Archive for September, 2012

89-09-16 Belgian Asociality - Dirty Scums - Chronic Disease

This fest was an alternative to the Leet festival organised by the city-council of Ieper and would later be organised yearly and named the Vort’n Vis Leed festival.

As can be read in the gig-review that appeared in the 1st issue of Pyrobolum zine (written by Dieter / Klaas / Bruno), ‘Scraps’ cancelled…

‘Chronic Disease’ were up and coming; Smurfpunx had offered them a chance to play already; first in Netwerk (Aalst) with ‘R.K.L’ but they’d had to cancel that; then (which they did play) in Eeklo with ‘Rose Rose’ (88-11-11). This one here was the 1st of a whole series of gigs at the V.V.

Same for ‘Belgian Asociality’ (88-06-25). At that time the band consisted of Mark Vosté (vocals), Patrick ‘Vlie’ Van Looy (guitar), Tom Lumbeeck (bass) & Chris Raffo (drums).

‘Brainless’ were, if I remember correctly, from Vlissingen, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (the Netherlands)…

‘Silly Old Fart’ were a local, rather noisy combo of people hanging ‘round the Vort’n Vis…

‘Dirty Scums’ – from my hometown – don’t need an introduction, I guess… These dinosaurs of punk had been going for some years already and who would’ve thought they would still exist today. At that time Bart ‘Pik’ D’Ooghe (guitar & vocals) and Jan ‘Zjantie’ Den Baes (drums) still had the original bassist Chris ‘Jenz’ Lannoo with them.

Brob

Yep, ‘Silly Old Fart’ (David & Fabrice, along with Vinnie & Davy Letiere both on vocals – the latter now runs a pub for English tourists (‘The Old Bill’), opposite to the Vort’n Vis!) also played this gig…

Tim ‘Nutje’ Denutte; ‘Neuthrone’ bassist

Before ‘Sloth’, I played bass in a band with David Stubbe (on guitar): ‘Silly Old Fart’. The singer was Vinnie (Vincent something), the drummer Jan Moerman. My nickname at that time ‘Basswhan’…

Fabrice Baclet, ‘Silly Old Fart’ bass-man

I was 14 when I first asked Vinny, Fabrice and Jan (Moerman) to start a hardcore-band. We were full of absurdist teenage humour and a lust for noisy and fast music. Jan was the oldest, into speed- and thrash-metal for a while already, trying to master those double bass-drum techniques and that new thing called ‘blast-beat’. Vinnie (the singer) liked hair-gel, ‘Front 242’ and ‘Big Black’. Fabrice was an excellent guitarist but became the bass-player, infusing our ‘sound’ with some ‘Birthday Party’ / ‘Rita Mitsuko’ open-mindedness. I was the ‘E.N.T.’ / ‘Doom’ / ‘Napalm Death’ -freak on guitar, things couln’t get fast and noisy enough for me. I had no distortion but a wahwah pedal that, once pressed down to the end, made the tiny amp that I borrowed from Peter sound like a mix between a hairdryer and a stopping train. Kicks guaranteed. The band-name came from Jan who explicitly wanted us to be a ‘spun-core’ band, nothing to do with spunk but rather a contraction of ‘speed’ and ‘fun’. Mind you: there was no sign of the drug speed in our lives back then. Hell, we hardly even had a beer or two. Oh yes: Fabrice had an older brother who smoked joints but that was another level of existence to me. We practiced in an abandoned church in Zillebeke every sunday, hitch-hiking there with amps, guitars and everything every week. Much against all logic we played live quite a lot, together with bands like ‘Dreft’ (a very grinding 5-piece back then) and ‘C.O.D.A.’ (“the band with no guitar”, who wrote timeless classics like ‘Popeye Was a Nazi, He Ate Too Much Spinazi’) and ‘Belgian Asociality’ (Hilarious: the gig at de Kreun [venue in Bissegem, near Kortrijk], when Fabrice forgot his bass at the church and Jan decided he had to get to Kortrijk before the gig to buy a new cymbal and stand, which didn’t fit on the stage in the end.).

