During the mid 80s a number of Athenian underground rock bands formed a sort-of syndicate named A.E.TA. (Independent Movement of Expression).
The “syndicate” was an idea of an older rocker, Iraklis Triantafyllides, who was once the leader of the Greek prog-rock band Iraklis & H Lernaia Hydra (Gr. Ηρακλής και η Λερναία Υδρα – released 2 albums) and also the owner of a club in Plaka, called Sofita.
A.E.TA.’s main cause was to organize festivals for these bands (which numbered about 25) and to have easier access to local live clubs. The HQ of this “organisation” was in Asimaki Fotila Street, Nr 4 – Exarhia (downtown Athens), and, for a while, things worked out fine.
The peak of A.E.TA.’s activities was a 4-day festival in AN Club during November 1987. Every Monday, three bands of the organisation were playing live, whereby the four Mondays of the month were thus covered.
On Monday, the 9th of November, the bill was as follows:
- Slow Motion – A medieval goth band with English and German lyrics. They released a few albums and are still active nowdays.
- Σκιές (Engl. Shadows, Gr. Skies) – A dark wave band with Greek lyrics.
- Split Image – A band from the island of Corfu which focused on dark wave with English lyrics. They are now once again active.
Skies and Slow Motion shared Teo Botinis on bass, who later joined the Flowers Of Romance. Botinis is currently a member of the prog-rock band September.
On the 16th, Panx Romana, Σρίμανση (Engl. Srimansi) and 16 Days were on the bill. You can read more about Panx Romana on “Baby Steps to A New Era, Vol. 1” (further down below). Srimansi were formed by Panx Romana’s drummer, Dimitris Dimitrakas, to play covers of well known Greek rock bands. Dimitris Dimitrakas was also hosting a radio show called Rock’n’Roll Boithies (Engl. Rock’n’Roll Help) titled after a Panx Romana song. He’s been active since the early 80s and has released lots of albums with several bands.
Unfortunately, the dark wave band 16 days never had the chance to record an album, although they were great. Just by the name alone one can realise they sounded a lot like the Cure. One of their members, though, Aris Zarakas, later joined the Greek New Wave/Punk band Magic De Spell.
On the 23rd, the new wave band of Scoria opened (they released three albums in total) and were followed by Film Noir on their last show with their singer, Mariela Loukaki. Film Noir released two albums.
The last band on the bill were the gothic punks The Flowers Of Romance (released
3 albums, 2 singles, 1 12″ EP, and many participations in compilations in Greece and abroad – article will come for them in the future). The last song of the night was “Kashmir” sang by Film Noir’s singer Mariela who joined The Flowers Of Romance for that song. Another thing I have to mention here is that Scoria’s drummer was Albert Levi, the Parthenogenesis’s original drummer.
On the fourth Monday of the festival, Adiafori (Engl. Careless, Gr. Αδιάφοροι) opened and was followed by the electropunk anarchoband of ANTI. The Blue Jeans ended the show with their classic rock’n’roll style of the 50’s (they released one EP).
Although the festival was successful, A.E.TA. was a short-lived experiment. The whole thing soon fell apart as each band was trying to act for their own benefit or just got too lazy to make things work. This festival gave a great opportunity to the Greek audience to get the whole picture about the Greek underground but slowly it fell into oblivion along with some of the bands which took part in it. All four nights the club was full and the audience enjoyed the shows, but … time did its work.
Thankfully, most of the remaining bands left their mark on the Greek map by releasing albums that would sell several thousand copies.
Most importantly of all, we have to point out the good intentions of Iraklis Triandafyllides who tried so hard to help the Greek underground rock scene by any means possible.