Archive for July, 2012

‘Ego’ ended up not doing this Euro tour, we actually weren’t on it; only did the 1991 Go! Euro tour. The band was myself on guitar, Charlie Adamec (bass) & Jim. [Brob: And a guy named Dave on drums.]

Mike ‘Bullshit’ Bromberg

The Vort’n Vis was my favourite European venue.

Joe Martin, ‘Hell No’ bassist

Actually remember that show very well. We were excited to play there.

John Woods, ‘Hell No’ singer

‘Hell No’ was a great hardcore/emo band from NY. After ‘Citizens Arrest’ quit, guitarist Janis Chakars and bassist Joseph ‘Joe’ (Brendan) Martin formed ‘Hell No’, together with Ted Leo (also ex-guitarist of C.A.’; but he wasn’t in the band when they came to Europe). Vocalist was John Woods and drummer Jim (James) Paradise (of ‘Go!’ – see 91-06-08). The other guitarist was Aaron Kaufman (also in Go!). Their self-titled 7” (recorded at Don Fury’s NYC studio) was out on my mate Freddy Alva’s label Wardance recs. The Skin Job LP was soon to follow…

‘Decline’ were back. Paul ‘Cyb’ Lewis (drums) and Julian (guitar & vocals) found themselves another bassplayer – Mark ‘Whitey’ Wightman (During their tour with Go! – see 91-06-08 – it was Graham.); who used to play drums for ‘Electro Hippies’… After that 1st tour (October 1991) they had recorded their 2nd 7” entitled Lost Again.

‘Ivich’, a bunch from the Paris suburbs, played self-willed emocore (some would say ‘screamo’) band. Their music was quite innovative and sometimes interspersed with nervous trumpet outbursts. They consisted of Eric Mirguet (vocals), Yves Maisonneuve (drums), Cédric (bass), Yann Maisonneuve (guitar; later in ‘Vanilla’ with his brother) & Thierry (trumpet). This was their 1st gig here; at which timepoint they had a demo out (called Sculpteur De Cris)… I corresponded with their singer, Eric, who was a very kind and intelligent chap.

‘Creepshow’, HC from Treviso, had a 7” out on Inauditi dischi (Parisian label that also released stuff by bands such as ‘Maze’, ‘Permanent Scar’, ‘By All Means’, etc.). They were announced in one of the newsletters at that time but not on the flyer… The singer confirmed me via via that they never played outside Italy.

This was probably ‘Selfish’s debut at the V.V., their first appearance of a whole row (see e.g. 93-10-31). Here Otto brought along ‘War System’, another one of his projects… It wasn’t always clear who was in which band.


‘War System’ on that tour was: myself on bass, Jaska on guitar and Vikke on drums & vocals. ‘Selfish’ here was: me drumming & vocals, Vikke playing guitar and Jaska on bass. Ha ha, what a circus….!

Otto Itkonen

This time on tour with ‘Hell No!’, a two month (about 50+ shows in 65 days) long gruelling episode of a tour where we all lost friends and made new friends, fell out, made up again. ‘Ego’ didn’t play on this tour. This show was one of the last one and probably one of the best of the tour, we’d had a couple of days off in Haarlem and came to the Vort’n Vis refreshed. ‘Hell No’ rocked it with ease and we really enjoyed it. Whitey crowd-surfed while playing bass. Out of all the places we played in Europe the Vort’n Vis had the best mixed crowd, a real nice bunch of people. It was a great venue to play.

Edward wanted me to play for ‘Nations on Fire’ in 92/93 after we came back from the ‘Hell No!’ tour as their drummer had a bad accident. I couldn’t do it but Jamie from ‘Jailcell Recipes’ did it. The last band I was in were a death-metal band called ‘Godbotherer’ but I am looking at drumming for a more old-school HC band.

Paul ‘Cyb’ Lewis, ‘Decline’ drummer

I think Mathias and I travelled to Ieper two or three times together but he also was there once or twice on his own. I don’t remember ‘Hell No’ but ‘Selfish’ were lots of fun..