One of the more memorable moments was the gig at the very first V.V.-fest (September 16th, 1989) with ‘Brainless’, ‘Dirty Scums’ and ‘Chronic Disease’, where we kept playing even when the cops shut down the P.A.-system. We addressed the audience to choose between pizza or Barabas (“Choose Barabas!”, we were young indeed.) or to convince them that their tinnitus was in fact a U.F.O. landing.

We disbanded after about 2-3 years due to growing discrepancies and different opinions. I discovered the ‘Swans’, ‘Gore’, ‘Foetus’, ‘Einsturzende Neubauten’ and wanted to experiment more. Jan wanted us to become a full-on metal-band, Fabrice got really very sick of the hardcore/noise tag and felt trapped in the ‘scene’, and Vinnie completely disappeared into ‘Cat Rapes Dog’ and ‘Borghesia’-styled industrial EBM [electro body music]. Right now I can’t even remember when or where I saw Vinnie or Jan for the last time. Fabrice showed up at the Rode Lijvekens squat [in Gent] where I was living 10 years ago, to drink some beers, and disappeared again. I doubt those days were really as great as I remember them to be but who cares.

David ‘Farty’ Stubbe

I recall a letter David wrote me…also that ‘Belgian Asociality’ asked for quite some money which resulted in the other bands getting rather disadvantaged. I think that I also had lost my voice the night after our gig. It was out in the an open-air, in the yard next to the pub. David’s band (‘Silly Old Fart’) also played.

Leffe, singer of ‘Chronic Disease’

It’s a long time ago but I can remember shreds of it… I know things were rather wild with lots of pogoing and stage-diving. A full house too. Can’t recall exactly who, but I think it was ‘Pik’ of the ‘Dirty Scums’ that took a good run-up during our performance to dive from the stage into the crowd podium and got stuck to a mike with his ear, an ear-ring was torn out and everything got covered in blood.. Another enthusiastic stage-diver that night was Herr Seele [famous Belgian cartoonist], who went into the crowd full length… I’m afraid (due to the excess of alcoholic beverages and such) that this is all my memory can come up with, but I’m glad it’s at least something.

Mark Vosté, ‘Belgian Asociality’ vocalist

Belgian Asociality promo‘Belgian Asociality’

I seem to have very little recollections on this… On our ‘blog’ on 1989 it says that it was one of our less brilliant gigs: “We played with ‘Belgian Asociality’ again, and also with ‘Chronic Disease’ and some other bands. It was an open-air gig next to the pub the Vort’n Vis in Ieper. Our gig was rather mediocre. There was a substantial amount of people but after the concerts a bunch of cops came to throw us out without a single reason. Cozy.”. (http://www.thedirtyscums.com/Biography/AllBiographies/Biography1990-1.htm) I never wore an ear-ring (always thought I was handsome enough the way I was ) but that could’ve been Jenz.

‘Pik’, guitar & vocals for ‘Dirty Scums’

additions wellcome!…

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90-03-17 Aphrodite's Lawyer

As you can read in the concert-review Bruno wrote in his zine Pyrobolum this was a bit of a disaster-gig… Let’s classify this as a youthly endeavour of which was to be learnt for the future of the Vort’n Vis… We would never have dreamt to have bouncers at the Vort’n Vis but I guess that was imposed by the owners of this (rather mainstream) venue in Bruno’s hometown…

‘Zero Positives’ couldn’t play because of a drummer-issue. The car of ‘Cry Of Terror’ (they did a memorable show for Smurfpunx 88-01-30) broke down and ‘Scoundrels’ (also played for Smurfpunx a couple of times: 87-12-12 & 88-04-02) didn’t show up…

A replacement was found in the band ‘C.O.D.A.’ (not the faintest idea anymore who they were).

