Archive for February, 2012

I remember very little about this I must say, it was either the 1st or last gig of the tour (I suspect it was the last. I don’t recall ‘Upside’ and I know ‘Ten Tennants’ had Jasper from ‘Culture Shock’ in their ranks. It was our 1st tour; we were a 3-piece then: Micky, Alec and me, before Karin joined (that was in early 1992). We toured together with ‘Oi Polloi’ in rusty old van and car… The driver was Fazzy, our 4th member. We wanted to go on tour and it was a lot easier to get gigs with ‘Oi Polloi’ as part of it! We had the van and car, they had the name! We’d known each other for some years before this already and so it just made sense.

Sned, ‘One By One’ drummer

In an interview for my zine Tilt! [Political Asylum (interview Tilt! #5)], Ramsey of ‘Political Asylum’ had caused some commotion about ‘Oi Polloi’ having a “fascist” drummer. Vocalist Deek Allan, as I remember, wasn’t very happy with that. I think it was the first time we met after this ‘incident’ and I have a gut-feeling there was some tension… I reckon this was their first gig in a long row of many to come, at the V.V. As you can read in drummer Dan’s guestbook-entry below: it was “canny darned groovy like” to them ;-). The photo below (courtesy of Sned) shows ‘One By One’, and ‘Oi Polloi’ a bit after the In Defence Of Our Earth LP (out on Words Of Warning, recorded January ‘90 – with drummer Dan ‘Dreaming Rhythm’, vocalist Deek, guitarist Chris and bassist – ex ‘The Apostles’ – ‘Muz’ Grant Douglas Munro) was done, and around the time they recorded the live side of Total AnarchOi compilation (released in ’92). On the Omnicide 7” (released in ‘91), bass and some vocals were done by Morag Cruickshank ‘Buzzmarks’ from the Aberdeen grindcore band ‘Grunge’. In autum ’93 they recorded for the Guilty 7” (released by Ruptured Ambitions) with Murray Briggs on drums, Calum Mackenzie on bass (as ‘Bobby Shaftoe’; his first recording) and Bobby ‘Gilly’ Gilchrist on guitar. The latter told me he never played in Belgium though – but he did do the Total AnarchOi Tour Europe in ’92  (amongst others)

91-08 Oi Polloi & One By One (courtesy Sned)Chris (‘Oi Polloi’ guitarist) – Alec – ‘Fazzy’ (driver) – Deek – Karen (driver and ‘Sned’s partner – Phil (‘Oi Polloi’ bassist) – Dan – ‘Sned’ (I guess Micky took the photo)

‘Ten Tennants’ were a project/band from the Bluurg scene (Bath). It’s blurry to me (can’t recall seeing them) but weren’t they Andy (ex-‘Subhumans’) doing vocals/guitar & Jasper Patterson (ex-‘Culture Shock’ & ‘Citizen Fish’; bass)…??? I read somewhere did they both did some beat-boxing aswell…

After ‘Generic’, ‘Pleasant Valley Children’, ‘Sore Throat’; ‘One By One’ was the new band with Sned (drums & vocals) at that time. Besides him, there was Micky McGuinness (ex-‘Generic’; guitar & vocals) and Alec Mac (bass). A couple of months before this tour they recorded for the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1 (18 June 1991 and broadcasted 3 August 1991). This was released (together with their 2nd demo) on a tape (done by Armel Presselin). They too had a great time here but just as ‘Oi Polloi’ they were asking for “responsible dancing, no macho shit”; something that was indeed getting a problem from time to time.

‘Upside’ (not to be confused with ‘Upset Noise’!) had played for Smurfpunx before (88-08-13)… They were a political band coming from the area around Modena and played a powerful mix of HC and metal: Mauro Tincani (vocals), Vanny Anceschi (guitar), Andrea ‘Tritone’ Tincani (bass) and Gamba (drums)… TVOR On Vinyl had released their fantastic LP Tristi Orizzonti in 1990. Later (’93) they did a CD entitled Labirinti Della Menzogna (Labyrinths Of Lies) with 2nd guitarist Gionata and there was also a live-tape of (one of) their last concert(s) at Tien’a’Ment (93-09-11).

