Archive for March, 2015

94-03-19 Brawl - Fleas & Lice - Virtual Reality

‘Virtual Reality’ (Bradford) was a project/band that played ‘Black Sabbath’ influenced stuff (varying from groovy beats and heavy riffs to techno-based tracks) featuring Brian Talbot (guitarist of ‘Doom’; here on bass). He’d teamed up with Steve Butler (guitar) and Darron ‘Bill’ Ward (vocals), both of ‘The Next World’ (see 90-05-01). At this time they still used a drum-machine. They did a split-7” with ‘Neuthrone’ on Genet recs in 1994 and released their LP Dreamstate (Genet recs & Flat Earth recs) in 1995. During this tour here, they also did a show in Brugge where ‘Health Hazard’ played aswell (94-03-26) so I guess they were touring at the same time… Bruno (Genet) invited them over a couple of times more (94-05-08 & 96-04-27).

94-03-19 Virtual Reality (by Wim DL)‘Virtual Reality’; photo by Wim De Leersnijder

The Bradfordian invasion was complete with ‘Health Hazard’ (uncle Sned & Alec’s band between ‘One By One’ and ‘Suffer’) on the bill. They had been here already the summer before (93-09-18) and even earlier on this tour 94-03-05. They also did a gig here when Mandy had quit already 95-02-11. Their set in Toulouse (94-02-22) was recorded and Fred Jourdan (‘Ultimate Disorder’) put it out on a split-tape (with ‘Hiatus’). After this tour they recorded (with Bri ‘Doom’ Talbot behind the desk) for their 10” (released on Alec & Sned’s Flat Earth recs). For those who don’t know (?) or can’t remember: “abrasive, thrashing, overpowering blasts of hardcore fury with caustic female vocals”…

‘Brawl’ (another Genet band: they did their LP entitled Gulag on Bruno’s label – it was recorded July ‘94), had also been here before (93-09-04) and would come back (95-09-08). They toured with ‘Fleas & Lice. They were from Ireland and played straightforward HC/punk with some slower parts; some people said they have ‘Fugazi’ influences but I don’t hear that…

‘Fleas & Lice’ also didn’t need an introduction anymore (after 93-02-06). On the photo of this night we see vocalist Robbie Tempel, Joshua Lagerwerf (bass) & Esther (vocals). The others were Piet/Pierre Erickson (guitar) and Maynard Schut (drums). A few weeks after this, they recorded (in Dublin) for the split-LP with ‘Bleeding Rectum’ (another band with ‘Brawl’s drummer ‘Crispo’). The band would come back once more: 95-07-09.

94-03-19 Fleas & Lice (by Wim DL)‘Fleas & Lice’; photo by Wim De Leersnijder

‘Fleas & Lice’ (from Ludovic Hache’s fanzine Ras L’Bol #6)

Probably the band that holds the record of number of shows at the Vort’n Vis (being locals and having ‘signed’ to Genet recs): Steve Wackenier (guitar & vocals), David Stubbe (drums) & Tim ‘Nutje’ Denutte (bass). (Jan Lacante, an old budy of the band, just sang on recordings done in 1994 who were released in 2004). ‘Neuthrone’ had a split-7” with ‘Virtual Reality’ out. Their track Silverline (recorded Augustus 1993) should’ve been on another 7” already but something went wrong, so it was used for this split.

‘Portobello Bones’ were a “noise rock” combo from Tours/Orléans (France) with Lionel Fahy (guitar/vocals; Forked Tongues zine), Franck Leprêtre (drums) & Jeremy Johnson (bass/vocals). Or was Fabrice Metais still playing bass? At that time they had a 7” (Negative) under their belt, and a self-titled album. Not sure if they actually played (but they were announced in the newsletter)… Lionel says they didn’t but he did write me in ’94 thanking for the hospitality (see below)…


The picture shows ‘V.R.’ before we got a real drummer. L => R: Steve, Darron & me. Duncan (an old punk band from Hebden Bridge; he used drum in ‘Crash’, they did a split EP with ‘Crux’) joined on drums later.

Brian Talbot, ‘Virtual Reality’s bassist

‘Neuthrone’ indeed did a split-7” with ‘Virtual Reality’ and we toured with them (also with ‘Health Hazard’) in April 1994: Belgium, The Netherlands & Germany.

Steve Wackenier

Our track on the split with ‘Virtual Reality’ was from the same recording-session as the second single – relased right before or after the tour with ‘V.R.’ & ‘Health Hazard’. The title was “Silver Linings” [Silverline] but I hadn’t gotten that… Jan Lacante sang for ‘Neuthrone’ for about a year (e.g. on the Tilleherte demo).

