OI POLLOI – the Movie DVD
OI POLLOI is one of those bands we all love and that has quite a legacy and catalog of work. They are certainly one of the hardest working bands ever, especially from the anarcho-punk scene. It’s nothing shy of amazing that they have continued to release quality material for a couple of decades now. If there is a such thing as punk rock “hits” they have enough to fill a couple ‘best of” collections. They certainly have enough punk rock party sing-a-longs! In fact it is almost impossible not sing along with a smile on your face anytime the needle hits an OI POLLOI record. They are one of those bands that makes fighting the system so much fun! It is only fitting then that we finally get a video documentation of this highly influential and important band.
The main movie features numerous and informative interviews with the revolving cast of band members and only constant member, Deek. The long lingering question of how the band was named and what the name means is answered and documented once and for all. It was really cool to hear Deek, in his voice and in his person describe the formation of the band and it was very interesting to learn that they came together as a counter reaction to many of the more “hardcore” bands of the day that were starting to grind out a new direction for punk (ENT, Napalm Death…).
The second half of the movie follows our favorite “post-oi/street-crust” band on ‘Ar Ceol, Ar Canan, Ar-a-march’ European tour in 2006. It’s hear that we get a look into the recording of the only Gaelic speaking punk album ever as well as the stress of a DIY tour. They explain how touring Europe is different and more realistic for them than a US trek mainly due to the distances traveled but also due to the violence not just at US gigs but more so in US society. This is explained as they elaborate on stay at a house on a past US tour riddled with bullet holes from local gang gunfire. That’s not to say that touring Europe is comfy nights in beds of roses. There are ample stories of squats smeared in animal and human feces and urine and the difficulty of trying to get a nights sleep when the locals want nothing but to party all night at punk rock discos! We also get to experience the stress of swapping out bass players mid tour and having to learn the songs in the van between gigs. Ahhh…the life of “rock stars”.
There are certain bands that seem to evoke a sense of spirituality, a connection or a sense of being. For me those bands are limited but mainly include NEUROSIS, AMEBIX, MISERY, JUDAS PRIEST and most of all BLACK SABBATH. Watching this movie and getting this intimate glimpse into the world, lives and inner workings of this phenomenal band I really started to identify with a connection to the energy of OI POLLOI. It was easy to see this spiritual energy that surrounded the members of the band and I felt very lucky to be able to tap into a small piece of that. My feelings are apparently shared by some of the members of the band as one of the former members described a similar sense and even compared being part of the “family” to religious experience.
The DVD is littered extras that include the 1994 tour documentary (I got to see that on VHS years ago thanks to my buddy Val) as well as live clips and videos. At this point it’s almost not even necessary to impress upon you that this is a quality release and an important addition to your collection. If you are an OI POLLOI fan there is no excuse not to get this into your hands. (Josh Mosh)