During a visit (2013) to Dolly (Enzenberger of ‘F.F.F.’) & Gamba (drummer of ‘Upside’) – who got married, Dominik Schetting of ‘F.F.F.’ had a chat with the ‘Upside’ guys in Belgium… ‘Upside’ arrived late because they came all the way from a show in Nürnberg [South of Germany]… “We had to get directly on stage and leave right after the show.” Gamba (drummer) remembers: “We needed the assistance of a friend of Brob because we could not get any fuel with cash because it was too late at night. We needed a local credit-card, which we did not have. It was very stressing to get from Nürnberg, where we played the night before, to Ieper. We drove all night. After the show here, we went right back to Bonn.”; “There was nearly no stage; it was a rather small venue. We only could play 45 minutes, which was disappointing… I was angry because we drove so far just for that show and then could play only so briefly. Still it was a good thing because we go to know new people.”

Brob

Pictures of ‘Upside’ (kindly donated by Eric ‘React’ W.):

91-08-18 Upside (band) by Eric W91-08-18 Upside (bass) by Eric W91-08-18 Upside (git) by Eric W91-08-18 Upside (vox) by Eric W

I don’t remember much about ‘Upside’. I know that there weren’t a lot of people in the venue. ‘Alians’ (from Poland) took over and they played for more than an hour even though they were tired from the travel and the bassist had a problem with his hand. Excellent music, quite a few encores. Even though the crowd was very big, they continued to play until they were exhausted. [Brob: I think Eric confused 2 gigs. I was helping ‘Alians’ with touring (see: Brob’s tours) and that was in September…] After that there was ‘Oi Polloi’! And strangely enough the placed filled up. I recall being disappointed by the people who didn’t make the effort to come and listen the two first bands: musically they were good. What to say about ‘Oi Polloi’! Superb atmosphere! I think they did all the classics of that era (also one about the Secretary of Interior Affairs or some other minister).

Eric ‘React’ W.

That whole ‘One by One’ / ‘Oi Polloi’ tour was a a brilliant rollercoaster of chaos. The London gig ended in a battle with the cops as the venue was being evicted, Arjen who organised the tour managed to get arrested so we weren’t totally sure where + when we were supposed to be playing. Like Sned it’s all a little hazy but pretty sure this was the last gig of the tour + was great. I’ve never seen a bad ‘Oi Polloi’ gig. Never didn’t enjoy playing the V.V., always a good atmosphere, cool people involved + the kids were generally ace. ‘One By One’ (and ‘Health Hazard’ + ‘Suffer’) always had a ball playing in Belgium, our 2nd home. Lots of politically engaged people who gave a shit + knew how to have fun.

For me it was brilliant getting to meet loads of people involved in the DIY anarcho world who’d I’d got to know through Flat Earth + lots of new friends were made on that tour. Back then it was easy to feel isolated + it was inspirational to see what collective power there was based around venues/squats/scenes. Similar in spirit to the 1in12 Club in Bradford, a space where people could get together + make things happen. The Vort’n Vis always also felt like a place where a lot of different groups of people / tribes came together, and there was always a lot of energy rather than people just trying to look cool or not giving a shit.

We really appreciated being fed as that was a novelty for us at the time. Thanks to everyone who helped make stuff like this happen. Putting on gigs is a pretty thankless task, as is cleaning up afterwards, doing the stalls / bar / door. So thanks.

Alec Mac, ‘One By One’ bassplayer

That was the last gig of the tour and it was a pretty weird gig for me as I had already fallen in love with Karin [future partner and singer of the band] and now I was having to go home to work and day-to-day reality in the UK… The first 2 gigs on the European side of the tour were in Switzerland so Arjen [van der Meulen; tour-promoter from Groningen] managed to get himself arrested even before we’d played our first gig!!!

