and found other new ones, and in the end, as we heard the disastrous but almost inevitable result of the vote, we sat in grave silence for a minute – right there in the street facing Big Ben which we had taken over – in respect for the innocent people who will inevitably die as a direct result of British bombs. People who are breathing like you and me right now, but as early as Friday could be dead. Men. Women. Children. Breathless. Extinguished. The ‘terrorists’ themselves will be safe in their bunkers. And we will not be safer.
As I stood there in this emotional, passionate rally, as I did on Saturday, and have done many times before, two things occurred to me. The first was that it was suddenly graphically, emphatically clear how different the stakes were for us – the ordinary citizens – and for the MPs a few hundred metres away from us on the other side. They were inside a building behind bomb barriers, walls, fences, more walls, more barriers, and at least two rows of armed police. We were out there in the cold in Parliament Square. It was painfully clear that the police were there to protect THEM from US, their supposed employers, people whom they are supposed to represent (yes, it’s genuinely hard not to laugh/cry). Some of them had even had the gall to complain on social media at being “harrassed” by their constituents. As if we’d acted out of place, expecting our MPs to give a fuck about our views. And it dawned on me; of course they don’t care about the consequences; because they will never, ever have to deal with them. More terror for them just means an excuse for more power and more war and more surveillance and makes them feel even more important, whereas for us it means the genuine increased possibility of being blown to pieces or otherwise killed in our cities and streets by psycopathic killers, while we go to concerts or eat in restaurants or party with friends. They laugh at us; Tony Blair launched a war which killed hundreds of thousands on false pretenses, and was rewarded with the title of “Middle East Peace Envoy” and now commands a fee of £330,000 to give speeches. They laugh at us.
The second thing was how remarkably easy it always seems to be to generate support for bombing brown people, even with the poorest, most illogical of arguments. It was remarkable to see the distance between the corporate media – obsessed with beating the drums of war and disgustingly one-sided (especially in their attempted character-assassination of Jeremy Corbyn, for example) – and the fears and rationale of these ordinary, informed people. Here at the protest there was a really remarkable mix of Britons from all walks of life who cared intensely about the consequences of yet another war, both here and abroad. They somehow seemed to have digested the sad, sad lessons of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, all countries that we’ve seen obliterated within the last 14 years with the help of British bombs and are now still in perpetual states of war and chaos. While of course not everyone will agree with our arguments, it really was astonsihing that David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK, could get away with writing off this whole section of the public as “terrorist sympathisers”. Let’s review: his plan to eliminate terrorism is to bomb a completely destabilised foreign, Muslim country from the sky and then hope a force of “70,000″ moderate fighters takes over and installs democracy. Moderate fighters which may include… er… up to 40,000 members of Al Qaeda. And they voted for this. Wow. And lest we forget, two years ago the government wanted to go to war in Syria ON THE OTHER SIDE – in other words, had they got their way ISIS would definitely be EVEN STRONGER THAN IT IS NOW. Now, of course I don’t believe for a second that the politicians actually believe any of the nonsensical reasons and lies they tell us, but there must be many ordinary people who do actually believe the official line in good faith. They must believe that, despite all evidence to the contrary and the ongoing increasing chaos in EVERY SINGLE OTHER COUNTRY WE’VE GOT INVOLVED IN IN THE MIDDLE-EAST, we will somehow be better off if British bombs start raining down in Raqqa. Since I don’t meet many of these people in real life, I was trying to imagine what a “DO BOMB SYRIA!” march/protest would look like, what kind of people would make it up. I very much doubt that most of them would be interested in – for example – spending even a fraction of the cost of the bombing on helping some of the refugees this action would inevitably generate. And I would love to know if, in their hearts of hearts, they really genuinely believe that the danger from terrorism in UK/Europe will actually decrease as a result of this military action. It’ll literally be a first.
