In the Field of Nikšic,
the old town sleeps,
just like a stranded ship.
Tall and gray, the fortress called "Bedem", a place where the history was written. Many invaders have tried over the years to conquer this place. In this area it was the most important fortress of the Ottoman Empire . The fort is the favourite gathering place of young people who would rather spend time under the starry sky, surrounded by history and tucked into the most beautiful pocket of this town than in front of their TV.
This place was an inspiration to the organizers of the Festival. Five years ago Petar Šundic, The Man in Charge, came up with the idea to promote this location, and the town itself and the best way was by including music into it. First year was the in memoriam for the great band Ekatarina Velika (EKV), of former Yugoslavia fame. As one, the musicians of Nikšic called back the past. Public was amazed with the concert and so the festival became a tradition. Since then, every September Nikšic sings - loud and proud.
During 3 days over 30 performers were guests of this magnificent event, but the spotlight was reserved for: Rambo Amadeus, Partibrejkers, Edo Maajka, Kryn and Marko Milivojević, the last drummer of EKV. And after all the bands were trough, a DJ was in charge of making us dance till the dawn.
First day of the festival it was raining, but sheer dedication and the love of music overcame the stubborn rain. We were there.
As announced the Fest was opened by a young punk core band from Niksic called Podroom. With their sharp lyrics they reminded us of the cultural plot holes, social injustices which affect our society. Beside their own songs they perfomed songs “England Belongs to me “(Cock Sparrer), “S one strane zakona” (Ritam Nereda).
Pop punk band Hod from Belgrade filled the place with positive energy and all that was just an introduction to the furious performance of the young hard rock band from Nikšic called Beer and Steel who took us back to time of leather jackets, splintered jeans and long guitar riffs. Metallica, AC/DC, Motörhead, Guns N’ Roses - the songs shook us all night long.
Association of the Blind Orchestra impressed us with their musical skills. They performed cover songs:”Kiše jesenje” and “Voljela me nije ni jedna”.
Bands East Elysium, Rebeka, Lude žene, Zbogom Brus Li made us dance and then we all stood stunned when the blind musicin Saša Šundic walked out on stage. On the keyboard he placed the Universe, Time and Space, Transience and Melancholy.
The highlight of the night was performance by Rambo Amadeus who walked out on stage wearing a jacket with stripes, a hat and rubber boots. It is impossible to remain indifferent to his lyrics filled with irony, criticism and black comedy. "Is this good folks?”, he asked several times, only to find himself faced with a wall of applause and laughter.
His songs seem funny, but if you look closer you will see the sadness in their roots. Rambo is telling a story of the unfair privatization of all things Montenegro, the economy of the town which is now falling apart, and once upon the time it was blooming. While the band plays "Let the Sunshine In" the great theme from the Hair musical. It sounded like a prayer for those who are playing with our small, but great town.
Rambo bows to the audience and goes away. Dj Masturbeator closed the first night of the Festival. People danced til dawn, happy because everything turned out great, the weather, the people present, the place surrounded with love and positive vibrations.
Second night of the Festival was the most visited one. Bunch of people walked in and stayed until the end of program.
Band called PPG entertained us with their funky grove style. Humoristic yet serious are their lines which reflect on the reality of a small neighborhood and everyday habits.
Next one were Vis Buđola, cover band who brought us back the memory on the great band Azra performing sadly only two songs “Kurvini sinovi” and “Užas je moja furka.”
Fort trembled with the hardcore band Neuro. People were banging with their heads, hair flied all around. Alternative trio called Plastic Sunday from Niš was very successful in the last four years. Their single "Radostan Dan" was in the top of the lists in Serbia. The drummer is also a vocal, which is very unusual on our scene. This was their second gig in Montenegro, after performance in Podgorica last year.
The whole place bustled out with energy when a great band from Nikšić called Punkreas showed up. With their songs are the hymns to our town (“Ja sam iz Nikšića”, “Boemska”, “Ulična Poezija” “Poslednji mohikanci”, "Dom Revolucije”) torches burning, all hearts beating as one. The band announced the release of the new album in 15 days.
