98-02-21 Divide & Conquer – Robotnicka – Mad Punk Disease

Posted: December 3, 2014 in VV 1998
Tags: , , , , ,

98-02-21 Devide & Conquer - Robotnicka - Mad Punk Disease

A gig that Michael Maes kindly arranged when I proposed him to organised this for ‘Divide & Conquer’ and ‘Robotnička’. I also booked them a gig at he Boma Squat in Gent the day before and the day after they played in Leuven (@ Clockwork)…

‘Divide & Conquer’ came from Greensboro, North-Carolina but they contacted me via Murray ‘Christmas’ Briggs (drummer of ‘Oi Polloi’) in Edinburgh… The latter played on their Amputate 7” an toured with them here. Orginal drummer ‘Stanimal’ (Stan ‘Dup’ Gibson) couldn’t make it over… The others were Brian ‘Tumor’ Tipa (guitar/vocals ; ex ‘Blownapart Bastards’, also in ‘Robotnicka’ & ‘Oi Polloi’) and Tony Wackett (bass). Percussionist Matt(hew) Miller a.k.a. ‘Matt Zohball’ (also guitarist of ‘Catharsis’) and bassist Nathan/Nate ‘Thor’ Tarr didn’t tour Europe with ‘D. & C.’. [Xavier ‘Robotnicka’: ‘D+C’ did tour Europe once before with a minimal US line-up – Brian on guitar, Matt on bass & Stan on drums.]. They played melodic and poppy HC/punkrock with political lyrics. Sanjam recs (Yann Dubois from Rennes) had released a 4-way split CD (with ‘Lee Majors’, ‘Eterna Inocencia’ & ‘Juggling Jugulars’ in 1997. Later they put out the Cop Corpse Bonfire and the The Need To Amputate 7”s on Brian Tipa’s Ginger Liberation recs (he ran this from Dijon in France and wrote me to help with distribute their 1st EP; Nate Tarr did the label in Greensboro). Maloka (also from Dijon) released the ‘Robotnicka’ / ‘Divide & Conquer’ split-LP in the noughties.

98-02-21 Brian Tipa (brief 97)

‘Robotnicka’ (who haven’t actually stopped to exist), from Dijon, describe themselves as an “electric / glam / jam band” (robotnicka.poivron.org). They’re are a “dancing” band of anarcho-geeks (2 from Dijon, 1 from Lyon in France and 1 North-Carolinian living elsewhere in Europe) “bent on having fun”. “Originally trapped in guitar-rock land, we robots are breaking out in search of synthesized thrash insanity. Love of revolutionary politics, hatred of the totally sick oppressive system and the international need to indulge in utter freakiness has forced us to tour all over and to rock out in a generally unconventional style.”. In the band on this 1st mini-tour were Brian Tipa (drums), ‘Gravier A’ Xavier (bass) and ‘Zeseal’ Cécile (bass/vocals). ‘Titi’ (= Thierry Rambaud, drums; also in ‘Alcatraz’) and Vincent Bertholet (guitar) joined later. Besides the aforemnetioned split-LP, they did a CD (Spectre En Vue…) after the turn of the century.

‘Mad Punk Disease’ (Groningen) started around the end of 1996 with Steve (drums/vocals), Richard (guitar; ex ‘Oerboere’ & ‘E.N.E.’) and Piet/Pierre Erickson (bass; ex ‘E.N.E.’, ‘Fleas and Lice’). Robbie Tempel (‘Fleace and Lice’) did the UK tour (including this date here) as extra vocalist in 1998 but got kicked out… Gam joined in 1999 as vocalist. They played noisy crust-punk and only appeared on the compilation They Won’t Take Us Alive (on the German label Harmony recs). Not sure if ‘Mad Punk Disease’ came back 98-06-05 with ‘Slum Gang’…

Claire A. (Xavier’s sister) helped with the artwork for the the ‘Robotnicka’ / ‘Divide & Conquer’ split-LP. She hung out in Gent at some timepoint and visited our @ infoshop (Tabula Rasa) at the 3 Charels Squat there. Can’t remember if she was here…


98-02-21 Divide & Conquer - Robotnicka

All this is a long time ago and I don’t remember a lot; just that the concert was with ‘Mad Punk Disease’. It was one of our first gigs. Funny that night was that Pierre of ‘M.P.D.’ had plenty of ‘herbs’ that he was trying to sell to some people to get some money for gasoline but he didn’t have a pick to play and I borrowed him one.