I recall ‘Aphrodite’s Lawyer’ very well. This band from Alphen aan de Rijn (near Rotterdam) played complex, technical, inventive, arty stuff. I used to correspond with Daan, a nice and clever lad, and still have their demo… Daan/Daniel ‘Beef’ van der Velden did vocals & played guitar, Jeff was the drummer and Jao ‘Dealer’ Van de Langemaat plucked the bass.

Aphrodite's Lawyerpic from the booklet of the Als Je Haar Maar Goed Zat compilation (’92)

‘Rothead’ were Bruno Vandevyvere (vocals), Klaas Hardeman (bass), David Stubbe (drums) and Peter Vanthuyne (guitar). These guys were all in one way or another involved with the Vort’n Vis (early days). They only did 2 gigs though… They were heavily influenced by ‘Ripcord’. Read more on this in Klaas’ piece Bird Of Passage

Brob

Ah yes, I remember this. The venue, the people, … Our demo brought us to Brob and Bruno. It was a wonderful time, a lot evolved around camarderie and a strong underground network. There was a downside but that’s part of the deal…  The bands that did actually show up, did a great job. I remember Bruno doing the best he could to make this thing work out. He had a tough job there. I had a great day, played a good show and loved the town also!

Jeff , ‘Aphrodite’s Lawyer’s drummer

 

(Pyrobolum #3)

additions wellcome!…

Bird of Passage

Posted: September 15, 2012 in History
Tags: , , ,

There I stood on the left hand side of the stage, as a member of a Hardcore band named ‘Rothead’, for what was to be our first gig. I held a bass-guitar that wasn’t mine (hell, even the plectrum wasn’t mine), and I was flanked to the right by David on drums, Peter on guitar and my friend Bruno, himself caught up in a life and death struggle with the microphone. I had never played a bass-guitar prior to ‘Rothead’ (or any other musical instrument) but a few ramshackle rehearsals in the dingy room at the back of the Vort’n Vis were supposed to have prepared us for our debut. To make matters worse, a few girls from the girls’ high-school neighboring Bruno’s and mine sauntered in, only to make the DIY (do-it-yourself) principle well up under my armpits, in beads of sweat soiling my carefully chosen ‘Spermbirds’ T-shirt. And boy was I happy to get off stage once we had played through our oeuvre consisting of maybe three, four or five songs, some of which I think we played twice – playing (in my case) meant the execution of a series of finger-movements I had learned by heart, three times here, four times there, three times here again.

I believe (it’s been a while, hasn’t it?) Bruno and I were friends before he eventually became the catalyst for my conversion into a member of Ieper’s Hardcore scene, and so it seems only fitting that long after Hardcore has disappeared from my life, I’m friends with Bruno still. We shared the same high-school, a passion for soccer and a taste for Poperinge’s nightlife (Poperinge being a small city a stone’s throw away from Ieper and its legendary Hardcore venue, the Vort’n Vis, whose inception we were both involved in).

You were either ‘in’ or ‘out’ and although I was certainly ‘in’ for a while, in hindsight my brush with Hardcore was both short-lived and limited. It all happened in ‘89 and ‘90, while being in 5th and 6th grade, but petered out quickly from ‘91 onward, when I had become a chemistry-student at Ghent’s University. I never owned the obligate (and preferably obscure) Japanese or Finnish Hardcore EPs, I never wore the crust uniform but if my recollection is correct, I played two gigs with ‘Rothead’ (in total) and acted as the organizer for three multi-band concerts (to be precise) – all this in addition of course to countless visits to Hardcore gigs. In my memory most of these were held in winter (rime covering the naked fields of the Westhoek); there was always the issue of how to get somewhere and to make sure not to have to hitchhike back at 4 a.m. in the dark cold night, but excitement was a guarantee, as was the meeting up with friends who could be counted on to be there, the sudden and repeated crystallization of a scene from individual lives. I remember ‘The Ex’ in Diksmuide, ‘Gorilla Biscuits’ in Kortrijk, ‘Bad Religion’ in Amsterdam, but above all the gigs at home-base the Vort’n Vis, with local bands, the great ‘Chronic Disease’ from Brugge or ‘Scraps’ from Lille, just across the French-Belgian border.