Carsten Pötter, visitor from Frankfurt

I had met Bruno when he was driving along with ‘Nations On Fire’, at the gig in AJZ Homburg [Saarland, Germany] (an incredible gig at an incredible place: ‘N.O.F.’ with ‘Sleepy Lagoon’, ‘Articles Of Faith’ and ‘Born Against’). He’d given me his address (because I wanted to order records or something) and it was written on one of the program-flyers of the Vort’n Vis. That way I realized there was a great venue/centre in Ieper, asked Bruno about it and he more or less invited me to come over. Because I had liberal parents, I made plans to come to Belgium during my summer-break. I don’t know whether it was a coincidence or not but my father and my younger brother went on some cyclo-tourist tour through Flanders at that time, which gave me the chance to meet my parents and my younger brother after my visit to the V.V., and drive back with my mother. So I took of with the train by myself: from Hassel/Rohrbach (Saar) via Trier, Luxembourg, Brussels to Gent. Bruno said he wouldn’t be able to pick me up but a good friend of his – Brob – would pick me up in Gent. So we met… Carsten and Mathias were crashing at Brob’s place and we actually visited the big street-festival [Brob: the Gentsche Feeste], briefly met Bruno and I think the next day we went to Ieper. The gig was on my 15th birthday.

You can imagine what a feeling of empowerment, enlightenment that gave me; fun, getting to know things about a world that was there for me… I had managed (we always had a Belgian trains-schedule book – no internet then) to make it to a place that was 2 countries away. I saw Bruno again, who I had briefly talked to at that HC gig near my home, and met Brob and a lot of others. The feeling of community was very strong. I was impressed by the Flemish scene – although from Brob’s perspective it was in a phase of decline, wasn’t it?). Brob’s involvement definitely made an impression on me, because the interconnection of the HC-scene with the world of political literature and a vast amount of fanzines. I got enriched a lot by Brob and his political perspective on things, the stuff he was reading and distributing. I had gotten a deeply ingrained political consciousness by my parents (especially by my mother) and the ‘scene’ put that in a bigger perspective. Brob was somebody who reconnected much of that, partly because he didn’t limit himself to one of the sub-scenes in a strict sense and had a political view on the things happening. Although a bit older, his perspective was integrating, not discouraging.

I came back to the V.V. twice that summer, I was completely set alight by the straight edge scene… [more elsewhere]

Jörg Jacoby, visitor from Saarbrücken

Here’s a bunch of photos by Karl Penando (merci beaucoup!):

‘Hell No’ (L=>R): Aaron, John, Jim, Joe, Janis (2nd pic: a very young Jörg J. far R)

‘Decline’ (L=>R): Julian, Paul & Whitey (1st pic: Hans Verbeke & Jörg J. in the middle; 2nd pic: a Edward ‘N.O.F.’ jumping & with the backpack: Ludovic H.?)

‘Ivich’ (L=>R): Yann, Yves, Eric, Cédric

‘Selfish’ (L=>R): Vikke, Otto, Jaska


Joost Dierick informed me that he had noted ‘Human Alert’ also played that day. I’ve no recollections of that and there’s no trace to be found of it either. They were definitely not announced and Roel, their singer, informs me he can’t remember either. Here’s the story…


We played in Fance and Spain with ‘Hell No’. I came to Belgium, Germany and Poland with them. I used to organise concerts in Haarlem and foreign bands regularly stayed over during their tours. If they were fun enough, I happened to travel with them for some days. This was also the case with ‘Go!’ & ‘Decline’.

Rob Mandemaker, ‘Human Alert’s bassplayer

Roel & Willem weren’t there. The boys of ‘Hell No’ sang Anarchy & Justice [song from ‘H.A.’s 1st 7” with the same title]. I have photos of that; they’re also in the booklet of ‘Human Alert’s CD Sex & Drugs & Anarchy. We played over ‘Hell No’s equipment. They were a band that was far ahead of their time!

Sven Korvemaker, ‘Human Alert’s guitarist

‘Human Alert’ later played at The Massacre Fest no.1 [2002-06-29, with ‘Funeral Dress’, ‘Urban Blight’, ‘Dirty Scums’, ‘The Accused’, etc.] in the ‘new’ Vort’n Vis. I believe we didn’t play in Belgium during the 90s. [Brob: The older band of Sven & Roel, ‘Courage’, played in Dendermonde and Mol in 1990.] A lot of our history is described in my Rock’n’Roel book.

