JOHN POUBELLE: FANFULLA, THE PLACE THAT MADE ME WHO I AM
Tales on favourite spots by our network of femxle musicians
FANFULLA*, THE PLACE THAT MADE ME WHO I AM
*FANFULLA is a venue located in Rome’s Pigneto neighborhood; since 2007 Fanfulla has on one hand lined up a dense schedule of live gigs, DJ nights, art exhibitions, and theater performances, on the other hand organized language classes and social support activities, thus becoming a key cultural and social hub for the area.
At first, it was a weird and funny place. The place you go to when you want to dance or listen to music. At first it was just a club, almost like any other (except for the fact that smoking inside is allowed), a club with red lights and a cool bar and nice bartenders, a club where the music is great and the cocktails are amazing. At first it was a place to go to feel in and to be surrounded by a festive mood.
At a certain point in my life, it became an escape. I was afraid of going home and I felt lonely and miserable most of the time so I’d go there. I knew I would be alone “in front of” the music, I knew I would be alone and left in peace. From one, two, three nights a week it ended up to be every single night of the week, except for the Saturday nights because it was too crowded.
I discovered a surprisingly high number of amazing bands and that’s where it all started. I wouldn’t know how to call “it” other than “it” and I think I don’t even know what “it” exactly is. Watching all these bands allowed me to see them differently. First I saw they were simple human beings, just as I am. Then I understood (not to undermine anything though) that, well, anyone could play, as long as anyone could play an instrument or “something”. I was like a child in front of a TV, but at the same time I would also understand how the TV worked and that I could actually be in the TV myself.
Going there all the time, I started talking to one, then two, then three persons. And there I was, I started to meet the people who changed and saved my life. I did not understand it at the time, but I was miserable, heavy-hearted and just massively unhappy. I felt trapped and scared like a small animal in a cage and this feeling of not being able to move, change or get away was the most frightening part of it all. I started making friends and that was a huge step for me. I discovered my new friends were making music, playing DJ-sets… and so started too, with my vinyls. I chose my name: DJ Buonumore (DJ Good Mood) and I chose this place to showcase my most obscure and weird musical discoveries. This was great for me (as it boosted my confidence) as well as for experimental music (as it was constantly played and listened to).
All sorts of things happened there: it was not all beautiful and poetic, I met silly people too and bad stuff happened to me as well as to others; however, this place played a great part in making me a musician.
One day I finally met the person who then became my best friend. We were both going every day to this place but we had never met before; when he discovered I had a small organ in my bedroom, he asked me to be part of his band. This only lasted two rehearsals though as we soon created our own band, playing something in between improvised church music and creative noise.
Suddenly we were booked at the famous Baba festival (Festival of burned minds and exploded people) and two days after my 23rd birthday we played our first show, my first ever. It was a great success but more than that I had finally realised that I wanted to do that for my whole life.
After that I started my solo project: John (Jurassic) Poubelle, and the more it went on, the more I created music that looked and sounded like me. My heart, body and soul were broken, but I knew I would win and work it out. And this “it” was mainly myself, I suppose.
For the record, I kept on going there every night, because that had then become my family, and I was part of it. Everyone accepted me (that actually goes for anyone) as I am, and without actively wanting it, this helped me become unashamed of myself and everything I am. Even though, at the time, that meant feeling pathetic. And it meant being drunk.
The place’s motto is: “FEEL FREE”. For the first time in my life, I was hearing this, and seeing people being free, happy and themselves. The example was set and the way has been constantly paved for everyone.
Fanfulla and its people allowed me to set myself free. They helped me discover myself, and brought me closer to music in a creative way. I was not just a listener, I was a spectator, I was a witness of creation. I had wanted to sing and play music my all life and for my whole life I had been afraid and shy. But there I could see a light in the tunnel, I could see anything was possible, as long as I wanted it, listened to my heart and followed its direction.
I will never thank them enough, for believing in me, but also and especially for existing.
John Poubelle is Louise Burgers (Il Gran Diavolato, Cellule de Crise) solo project.
Created to non-exist in the depths of East Rome and now relocated to France, John Poubelle started playing around with mini loops created by the computer but she soon turned to songs and hymns influenced by the classical and sacred music that gave rhythm to her childhood.
She defines her music as “punk fragile de sous-sol” (fragile punk of the subsoil), raw and spontaneous yet at the same time intimate and vulnerable.
Her debut album “Pléistocène supérieur” is out via Commando Vanessa.