piątek, 19 września 2014

BUCH… it’s so hot

photo Monika S. Jakubowska
Who organised Kult’s concerts in Great Britain? Who organised this year’s unforgettable Women’s Day show featuring Nosowska, Maria Peszek and Brodka? There’s no need to introduce him to the fans of Polish music, especially to the expats. Bellow, Sławek Orwat will attempt to gather stories about the anarchy and the discovery of the Polish underground culture featuring its main character, Tomek Likus “Dziki” (“Wild”), a founder of BUCH IP, the art promotion agency.

The nickname “Dziki” comes from his surname: Likus – Dzikus and it stuck to him for good. He has been fascinated by music since his early childhood. With a dose of sentiment he often reminisces the old, reel-to-reel tape recorder, ZK 145, on which he listened to the immortal tunes of Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Perfect, the Polish group, for the very first time. 

Anarchistic ideas were born in his mind relatively early, and although they seemed to have faded over the years, he admits that today, when he sees the incompetence and greed of our politicians, his early ideas wake up again with the double force.

Chapter 1

GÓWNO ПРАВДА (BULLSHIT/ a Polish vernacular, which here combines the Polish word for “shit” and Russian and Polish word for “truth”/also the name of the Soviet newspaper) 

The group existed between 1988 and 1992. The idea of getting together was simple, Dziki explains it in one sentence: “Instead of fighting with each other, we wanted to scream out about all the problems from the surrounding us reality employing sharp lyrics and music.” They were young and craved “to rip out” from life everything, even the impossible. They didn’t think about the “West”. They wanted normal lives, which they only heard of – to have jobs and access to culture, to live without communist and pro-Soviet lies, and above all, to be in charge of their own fate. At first, the group favored the punk-rock style, but with time, their music became more industrial. They wrote their own music and lyrics, but from time to time borrowed from Witkacy and Andrzej Bursa. 

At the same time, the organization KONAR, The Capital Section Of The Naturally Realistic Anarchy, was created in order to officially organise concerts and exhibitions for both, young and more well-known artists. The government at the time made the young artists’ lives miserable with such effectiveness, that most of them ended up on a bench in the park, sipping cheap wine, and without any prospects for the better future. It was a typical “illness” of the Polish small towns, and KONAR was the smart answer and the antidote to such a state of being.

Tomasz Likus vel Dziki - vocalist
Krzysiek Żarski vel Żarówa - vocalist
Grzegorz Stolarski vel Larski - guitar
Tomasz Walak vel Waluś - bass
Marcin Bylica vel Bułek - drums

Chapter 2

Joy Vision Of Triana

photo Monika S. Jakubowska
This group was active from 1991 to 1993 and managed to record a few very promising tunes, which were never finished. Actually, the tapes had been left with the guitarist, who later passed away. In spite of the imperfect technical quality of these recordings, they were played on the radio station, Radio Verlum, in 2013, on the Polisz Czart show (Polish Chart) with Tomek Likus as its guest.

Tomasz Likus vel Dziki - vocalist
Marcin Bylica vel Bułek - drums
Czesław Żak vel Wodzu - guitar
Marek Siegmund - guitar (died in 2012)
Janusz Sołoma vel Samiec - bass (died on stage in 2011)
music - band
lyrics - Dziki, Rafal Celadyn vel Syfon Marcin Bylica vel Bułek and Jurek Wikla

Chapter 3

London, the time of fulfilment.

Dziki showed up in the UK on the New Year’s Eve in 1999, and it was the visit planned in one hundred percent by him. He always wanted to live in one of the world’s music capitals. His plans included even New York, but London has always had its undeniable allure to a Pole, a flight home takes less time than a train ride from Cracow to Warsaw. Dziki assumed from the beginning, that he would live in a squat. This unusual decision brought him closer to the music labelled psytrance&progressive. He also discovered straightaway what the illegal events are all about. At first, he could not believe how it was possible to attract two thousand people to a three-day long event, featuring world-class DJs, without a single advertisement, and on top of it, without bothering anyone! At one point, Dziki concluded, that he cannot “be stuck in the dead-end street”. He started working hard, meeting new people, learning the local habits, and one day, he decided to bring… Kult to London.