At the time of this concert, ‘Robotnicka’ was Cécile, Brian and myself, a trio with 2 bassists and drums. We toured the US with ‘D+C’ 1998 with the addition of Nicolu (guitare) and Béa (vocals). These quit after that tour and we took on guitarist/bassist Vincent (who plays in ‘Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp’ and other projects nowadays) and ended up as guitar-bass-drums. Later (2000-2001) ‘Titi’ joined to play drums and Brian took on playing keyboards… We never officially stopped but since we live in different places (Berlin – Lyon – Saint-Etienne – Bordeaux) and some of us have families, things haven’t gotten any easier we’re on a permanent stand-by until the situation is appropiate. It doesn’t matter, we see each other reguliarly and we’re good mates!

I’m not playing in a lot of bands at the moment. We did play with ‘Baygon Vert’ and also ‘Robotnicka’ at the festival for the relocation of Les Tanneries [Brob: autonomous centre and venue in Dijon]. And I also did 6 days of recording with Brian when he was in Lyon with mates of ‘Défaite’ and ‘Coche Bomba’. I continued doing some posters but not too many for concerts. Here’s some stuff that might be interesting: http://art.squat.net/bik3sab/

Xavier, Robotnicka

Here are some photos of gig. We were dressed as pizza-boys for some reason??? Plus one of me in the Vort’n Vis toilet. This was one of the first places I played when I was in ‘Oi Polloi’, aged 18. I remember being totally humbled by all the names on the war-memorial in Ypres. The red-haired bassplayer is Piet from ‘Fleas & Lice’. His other band were playing that night. Piet has been a friend of mine for a long time now. I remember he sold me a bag of weed that night but don’t tell the kids!

Murray Briggs, ‘Divide & Conquer’

98-02-21 Divide & Conquer98-02-21 Divide & Conquer guitar98-02-21 Divide & Conquer drums98-02-21 Divide & Conquer bass‘Divide & Conquer’

98-02-21 Robotnicka bass‘Robotnicka’

98-02-21 Pierre Erickson bass (-)‘Mad Punk Disease’

98-02-21 Murray BriggsMurray Briggs

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 98-02-21 - (book C) Divide & Conquer

VV 98-02-21 - (book C) Robotnicka

VV 98-02-21 - (book C) Mad Punk Disease

VV 98-02-21 - (book C) QQQSomeone wasn’t happy… ;-)

additions wellcome!…

  1. Kalle Stietzel says:

    Once I saw a band called ‘Divide & Conquer’ in Portland, Oregon (July 1998). I thought they were from Europe but I was wrong… Perhaps the same band. Can’t really remember their music though, but I know I took a few pics.

    • ‘D+C’, ‘Robotnicka’ and ‘The Curse’ played that show [in Portland]. ‘D+C’ had the “European” line-up even though Brian’s from North-Carolina. As far as I remember the show was a house-show on W Mississippi St, not too far from the Burnside skatepark.

  2. Because Nicolu & Béa stopped with the band after our US tour, we decided to keep a guitar and that’s why we changed instruments all the time… No-one was really a guitarist so that was a bit of a ‘hot patatoe’… Vincent toured us around in his van and started playing with us. He quit shortly after the split-LP and we returned to being a trio, but with bass, guitar and drums. From 2000/2001 until now ‘Robotnicka’ is Titi: drums, Cécile: vocals, Brian: keyboards, Xavier: bass (also on the CD Spectre En Vue). In the beginning we were all in Dijon but there were periods where people stayed in Lyon, Edinburgh, Greensboro, Torino, Berlin, Turku, Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux.

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