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

By Tom Aylott

This is the final part of our series on Punk Rock Holiday 1.3. Check out parts one to three over in the live reviews section!

After another morning dip to wake us up for the final day, we were starting to get that “final day of festival” dread – where you crave a bed but fear going back to civilisation. We were also pondering just how much fun we’d had so far, and after a quick trip to town to recharge the hunger batteries, we got comfortable at the Beach Stage for the afternoon and got an earful of The Ignored, In The Crossfire and Face The Fax to get ourselves pumped up between diving into the river. Of the three, Face The Fax were easily our favourite, and we’re hoping the Antwerp based band play somewhere near where we are in the next year so that we can check them out again.

The final band on the Beach Stage on the Saturday were Antillectual, who were currently on tour with Propangandhi (who happened to be playing later in the day on the main stage). They played a great set to an enthused crowd, and carried on the fine tradition of the Beach Stage closing down on a pair of excellent bands. We had a catch up with Antillectual after their set too, and you’ll be able to see that on our impending documentary…

The Forum Walters

The first band that we see on the Main Stage on the final day are the rather cheesey Austrian ska/pop punk/pop rock band The Forum Walters, and though we probably could have done with something a bit more meaty, they’re pretty solid over their half an hour set. At this point we dash off to grab Propagandhi and Astpai for interviews, so we end up missing Lude Krawe and most of Polish Riot Grrl band Brains All Gone. We catch the final verse and chorus of the latter, and it sounded pretty great from where we were standing. They also mark the final mainland European band of the weekend, and as the crowd gathers for the travelling big hitters of the day, we make sure we get some food down us before chaos ensues.

Next comes a band that we expected to be awesome to watch, but exceeded all expectations. We weren’t really sure how much we needed a giant dose of dirty reggae, but that’s exactly what we got from The Aggrolites and it puts the entire crowd in a great mood. The band are an absolute marvel live, and we wear our biggest smiles of the weekend. Tolmin hosts the occasional reggae festival, and it clicks halfway through the set that this is the perfect setting for it. Amazing stuff.


Next is something not so relaxing but up there with the most “Punk Rock” thing of the entire weekend. We were not quite sure what to expect from The Casualties, but fucking hell is it noisy. A full hour that largely consists of flying mohawks, shouted obscenities and barked crowd interactiosn, with the band impressing in spades. It’s a real eye opener. That The Casualties get the crowd going nuts is no surprise, but the manner in which they do it is very much like having a boot in the face. A marked step up in tempo and aggro from the main stage, but a very enjoyable one indeed.

Originally, Propagandhi were due to headline proceedings this evening, but an early flight means Snuff “very kindly” offered to switch places. By this point, everyone’s just after some punk and some riffs, so Propagandhi go down incredibly well. Songs from ‘Failed States’ land better with some and songs from ‘How To Clean Everything’ better with others, but every second is a masterclass is musicianship and delivery. The band play a fairly similar set to the Electric Ballroom set a few months back in the UK, but tonight is on another level from that spectacular set. We sit in the camp that thinks they’ve got better and better, so the giant riffs from the last two records get us frothing at the mouth, and having probably the best punk band on the planet playing probably the most punk festival on the planet makes from an insane hour and a bit.


Back in the day (I’m 25, fuck off), I remember playing with Duncan from Snuff in his BIlly No Mates get up, but I can’t actually remember ever getting to see Snuff when I was growing up and tonight the band are as good as I could have ever hoped. They close the festival down in some style, and it’s as much of a laugh as it is enjoyable for all the right reasons. How The Punk Rock Holiday organisers managed to 1-2-3-4 The Aggrolites, The Casualties, Propagandhi and Snuff is anyone’s guess, but it really was a fantastic and varied way to close things down for the festival goers.

With fantastically weary heads, we decided to send ourselves back to the tents to call it a night (though I didn’t manage to escape without being bought a shot by a friendly Slovenian), and put a lid on our Punk Rock Holiday of 2013. Between the mohawks, the ludicrous lilo stage dives, the legends and the newcomers, Punk Rock Holiday was an amazing experience, and we hope so much that it’s back as strong next year. Expect a video documentary on the festival and our interviews over the next few weeks, and we’ll hopefully see you in Tolmin in 2014! Viva Punk Rock Holiday and thank you Slovenia for being cheap, fun and awesome… Until next time…