Posts tagged “tour”.

Reduced To This… TOUR

Reduced To This… acoustic Djevara (Redux) Spring Tour 2017


SO! It’s time!  Djevara have a new album out very imminently and we’ll out hitting the tarmac very soon all over Europe and the UK to kick out the jams.

Come see us… :

19/09 – BRIGHTON (UK) @ The Northern Lights

26/09 – ? @ CAEN (FRANCE) *TBC*
27/09 – LUXEMBOURG CITY (LUX) @ Rocas
29/09 – (nr) NANTES (FRANCE) @ Le Zad
30/09 – TBC *GET IN TOUCH *
01/10 – DAVOS (SWITZERLAND) Wallhalla Bar
02/10 – SEREGNO/MILAN (ITALY) @ Honky Tonky
03/10 – COLOGNE (GERMANY) @ AZ (Autonomes Zentrum)
04/10 – CHEMNITZ (GERMANY) @ Odradrek
06/10 – TBC *acoustic (Redux) – get in touch! *
07/10 – TBC *acoustic (Redux) – get in touch! *
08/10 – TBC *acoustic (Redux) – get in touch! *
09/10 – LUXEMBOURG (LUX) @ Rocas TBC *acoustic (Redux) *
10/10 – PRAGUE (CZECH REPUBLIC) @ Modrá Vopice
11/10 – BERLIN (GERMANY) @ Tiefgrund
12/10 – TBC *GET IN TOUCH *
13/10 – TBC *GET IN TOUCH *
14/10 – TBC *GET IN TOUCH *
15/10 – TBC *GET IN TOUCH *
16/10 – AACHEN (GERMANY) @ The Wild Rover Irish Pub
17/10 – FREIBURG (GERMANY) @ KTS Freiburg
18/10 – ZNOJMO (CZECH REPUBLIC) @ Gogo Club
20/10 – VIENNA (AUSTRIA) @ Arena Beisl
21/10 – OLOMOUC (CZECH REPUBLIC) @ Ponorka
22/10 – OPAVA (CZECH REPUBLIC) @ U Vočka
23/10 – POLNA (CZECH REPUBLIC) @ U Beranu (TBC)
25/10 – VELENJE (SLOVENIA) @ Klub eMCe plac
01/11 – BRISTOL (UK) @ The Red Lion
(more UK dates to be confirmed soon)

Get in touch if you can help us fill the blanks.

The Facebook event for the tour is up at :

We also need your help to promote this release and these shows: anything you can do from putting up posters to telling your friends to announcing on your local radio would be awesome and much appreciated.  We don’t want to pay ad-men and pluggers to do what should happen naturally from the ground up, from real fans and supporters.  Let’s build a noise.

Thanks as always for your support.
Anté & The Djevara Boys

TORT Tour (Euro Spring/Summer 2014) – week four

Despite the infestation of tourists, Prague is still probably one of the most beautiful and captivating capitals we’ve visited on the continent.  However, like every other capital, it is completely unlike the rest of the nation within which it lies, and all of our shows here are a million miles away from the throwaway chaos of elsewhere in the Republic.  Nevertheless, it was great to be back for a night of Sunday night noise at Modra Vopice (“Blue Monkey”, I believe), hosted by our good friend “Charlie”, who was astonished and excited to find his name shouted out in one of our new songs (and only a little disappointed to find out it’s about the destruction the cocaine industry wreaks across the American continent, and not really a tribute to him – similar, but different).  After the first couple of bands, the mood seemed a little too “static” for our liking – it’s a Sunday night, and it FEELS like a Sunday night.  We’ve also noticed that when there’s not a massive turnout, people start to feel self-conscious and uncomfortable – as if they are somehow less able to enjoy the same experience because 100 more strangers didn’t join them to share it.  This doesn’t bother us – we’ve played to 1 person and we’ve played to a 1000.  I’m sure we will many more times.  To be honest, it sounds and feels exactly the same to me in front of my 50W Orange amp.  So anyway, we started from “maximum” and went up from there, and with Team Brilliant now firing on all cylinders it was a night in which went from (metaphorically) freezing cold to burning hot, one of those when you feel the resistance melt away and the people let you in, and you go through the catharsis together, and in the end arrive at some kind of euphoria.  I love these gigs the most.

After the crazy driving of the previous weeks, the drive to Vienna from Prague is pleasantly swift and easy.  Vienna is another amazing capital city, and we often just spend whole days walking around in awe soaking it in (and for some reason we’re usually really lucky, like on this day, and the weather is gorgeous).  Or sometimes we spend the day in the huuuuge music store, either gaping at all those amazing instruments and pedals we’ll never own, or running down bank balances with essentials to repair/improve stuff that’s needed at this point during the tour.   Everyone knows I’m not much of an impulsive spender, but I usually walk out with a significantly lighter wallet (but much improved – or at least ‘working again’ – set up).  Arena Beisl is a magnificent place, and one of our favourite places to play. Their Monday night shows in the smallest bar are a mainstay and being free allow everyone to come and sample new bands at no risk.  It’s fantastic.  I also discover someone who I I think I can trust to be able to do my next long thought-about tattoo, so all-in-all a 100% successful trip.

