LIVE REPORTWHITE STAGE7/28 SUN
Revolutionary Rock Music
On the the last day of Fuji Rock, the weather was quite good and nearly perfect, to the relief of many and especially Smash boss, Masahiro Hidaka, who took the stage 10 minutes before the band started. He was no doubt here to watch the band perform though he left the introduction to Fujirocker leader, Koichi Hanufasa, who did the honor of introducing the band.
For the uninitiated, Banda Bassotti have deep roots in the ska-punk and Oi music scene. The love of this music led the band to develop a relationship and deep affection with the Clash, and later, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros. Formed in 1987, the band have always championed anti-Fascist causes and regional battles for equality ranging from Ireland to Latin America, often performing and attending protests on the behalf of these causes.
As the story goes, members of the band Sigaro, Picchio, David and Pasquale in the ’80s worked on building sites and helped build stages for political rallies. After listening to the Clash and the Specials, and other Latin rhythms, they decided to mount these stages and perform, and that’s how Banda Bassotti was born.
Says the band in a documentary film “in those years in England there was working class music, in Italy the working class was making music”. It was this love of political action that brought the band to places such as Nicaragua and elsewhere to support such causes.
Band member “Sigaro”, a nickname of the late Angelo Conti, died in December of last year. A soccer uniform hung on a mic stand near the drum kit representing as one band member said, “his soul is here”.
A screen drawn behind the band said “Save Donbass Children” appeared, referring to an area of the Ukraine engulfed in war with many children in the middle. Then an air siren blared and the song “The Internationale” played over the sound system. The first song the band played was “Luna Rossa”
Later it was a slow tempo reggae number “Avanzo De Cantiere” making the mosh put an interesting place to be. Banda Basotti’s punk attitude was in full effect, with flags of Che Guevara and Joe Strummer front of stage. The soul of Sigaro was also with them as they sang together, “O-O-O”.
The next song they said was “dedicated to Joe Strummer” dropping the Clash cover from London Calling, “Revolution Rock”. The band have recorded this song earlier, releasing it on the album Vecchi Cani Bastardi (2006). Their performance of the song is and they very much similar to the the Clash in style. Furthermore, they fully agree with the power of music to change the world, and create a world where weapons are not needed.
It was a performance that was inspiring and later it was “L’altra Faccia Dell’impero” with a little heavier beat and speed as it was full skank mode on stage and in the audience as heels kicking led a sort of mini dust storm to rise up. Lastly, it was the anti-fascist hymn “Bella Ciao” and ended with the “No pasarán!” banner which means “don’t pass them over” and then the re-appearance of the song “The Internationale”.
The audience signaled their approval and the band would later appear at Ganban Square for a press conference and sign their special edition “Fuji Rock/ Revolution Rock” 45-inch which was marked as “Limited Edition for Fujirockers”. Copies are limited to just 100 so hurry up and get one.