From Phantis
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Cover of the first self-named LP

It was in Nea Smyrni, towards the end of the 70s, when a group of friends began expressing their adolescent restlessness through their self designed theatrical works. Little skits with the inclusion of live music and original song were acted out in cafes and student unions. That novel band was made up of: Nikos Portokaloglou, Haris Kavellieratos, Giorgos Filippakis, Odysseas Tsakalos, Argyris Amitsis, Michael Moustakis, Yiannis Kerkyras, Nikos Milionis and Ioanna Tsakalou. From these early theatrical beginnings, the nine friends moved further towards music and eventually split into two new bands, "FATME" and "Hanomai giati remvazo".

The early line-up of FATME consisted of: Nikos Portokaloglou, Odysseas Tsakalos and Dimitris Kalatzis, whose first self named LP, sent shock waves through the Greek recording industry when it was released, with its expression of the feelings of the restless youth of the political reformation era. Songs such as "The Prodigal Son" and "Behind the shutters" showed a sensitivity that had disappeared from Greek songs through the use of protest chants and epic shouts. FATME were the first to speak of the "Hellenic Electric Song" and the beginning of a new musical era.

The band's live shows began to grow with the addition of Michael Moustakis on the keyboards and accordion, causing a sensation wherever they appeared and groups of fans began to gather around them. Their second album "Lies" seems to be more settled. Recorded with careful attention, it contains the undiluted musical position of FATME, a dangerous balance between east and west, amongst Greek traditional song and the rock aesthetic.

FATME is now considered the great hope of the greek song. Yet they themselves, never remain still but continue to evolve. After the departure of Dimitris Kalatzis, they travel to Thessaloniki where they record their third album titled "Risk" in the studio of Nikos Papazoglou. That album, from its name alone, indicates the worrisome frame of mind of its creators. A multitude of remarkable musicians lend their talents to enrich the sound of FATME, culminating in a mix of Greek tradition and Afro-American seeking groups like the Talking Heads. The eastern scales are enriched with multi-rythmic developments, while the lyrics mature and ripen away from the klostrophobia, now expressing the whole "lost generation of the political reformation era" to the cutting edge words of "There's a serious reason". Concerts followed the album's distribution, where FATME - now a trio of Portokaloglou, Tsakalos and Moustakis - was backed by a number of distinguished musicians, producing an intensity on stage, which had only been hinted at in their studio recordings.

The breakthrough to a wider audience came with the release of the fourth album with the characterictic title "GETTING OUT OF THE TUNNEL". Here, things were much simpler and clearer cut than on "RISK", sboth in lyrics and musical composition. The writing of Nikos Portokaloglou, even more mature and ripened, sheds the robe of adolencense to acquire the conservative optimism of a thinking man, with a broader, more eager outlook on life. FATME now shine with their own personal style, which underlines the addition of Mimis Ntoutsoulis on bass guitar, finalizing the group's line-up. The co-operation of Haroula Alexiou and the cheerful "Kalokairaki" take FATME beyond their known audience. The success of the album follows several appearences on TV and special tributes, culminating in the large concert at Lycabettus theater.

FATME are now considered to be the most successful greek group. They appear on Dionisis Savopoulos' TV show "Zeto to Elliniko Tragoudi" and Manos Hatzidakis' concerts and recordings of "Programma tou Seiriou". At the end of '87 they record their fifth smash album entitled "TRIP" - their best to date. The pre-release of the song "Champions", inspired by the EUROBASKET fever, was the first sign of a hit. The songs "Deep Dive", "Trip", "Put me through the ropes" surpass the vission of "Tunnel" and deal directly with the personal quest of a person's self completion.

The group started to make a major impact with concerts, interviews and live appearances multiplied on all the television channels. The group started to make a major impact with concerts, interviews and live appearances multiplied on all the television channels. FATME are now ready for a review of their works until this point, which culminates in a celebratory live concert at Lycabettus theater with the participation of many special guests. The concert is recorded, filmed and presented live on the radio. An unforgetable night!...

With the realease of the double live album entitled "Palko" and having completed eight highly successful years together, FATME agreed to part ways, each one choosing a different road. "We've completed 8 years," says NP on the inside cover of the album, "together with Odysseas, Michael, Mitsos in the beginning and then with Mimis where we worked playing and played working. With 'Palko' - a live album containing 20 variations - we have completed our adolescent cycle. Thank you for your company and till we meet again."