Ufomammut’s concert was bloody fantastic. But of course, you already know that if you were among the little less than two hundred people who have seen it. If your heart was in a different place and you were among the many who went to see Baroness instead, I don’t blame you at all. I blame all responsible for this predicament. Yes, these things happen, but Zagreb isn’t London and it certainly isn’t New York either. It feels like our local organizers occasionally forget they have a responsibility towards the audience first and it’s absolutely unacceptable to act out of personal interest. Then again, our government’s been doing that for years and leading a whole generation by example.
The attendance at both concerts can be considered spectacular (for our current standards) but it leaves me wondering just what it could have been like if two crowds with the same passion weren’t separated by, ironically, several blocks. On my block, the evening was positively doomed and stoned. Hangtime Agency brought two remarkable bands to convey the Iommic spirit and they did so successfully. We hosted the Italian legends of psych-doom Ufomammut, with a warm-up by the local rag-tag doom squad Lord Drunkalot, fronted by the resourceful Pocket Morrison. An excellent choice of support yet again, this power trio hails from Zagreb and plays a genre we can all relate to – Kroner Doom. Does this sound like a party to you? The many bands of the talented Leo Budinski are always a welcome sight on stage, you can count on hearing impressive vocals, sleazy riffs and important life advice. Personally, he’s one of my favorite metal musicians active in Zagreb, the other being Domagoj Mesarov (known as Zloba Kosenik).
By the time Lord Drunkalot got too sober to play and had to return to the comforts of the backstage, atmosphere at Močvara was vibing. We’re having another unusually warm October, so seasonal depression hasn’t really hit yet. And nothing beats the feeling of being perfectly warm in just a T-shirt and a light jacket. The psychedelic astral projection that we came here for started a little after ten. Invited inside by ominous noises, the room quickly filled with the eager crowd. Ufomammut took us on a journey though their twenty year long career and showed us every chapter of their creative process. The best part is, they loved every bit equally. It was wonderful to witness such embraced change and growth. Most songs had the same brilliant composition; a lengthy intro, usually mostly focused on one instrument, intensely building up to a heavy breakdown. Distorted vocals, soul-shattering bass , churning guitar, a beautifully ambient projection behind them, you name it, they had it all
Ufomammut’s merch stand was out of this world. Absolutely insane, one of the best I’ve seen at Močvara in a long time. When I say they had it all, I mean literally. Along with the usual stuff, I found breathtaking posters, creative prints, gorgeous LPs, LP sets and even cassettes (!), bags, caps, boxers, thongs…the selection was endless. I can tell you guys without a doubt – Ufomammut is the real deal. If you’re looking to support an underrated doom band that can provide the same experience as the big fish, I wholeheartedly recommend these lovely gentlemen. I had the privilege of speaking to their very friendly and interesting drummer Vita, who confided they were actually rejected from Wacken Open Air, while Brutal Assault put them on the main stage (where they KILLED it, according to their very helpful and welcoming merch guy). Twenty years and how many of you guys have really heard of this band? That is an absolute shame and I consider myself more than lucky for the chance to see such an intimate performance.
As for the only thing that made this evening leave a sour aftertaste, let’s make sure we first do all in our power to prevent it. Ufomammut was announced a lot sooner, if my memory serves me well.“Why couldn’t they play just one day later? Not so that more people would come to our concert, but because I’d like to see them!”, Vita summed up how we all felt. When I say that some don’t serve the audience, I don’t necessarily mean situations like these, tours are often less flexible than you think. But forcing bands to be ‘venue exclusive’ is as low as you can go. Organizers seeing each other as competition rather than colleagues is another factor painting our alternative scene a negative graph. We have a common goal to work towards – might as well work together.
Not to end this with a critique, I’d like to point out a great move by Klub Močvara a few months ago when minors had free entry to some gigs. What happened to that? Regular gig-going is a habit, a hobby that needs to be introduced to young metalheads who only see 3-4 big name concerts a year and feel no need to check out a band they’ve never heard before. Music is an adventure, let’s make this one a bit more affordable for those who depend on pocket money. When I was a kid, my mom wouldn’t let me stay out late on the street, but would let me stay longer in Močvara if the event was really cool. It’s definitely among the safer clubs to hang at when you’re young and dumb. Not much crazy shit going down, no dangerous drugs, most of the time it’s just really chill and with a killer program.
Thank you for your attention, dear reader, our next date is Dopethrone, and of course, don’t forget to add Močvara’s legendary Halloween party to your itinerary for the night. Come, have a drink, get spooked, have a laugh!