mercoledì 18 luglio 2018

Esclusive ! SOJA's first italian gig

Under a pristine sky, lovingly watche over by a perfect crescent moon, the catchy music invites us  to dance.
We're in Beky Bay, wonerful venue straight on Igea Marina beach.People is gathering for the great night ahead, making themselves comfortable in one of the cozy lounges or quenching their thirst or hunger in one of the different elegant booths.
The opening act for the night is Galup. As he hits the stage the audience immediately starts getting into the mood. The vibes from the stage are joyful; words of freedom, of love and plain fun flow in the mellow sunset air. Almost a hour of pure musical pleasure.


Just the time to catch a breath and let a few more enthousiasts reach the venue and the atmosphere on stage get's ready to welcome SOJA, all the way from the US, in their first date in Italy for this summer tour.
When the eight men hit the stage the crowd is delirious. For the RQL crew it was a dream come true, as we have been following the band for years but never had the chance to see them live. Our expectations were not deluded.
Guitars as powerful as a metal band, brass and winds worth the finest jazz, rythm and percussion from the caribbean and lyrics, moods and vibes which spells REGGAE at every note.
The armony among the Soldier Of Jah is as delightful to see as their music is to listen to: Jacob Hemphill, the front man, is a great host and performer who is overly careful to share the spotlight with his long time friends.
The lights go off; the show is over but the audience is not. "One more song" is the plead of the SOJA people and after a few moments I Believe (originally ft. Michael Franti and Nahko) is the answer.
Now it is really over. A wonderful night in a perfect setting to enjoy the best USA reggae around.
Thank you to all those who created the magic for us to enjoy, from the Beky Bay to Sulla Sabbia, to Galup for warming up the stage, to SOJA for living their dream and inviting us have a glimpse of it.

OverJam 2018: the last day chronicles

And also the 7th edition of OverJam reggae festival had come to an end.
For RQL it was our first experience in OverJam and in Slovenia ; and we left a piece of our heart there.
The only word we can think of, when we want to describe OverJam is "Amazing" ; the organization was excellent. From the secutiry to the info point, all we found was kindness and expertise.
The artists were the real top notch of reggae scene.

The last day was blessed by a gorgeous wheather, the river has quickly become the place to stay to chill in every sense. Workshop, children's area, music and a wonderful and powerful university with Italee ; and Israel Voice (which we later saw) about the role of women in contemporary reggae music.

The last overjam night was amazing, the main stage displayed Shanti Powa followed by Brain Holidays(band from Croatia which we had the chance to interview soon before their show... So stay tuned ;)
and Italee (a strong woman, with great energy and an amazing attitude that many should take as na example) with Israel Voice, to finish with the greatly awaited  Protoje.

The dub stage instead was hosted by Dub Kali, Warrior Charge and the great OBF ft Charlie P and Sr Wilson. The last named really know how to get the crowd on fire, everyone kept dancing till the last second, I really wished the show would last longer.

The last notes filling the OverJam night were from the Dancehall stage with Hunting Sound and Warrior Sound.

Sunday morning woke us with its bitter sweet mood. While packing our gear and slowely waliking our away from  the area the recent memories filled us with joy and longing for the next edition.
Once again a big thank you from the RQL crew for the great experience, and a big big thanks to Run It agency for giving us this opportunity and for being super !

Till next year !!

sabato 14 luglio 2018

OverJam 2018 - 13th of july chronicals

The second last day of the 7th edition of OverJam festival, was an incredible day.
It has started with 3 wonderful interviews with some amazing people, the first one was with the italian Mellow Mood, a band we have been following for a few years now and which we really love. Soon after we had the chance to meet and talk with the great Dub Master Paolo Baldini ( who had performed on the Dub Stage just the day before along with Andrew I. And last but not least the wonderful Sista Awa. ( Stay tuned to know what we talked about !!)

In the afternoon we attended the daily OverJam University hosted by David Katz, where Macka B talked with us about the Sound System culture in the UK.

Finally at the sunset the long reggae night begins.
The slovenian Siti Hlapci started spreading the good vibes that reached the audience as a powerful wave. Wave that turns into a real seaquake when Sista Awa hits the stage. In spite her young age she can reach with her powerful voice and killer lyrics, older and younger people in the audience.

From a young promise of reggae to an old pillar : Macka B. Macka B is well loved in the area, being the first ever reggae artist touring the former Jugoslavia ( Slovenia,Serbia  and Croatia). With his incredible energy he has engaged the venue with his catchy and humorous but yet paked with spiritual and political messages lyrics.