Perhaps I need to tease apart my dalliance with Hardcore from my involvement with the Vort’n Vis, because even though the two are one and the same thing for most people, for me they were not. Hardcore clearly was music but also an ideology, and I never understood the strange tension that existed perennially between these two poles. Guys just in it for the music (rabid record-collectors) were bad because they were too far on the music side. But Straight Edge was bad too because they were too far on the ideology side; and so on – ad infinitum. In contrast, the Vort’n Vis (and its inception) was a refreshing experience, as what the venture lacked in ideology, it made up for in fun, the fun to open and run a wrong café in a right place, or a right café in a wrong place. I must make a special reference here to the good soul Johan D., who borrowed (he wasn’t the only one) his vinyl records to the Vort’n Vis, where they suffered from unspeakable abuse in the grit of long smoky nights. His records constituted a colorful mix (and allowed me to see for the first time the cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland) so that music-wise too, the Vort’n Vis was a little more airy than the Hardcore scene. I’m not even talking about the variety of people potentially walking through the Vort’n Vis’s door on a Saturday night. Motor Club ‘MC The Kings’ comes to mind (a motley heavy-metal crew on mopeds), hence also why it was wise to run the café with two, which is what I did for quite a while, every other Friday, together with the aforementioned Peter.

Circling back to the ideology part of Hardcore once more: one component of the Hardcore ideology that always puzzled me was the idea that multinationals were bad by definition, simply because of them being multi-national. One example of a target having to endure this type of over-simplified hostility was Coca-Cola, a peddler of sugared drinks. (Although I’m sure there’s someone out there who could easily whip up a list of all Coca-Cola’s heinous crimes.) [Brob: People could try and track down the booklet ‘Dirty Fingers in Dirty Pies’, which was distributed in the punk-scene in that era, to get an idea…] It’s important to be mindful here that we were still prior the widespread usage of e-mail, internet and cell-phones (let alone social media) back then. If anything, the tendency in all areas of life has been toward more globalization since. I had the good fortune of having worked for two multinationals in the meantime – good fortune because as an individual I was in both cases treated very well. When I left the last multinational I worked for (to become a stay-at-home dad), they were in the process of settling a healthcare fraud case for 3 billion dollar (after having plead guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges), while at the same time achieving significant milestones toward the free distribution of a malaria-vaccine in Africa. If multinationals are to be bad, it can only be because the people in them are bad and I’m not willing to go that far. There were assholes in Hardcore too.

A component of the Hardcore ideology that did pass the test of time is vegetarianism/veganism, the societal importance of which has only grown in the past decades, among other because of global warming (another novelty!) and ecological pressures.

However, what stands out the most in hindsight (we’re 20 years later now) are the great people I met during those few years (and not ideologies): Bruno, Peter, Johan D. (all three mentioned earlier), Brob (whose lanky silhouette adorned the back wall of many a concert-hall) [Brob: I think Klaas refers to the distro-stalls I used to put up…] and of course Jan C. as well, who not so long ago graciously (in name of the Vort’n Vis) repaid me the 600 euro that another Vort’n Vis co-worker (an ass named Titus who went on to buy a moped with the money) had stolen from the cash-register during one of the gigs I had organized. As I was a teenager spending my last years in recomposed (decomposed) family-units, they provided me with a home away from home, or a home away from many homes, before I finally left for university and learned to build a home within myself (however corny that sounds). I was a bird of passage and the Vort’n Vis / Hardcore scene was my temporary resting-place. (And a place of great times.)

Klaas Hardeman (Mountaintop.be); Ghent, Belgium, Sep. 14, 2012