Roel Smit, ‘Human Alert’s singer (also cartoonist and illustrator)

‘Human Alert’ was a “anarcho-punk” band from Haarlem/ Amsterdam; sometimes serious, often humorous. In 1991 they did a 7″ called Anarchy And Justice with the following line-up: Roel Smit (vocals), Willem Geerts (vocals & trombone), Sven Korvemaker (guitar; also ‘N.R.A.’), Rob Mandemaker (bass) and Thomas (drums). A lot more followed…



excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

visitors Jörg Jacoby (from Saarbrücken), Carsten Pötter & Mathias Hartmann (both from the Frankfurt area)

A flirting Kris?…

additions wellcome!…

More on this concert: 94-08-06 One By One – [Sedition] – Juggling Jugulars – Doom – Fauna – Hiatus – [Extinction Of Mankind]

Here’s some pics of ‘Hiatus’ & ‘Unhinged’ who played unannounced; kindly donated by Willy ‘Hiatus’:

‘Unhinged’: Alain (guitar) & Willy (bass)

‘Hiatus’: Willy (vocals), Ben (drums), Azill (guitar), Fred? (bass)

92-03-08 Born Against – One By One – Nations On Fire – Pertotal

92-03-08 Born Against - 1x1 - NOF (VV)

The ‘N.O.F.’ lp got out with some delay (due to the accident Jaak had) in March 1992. There wasn’t a real ‘presentation’ as was intended at first (91-09-01). We went on a 10 day tour with ‘Born Against’. Ute [X-Mist] was driving and our leader Bruno VDV was the aid.

Jeroen Lauwers; ‘N.O.F.’ bassplayer

‘Born Against’ – on their ‘92 Euro tour – were vocalist Sam McPheeters (Dear Jesus zine, Vermiform recs, etc.), guitarist Adam Nathanson (zinester & ex ‘Life’s Blood’), bassist Bret Blue (nót Javier) and drummer Jo(h)n Hiltz. After the Euro tour Tonie Joy (ex ‘Moss Icon’) and Brooks Headly (‘Universal Order of Armageddon’) joined on bass and drums, respectively; the band moved from New York to Richmond. They broke up in the summer of 1993. I’d started a correspondence with Sam when I discovered and distributed his zine (Dear Jesus; and later records from his label Vermiform). I admire(d) his intelligent, provocative, thought-provoking, articulate, eloquent writing… Adam I’d gotten to know when Freddy Alva (I think) sent me a tape with music of Adam’s band ‘Life’s Blood’. It was real nice to be able to talk with them in person for a while. And they even came back a few weeks later (92-04-18)…

‘One By One’ members Sned, Micky; Alec had been here before (91-08-18). Karin joined the band in early 1992 but it wasn’t her first visit at the Vort’n Vis (in- or outside a band) ‘cause she’d visited (here e.g.: 90-08-25) already when she was still living in Brugge…

In 1993 ‘N.O.F.’ toured with Jamie Owen (from the UK band ‘Jailcell Recipes’) on drums but here Jaak was still in the band; David doing the vocals, Jeroen on bass and Ward playing guitar.


‘Born Against’ photos kindly donated by Jeroen L. (taken by Roger ‘F.T.F.’)

I have been the driver for ‘Nations On Fire’ on the tour with ‘Born Against’. I still have some memory of that: the somehow bizarre and uncomfortable feeling staying at the house of Edward’s parents: Getting excellent food in a sort of conservative and authoritarian family-atmosphere…

Tina? [see excerpts] We used to be friends with a girl named Tina from Tübingen [Brob: I think she was booking shows at Epplehaus there…]. She got into booking tours and driving bands when ‘Toxic Reasons’ got stranded for a few days on their first European tour and needed some help. Armin met them in Freiburg and told them to contact her, and then they stayed for a few days off on the tour at the squat where she was living. That’s when Tina and her friend got into this band-touring thing; I guess…?