Next stop is tiny Polna, a village in Czech Republic that even most Czechs have never heard of and which we only discovered quite by accident due to it being the family home of a very good friend of ours.  Last time round we were just enjoying a couple of “writing days” (ie days off) in the small bar there, and we thought “hmmm be awesome to play in here” so we asked Ivo, the bar owner, if we could play the next day, and he said “yes, but no-one will be here probably”.  The next day we set up and the whole village turned up and it was awesome. This time round, it was more-or-less Ivo’s leaving do, and it was an even more awesome repeat of the previous.  It really was a special night.  Flo, our dear and faitfhul roady, must have seen Djevara for about 50 times up to this point and still said this was “special”.  But what got me was this: after the show, a gentlemen came up to me calmly and asked if he could have his picture taken with my bass guitar.  I get weird requests all the time, so I said “sure” (after quickly looking him over to make sure he didn’t look like he’d do a Cobain on it).  As he took it and moved into the light for the photo, I noticed Ivo and his girlfriend (and the guy’s daughter), Renata, staring wide-mouthed in disbelief.  They later told me that he used to be quite a respected and well-known bass-player in the country, and something had happened (I couldn’t get it) and he had resolved never to touch bass again, and hadn’t done so for FIFTEEN YEARS.  But something about this show tonight made him re-consider.  He said the show was one the best things that had ever happened to him.  I mean, WOW.  How is one meant to respond to this?  I honestly don’t know.  The power of live music will never cease to surprise and sustain me.  And thank goodness for that.

After a cancellation, I was left pondering what to do with our next day.  Several times I had been attempting to see if there would be some opportunity to visit our friends in Koprivnice in the East, perhaps tied in with an acoustic show or some rehearsal time, and thought maybe today… but then Ivo and Renata had another idea, and before we knew it another “secret” gig was planned for us up at a house at the top of the hill.  This is the other side of the “happy chaos” that makes Czech Republic such a wonder for us; almost everywhere else it would be inconceivable or at least a massive heave-ho, but here the move from idea to reality is one broad, swift stroke.  And even when the police (inevitably) arrive, it’s actually only to say “hi” and they almost seem sorry to miss the concert.  Totally different rules, and once more I find myself praying they never become like us.  It’s very hard to describe what may be one of the most memorable (and certainly one of the most different) gigs we’ve played.  The “house at the top of the hill”, belonging to the gentleman who had newly re-found his love of bass guitar, turned out to be over-seeing a lake, and we set up to play outside overlooking the sunset while the audience of guests rocked out on the grass.  Absolutely amazing.  Our host kisses every member of the band during the set, even as we watch the sun go down over the lake, set behind the silhouettes of the dancing throng.  And then of course, when it’s all over, the (rest of) the band jumped into the pool.  As I said, amazing.  Sometimes, better not to question the script of life, but just accept and enjoy it’s madness (at least, when it’s not being an absolute ****).

Another short drive (ie same country), to Olomouc for a show at the fourth venue we’ve played in this town.  It’s a student town, and most of our shows here have been totally crazy – I remember the one a year ago people literally climbing over chairs and tables and Geoff having to kick people off his pedals (not-too-hard hopefully, but he’s not known for his patience haha).  This was probably the only slightly disappointing gig from my perspective – the venue was not really well suited, and then unfortunately we made the wrong choice of set-up.  Sometimes we try to change things up a bit to suit the vibe, and Malc had suggested placing the drums up front (off-stage) and playing facing the band.  It’s worked well before, many times, but on this occasion it was a terrible move – Geoff and I were totally separated from the audience, who instead of feeling invited in felt pushed even further back, and the drums just deafened everyone else.  It was only perfect if you happened to be seated exactly in the drummer’s seat… and unfortunately there’s only room for one (maybe two if you’re cosy).  The venue also didn’t have anything like the vibe of the other places.  Of course, we played our hardest and gave it 100% as usual, and I don’t really believe in comparing shows – they’re all important and unique after all, but it was difficult not to notice this was a little less fantastic against what had become a flow of truly amazing experiences.  Still love this town though (gorgeous and vibrant in many, many ways) so we’ll definitely be back.

The final gig in Czech Republic was way back in the West, to play a festival in Blatna.  It was punk-oriented and the vibe was energetic and friendly from the get-go.  The atmosphere when we got on stage was absolutely fantastic – it was like lighting a match. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed playing a festival show as much.  It’s funny because “enjoy” is not usually a word I feel comfortable using when playing, as I’ve probably said before I don’t really play to “enjoy” it necessarily, but this really was so much fun.  The new songs really must be quite catchy too since a crowd of people who could barely speak English were shouting the lyrics back at me within seconds. Awesome, awesome, awesome.  Later on Flo teased me for being a “rock star” when I complained that, after attempting to do a mini tour of the festival grounds (after the show), I got repeatedly stopped and asked to pose for photos with people (at one point there was actually a queue! I didn’t realize other countries did those!  Maybe just for photos).  Now,  it’s not that I don’t like photos or am not flattered that people want to have them with me, but it’s not my idea of a good time spending an hour doing this, and it’s definitely not why I make music.  It must be a nightmare to be actually really famous.  Anyway, so the love affair with Czech Republic – long may it continue.  I was genuinely sad to leave…