David Stubbe

We all have great memories of Belgium becasue over there people know how to be hospitable. We’re definitely not anarcho-punks nor do we play pure, politically engaged hardcore but we all know which side we’re on…

Lionel Fahy, ‘Portobello Bones’ guitarist; personal communication ’94

About sleeping-places… Last time we played there, people were coming in and woke us up all night. Early in the morning someone was also playing drums. So we didn’t get much sleep. But the breakfast was excellent…

Piet, ‘Fleas & Lice’ guitarist

94 Brawl - Fleas & Lice tour

Six months after our first appearance, it was back to the V.V. on tour again with ‘Brawl’. Their bassplayer was still not touring with them so I got the call again to fill in. On this tour we were out every gig with ‘Fleas & Lice’ from Groningen – we are life-long friends at this stage, and they are one of the main instigators of the annual GGI festival which is organised every year rotating between the punks and bands of Groningen, Glasgow and Ireland.

I also had a replacement Rickenbacker thanks to ‘Kleister’ of Skuld releases (organising for me to buy one of Flo from ‘Squandered Message’ in Berlin who was selling it – a real stroke of luck). Unfortunately this one would also be stolen in later years! I am on my third Ric now – if that is ever stolen, I will take that as my cue to retire…

Anyway, there was a big Bradford contingent on the day there too with both UK bands containing mutual friends and acquaintances of members of ‘Brawl’ and ‘Fleas & Lice’ – it was always great to play such line-ups as you were guaranteed to meet up with old friends and to make new ones. I think ‘Sned’ from ‘Health Hazard’ may be the only person who could equal ‘Crispo’ for the amount of great bands he has played in over the years. Murt of ‘Brawl’ was a non-drinker and never missed a chance to network at such gigs to get the band new contacts/gigs/releases, etc. – a shrewd and charismatic guy when it came to promoting his band – that combined with the fact the guys had their own van (a total rarity in Ireland at that time for any band) meant they were the first DIY punk band from the South of Ireland to tour Europe. I was so glad to be along for the ride. Good times.

On the gig itself: I remember very little of it other than some of the bands on the bill were a bit too noisy for my liking – I had started to get older and do the old jaded touring guys trick of half-listening to the bands whilst drinking outside and talking shite to whoever would listen – a habit I carry with me to this very day.

Thomas Maguire a.k.a. ‘Tommy Trousers’

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 94-03-19 - (book B) Virtual Reality

VV 94-03-19 - (book B) Health Hazard + Virtual Reality

VV 94-03-19 - (book B) Neuthrone

VV 94-03-19 - (book B) Fleas & Lice

VV 94-03-19 - (book B) BrawlVV 94-03-19 - (book B) Brawl''

VV 94-03-19 - (book B) comment WardEdward Verhaeghe (‘Nations On Fire’):

“This concert was the first in a long series where everyone felt really good. What a wonderful atmosphere! Everyone was super-friendly to everyone: Liège ‘loves’ 8000 crew … or something of that kind??? Fantastic. This is the day where cook Hans [Verbeke; ‘Blindfold’, SoberMind recs] decided to ‘sign’ ‘Virtual Reality’. Also a day where all bias and stereotyping was contradicted. Some would describe this in many poetic verses.”

additions wellcome!…

Jawbreaker 24-hour-revenge-therapy

This ‘Jawbreaker’ tour was organised by Mary Jane Weatherbee (later MRR collaborator; she ran Lookout! recs UK, together with Aidan Taylor & Christy Colcord). ‘Jawbreaker’ resided in the Californian Bay Area (Berkeley/San Francisco) and played melodic hardcore. They were guitarist Blake Schwarzenbach (and lead-vocalist; with very recognisable, hoarse vocals), bassist Chris Bauermeister and drummer Adam Pfahler. Their music was melodic mid-tempo HC. I’d seen them play live in San Francisco in 1989 and liked them a lot… But when they signed to Geffen recs (a major label) – after this tour – my ‘love’ for them cooled down a lot…but hey, they were “never punk” (their own words)… They had been announced already before (92-10-04) but didn’t show up then… They had a bunch of 7”s and LPs under their belt by this time. Their latest ‘DIY’ LP 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (out on S.F. label Tupelo recs) was recorded May/August ‘93.

94-10-01 Jawbreaker (by Christophe Mora)photo from Stonehenge #3 (Christophe Mora’s zine)

‘Lash Out’ was a Norwegian hardcore/metal (“combining dark metal and classic hardcore”) band from Molde. Members were: Anders Wimpelman (vocals), Bjørnar Næss (guitar), Vegard Waske (drums), Frank Johannessen (guitar) and Håvard Godøy (bass). They had some records out on Stormstrike recs from Germany. The Worn Path 12” was recorded in June 1994. That year there was also a split-7” released with ‘Contention’ (also from Norway; ‘Onward’s Arne Olav Haabeth sang for them); these were supposed to come along as support but that didn’t happen. The tour-schedule mentions two dates in Langemark but I guess that was because this was where their contact Joost Noyelle (‘Congress’) was living. They played there the day after this one (with ‘Blindfold’ and ‘Congress’).

