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Neukölln’s No Kiddin’ Festival: 7 Venues, 20 Indie Artists, 15 DJs

By Kitty Doherty . October 25, 2019

No Kiddin’ Festival sees Neukölln’s most adored venues band together in the name of good music on September 27 and 28.

This two-day music festival boasts an impressive line-up of over 20 bands and 15 DJs playing across seven Neukölln venues (An Der Autobahn, Das Gift, Finale Sportsbar, Internet Explorer, Sandmann, Tennis, and Loophole) from Friday evening until the early hours on Sunday.

All colours in the musical kaleidoscope are covered at No Kiddin’. To quote Ryan Rosell, editor at The Chop and one of No Kiddin’s organisers, artists range from “feminist fetish rap to CBD-powered ambient to Italo-pop to hardcore punk, and there ain’t a burnt biscuit in the whole batch.”

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No Kiddin’ was conceived by Shameless/Limitless (event organisers of over 10 years), The Chop (a community-contributed zine that focuses on the local music scene in Berlin), and Tennis Bar. Alongside treats for the ears, punters will get to see works from artists Colette Pomerleau and Molly Dyson (who also made the festival’s posters).

How to get tickets for No Kiddin’

Tickets are available at Das Gift, Loophole, Internet Explorer, Obst und Gemüse and Tennis. Festival-goers also get discounts and promotions at a number of Neukölln businesses.

Get your hands on the latest issue of The Chop, the official No Kiddin’ guide, to get all the juicy festival details. You can also visit No Kiddin’ on Facebook.

And if you were unfortunate enough to miss the promotional parties, this No Kiddin’ Spotify playlist will get you all hot and bothered before the madness begins.

Ryan Rosell gave Berlin Loves You an insight into the festival’s conception and DIY attitude.

The “main goal”, he said, was “to give cohesion to something that already exists, which is the local music scene. It’s important for us to showcase these venues as key culture points that are facing extinction.”

We asked Ryan the question on everybody’s lips… why the name No Kiddin’? “I would like to credit Kevin Halpin aka Shameless/Limitless for coming up with this name. I don’t, however, want to impose authorial intent onto festival-goers’ imaginations, so I’ll just say that you should ask him at the festival. He’s not a hard fella to pick out in a crowd.”

We also spoke to Itaca, Martha Rose and Farao in the run-up to the festival. Here’s what we found out.

Itaca: A German-Italian Synth Jewel

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Itaca are an explosive musical meeting of Germany and Italy, whose 2017 album Itaca Mi Manchi was named a “German-Italian synth jewel” by Noisey Italia. The duo see gigging in Berlin as “a natural fit” because they “always love to play in Italy”, and look forward to No Kiddin’ being a “great opportunity to dive into Berlin’s hottest scene.”

Let Itaca wooze you away with their poetic summary of their own sound:

“You’re speed-racing with your little Fiat Panda 4×4 cacciatore through the country-side and listening to a cheerful duo singing Italian pop music. As you leave the car, a thin synth pad fades in, then a drum break and a reverberant snare. Light is shed on a long-abandoned entertainment park. Still, the dark Italo lines of an MS20 make the mirror ball shiver a little. But the golden times of pop are over, and the Italians that were singing about amore are actually teutons, singing about inner turmoil and the decay of their wishes.”

If that doesn’t make you want to take an extended road-trip through the Italian countryside, what exactly will?!

Martha Rose: Dreamy Casio Pop

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Martha Rose is a Berlin-based musician from England who enjoys the “cosy hometown kinda feeling” she gets from playing in her newfound home. Her dream-like Casio Pop, which she describes as “a medieval sonic vision of love, mixed with a LoFi ’80s village hall disco”, has captured the city’s heart.

Next week’s No Kiddin’ crowd will witness the debut of some newer songs Martha and her band have been working on for their upcoming album. And if you stick around after the show, you might be lucky enough to witness Martha hitting the vegan hotdog stand pretty hard – they are, after all, one of her “favourite delicacies”.

Farao: Soviet Disco with ’90s R&B Vibes

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Farao’s musical style has been described as avant pop, disco, and R&B, but when asked, the Norwegian multi-instrumentalist singer and songwriter Kari Jahnsen defines her music as a “Soviet disco with smooth ’90s R&B and layers of lush zithers, creating my own iron curtain of sonic ecstasy.”

Despite having toured internationally for over five years, she describes the Berlin crowd as “by far my favourite crowd to play for. They are really attentive, have good music taste and want to party!” Farao will also be debuting new music at next week’s festival, and is most excited to see Jae Tyler and Special-K.

No Kiddin’
September 27th-28th
No Kiddin’ on Facebook

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