But leave we had to, at the lovely hour of 4am. The Saturday was Flo’s birthday, and all tour the challenge had been where to host this birthday party/show in Cologne.  The problem had been complacency; Cologne is practically our adopted home town in Germany, and usually we’ve played the Autonomes Zentrum (where Flo is the very aptly named “Party Minister” haha) or Sonic Ballroom.  Unfortunately, this time neither option was possible, but knowing so many people there we figured it would be no problem to sort something out.  And as each week on tour extinguished, our options came and went.  By the end of this last week we’d practically run out of options, and had decided to go for a ‘plan B’ – an outside show under a bridge in the centre.  Slightly risky, but also what could be more punk rock?  There was just one place to try, Flo announced, but he didn’t hold much hope.  It’s amazing how life works sometimes; the place did indeed come through, and in retrospect it really could not have been more perfect.  Bauwagenplatz Schöner Wohnen is a punk encampment embedded off a main road in Cologne, camouflaged so well you almost wouldn’t notice it.  Inside, it is it’s own anarchist republic.  Run on generators, the venue is small, cosy and totally “vibey”.  Some of the audience consisted of Flo’s friends from his party (the first part held on a beach), some our friends/fans, some of the people travelled many kilometres to come to this show.  It really was an awesome birthday party and final show for Flo and us, and we honestly could not have engineered a better tour conclusion.  It was fantastic and definitely one of the best shows we’ve ever played.  It was actually also really challenging for me personally – the illness and cough I couldn’t rid myself of for the whole second half of the tour had taken hold again with a vengeance, and I really genuinely didn’t know if I’d be able to make it through the entire gig through what was yet another smoky venue. But I knew how important it was, and I just didn’t want to let ourselves or Flo down, and somehow made it through the over two-hours of Djevara noise. Unbelievably, this wasn’t enough, so despite my genuine dislike of encores (as a cliche, not as a real phenomenon if people genuinely want more and it’s not “planned”) and feeling like I may actually just collapse, we played another fifteen minutes.  Adrenalin is a much more powerful drug than you think.  Thus ended the tour – on a massive high in one of our favourite cities with so many of our favourite people.  As I sat in recovery, huge bottle of water in one hand and clutching a wet t-shirt in the other, trying to catch my breath and taking in the aftermath, glimpses and memories of parts of the last four weeks flashed before me.  Thousands of kilometres.  Did we achieve anything?  Was it worth it?  One of the greatest ironies in my life, I think, is that because of my ostentatiously loud and exuberant behaviour, it’s natural for people to assume I’m supremely confident, even arrogant, when the truth is that like most (all?) men I’ve ever met, I’m actually just a small boy trapped in some man’s body and doing my best to deal with it.  And so then I looked in front of me, and there was a guy, not saying anything but just smiling, holding his hand forward in some kind of gesture.  Couldn’t make it out.  Still.  Coughing.  Was he reaching or holding something?  Cough.  Or pointing?  Wipe the sweat and tears, and focus. Focus.  Ah.  OK.  I see.  I drop the wet T-shirt, smile back and make the same simple, silent gesture in response.  Thumbs up.


TORT Tour (Euro Spring/Summer 2014) – week two

When Steph at The Wild Rover pointed out that we’d only met last year, and in that time Djevara had already hit Wild Rover/Aachen five times (in both Redux and ‘loud’ set-ups), I couldn’t believe it.  Rory and Steph’s wonderful little  Irish pub in this West German city already has a special place in our hearts, and it was great to return there and see so many of our very newly acquired fans turn up for what was – for some – the sixth time!  Local young lads “Dead Stones Ain’t Rolling” were a nice support band and the night was fantastic and a great start to the second week.  Well, I get ahead of myself a bit here : the week actually started with another secret gig in Schonebeck again organized by Andre (Kautz Records) on the Monday, along with a Jam session, and this was actually much better than the first – really intimate and atmospheric.

Next up was a jaunt south to KTS Freiburg to take part in their festival, which was a week-long action consisting of various workshops, shows, presentations and demonstrations.  It was great to return here; the people are so wonderful and the space has an energy of its own, while the house ‘engineer’ is better, faster and more efficient than almost any I’ve seen in more ‘professional’ contexts. If only it was always like this.  Next stop: Berlin. What’s that you say? Who did the tour-booking, and they should be fired? Heh. Well… the thing I feel like I have to explain again and again (and again) to people is that Djevara priorities are different to some (most?) other artists.  We recognize our place as a relatively unknown alt/punk band from a strange and saturated island off the west coast of Europe. We make strange, uncompromising music. Thus, the most important thing to us is to play to people who we think will appreciate what we do, in environments that are comfortable for us both and in situations which will be the best to present and share our ‘art’ (and yes, we do think of it as that, whether or not it’s any good or not is another matter of course!).  Anyway, the point is that we can’t always simply dictate the circumstances and timetables that will line up with these priorities, which sometimes leads to what on paper look like (and probably ARE) crazy schedules, but in practice almost always lead to the best possible results. So, thus we found ourselves back at wonderful Dunckerclub on the Thursday (which is always awesome and one of our favourite spots), then on to Czech Republic.  And after the relative sanity and almost clinical clockwork of events in Germany, we felt prepared for what is always an increase in the ‘chaos’ factor on entering the Czech Republic.