My final words are for the poor ordinary, long-suffering people of Syria. The doctors, the teachers, the students, the mothers, the brothers, the train drivers. The forgotten people. I genuinely grieve. Having suffered under Assad, then the disintegration of civil war, then ISIS… they now have nine different foreign countries bombing them. What utter, utter insanity. Not for the first time, I’m genuinely ashamed of and completely disown the behaviour of our government. Dear Syrians, I want you to know that they definitely do NOT represent all of the people on this island; thousands, in fact millions, of us oppose them. We did everything we could (legally) do to try to stop them. I’m devastated that it was not enough, and as a result many of you have been guaranteed yet more suffering and impoverishment. I genuinely, deeply hope that the next few years prove us all wrong. That by some miracle, thousands of innocent civilians are not slaughtered by UK bombs, that “70,000 moderate troops” swoosh in and restore a wonderful flowering democracy, that all the Islamist groups are vanquished and nothing even worse than ISIS replaces it, that we won’t be standing outside parliament shouting “DON’T BOMB [NEXT COUNTRY ON LIST]” in a couple of years time, and that in five or ten years we’re all sitting in cafés in Paris laughing and saying “Ah, do you remember when there was that thing called terrorism?”. I’m being honest here – I genuinely, genuinely hope we are WRONG. PLEASE LET US BE WRONG. If, very unfortunately, this is not the result, then all I can offer is that I let them know – these warmongers – as strongly and as loudly as I could that all this violence is NOT IN MY NAME.
Peace to you, brothers and sisters in Syria, and know that we will not forget you, we will not give up the fight and we will not stay silent.
DEUTSCHLAND – this week, you’re up! Get loaded and ready to ruckus and roll in AACHEN, COLOGNE (KÖLN), HALLE (SAALE), CHEMNITZ and BERLIN*!
03/11 – acoustic (Redux) : COLOGNE, GERMANY @ Zoo Schanke
04/11 – AACHEN, GERMANY @ The Wild Rover Irish Pub
05/11 – HALLE (SAALE), GERMANY @ VL Ludwigstrasse w/ fuckwinter
06/11 – COLOGNE, GERMANY @ Sonic Ballroom w/ Tanzkommando
07/11 – CHEMNITZ, GERMANY @ Zukunft
14/11 – BERLIN, GERMANY @ Subversiv w/ LAIKA LOST IN SPACE
Please note there’s also an extra special solo acoustic “Djevara (Redux)” show now in Cologne this Wednesday (tomorrow) at Zoo Schänke.
Official FB events:
acoustic – https://www.facebook.com/events/693720164098609/
loud – https://www.facebook.com/events/1500054153625734/
HALLE (SAALE) : https://www.facebook.com/events/831861463576588/
*Berlin is NEXT week
Love Djevara? We’ve created a new “Fan Club” to enable our best supporters to get closer to and more involved with the band; if you want to support us in making our art and spreading our message, enabling us to write, play and exist, you can now you can join the new Fan Club and support the band directly! There’s loads of benefits from joining the “Fan Club” too, which you can read all about on the Fan Club page :
ps First five people will get an extra bonus “thank you” gift
Ahoj! We're celebrating our anniversary! Well actually, several will be celebrated together : 15 years of punk rock across UK, Europe and beyond, evolving over the course from wild-eyed youngsters to DIY veterans. 12 years since guitarist Geoff joined the band. 10 years since release of debut album. 6 years since drummer Malc joined the band. It seems fitting to host the official celebration in a very intimate setting in South London (UK), so we'll be having a special free show at the brand new and extremely cosy venue of "Off The Cuff" in Herne Hill under the railway arches by the station. We'd like to invite all our closest friends, fans, family and supporters to come down as we celebrate many years of uncompromised maximum rock and roll. So here's the deets: DATE : FRIDAY 12 JUNE 2015 VENUE: OFF THE CUFF (HERNE HILL, LONDON) PRICE: FREE / DONATIONS GUESTS: GIANT BURGER BAND, FRANCESCO FONTE FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/386382028212408/ For those of you not able to join us, we'll also be playing some festivals and a selection of shows across Europe throughout 2015, so keep your eyes on the website (www.djevara.co.uk) or the various social media. And if you haven't already, please check out our new album "VIVA! / PUNK IS NOT A SOUND" which is available now from djevara.bandcamp.com on digital, CD or vinyl double-LP formats. Take care and see you soon, Anté (Bass) x
When I was young I was obsessed with fractals. They were cool in the 90s, but while most people were into “The Butterfly Effect”, I was more enchanted by the idea that nature had encoded in it a complex math which exhibited patterns which would repeat at any scale and any time. I soon noticed that our personal and family histories also seemed to share this strange characteristic – sometimes cruelly. I’ve been heartbroken this last two weeks to see my beautiful nephew and niece join me in the ranks of ‘The Fatherless’ at a shockingly young age, and while the details always differ in detail, this is an unfortunate and painful pattern that has yet ever to be broken in my immediate family. However, just as life deals death it also always promises yet more life, sometimes as if by way of apology, and so at this time we find ourselves also soon having cause to celebrate, with the birth of the firstborn of one of our members. Hope. Dreams. Death. Life. So the cycle continues. As always, I have found it difficult to express myself except through the arts – and so I’ve decided to dedicate all my artistic/creative output this year to these innocent young pioneers of life. For what they teach us about what is important. For what they represent in terms of who we are and where we are going. For what they show us in terms of what is worth fighting for. For what they reflect about us ourselves.