It is time for the party to peak. The great Partibrejkers and their Frontman Cane and are on stage. They entranced us all, blew away the audience with their furious performance. The Hypnotized Bunch was reaching through to the front rows. As the song goes - the real earthquake happened in the fortress. Their old hits: "Ako", "Kreni prema meni, "Hipnotisana Gomila" "Zemljotres" were completed with new song "Životinjsko carstvo" hoping, as Cane put it, for a better time. “Thank you! Your Cančuga loves you!” Once again, the torches were burning. Band was stunned by the view and graced us with their presence again.
And then, some minutes after Marko Milivojević, the last drummer of EKV with musicians from Nikšić set us sailing over the sea of love and memories. Our feelings were mixed up because this festival, indeed, started as small project dedicated to the memory of EKV. Five years later that project became a Festival. The Man in Charge, Petar Šundić also played keyboards with the rest of the band. He was very proud and said thanks many times over. The blood pumped into our hearts with the rhythm of the drummer, flooded us with feelings.
As they played the photos of the EKV were displayed in the background, and the lights were turned low. "7 dana", "Siguran", "Par Godina Za Nas", "Idemo" were the chosen songs. "Oči boje meda" was performed by Marko Vukajlović of the Gomila Nesklada fame and "Metak" by Marko Janjušević of Manitou.
Metal band Kryn was travelling all day from Rijeka (CRO) to play for their faithful fans. Even without the sound check they performed perfectly. "We are so glad that we are here. We are hoping that you will call us again to play for you."
Beside their own songs ("Reminder", "Bleak", "Released", "Meditiva", "New Disease") which audience followed with an uproar and a mad slam dance they played cover songs "Hurt"(by Nine Inch Nails), "Did My Time"(by Korn).
Cover band "Otpisani” opened the third night. They played theme from the homonymous Yugoslavian Tv show and the songs from good and old R'n'R time of our country.
Audience was most pleasantly surprised by the metal band Siempre Peligroso from Šabac (SRB) played almost two hours because the band "Jesenjin" canceled their show. They gifted us with a few new songs to hear, so we were to judge their music. Atmosphere was at the top while they performed Alice In Chains’ song "Would". It sounded so powerful, the vocals perfect, the guitar solo led the bass.
Nagual, a metal band from Nikšić proved once more their worth. Mystical, with charming warm but strong vocals and precision play, the band proved that they are not sinking into the commercial blindness.
To complete the hardcore circle on stage another band of greats walked out from home right onto the stage. They call themselves Gomila Nesklada (Eng.: The Bunch of Disharmony), but the name bears a paradox when we talk about their music performance.
There is some special bond between the musicians of this town. As you could read in the text they all help each other, and appear as guests at their companions’ shows. So the band’s frontman Marko, called his friend Marko Janjušević from the band Manitou to sing "Walk the Beast Within." I hear the comments from the crowd "Oh, the energy when these two sing together". Song "Različiti", the signature song of the band, the most famous one was performed because the organizer, Petar, insisted on it. And we were all better for it - we all sang together, and the guitar player Alen spiced it up with beautiful solo. They announced new album with the song "Gomila je spremna"(The Bunch is Ready) and we are sure beyond the doubt that this rings true.
Following shows were Saša Stojanović and Friends, Holographic Human Element, post-rock progressive band from Travnik (BiH), winners of the 48th Guitar Hero show. Good mixture of live instruments and DJ set reflected the wonderful energy under the Full moon.
Rap Duo Prefix prepared the lit up crowd for the great and unique Bosnian rapper Edo Maajka who drew most fans. On stage with him were also DJ Soul and Frenkie.
"Are you all right, oh, people from the town of beer and steel (a common name for Nikšić). I love coming here, I like your beer. It is the best in the Balkans."
At that point the torches appeared again, but this time it landed in the audience. "Gori Babilon," "To Mora Da Je Ljubav","Saletova Osveta", "Volim te" are the songs and we all sang from line to line. And then the most energetic "Bomba"(Bomb) "was thrown." Everyone sings, dances and enjoys themselves. "No Sikiriki"(No worries) he repeats. It was amazing.
All place filled with happy people, and the man (Edo) surprised us with a song by Bob Marley - "Is this Love" he mused at the end. Of course it is. We sang with him.
The final night was over. These 3 days were important for all of us. We felt unity.
Many people came and supported this event which promoted music, art and care for others. The festival included the project "Probudi Me" (Wake Me Up) in the program which is initiated by the informal group of citizens called Tunjel (Tunnel). The project tries to rise environmental awareness of the town in which we live.