Of course, we under-estimated it.  Now, I should say that Czech Republic is without a shadow of a doubt Djevara’s favourite place to play in all of Europe.  The people we’ve met are among the friendliest and most open I/we’ve ever met anywhere (outside of Canada, and admittedly mainly after the intake of alcohol – but that goes for all of Europe pretty much), and we have found that they – at least the one’s we’ve had the pleasure of playing to – let themselves go and respond to music, art and life in a way most people in Western Europe have long become too self-conscious and cynical to do.  It’s genuinely refreshing to be among a people who are just so naturally relaxed (by comparison), and also seem to just *understand* our band. In fact, the only reason it’s not my actual favourite country is because the entire nation is solidly hooked on a nicotine habit of quite frankly terrifying proportions (see previous blog post) and in fact I find it really hard to play and enjoy events here as everywhere is just so physically saturated with tobacco smoke*.  Anyway, what sets Czech apart is that on paper it makes no ‘sense’- it’s a country with a tiny population on the far edge of central Europe, we get paid peanuts (if at all) and almost nobody buys our merchandise (though they like to ply us with drinks etc).  We make a huge loss playing the Czech Republic.  But they are without a doubt the best shows- so in fact, it’s worth touring the rest of Europe just to be *able* to play in Czech Republic!  In this case our first show was a birthday party for our (now) dear friend Petr, in his basement in a tiny village in the middle of the country.  It’s surreal – and turned out to easily be the best show of the tour thus far.  Such a wonderful place and such wonderfully receptive and responsive audience, you can’t help but fall in love with Czechs.  I can’t describe the atmosphere in words, so I won’t even try except to say it was emotional, beautiful and really powerful experience for all of us.  Then the Czech chaos factor: an email from the management at JAM – the next date and supposedly the highlight of our tour – to say “Sorry” but they had forgotten to do any promotion, and so the gig was cancelled.  Now, to say this was shocking and unsatisfactory would be an understatement.  But also, we have a good number of friends and fans in this strange little East Czech city, so we were not prepared to lose this show (plus we had a surprise lined up – Geoff was being flown in for a special one-off ’4-piece’ presentation of the new album for these special people!).  After much cafuffle and fluttering of feathers, phonecalls and various fan manouevres we managed to rescue the show.  And although of course most of Opava was oblivious, it was still wonderful and special for all our special fans, friends and – to us – family.  And the moral of the story is… Beastie Boys were right.  Sometimes you have to fight for your right… to party.  And thus ended Team Ace’s run (‘Djevara Team Ace’ is Anté, Malc, Tose & Flo) – reaching a halfway point once more with some fantastic memories of nights and days spent with wonderful people in amazing places.

Next stop: a festival in Northern Germany, 880km away. ;)

And so it goes…

*There is no end in very sad irony in the fact that so many of such a genuinely free-thinking and wonderful people thoughtlessly and voluntarily smoke themselves into early graves

TORT Tour (Euro Spring/Summer 2014) – week one

As Mighty Djevara enjoy a day off in sunny Eastern Germany, I’m reflecting on the amazing first week of the tour.  We’ve been quite overwhelmed and heart-warmed by everyone who has supported us at the shows – by being there and sharing in the experience of expressing our music and art, and of course from supporting the band materially by buying CDs, T-shirts, etc.

We kicked off in Paris (France), a city we haven’t been to for years. This set the bar for the tour: put on by a collective driven with passion and conviction for new, alternative underground music, the night was eclectic and thoroughly engaging. In addition to the hilarious (yet very good) 80′s pastiche ‘metal’ of Double Dragon and the (seemingly very popular) addictive angular pop rock of Decibelles, a (sadly) rare very feminine flavour to these nights, we played a set consisting of a significant portion of new tunes from the soon-to-be-released album (setting our pattern for the tour).  However, for me, it was all about Ben Nasr Al Ghandour, my favourite French band : a two-piece who play what “music types” would probably call “instrumental math-rock post-hardcore” but I would simply call “ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT”.  And so it started…

The next days have been a blur – not so much in that they went too fast, but that so much happened and the effects of those ‘happenings’ so multitudinous and fantastic that to draw the lines seems to go beyond the bounds of polite pedantry.  So, we had Rock Classic in Brussels (BE) which is always a good night and where we had a great time with our friends from Bang Bang Booking, then Le 108 in Orleans with Mora Mora (again, fantastic, and this time with the mind-blowing awesomeness of Pryapisme, another superb French band who I can describe perhaps as the kind of band Mike Patton would be in if he was 20 years younger), then another awesomely rocking night in the Netherlands for the first time in nearly two years (great to be back- absolutely fantastic time at Den Engel!), then on to Germany for an re-union with our friends in the super Turbina Spurlina   at KuZe in Potsdam which was also fantastic.  Even though I don’t think any of us will ever have to hear the lines “What’s going on?” ever again… hmm, that’s something which perhaps only someone who was at the after-party will understand!  The next two shows in Halle (Saale) and Schonebeck were more muted audience-wise, but still great fun nevertheless, the former at Hoenermanhattan (“Chicken-Manhattan”? What’s that about??), which definitely had the best sound I think of any Djevara gig *ever* off the stage – simply HUGE – and then the more intimate ‘secret’ gig in a converted rehearsal room in tiny Schonebeck (Elbe), which reminded us a little of a cross between the old Orange & Blue Studio (the original one in Kent) and an Essex biker club.  It was cool, and on both nights we had the pleasure of experiencing the stunning music of Berlin band Goshawk.  And so now we’re here… one quarter of the way through.  It’s been great to get the opportunity to play so many of the new tunes live for the first time on the continent, and the response has been really positive so we’re even more excited about the new album.  And so it rolls on…

The next dates are:
03/06 – The Wild Rover – AACHEN, GERMANY
04/06 – KTS-Freiburg – FREIBURG, GERMANY
05/06 – Dunckerclub – BERLIN, GERMANY
06/06 – Petr’s Basement – KRESETICE, CZECH REPUBLIC
07/06 – Music Bar Jam – OPAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC

For more tourdates check out our website:

See you at the front,

Anté & The Boys Djev’


ps on a personal note (which represents only my own views), there is one major downer in touring the continent: I realize more and more how many people here (especially those I care about) have a nicotine addiction, how it seems to be getting worse here (rather than better) and how ambivalent most people who otherwise consider themselves ‘alternative’ or ‘progressive’ are.  I make no secret that I have strong views about smoking and nicotine addiction, and not just because of my own physical sensitivity: my father died of cancer, and I find it astonishing that otherwise (seemingly) intelligent people would voluntarily shovel this poison into their lungs and bloodstreams at horrific levels, several times a day, all to the benefit of profiteering corporations unburdened by any kind of morality.  I’m one of the most liberal people I know about drugs when it comes to people’s choice to use them; I believe nature has given us many beautiful plants and herbs which we can benefit from and enjoy such as cannabis, but nicotine and tar-infested tobacco as it it’s used on this scale to poison human beings really disgusts me to a level I find it hard to express.  To some-one who has lost someone close due to a disease which is often the end result, I find it offensive and hurtful at a deeply personal level as well.  I do not enjoy watching other human beings, especially people I care about, wantonly destroy themselves.  I can see, smell and even taste the results;  I once kissed a lovely girl in East Germany and she tasted like an ashtray.  I wanted to throw up, and that was the end of it.  I hate having to breathe it in myself, I hate having to smell it ALL THE TIME, I hate having to see a million reminders of it carelessly disgarded over all of our streets and parks and gates, I hate seeing lovely young children as young as 13 begin on a path of self-loathing and desecration that will last for decades if not for life, I hate having to feel embarrassed when people ask me half-heartedly “Do you mind if I smoke?” while we’re sitting at a meal trying to INGEST FOOD FFS!!!    And I hate having to pretend it’s completely normal and fine.    People are always asking me what I’m singing about and I try to point them towards the lyrics.  But maybe, if I was forced to say it explicitly, the central message would be something like: “You’re/we’re beautiful, people.  You/we get one body and mind – they are your/our most precious possessions.  Water them, nurture them, enjoy them.  Don’t destroy them.  We’re in this together.”  Or, as an icon of mine said, “Love all the people, all the time”.

Peace.  And love.  In whatever order you want it.



Rather Be Alive (Spring 2013)

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8 APR – COLOGNE (KÖLN), GERMANY @ AK KÖLN (KALK) *(Redux) acoustic
21 APR- KřESTICE, CZECH REPUBLIC @ private party
29 APR – AACHEN, GERMANY @ WILD ROVER *(Redux) acoustic

*pre-tour solo acoustic warm-up

Click here for the Facebook event


Wow, we made it. The “RICORSI” Tour was perhaps our most ambitious and extensive yet, spanning over a month of dates spread across 13 countries, clocking up over 13,000km and the most diverse variety of shows yet. As usual, we had incredible adventures and fantastic experiences (I feel at least two more editions of “DIY TRYING” are necessary), and we were constantly reminded how privileged we are to be able to share the results of our creativity with so many people across this amazing continent.

Some of the shows will stick in our memories forever – from playing on the Eastern border of Germany following an impassioned and vital anti-Fascist rally at one of our favourite squats, to playing in the midst of thousands of incredible art pieces in a pop-up exhibition in Vienna in what had to be one of the most inspiring settings we’ve ever been hosted in (followed, of course, by swing jazz, which I now wish always happened). But every show is unique and special in its own way; we have always pledged to give 100% to every show, whether there are 1000 or 6 people (and both have happened), and still stubbornly refuse to write a setlist so that no night is ever an exact repeat or can ever risk simply being a case of going through the motions; the message, the music, the expression must be alive and lived in the moment if it is to mean anything at all. On behalf of my fellow Djevarians Geoff and Malc, I want to thank you all most sincerely for being there and listening and experiencing these times with us, and giving us the opportunity to do this.

Djevara would also like to thank honorary Djevarian Tose, my brother who was absolutely exceptional in playing with us for the first half of the tour. We’d also like to thank John Hollingworth, as much a brother, for (i) all his help (ie mainly perennially fixing my equipment after I’ve trashed it), (ii) injecting some much-needed “rock n roll” into the otherwise occasionally staid Djev’ camp (by Czech standards, that is!), and (iii) almost limitless enthusiasm every night. If you’ve ever played in a band, you’ll appreciate how much it means to have at least one person absolutely giving you back 100% too. Thanks, John. Djevara would also like to thank everyone who who put us on, put us up,… or just plain put up with us – in no particular order, and sometimes not exclusively one or the other. Small as we are, we’ve built up so many warm relationships across the continent that we can now honestly say we see touring as much an excuse to go around seeing people we consider to be some of our closest friends as much as a way to disseminate our music. Most of all, of course, we’d like to thank YOU – everyone who cared enough to come and share an evening (or more) with us – listening, screaming, buying, dancing, feeling. Each night I was reminded in a different way why we do this; grown men who should know better throwing themselves in a van and launching themselves across a continent against their better financial judgement in an effort to scream and play loud instruments every night.

In a world in which we are made to feel continuously disconnected, constantly told how we need to behave or what we need to buy or do to fit or be acceptable, who to love or hate, what is beautiful and what is undesirable, it is about much more than just music. Someone asked me on tour what does it mean to be a “political band” and what can we ever hope to achieve us such. I had to point out two things: first, Djevara is first and foremost, and will always be, at it’s heart, about free and honest artistic expression – for the sake of it. This in itself may well be seen as a political expression, but at it’s heart this is as far as it needs to go. However, I add the second point, which is perhaps more personal, for which it may be useful to quote one of my favourite front-women of the modern rock age: “everything’s fucking political”. In a world where “liberal” can mean the continued existence of Guantanamo Bay, “freedom” can mean the continued incarceration without trial of whistleblowers such as Bradley Manning, and “peace” can mean unarmed drones targeting civilians and battering villagers in a country thousands of miles away, what you don’t say is as important as what you say, what you don’t do is as important as what you do. If we’re the last men standing in this great tug of war of ideas and truths and lies, then we have a voice – and we mean to use it.