In recognition and acknowledgement of these major changes to our lives, we will not be conducting our usual Spring Tour. Instead we shall be back later in the year – undoubtedly inspired and emboldened by what has transpired and what we have learned, of growth and healing, and fired on by our even greater responsibility for those to whom we one day hope to pass the torch.
[this is a duplicate of a blogpost on our TUMBLR here : http://djevara.tumblr.com/post/113348347948/when-i-was-young-i-was-obsessed-with-fractals ]
“I understand that an artist is someone who in the midst of other’s silence, uses his own voice to say something and make sure that what he says is not useless, but something that is useful to mankind”
- Joan Miro
I have a confession. I started the first week of 2015 staring into the abyss of despondency. 2000 people from the homeland of (some of) my ancestors were brutally wiped off the face of the planet. It was a noisy week in Europe, and so barely anybody noticed. Even the president of that country himself still seems to have barely noticed (though he did find time to send his deepest regrets to Paris, the cad). It was a week in which I watched in stunned silence as powerful, hypocritical world “leaders” took it in turns to feign deep beliefs in human rights and civil liberties for ordinary people, many of whom had been responsible for the suffering of literally millions, while without skipping a beat simultaneously exercised and made claim to further their own government’s powers in order to assert ever more draconian state authority in their own countries. In our own country. We watched, powerless, as discredited ideas based on hatred and mistrust that we thought long consigned to history continued their menacing ascent in new guises across the continent, as if we were stuck in some weird re-run of the beginning of the previous century, now in omni-colour. All the while stuck in the madness of the age of the ‘War On Nouns’, in which we’re trained to be oblivious to reasoned analysis or science in favour of a never-ending onslaught of hyperbole, propaganda and outrage. We can’t keep up, so our minds have become tabloid-attuned processors of soundbites and precis arguments, our politics reduced to popularity polls, and we are so far beyond being able to discern or digest the irony thrown at us daily that we twirl about hopelessly like deep-sea divers no longer able to “see” the water. But worse, drowning. And everyday we are just a little more numb and resigned to it; the ever increasing absurdities melting into accepted reason in a time of nihilism and meaninglessness. And this was how the year started.
So what the hell has all this got to do with music and playing in a punk rock band? This is a question I ask myself almost every day. People make art for a lot of different reasons, though it usually takes the form of some unquantifiable need to find an expression of their inner selves, reflecting and interpreting a considered view on the world outside. It answers the call within all of us to communicate while we try to elicit beauty and meaning from that which stimulates us. In it’s purest form there are no rules; the only real obligation of the artist is to be true to him/herself. Thus it is necessary, from time to time, to review oneself in order to avoid becoming stagnant, arrogant, cliched or workaday. And so, among the din of the New Year spectacles, we have watched, listened to, absorbed and been inspired by so many brilliant artists playing every kind of music and expressing every kind of emotion and perspective. And we have reflected on who we are and where we fit into this mosaic.
So in 2015, Djevara will continue to make art wrapped up in strongly held belief in the power of this art-form to be an honest and free expression of hope and adversity, and as a means to bring us closer together as human beings in the midst of this maelstrom. We promise nothing more or less than to try our best, flawed and imperfect as we are, to be a bow in the fight for freedom and compassion, for reason and humility, for common humanity firmly aware of our place in the context of a world-wide family, for the value of life – and quality of life – way above any abstract man-made intellectual constructs on a planet we share not only with all those living now, but also – hopefully – with all those lives (human or otherwise) to come. No, not claiming to have the definitive final answers, but ever determined to not be afraid to ask the important questions and always seeking, searching, enquiring, hoping, trying. Not just forever crying, but also defying. Above all, to share truly valuable experiences through our music and art with all those open to listen – our friends and family across this beautiful world. In some small way to be part of the solution. Or at least one hell of a soundtrack to it.
So this is the gauntlet for 2015. The world is upside down. We knew it was thus. There’s everything to play for, and we won’t be backing down.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year on behalf of Team Djev’. and looking forward to seeing you all soon.