The next (and last for the night) on the main stage are Mellow Mood. Dark dressed, with colorful dancing lights, twins Jacopo and Lorenzo have delighted the public with an overview of their hits, from the oldest to the newest from their last album 'Large'. Well past midnight the music ends, leaving us filled with love and joyful vibes. Worthy ending for a wonderful day.

venerdì 13 luglio 2018

Over Joyed at Overjam - 12th july chronicals

After a rather wandering trip across Europe, sailing on the northern see and climbing over Balcan mountains with our big magic campervan we arrived at Overjam. The place seems just like an enchanted kingdom, with a luscious forest where set the tents, a pristine shore on the most blue river you could think of and a colourful, happy loving bunch of reggae enthousiast from all over the places. Not even the heavy rains which showered the area could extinguish the sacred fire of reggae music.
After a few days of warming up yesterday was the first 'big' night (and day) here.

We had the chance to attend a wonderful session at the university with Mellow Mood and Paolo Baldini, which later on was the king of the Dub stage, gathering a large crowd of dancing colourful human beings uncaring of the pouring rain. As it often happens the small joys of everyday life are interwind in these big events, and Jimmy, the youngest of RQL crew, lost his first tooth while dancing at the sound of the great dub master. Life happens while you're busy...

As the evening was fading into the night the excitement of the venue in front of the main stage rised at critical level as Ziggy Marley was about to start his performance. From dancing babies with colourful earmuffs even bigger than their little heads to older fans and devouted rastafarian, everybody was eager for the show to start. Being able to witness a performance of one of the Marleys it's always a great emotion. You find your younger self who used to dance at Bob's music and dreaming of have been able to see him live, shaking hands with your actual self, lucky enough to be there enjoying an amazing almost mystical performance.
And now forward to another festival day !

mercoledì 11 luglio 2018

Interview with Ben Granfelt (Guitar slingers) -Roots n' Boots 2018-

Only 3 nights separate us from the Loviisa's only music festival, Roots'n Boots.  As we said we are going to me media parter of this small but amazing festival this year aswell.
For the occasion we got the chance to have a short talk with Ben Granfelt from Guitar Slingers.

Would you like to introduce yourself to the listeners ?
Hi, I’m Ben Granfelt, an happy old school musician. I founded Guitar slingers in the late 80s with Muddy Manninen  and it later evolved into me and Jore Marjarantas verison which went on and recorded fairly succesfull 3 studio albums in the -90s.

Is this your first time at Roots'n Boots ? If it's so how are you feeling about ?
Yes, it is the first time and all of us in the band are very much looking forward to this gig. I know it will be a party for happy music lovers.

What can we expect from your performance ?
 I was going to say all the hits but that’s a bit cliched isn’t it :-) we will play most of the songs we used to play on our gigs and it’s super cool to get togehter with the guys to do this, thanks for the chance.

Would you like to share with us the best memory you have about one of your shows ? 

Oh God…. How far back can I go? The hippies used to say ”if you remember the -60s you weren’t there"…. That’s my -90s! They tell me I had a lot of fun ha, ha! 

It was a pleasure having this short chat with Ben ; Guitar Slingers will be the last band performing on the stage for this year's festival edition, and they will play around 20.40 ! Be there ;) ! 

martedì 3 luglio 2018

Tuska 2018

After Rockfest our RQL Summer tour has continued with the 21st edition of the metal festival “Tuska Open air”. This year was out first time there, and we can for sure say that next year we will be there again. The festival takes place in Suvilahti, Helsinki, and there couldn’t be a better location for a metal festival. This year the festival drew a crowd of 34 000 visitors over the 3 festival days, so we can say that we weren’t the only ones thinking that the festival is amazing (LOL).

Photo : Tuska - Jesse Kämäräinen

The first day of Tuska, was opened by the Danish death metal band Baest, performing on the Helsinki Stage . A band was enough to set the crowd on fire, and to start gettin everyone into  the “metal” spirit.
The day has continued with the Gloomy Grim, Crowbar, Tribulation, Hard Action until getting to the Finnish Turmion Katilot hitting the Tuska people with their energy and amazing light games. 

Photo : Tuska - Jesse Kämäräinen

The day has continued with Moonsorrow, Mantar, Deadcross, Shiraz Lane (which btw are super and really got me with their music), Arch Enemy and also here the only thing I can say is WOW the singer voice is something spectacular, Charm the fury, Arion, Meshuggah and the masterpiece that closed the first day of the 21st edition of this festival Body Count featuring the amazing one and only ICE-T.

Photo : Tuska - Jesse Kämäräinen

Photo : Tuska - Jesse Kämäräinen 

Photo : Tuska - Jesse Kämäräinen

The second day was a blast as well, we got to see again Beast in Black, which will be the open act for Nightwish’s tour during the fall, performing @ the RadioRock Stage and the energy was on fire. 

