Babies On Fire

06 Apr


In 1999 a book was released by author/journalist Nancy Mandaltsi, regarding the band Mora stin Fotia (engl. Babies On Fire ελλ. Μωρά στην Φωτιά).

Mandaltsi was the chief of stuff of the Greek fanzine “In Rock” for a couple of years, a fanzine from Thessaloniki that had a circulation of 10.000 copies and was specialized in Greek rock bands.

She was also in charge for Mission’s Greek fan club, “Blood Brothers” and as it is obvious from her book, she was a great fan of the band Mora stin Fotia.

The book has tons of photos, interviews, detailed biography, lyrics, posters and lots of stuff.

She dedicated it to Antonis Pararas and Spyros Harisis (the late drummer of the Athenian band Lefki Symphonia)

Mora Stin Fotia were formed in 1985 singer/bass player Stelios “Salvador” Papaioannou, drummer Giorgos Papaioannou and guitar player Dimitris “Bunny” Vasiliadis.
Their main influences were The Clash, Brian Eno, Dead Kennedys, The Stooges, Killing Joke and the Ruts.
They were not living in some major Greek city but in Veria, a city of 42.000 people in North Central Macedonia, 69 kilometers from Thessaloniki.

mora stin fotiaIn 1986, Dimitris “Bunny” Vasiliadis was replaced by Pavlos Pavlidis and the band moved to Thessaloniki for some better days.
Back then, their name was “Legeona Ton Xenon” (engl. Foreign Legeon ελλ. Λεγεώνα των Ξένων) but soon decided to change it to Mora stin Fotia, after Brian Eno’s song title.

They even recorded a cover of Eno’s track “Third Uncle” which was featured in their 9 track debut LP that was released in 1987 simply titled “Mora Stin Fotia”.

In 1989, Pavlos Pavlidis left the band (he would later form the successful band Xylina Spathia (engl. Wooden Swords ελλ. Ξύλινα Σπαθιά).
Mora Stin Fotia would accuse him (according to their official website) for using four of their songs in his albums without their permission- the problem (again according to their site) would be solved later.

In Mandaltsi’s book, the reader can easily understand the sacrifices of a Greek rock band to survive, through the interviews of George Papaioannou.
From a small city with little respect for rock’n’roll music, to a major Greek city of the late 80’s.

Through an endless fights against all odds, the Greek rock audience loved the band, a band which after their first album didn’t find the right record label to release their material.

stsalvadorUntil the year 1999, when their second LP was released, titled “Theatrini” (engl. Actors ελλ. Θεατρίνοι) through Lazy Dog.
While Stelios “Salvador” was the only one left from the original line up, Th. Zaharopoulos joined the band on the drums, Th Natsikas on guitar and Ahileas Tsitouras on the keyboards.

Leaving Mandaltsi’s book behind, we have to add the following:
During the early 00’s, the band toured Greece with the audience going ecstatic because of their powerful live performances.

“Salvador” founded his record label, “Baby Records” in 2004 and in 2005 the third Mora Sti Fotia album was released under the title “Sto Dromo”.

The band is still active.

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Posted by on April 6, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave



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