Micky McGuinness, ‘One By One’ guitarist

91-08-18 One By One in RT #8‘One By One’ on their tour in Ripping Thrash #8

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

Apparently Andy Föcker (real name) & his bro Stefan visited this one… Another window smashed? ;-)

additions wellcome!…

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[Brob’s tours:] “After my mates’ bands ‘Ripcord’ and ‘Heresy’ had split up, some of the guys formed new bands. Kalv (H) joined ‘Force Fed’ and John (H), Baz & John (R) started ‘Can’t Decide’. It was only natural for me to try and help promote them (with a little help from my friends) and find them gigs on the European continent. […]” This gig was the last of a 10-day tour.

At that time I was still active with the Smurfpunx collective but since it wasn’t always possible to organise things at Netwerk, Aalst and I was charmed by what Jan, Bruno & their mates tried to do at the Vort’n Vis, I asked them to set up a show for these bands there. It was also a celebration of the V.V.’s first anniversary.

Again, it was a great get-together with older and newer friends. ‘Force Fed’ had played at a Smurfpunx concert earlier that year already (Netwerk, Aalst, 17 feb 90 (Kings Of Oblivion & Force Fed)) so I already knew Nick Clark (FF guitarist) & his brother Nige(l) (FF drummer), and Darren ‘Daz’ Smith (ex ‘Kings Of Oblivion’; who replaced Kalv as FF bassist). Jamie wasn’t singing anymore for the band then: he was replaced by Mike (who later played with Kalv in ‘Meatfly’)… This was the last gig on a little tour I’d set up (the schedule is mentioned in Brob’s tours – I liked the guys and was helping out distributing their stuff (e.g. on Kalv’s In Your Face recs).

‘Can’t Decide’ was the new project of ‘Heresy’s John March (vocals), Steve ‘Baz’ Ballam (guitar) & John Millier (‘Ripcord’) and Bristol-based bassplayer Simon Hobbs (ex ‘Lunatic Fringe’). Except for the latter, we’d met quite a few times (them playing here, me going abroad)… Simon turned out to be a very friendly chap aswell… Their music was more melodic than what their previous bands played. ‘Ripcord’ had already played 3 times for Smurfpunx & ‘Heresy were no stangers either… (Netwerk, Aalst – 27 jun 87; 30 jan 88; 3 sep 88).

‘Pleasant Valley Children’ was Sned’s latest outfit at that time. Despite the name, with a rather nihilist approach of punk… We’d already met when his (first) band ‘Generic’ played with my ‘Repulsives’ combo (in the 80s) and we were exchanging letters (me helping him to sell stuff from his label Flat Earth recs). A couple of months before he had been over with ‘Sore Throat’ (where he played guitar instead of his usual drumming) (90-05-27 President Fetch – Sore Throat). A true jack-of-all-trades… ;-) Also in ‘P.V.C.’ was ‘Pig Havok/Havoc’ (Paul Clarke, who wrote the booklet ‘A Secret Devil’ – which I seem to have lost over the years, later in ‘Liz Gizzad’). As someone described him: the “demonically possessed” vocalist. ‘Monkey’ played guitar and Percy did the bass (at the end of the tour replaced by Sarah Smith). ‘Pig’ & ‘Monkey’ would later be back with ‘Bugeyed’…

Brob

This show was a good one from what I can remember. I think I nearly passed out from heat-exhaustion after our set… ‘Force Fed’ were good lads to tour with, we played quite a few gigs with them around this time. In fact, over the time ‘Can’t Decide’ were together, we played more shows on mainland Europe than we did in the U.K.! Can you believe it? Well it’s true. Interest in hardcore was on the way out in the late 80s – early 90s especially in England due to the growing popularity of grunge. We found it hard to get a tour together in our own country. Bands with big management backing were taking over.. fuckers!!