Peter [Carstens, from Flensburg] was the driver of ‘Born Against’ and many other bands [tours organised by Steffen Rose – Navigator productions] during those days, since he owned a huge van. Nowadays he’s the drummer for the massively popular and mainstream-accepted punk-band ‘Turbostaat’.

Ute, X-Mist recs

I thought Tina was Adam’s girlfriend. I remember that ‘Born Against’ took of with a male driver that got replaced halfway by 1 or 2 female ‘roadies’…

I didn’t really like this show as it was too crowded and, as Sling states [below], the atmosphere was a little tense but from both sides. The Liège and Brugge ‘crust’ crew was as negative about the (socalled) SxE crew as they were about them, negative vibes came from both, a bunch of posers on both sides of the fence. I don’t remember ‘One By One’ playing as we came in late from a long drive from Bremen the day before. I liked this band, Sned was always a nice person and I get on well with Karin who I started talking to by accident when she was studying in Kortrijk shortly before.

Still the best ‘N.O.F.’ line-up in retrospect but already with crackles in the foundation. Ed and me couldn’t decide about doing the band fulltime or taking a job; Jaak was too busy doing his health-food store to be 100% in the band and David always gave this feeling of ‘N.O.F.’ being his second choice band to ‘Scraps’. It also didn’t help him moving to Germany shortly after and rarely coming over to rehearse or work on new stuff. When Burn Again came out a year later, with a long tour ahead the atmosphere really wasn’t that good.

Jeroen Lauwers; ‘N.O.F.’ bassplayer

92-03 NOF ready to leave for tour with Born Against‘N.O.F.’ ready to leave on tour (1993!). L=>R: Edward V. a.k.a. ‘Judge No One’, stand-in drummer Jamie, roadie Whitey, Goofy’s mom, David D., Jeroen ‘Goofy’ Lauwers. (pic by driver Willy)

I never visited the Vort’n Vis. I had already left ‘Born Against’ by that time so it was Bret Blue who was the bassist after me.

Javier Villegas, ex ‘Born Against’ bassist

I had returned from New-Zealand the day before, arrived in London and ‘One By One’ picked me up from a junction on the motorway and drove me to Ieper! Sling played drums, at least for some of the set…

Sned, ‘One By One’ drummer

This gig resulted in my exit from the HC scene. I recall pushing over the drum-kit because so many straight-edge kids were very negative about the non-sXe. bands… Bunch of posers… [Brob: according to Leffe, this happened during ‘Pertotal’s set, who played here aswell… – see comment.]


This gig with ‘Born Against’ was part of a mini-tour of Belgium to celebrate Sned’s return from New-Zealand: we picked him up somewhere in London and then drove down to Dover… We had to wait a couple of hours for the ferry in the cold rain on the sea-front for our early crossing. Can’t remember the exact course of events but Karin and I stopped at her parents in Oostkamp and Alec stopped with Spatje at his mums… Not sure where Sned went. We had a couple of practices in the back-room of the Tivoli [pub in Brugge] where ‘P.J.D.’ & ‘Chronic Disease’ rehearsed. Sned hadn’t drummed for over 6 months and I think Sling offered to help lighten the load by helping out. It soon became clear that he knew the songs better than we did!!! We played definitely played 2 gigs with Sling and Sned drumming parts of the set each… As well as the Vort’n Vis there was another at La Zone… [7 mar ’92 (‘La Zone’): One By One (UK), Private Jesus Detector (Bel), Pertotal (Bel)] Karin and I also think there might have been a 3rd gig at the Democrazy in Gent with ‘Nation of Ulysses’… [Jeroen L.: ‘Nation Of Ulysses’ played the same day at Democrazy.] Karin is pretty certain that she wasn’t in the band at the time but she had certainly joined by the time we played with ‘Rorschach’ at the 1 in 12 in June 1992…

Micky McGuinness, ‘One By One’ guitarist

The Vort’n Vis was the perfect size to pack in a show; the walls and windows were sweating with condensation. The vibe was definitely good and D.I.Y. The moisture resulted in some electrical problems with the guitar-amp. I was excited to play with ‘One by One’ because they had a former member of ‘Ripcord’ or ‘Heresy’ (?). [Generic] ‘Nations on Fire’ made us feel right at home since it was their home-turf and we were doing the tour with them. Edward created these funny ‘Born Against’/’Nations on Fire’ all-access passes that said “sponsored by Stussy and Budweiser”. Bruno put us up in his little place in the beautiful city of Liège. [Bruno had a room in Gent at that time I think; definitely not Liège.] He had a pet mouse that he allowed to run free around the apartment, and it kept waking us up.