So ends our live programme for 2012. We won’t be totally disappearing – there’s plenty happening over the next few months including a film, at least three music videos, a Euro-rail acoustic (Redux) mini-tour (with luck!) and the “Djevarian” album project, progress of which you’ll be able to follow on online via the blogs etc. So thanks again for re-affirming our belief in the potential for art and music to be about more than just commercialism, vapidity and ego, and allowing us to connect at a deeper level. Thanks for being our anchors.

Stay safe and take care of each other, and we look forward to seeing you again in the Spring.

Anté Bassey (on behalf of Team Djevara RICORSI 2012)

Team Djevara - RICORSI TOUR 2012 (+ Ludo)

Users of the Facebook networking site may view more tour photos online here:

Boys On Tour (Excerpts from the Tour Tapes)

Excerpts from the tour tapes…




Tour Update – the end (Divided We Fall, Spring 2012)

After the absolute craziness of the weekend, with both shows exploding into huge parties of literally hundreds of people each,  Sunday saw a huge change as we took Geoff and Joe to the airport, leaving the team consisting of myself, Malc, Andy and Tose, my younger brother, covering for Geoff for the last week.  We headed straight for Luxembourg where Yatsch had organised a (Redux) show at a riverside ski club in his home town.

La Ski Nautique is a lovely little place with an amazing view of the river (across which lies Germany), and it was only unfortunate that the mean overcast, windy and temperamental weather meant that the planned shenanigans were held indoors and most of the invited guests decided not to turn up.  We still had a great time though, moving everything indoors and playing to a small but enthusiastic crowd (after Das Andy K Show had wowed them with a characteristically mental set).  It was awesome getting everyone to sing along to “The Armistice”, shouting out “It’s not over yet!” until… er… it was over.

We took advantage of Monday being a day off  to rehearse with Tose, Yatsch having managed to get us in at a local youth club.  To our amusement for at least one afternoon unsuspecting young basketball players and such were (enforcedly) rocking out to the Djev’.  After a relaxed evening spent mostly fixing a load of stuff we headed out in the morning right the way across Germany to hit Reil 78 in Halle (Saale), Germany.  Other than another brief stop to take snaps with yet more German cops (apparently both fans of “hard rock”) the journey was uneventful. The squat has been around for nearly 20 years and you can almost see the ghosts of this legacy.  A local band opened up, playing a bluesy experimental jammed set which seemed more mature than their very young years suggested, and was the complete opposite of Das Andy K Show that followed.  Tose launched into his first set with gusto and despite us being beset by random technical issues it felt like a good start for the new team.  But the best was yet to come – the next morning we were introduced to the sauna. Reil 78 must be the only squat in the world with it’s own DIY-built outdoor sauna, and having never even been a “normal” one it was quite an amazing experience.  The first time I went in I thought I was going to die it was so hot, but by the third round (apparently you have to do three) it was utter bliss and we all swore we’d never felt so cleansed and refreshed- it was as if we’d just left.  A compulsory stop halfway through every tour from now on, I think!

Weds was not supposed to be a day off but that’s how it ended up, so Andy and I decided to go up to Bernburg to help promote the show on Saturday while Malc and Tose took part in some kimono drum lessons at the squat.  There was a crazy “Guatemala” party on campus, and it got to the point that Andy and I were (admittedly several drinks in) dancing like maniacs shirtless to The Prodigy, appalled that the dancefloor had been largely abandoned in response to the DJs rare move away from terrible German dance pop.  It was a good night.

Thurs saw a return to Stoky, a tiny town in Czech Republic which for some reason we’ve established a small relationship with.  The gig was put on by our friend Anita who first took us on a little tour of the village and then to visit her favourite pub.  Since Monday the weather had been amazingly sunny and today was no different.  Unfortunately my request for a shandy was slightly confused when the waiter decided “coke” was an adequate replacement for lemonade.  Ugh.  Anyway, back at the venue the usual predictable unpredictable Czech craziness started : the support band’s singer had overslept (yes, at 7pm in the evening) and decided not to come, as had another member, and Anita was clearly panicking over whether the gig was going to go well at all – whether people would turn up, the relations with her (ex-)boss who ran the place.  Usual Djevara luck had struck a few days before, I should explain, and the venue had lost all their electricity resulting in a huge bill. They’d had to cancel all the upcoming gigs as they could not afford to fix it and pay the bands, but I told them we’d honour the show anyhow.  As it turns out, it wasn’t a disaster, but actually totally awesome.  Czechs are some of the best audience members a band could hope for, and it’s no coincidence that it’s one of our favourite countries to play in.  Das Andy K Show was awesome, we even all sang along to his (several) encores.  A bonus was that the venue owner loved the show so much that it actually helped mend some very broken fences with Anita, which in Djevara-land is a WIN.  The usual CZ-style post-gig chaos ensued, which mostly consisted of people getting increasingly merry while singing along to “Graceland”.  Tose was particularly hilarious in this regard.

Back to Prague on the Friday, to Modra Vopice where we played last time.  Charlie was a fantastic host as usual – his own obvious excitement at having us back being very contagious and setting us up for a great night.  The local band had pulled out at almost the last minute due to some member’s wife having a baby (!), so local boys Backslider were brought in and did a good job of opening up, though unfortunately they were nowhere near as popular as the original act.  Nevertheless, by the time we went on there were a fair few people and there was a really good atmosphere.  Michal from Fetch (a fantastic Czech band from Prague) was even on hand to repair my bass mid-set after the heaviest string uncharacteristically broke mid-song).

