Music Programme

RIBLJA ČORBA

Serbia

Riblja Čorba (Fish Soup) is a Belgrade-based music band recognizable for its hard rock sound and remarkable lyrics which are always lascivious, socially aware or at least politically provocative. The group was formed in 1978 when Borislav “Bora” Djordjević, a singer and songwriter, and Miša Aleksić, met in the famous Belgrade pub, Šumatovac. The first single by Riblja Čorba was A Front Cover Doll (Lutka sa naslovne strane), a timeless ballad about a photo model craving for success, written from a perspective of a bitter young man. Stjepko Gut, a well-known jazz trumpeter played keyboards at the studio recording of the song. Early in their public performances, Riblja Čorba built its reputation as a concert attraction. While singing Lutka during one the early concerts, Bora Djordjević performed “lewd choreography using a tailor doll, and, towards the end of the song, he completely disintegrated it”.

Riblja Čorba held its first independent stadium concert at Tašmajdan Park in Belgrade. In addition to the use of pyrotechnics and fake fog, an “anti-ballet” group called Ribetine (Big Chicks) with Meri Cakić was formed for the occasion and a self-taught performer Travolta from Borča Greda, added to the spectacle. Over 10,000 people showed up for the concert, which was very impressive bearing in mind that the first studio-recorded album by Riblja Čorba, Kost u grlu (Fishbone in the Throat) was released only several days after the stage performance.

After this, Riblja Čorba’s career varied from playing realistic ballads about most difficult life situations and songs about soft drugs to reaching record-breaking sales of Yugoslav rock. The band’s remarkable rock poetry lyrics even entered everyday speech as parodies of John Lennon, Eric Burdon and the Monkees, were performed. Notable was an apocalyptic paraphrase of John Milton in the band’s power ballad, Look Homeward, Angel.

Riblja Čorba recently celebrated its 35th anniversary with a concert in the Belgrade Arena. Among 15,000 fans, there were also a large number of those who were twice as young as the band itself, and so it could be said that the popularity of the group is a trans generational phenomenon. Beside Djordjević and Aleksić, today’s composition of Riblja Čorba includes Vicko Milatović (drums), Vidoja Božinović (guitar) and Nikola Zorić (keyboards).