LIVE: Punk Rock Holiday (Tolmin, Slovenia) – Friday

By Tom Aylott

More beach stage vibes by Tom Aylott

This is the third part of our comprehensive review of Punk Rock Holiday 2013. You can find Part One here, and Part Two here. You find us waking up on Friday morning, with the festival now in the fullest of swings

The next day, a few of us are suffering pretty heavily from the excellent Slovenian spirits of the night before [I was fine, natch – Tom], so we spent quite a bit of time listening to bands on the Beach Stage from a bit of a distance, so the first band we watched face to face and can honestly review were the rather awesome Greek punks Despite Everything – another band that we’ve never seen before. They play through some gritty punk rock for a good 45 minutes, impressing thoroughly, before declaring that Astpai will be following them on the Beach Stage.

As it turns out, there had been a bit of a switch around, so the original set expected from Snuff’s Duncan Redmonds would now also happen AFTER the main stage headliner tonight. We guess this is a logistics thing, so we settle down for Astpai, who we’d been looking forward to seeing. As it goes, it’s probably a good thing they play where they do, as the tent is rammed and the singalongs are massive. We’ve had the pleasure of seeing the band many times, but never by a river in Slovenia wearing swimming shorts and drinking a lovely, soothing Radler. A great way to end the Beach Stage for the afternoon before the kick off of the main stage proceedings. The one-two of no clashes is actually really refreshing as well, as it allows things to drift a long a bit of a more manageable pace by this point in the festival.

Astpai by Tom Aylott

Up first on the main stage today is Thirteen Days who, despite throwing in a few too many Green Day way-ooohh bits, play a fine set of pop punk / pop rock tunes, and inspire a circle pit around their vocalist at one point. Following on from are Carry All, who do a good job of translating their skacore / ska punk across to the early comers, but don’t quite follow up the pop punk as well as we’d hoped. Next up are Polish rockers Tea Break, whose strange, almost Gogol Bordello-esque rock doesn’t really go down particularly well, and at this point, we decide to regroup, get some food and interview a few of the bands hanging around the festival. After catching the end of City Saints (who sound pretty good, as it goes), we get in position for the first and last ever Slovenian show of a rather notorious UK hardcore band.

Your Demise in Slovenia by Tom Aylott

Whatever you think of Your Demise, it’s great to see a UK band having a good placement on a bill like this, and today they look like they’re having a blast (as usual). As the Ed McRae stage banter keeps the crowd close to and leaping from the stage, they knock out songs that some of the Slovenian punks have been waiting years to hear. We know exactly what we were in for, so we sit back and take in one of the only UK bands of the whole weekend blasting hardcore into the surroundings.

Up next, the creators of our 2012 “Album Of The Year” take to the stage. The Menzingers are collectively one of our favourite bands, and tonight they smash through an impressive set with plenty from ‘On The Impossible Past’, but also reaching into their back catalogue as well [As a side note, I’d be willing to put money on the fact that there’s gonna be video footage of me going fucking nuts to a few songs in the front row – Tom]. A big highlight of the festival for us, and the band’s reaction to the interesting get ups some of the stage divers were wearing were nigh on priceless.

To close down the main stage this evening are punk rock legends H2O, and though we’re a little bit weary from shouting a little too loudly along to The Menzingers, it’s one of the best times we’ve seen them play in ages. The classic “kid saying ‘H2O go’” move is still gold, and the band know exactly what songs they need to be treating the crowd to. Some of the most impressive pits of the weekend occur down the front for the band (not a massive surprise), and they end up being a fantastic choice for headliner. H2O are one of those bands that could pretty much just play on any bill and we’d enjoy it, but when they’re on top form it’s even better.


To finish off our Friday night, we head down to the Beach Stage to watch Duncan from Snuff play through some acoustic ditties. The man has a true talent for ridiculousness, and some of the set is the most we laughed all weekend. It was a perfect wind down after H2O, and we’d happily take that at the end of any festival day.

A true legend, and a great reminder of the treat we’re in for the next day when he gets behind the kit. Of the decisions we made on the Friday night after his set finished, staying up until 6am with some “Punk Rock Holiday wine” might not have been the most sensible one, but as the sun was coming up and we decided it was probably time to get some sleep, we weren’t exactly complaining. The Beach Stage turns into a bit of a party after hours, and we made some great friends down by the beach with DJs blasting out hits until the very, very small hours.


The final part of our Punk Rock Holiday 1.3 review will be live tomorrow