The final show of the tour was to be in Bernburg and it held a special meaning.  Apart from being the last of this tour on the continent, it was also the anniversary to the day of dad’s death from cancer for Tose and I, playing together for the first time.  For some reason this year it felt particularly poignant.  Since Geoff had also lost an uncle recently, we decided to dedicate the entire show to “the departed”, with Malc honouring his grandfather Peter.  Although we’ve played Bernburg several times now and it’s always been absolutely fantastic, this was our first visit to the Hotel Wien squat.  The squat is a fantastic venue: they’ve literally just taken over a high street store and put on gigs there.  Amazing atmosphere.  We were playing as support to “Irish punks” The Porters (actually from Dusseldorff) and the place was buzzing even by the time the first band (a local acoustic duo) played.  Since we’d been warned that many students may be away due to the “long weekend” it was fantastic to see many of our friends/fans turn up, many in Djevara T-shirts, and it was a really special show in the end.  I played a special version of “Untitled”, an acoustic track I wrote years ago dedicated to dad and it was a truly amazing moment in the room I think.  I think, I hope, he would have been proud of what we’ve done.  And so it was a celebration of life, and not a mourning of death.  And after that, it was to The Porters to party away “Irish” style for well over an hour, until the local police called time on the event.  The party went on unabated, but that was the end of live music.  A fantastic way to end the tour (though between you and me Tose may have – hilariously – had just a little bit too much wine :) ), with new friends in a town full of old ones, and a feeling of “mission accomplished”.

This was definitely the best Djevara European Tour, even without playing some of our favourite places.  The response and the warmth of the people and the amazing list of true friends we’ve built up spanning an entire continent is fantastic and make it all worthwhile on its own, but also the feeling of actually being appreciated as a band is a million miles away from what can sometimes seem like banging your head against a brick wall back home (though, ironically, part of the initial excitement in some places I sense is exactly due to us being “a band from London”. Oh if they only knew)*.   It is also ironic that in many ways we often feel our message/music/art/whatever often resonates louder and clearer with people who may not even speak our language, hundreds or thousands of km away.  We’ve given up trying to reason it, now we just accept and are grateful.

Team Djevara would most sincerely like to thank, from the bottom of our hearts, every single person who was part of this experience and helped make it what it was, including (but probably not limited to):
Das Andy K Show, Bleak, Scratch Latin, Leevil, Taline and all at La Vielle Valette, Yatsch and Ben at Sound Grape Collective and Lyn, JM and crew at Liquid, Mar and all at Little Woodstock, Dani, Norbert and Arnie at Arena Beisl, Paul Ablinger and the Loxodrome boys, Zdanek, Flo and guys at Cassiopeia, Emillio at De Pit, all at Ann & Pat, all at Honky Tonky, Gabri, Viky, Valentina and all at Caffeteria Battisti, all at Rockfest Jurjove,  Flo and all at AZ Koln (happy birthday!!!), all at La Ski Nautique, Giant, Albrecht and all at Reil 78, Anita (Nana), Charlie and all at Modra Vopice, Herne and everyone at Hotel Wien, Mabel, all the other bands we played with, and of course everyone who came to a show, bought a CD, bought a T-shirt, or just came and shared an evening with us and lent us hearts and ears for a couple of hours.  Thank you.  We look forward to doing it all again soon.  Peace.




(photos to follow)

*I should say that we’ve actually had some fantastic shows in our home town, and the people who do come down to see us mean a lot to us.  In particular the two shows that started this tour may have been some of the best nights Djevara have ever had in London.

“United We Stand” Tour – Autumn 2011 – Ireland/Northern Ireland

Tuesday 13-09-2011

We started early on Tuesday morning, leaving around 3am. The 18 hour journey to Galway was pretty uneventful, even despite the storm warnings in the Irish Sea, which was mercifully calm by the time we got there.

Our touring partner this time was Keith Allen, of Kill Goliath fame, and he helped get us a couple of the shows in and around his home town of Moate in the Republic. Towards the end of the first day, we stopped as Keith’s folks house for some excellent stew and a tea before heading on to the venue.

It always takes a couple of shows to really get into the swing of the tour, when things really start to gel on stage. This is mainly, for my part, because the first leg of the journey tends to be the longest, and the feeling tends to stick around in the back of the mind. ‘Playing a show in the van’ is a fairly descriptive analogy to the feeling some times. We smacked it, though, and people seemed to appreciate it. Local band Neon Tetras would return to play with us later in the week in Moate.

Wednesday 14-09-2011

Wednesday saw us head to Dublin, to Sweeny Mongrel bar. Our first time in Dublin to play, and we didn’t get let down. Despite beer prices to rival London, the turnout was awesome, and some great acts played. It took us a while to get used to the late scheduling of the Irish dates; everything tends to kick off around 10:00 and runs right through to 1:00 or later even on weekdays. Back home this would be unthinkable, and we fully expected, despite prior experience of the contrary, for everyone to leave right before we played. They didn’t, and some even stayed long enough to buy some CDs at the end.

We finished the evening at the bar downstairs after hours for a chat and bit of fun with Graham, the manager (excellent beard) , his staff, and few regulars. I see us returning here.

We made some new friends, including Dan, who kindly let a bunch of strangers into his house and left them there when he went to work. Dan seems to sum up a lot of the better Irish stereotypes all at once, and has a lot of energy for the ‘craic’. He’s brewing 30 litres of pear cider (and one potato) in a big bucket in his kitchen, though we didn’t get a chance to sample it.