The day kept going with name such as At the gates, Bombus, Kreator Emperor, The 69 Eyes, Crimfall, Feasteam, Hexhammer, Hallator, Mokoma, Galactic Empire, Six Inch, Tyrantti….. The day was closed by the French heavy metal band Gojira.

Photo : Tuska - Jesse Kämäräinen

The third and last day of the festival was my favorite one ! The first band opening the day on the Radio Rock Stage was the Finnish hard rock band from Oulu, Temple Balls ; followed by Stick to your guns on the Helsinki Stage, and Black Royal on the inferno stage. 
Remaining on the inferno stage, the next one to go on stage are our boys, Blind Channel, which we saw now for 3 times in a very short time and every time the get to you even more, their energy Is over the top and gig after gig you can see the brother hood that makes this 5 amazing boys a band. 

The Finnish Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus were rocking it  on the Radio Rock Stage, the  Ihsahn are on the Helsinki stage and Lauri Porta Flyover Ensemble are the second last band for this edition of the festival on the Inferno stage. 

It's 17:30 now. Hours have gone by so fast and it's already time for Europe.
Europe has been the band of my childhood and seeing them 5 meters from me it was an indescribable emotion. Hair might have changed, bodies might be worn out, but the smiles on the faces are of those who have seen the dream of a lifetime achieved in the variegated screaming and dancing crowd of teens and seasoned rockers.

Photo : Tuska - Jesse Kämäräinen

Photo : Tuska - Jesse Kämäräinen

The last two bands performing before the night headliner were Clutch on the Helsinki Stage and Grave pleasure on the inferno stage. 

Now everybody is ready to run to the Radio Rock stage for the  amazing one an only Australian metal core band….. Parkway Drive !!!  With blasts, smoke and lightning the roaring five men in black gave the festival a more than dignified conclusion.

Photo : Tuska - Jesse Kämäräinen

Photo : Tuska - Jesse Kämäräinen

Our first time in Tuska was a great experience, the bands were all amazing, the atmosphere is pure metal and the organizers and people working there is the most welcoming. See you next year !!

Photo : Tuska - Jesse Kämäräinen

domenica 1 luglio 2018

Thirsty for Rototom

We're proud to share the last news we got from Rototom Sunsplash, which give us one more reason to join the festival, dance our heart out and enjoy a refreshing drink afterward...

Benicàssim (Spain) | Wednesday, June 27, 2018
The international reggae festival Rototom Sunsplash of Benicàssim (Spain), through its cultural association Exodus, will focus this solidarity action on the NGO Proactiva Open Arms. The festival implements this action in support of different entities, organizations and projects social. From the 16th to the 22nd of August, all the proceeds obtained through the system of reusable cups to eliminate the consumption of plastic will go to this humanitarian rescue vessel whose mission it is to save the lives of the refugees who try to reach Europe by sea fleeing economic, social and political horrors.

Exodus is a non-profit organization that focuses its activity on the promotion of peace, social justice, and supports international cooperation and solidarity, the defence of human rights, respect for the environment, education and equality. Values ​​that are at the heart of the reggae festival and are the driving force behind the action, with which both the event and Exodus seek to guarantee through this solidarity project with the NGO supporting refugees. For its implementation, containers will be installed throughout the venue where the glasses can be deposited, so that the euro previously paid by them will not be replaced by a token to those who want to participate in this voluntary initiative and will serve to support the work of Proactiva Open Arms. Volunteer staff will inform the public about the project and the social cause that it is intended to support.

Photo : Proactive Open Arms

 "Dramatic situation in the Mediterranean" 
The refusal of several European countries a few days ago to receive two rescue vessels together with the obstacles faced by Proactiva Open Arms' own ship to attend to a thousand drifting migrants demonstrates, according to Exodus, "the dramatic situation that is on-going in the Mediterranean Sea", which it publicly denounces together with Rototom Sunsplash.

A reality that Exodus declares goes "against the history of the Mediterranean Sea, a place of contact and exchange between the north and the south of the world and, furthermore, the cradle of Mediterranean civilization". In their opinion, the Mediterranean must recover "its welcoming role that gives hope to people who want a better life" and in this regard they praise the availability declared by Barcelona to welcome in its port the next migrants on board the Proactiva Open Arms vessel. A gesture that follows the precedent of Valencia with the Aquarius, with 629 rescued people, which led to the Rototom Sunsplash offering its support through Exodus.

The festival will launch in two months the project to support Open Arms, while the more long-term lines of action with the migrants, that continue to arrive, will be specified depending on the needs of the administrations and organizations responsible for managing the reception process.