John Millier, ‘Can’t Decide’ drummer

Always liked playing the Vort’n Vis. The ‘P.V.C.’ gig was early on our 3 week inter-rail tour of Europe that took us from Holland and Belgium through Germany and Switzerland down to Southern Italy during the World Cup. “Vafanculo mondiale!” or something like that. As we had no van and were going by train, there were lots of friends along – 12 of us in the all and it could cause difficulties trying to get places to sleep but there was a room upstairs at Vort’n Vis if I remember correctly. We didn’t take amps, drums or even guitars as we didn’t want the hassle of carrying them. Pig only took a carrier-bag. Sned had an enormous rucksack full of records and drum-bits. This may have caused some friction! I had to get used to playing a variety of borrowed guitars in a lot of strange colours and shapes. The one in the photo doesn’t look too bad – I think it might have been Nick ‘Force Fed’s, as we had done a couple of gigs with them before in the U.K and they had some fancy kit. I think this was probably the second or third gig after playing somewhere in Holland and Liège. [Brob: Actually Liège was 90-07-13: (‘St Gilles’): Pleasant Valley Children (UK), Chronic Disease (Bel), Incertitude (Nl)…]

Some of the towns on the tour-shirt were spelling mistakes! The details were probably communicated in a phone-conversation in the days before e-mails! I can remember playin’ a football-match at one of the Belgian gigs against one of the other bands + friends. We must have won! Always remember the generosity of you and the people we stayed with, so different to a lot of experiences in England where you were lucky to get a beer each after a gig! I can remember ‘P.V.C.’ using our gear… Good job everybody didn’t tour with no instruments at all! You did a great job on our tours. Also me & Daz took over mixing for one band and people were complaining it got too loud! I’m still in a couple of bands, one with Nick…

Nigel Clark, ‘Force Fed’ drummer

Always liked playing the Vort’n Vis. The ‘P.V.C.’ gig was early on our 3 week inter-rail tour of Europe that took us from Holland and Belgium through Germany and Switzerland down to Southern Italy during the World Cup. “Vafanculo mondiale!” or something like that. As we had no van and were going by train, there were lots of friends along – 12 of us in the all and it could cause difficulties trying to get places to sleep but there was a room upstairs at Vort’n Vis if I remember correctly. We didn’t take amps, drums or even guitars as we didn’t want the hassle of carrying them. Pig only took a carrier-bag. Sned had an enormous rucksack full of records and drum-bits. This may have caused some friction! I had to get used to playing a variety of borrowed guitars in a lot of strange colours and shapes. The one in the photo doesn’t look too bad – I think it might have been Nick ‘Force Fed’s, as we had done a couple of gigs with them before in the U.K and they had some fancy kit. I think this was probably the second or third gig after playing somewhere in Holland and Liège. [Brob: Actually Liège was 90-07-13: (‘St Gilles’): Pleasant Valley Children (UK), Chronic Disease (Bel), Incertitude (Nl)…]

Andrew ‘Monkey’ Clark-Monks , ‘Pleasant Valley Children’ guitarist

Sarah played the last few gigs of that tour because I had to go home, she was just filling in. I didn’t play with them again so they got Rich as a permanent replacement until they started ‘Bugeyed’; I still did other stuff with both ‘Pig’ & ‘Monkey’ though…

Percy

‘Pleasant Valley Children’ (performing under the watchful eyes of Jan C., and Leffe taking a ‘break’)

Some of the ‘P.V.C.’ crew (Martin ‘Mel’ Ellis, Andrew ‘Monkey’ Clark, Ash, Paul ‘Pig Havoc’ Clarke, Sarah Smith & Dave ‘Doom’) relaxing in front of the Vort’n Vis (pic by Russ Snell)

‘Can’t Decide’: John Millier, Baz, John March, Simon

90-06 Force Fed tourTour-shirt the Clark bros made… Some very exotic places there ;-) (Troisdork ?, Liepenberg ?)! The schedule can be found here: Brob’s tours

Some of the towns on the tour-shirt were spelling mistakes! The details were probably communicated in a phone-conversation in the days before e-mails! I can remember playin’ a football-match at one of the Belgian gigs against one of the other bands + friends. We must have won! Always remember the generosity of you and the people we stayed with, so different to a lot of experiences in England where you were lucky to get a beer each after a gig! I can remember ‘P.V.C.’ using our gear… Good job everybody didn’t tour with no instruments at all! You did a great job on our tours. Also me & Daz took over mixing for one band and people were complaining it got too loud! I’m still in a couple of bands, one with Nick…

Nigel Clark, ‘Force Fed’ drummer

additions wellcome!…