The crowd was full of U.S. straight-edge fashion. It made me wonder that day, and throughout the whole European tour, “Doesn’t anybody remember ‘B.G.K.’, ‘N.V. Le Anderen’, ‘Lärm’, ‘Pandemonium’, ‘Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers’, ‘Porno Patrol’, ‘Upright Citizens’, ‘Raw Power’, ‘Wretched’, ‘Scraps’, ‘Negazione’, etc., etc.?”.

Adam Nathanson; ‘Born Against’ guitarist

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

Vort’n Vis genesis

Posted: July 5, 2012 in History
Tags: , ,

Sure I can tell something of the starting-days of the Vort’n Vis, I’m one of the co-founders. I originated from a combination of a few things:

* ‘Just Something’, my puberty punk-band of that time: with Patrick Cherchy (bass & vocals), Patrick Calliauw (guitar), myself (guitar & vocals) and my brother David (drums),

* Jan Claus who was playing (with Patrick Calliauw) in the ‘Modern Underdogs’,

* and a few characters in the margin (sort of fans), can ’t name them all…

We were all regulars at the café [pub] San-Marco, the youth-centre (JOC) and café Den Bolhoed; the local alternative places of the Ieper centre during those days (ca. 1985)… We were looking for a new rehearsal-room, the former one (which I had managed to get by flirting with the daughter of the baron of Ieper) was converted into a war-museum (which it still is)… Through my dad, Jan Claus got in contact with the brewer who owned the café The Biker. That was closed and after negotiations with the OCMW [social welfare centre] and such, we were allowed to rent the place; the upstairs floor was still inhabited by some poor guy… Pretty soon it became clear that our new “rehearsal-space” was gonna become a café and a party-place.

In the beginning we stuck together and organised in a rather free and anarchic way, which was great but had its consequences (cash-register being robbed, drug-(ab)use, violence, etc.) and after a while (which was to be expected) the pushing and shoving for power started, the biggest mouth often got his way. I never really got to have my say on a management-level but I totally chose for anarchy and the cooperation. Jan Claus wasn’t gonna let himself be pushed of the throne even though people often tried…

Nowadays rehearsals are not even allowed at the Vort’n Vis…oh irony of fate…because of the noise and such… And the local bands don’t even get a place on the hardcore festival…

I completely respect those with an other opinion but on that level the V.V. is as conformist as the local supermarket… Coca-cola sells better than a cheaper brand cola, end of story…

Oh well, no nagging…the V.V. is still there and we (punks, skins, hard-rockers, etc.) have proven that it is possible to get along and corporate on a fairly anarchic basis. On a musical level a lot of things passed by and happened, changed,… When I oversee things quickly, besides a fair number of dramas (suicide, overdose, murder, theft, rape, addiction, assault and battery, illness,…), a lot of ve-e-e-e-ery nice things have happened (marriage, birth, career in rock-business, nice parties,…) and a ‘scene’ evolved (with a positive impact and a ‘no nonsense just be good’ attitude…) around the V.V.

So the original intention of the de Vort’n Vis grew, in the courtyard of my parents’ house, discussing about a new rehearsal-shack (I hardly believed in it myself) but went wrong already after about 2 months. The real cooperation (aiming for rehearsal-spaces, a music-studio) principally failed. But what resulted from it was indeed the voice of the youth, and that was from the beginning the main reason for its genesis, the incentive and the cause of our existence…

That is how it was for me as a co-founder. As fellow party-goer and musician I have other experiences, feelings. In the end (and since the beginning), the Vort’n Vis is a great café…

Joeri Stubbe; musician/artist

Jan Claus