Thursday 15-09-2011

From Dublin up to Belfast, where we have played a couple of times before, and where we hoped to capitalise on some of the previous work back in February.

Our glorious host Ross Hunter (of massive bicep fame) put us up again. Ross has been working on a new music magazine called Molten (in which we have a piece by Bass) and has just released the second edition. It’s a really good piece of work, even more impressive when you consider 3 guys have put it together. The work is by several journalists offering fair and well written reviews, and doesn’t have any of the pretension of more established magazines, and could rival some of them for presentation.

One of the best aspects that sticks out almost immediately is the coverage of the Irish and UK underground alternative and hardcore scene, which sits very comfortably alongside interviews with luminaries such as Slash, and live reviews of The Dillinger Escape Plan. There are articles written by bands (including one by Russ from one of our favourites, Silent Front) as opposed to just 3rd party reviews and opinion, which give the magazine the sense that it is a medium to aid communication by the artists, rather than just speaking about them on their behalf. It’s also very good to see so much crossover as well, with several bands referencing each other and wearing the other’s T-Shirts on their photos. It’s gives it a great cohesiveness.

Back to Ross’s place afterwards, and joined by a few randoms who were invited around by his mate. A few beers a much mocking conversation followed into the small hours. No one got their willy out in the living room this time, which was a relief to us all.

Friday 16-09-2011

Back to Moate for Keith’s home town show. Don’s bar is next to Rosies Fish and Chip Shop, which we had seen earlier in the week and which has possibly the boldest special offer we’ve ever seen. “Everything half price, all of the time” is hard to beat, even if curry sauce isn’t included. The chips were good, though.

Don’s bar also has one the best smoking areas. Its outside, as is legal, but with a roof over the top and surrounded by 4 walls to keep the breeze out. Whilst it didn’t actually feel like it was Inside, there is I think a technicality that could be argued. In any case, this was also where we were playing, and consequently we may have picked up a few fans from people who were literally there just to have a fag. Malcolm, sadly, lost his hat to one of the locals out celebrating his 57th birthday, and who evidently went home with it on his head. Chances are he didn’t even notice, though he seemed quite taken with it as well as being pretty plastered, so chances are also good that he 1) stole it, 2) thought it was a gift 3) gave it to someone else/lost it.

We stayed the night with the drummer from Brainwashington. Arriving late, we had a fairly relaxed evening and listened to The Octopus by Amplifier whilst catching up on some admin.

Saturday 17-09-2011

Relatively early start, as today we head to the north coast for our last show in Portrush. Bass made some pasta before we left, but in the absence of a tin opener used what I can only describe as a small machete to hack his way into the tin of tomatoes. ‘ Smack – “ARRRRGH!!!…only joking” – smack’ from the kitchen, though no one jumped up to see if anything actually had happened.

An hour from Portrush the inevitable happened, and we broke down. We had a spot of trouble last night with the starter motor, but were informed (by Don) that it was probably going to be OK. The mechanic who came to sort us out later, however, described the inner workings of our starter motor as ‘mincemeat’, which on reflection doe sound worse.  He got us going by towing us down the road, but we would need to push ourselves later on. With that in mind, we unloaded outside The Retro and parked on a handy slope to aid the push later.

This is our third time in Portrush, and it won’t be our last. Our first time was around 5 years ago when we played with And So I Watch You From Afar. Drummer Chris was there tonight, and nice to see him too.

The venue has a great atmosphere in its sprawling layout, and there is always an excellent reception. The other bands Bomb City 7 and Pocket Billiards were both stunning. I’m not a massive Ska fan, or even a Ska fan, but I do appreciate it when a band does something well, and Pocket Billiards certainly did that.

At the close, we pushed the empty van down the hill, and it started, though my vision of the difficulties of pushing it fully loaded later on would turn out to be fairly prescient. We managed to get to Dublin without stopping for fuel, but had to at the dock. After a couple of abortive attempts to push a few tonnes of metal and amps fast enough to get going, we had to call in help from the dock workers to get towed onto the ferry, which is where we are as I write this. The plan is to get towed off at Holyhead, though the electrics of the van seem to be completely buggered now, so we’re not even sure if we can get it started at all on the other side. Let’s see.

-|-  24 hours later  -|-

We got towed off the ferry as expected, but then followed ‘What to Do Next?’, which was to wait ages, finally get the van taken away to a garage (by an awesome mechanic of outstanding character and his son, who berated quite severely the seeming lack of interest by the operator in our plight, that at one point he even cited the Human Rights Act) have tea in, and get a replacement car. Trickier was the issue of getting the van fixed in Anglesey while most of us had to get back to London, so hero Bass stayed with the van, whilst Myself, Malcolm and Keith got the hire car to London.

We were chatting to the guy who delivered the hire car on the way to the garage to reunite Bass with Mable about music, and his interest with drum and bass, and dubstep. He was describing a recent experience in Croatia at a festival, and commented on the poor facilities for toilets and rubbish, and how at the end of it, it had become ‘disgusting’ filth, with trash floating in the sea and strewn across the beach. He couldn’t understand it ‘as a person from North Wales, where we have a great appreciation for the countryside’. Looking out of the window at pristine hills, and following from a week in Ireland with equally stunning scenery, bleak and raw, but very healthy and alive, I could see what he means.

Bass finally made it back Monday evening, lighter of pocket, but still with the feeling of a job well done. We hit in all the right places, and we will return. Bring on the continent!

(See ‘PS’ comment – Bass)