Chapter 4

23 March 2003 – Kult, … a siege 

photo Monika S. Jakubowska
One day, Dziki and his friend Zack decided to organise a concert in London for Kult… and as they had decided, they managed to pull it off. Back then, to have a foreign band perform in the UK required a one day work permit issued by Home Office. Faxed documents with permit to perform in the UK arrived at the border as Kult had already waited there. Those were the times when even the smallest wrong detail could have prevented the musicians from entering Great Britain! The concert of Kult, on 23 March 2003, in no longer existing Astoria, seems to have been – from the perspective – paradoxically the best concert that Dziki had ever succeeded to organise. The tickets were sold out two weeks before the event, and the “scalpers” were offering them for up to 120 pounds each! In spite of such an enormous price, people were fighting over them, and still more than 800 people were left out without the tickets, standing outside the club! The first concert of Kult in the UK was recorded and still resides in the BUCH’s archives. It has never been published, though.

Chapter 5

BUCH… it’s so hot

designer : Krzysztof Grabowski (Dezerter)
A one-person company, BUCH, was born in London along with the first concert of Kult. The concert agency BUCH International Promoters, during its 10 year existence, has organised approximately 200 concerts and events within the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, with 90% of them taking place in London. There have been ups and downs for BUCH IP but regardless of its economic situation, Tomek admits: “I fulfil my dreams doing what I love, although, it’s not an easy and a very stressful job.” 

In 10 years, BUCH organised concerts for aforementioned Kult, KNŻ, Pidżama Porno, T. Love, KSU, Dezerter, Wilki, Renata Przemyk, Perfect, Habakuk, Tomek Lipiński, Tilt, Gaba Kulka, Raz Dwa Trzy, Czesław Śpiewa, Hey, Luxtopreda, Maria Peszek, Maryla Rodowicz, Lech Janerka, Pogodno, Homo Twist, Maciek Maleńczuk, Myslovitz, Voo Voo, Kayah. There were also two hip hop concerts and Neonówka, the cabaret. There are a lot of bands and artists asking BUCH to help them organize a performance in London. Not everyone fits the “bill”. BUCH won’t organise disco polo or powdery pop concerts. In 10-year BUCH’s existence, there were many cyclical events such as “Anti-parties” featuring different bands, DJs or photography exhibitions. At least once a year, BUCH IP tries to invite a band or an artist who has never performed in the UK.

With Krzysztof "Grabaż" Grabowski (photo Monika S. Jakubowska)
BUCH IP also organised the bands’ overview event. In 2006, the first Overview Of Music Bands and Artists took place in the White Eagle Club in Balham. There was also a Damian Chrobak’s and Chris Nico’s photography exhibition. The event was led by a performer, Paweł „Konjo” Konnak. The only requirement to participate was the proof of the Polish roots of at least one band member. Among bands who participated were Non Profit, NIMH and The Socalites. The jury was present and the grand finale featured the Tomek Lipiński’s solo. Each and every group was a winner because they all opened for for Dezerter, Hey and Kult. The best one – Polish-African, The Socalites, was helped by BUCH IP to release their demo album (2000 samples). The album, so far, is the one and only official publication of the BUCH Records.


The one and only Women’s Day

With Kasia Nosowska (photo Sławek Orwat )
Dated annually on 8th of March, the traditional Women’s Day, in spite of the latest criticism, is as old as the European civilization. It’s not true, that it can only be associated with the social movement. Before women stood up for their rights more than one hundred years ago, already in ancient Rome, during the first days of March, which also happened to be the first month of their calendar, husbands had had a habit of giving their wives the most generous presents and fulfilling their wildest dreams. This celebration was called Matronalia, and – as proven by experts – it was the most awaited and enjoyed time of the year by men. 

This year’s celebration of the Women’s Day in London – similarly to the Roman Metronalia – was not dictated by the better half of the Polish immigration. Quite the contrary, the gift, the Polish ladies received this year from the BUCH company on that day, not only surprised them with its scale but also with its creativity. On Saturday, 8 March 2014, in The Forum in London, the concert which was about to take place, had electrified by its scale from the moment it had been announced. Not only those living in London came to see this unique celebration, but also many Poles residing in other distant European cities such as Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Rotterdam, and even Oslo. 

With Maria Peszek (photo Damian Chrobak)
The concert started at 7 p.m. with Kasia Nosowska’s performance. Then, Maria Peszek followed. It was even more amazing treat to listen to the latter artist’s live concert since her announcement of taking a break from touring. The last of three musical gifts from BUCH IP, was Monika Brodka’s performance, which ended this five-hour long spectacle, and the person signed below had a pleasure to host this fantastic event, as well as present each of three ladies of Polish music with a traditional carnation and… a pair of tights. 

Sławek Orwat

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