‘Undone’ appeared here for the 2nd time (after 94-04-23) and they’ld play here a few times more. A bunch of great friends: Christophe Mora (drums; Stonehenge recs & distro), Stéphane ‘Scholl’ Brochier (guitar, also did Kleines Mädchen distro & Infest zine), Stéphane ‘Stu’ Joly (bass & vocals; later ‘Ananda) and Sullivan ‘Sully’ Chédanne (vocals). They had recorded for the split-EP with ‘Shatter The Myth’ earlier that year. The studio-sessions for the Dark Future LP weren’t until April 1995…

94-10-01 Undone Christophe (by Joeri H) (-)94-10-01 Undone Steph (by Joeri H)‘Undone’ photos courtsey of Joeri Hoste

Can’t remember who ‘Bitter Smile’ (also from France but not ‘Behind The Smile’) were…

Nice meeting up with Olivier Lépine (another correspondent) here aswell. And Aaron ‘Cometbus’!


‘Bitter Smile’ was actually ‘Behind The Smile’ under a new name (due to a new line-up) but if I remember well, they didn’t play that night!!! I have great memories of that gig: especially ‘dancing’ with Aaron Cometbus… Not a lot of people attended though…

Philippe Klur, Uprising Decay zine

To be honnest, I don’t have a lot of specific memories of ‘Undone’s gigs in Ieper… All I remember is that it was always such a pleasure and a great moment for us to drive up there and meet up with all our friends. We had the feeling to be part of something larger and more coherent, thanks to the people we met there and the experience we had…

Christophe Mora

‘Jawbreaker’ in 1994; I must have been there. Christy & I organized that tour together.

Mary Jane Weatherbee

94-10 Jawbreaker infoJawbreaker promopic

I was at the ‘Jawbreaker’ show in the Vort’n Vis. I was so overwhelmingly happy to see people again after moving alone for so long and far… [Aaron (who’s zine Cometbus I’d been distributing) was riding his bike through several European countries; he wrote about it in one of his issues.]

Aaron ‘Cometbus’; personal communication

I certainly remember our Vort’n Vis gig, midways in our European tour… ‘It was initiated and organised by Johannes Schrammel of our German record-label Stormstrike recs. We were on the road for approximately 2 months, playing shows in Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium and UK. As far as I can recall, our show at V.V. was OK, an enjoyable affair, musically and socially. I guess we did our usual ‘94 European tour set, which mostly contained material from the mini-album released the same year (Worn Path), in addition to maximum 1 song from our ‘93 debut The Darkest Hour, 1-2 songs that were to be featured on the ‘95 album (What Absence Yields) and probably a cover (Burning Fight by ‘Inside Out’, Just Like You by ‘Judge’ or Break Down The Walls by ‘Youth Of Today’)…

We were all fans of ‘Jawbreaker’ and pretty stoked to play a show alongside such a great live act, as much as we were thrilled doing it at V.V. It was already a legendary venue (that we had read all about in many fanzines) in those days. I’m sorry to say but I don’t remember what the other bands were like.

The aftermath of our V.V. concert was kinda funny: instead of crashing at the V.V., Bjørnar (our guitarist), our roadie Erik and me hooked up with Saskia ‘Shortsight’ (who I had met at a ‘Shortsight’ show in Denmark the previous year). She took us to our very first rave, somewhere outside the city, where we hung out until dawn. When we got back to V.V., we found the rest of the band lying around on the floor of this shit-hole of a room (no offence but it was probably the most dirty and messy place we ever saw during this tour), scratching their bodies like maniacs. The rave actually saved us from catching scabies (!).

Anders Wimpelman, ‘Lash Out’ vocalist

94 Lash Out tour94-10-01 LASH OUT interview in local paper 1994 pic

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 94-10-01 - (book B) Jawbreaker AdamVV 94-10-01 - (book B) Jawbreaker Blake

VV 94-10-01 - (book B) Lash Out

VV 94-10-01 - (book B) Undone

additions wellcome!…

Supertouch logo

‘Supertouch’, a hardcore band from New York, was more or less considered “a legend” by some of the SxE kids here (although they stated “we’re not a SxE band”); probably because when they started (1985) Mike ‘Judge’ Ferraro (connected with ‘Youth Of Today’) played drums in the band… There was even a documentary made about them in the beginning of the 90s. In the band on this tour: Jon Biviano (guitar), Richard Edsell (drums; replacing Andy Guida), Mark Randall (bass; replacing Joe Graziano) & Mark Ryan (vocals). They released the 7” What Did We Learn on Combined Effort recs (NY hardcore label) in 1989 an LP entitled The Earth Is Flat, on Revelation recs in 1990 (“Heavy, brooding music with a lot of emotion.”). ‘Supertouch’ played with ‘Farside’ (also on Revelation recs) at the 1 in 12 in Bradford (92-12-19) but they didn’t tour together, they sort of linked up in the UK. ‘Supertouch’ crossed the Channel that night to end their tour on the continent… ‘Farside’ also played in Leeds on 92-12-29.

‘Subway Arts’ 1st gig here… Not their last: 93-02-06, 93-07-04, 93-08-01, 94-04-02, … The Luxemburgers released a split 12” (All Life is Equal) together with their mates of ‘No More’ in 1991. They were: Claude ‘Bourano’ Bour (drums; Mike played on the split-lp but left also soon after), Steve ‘Diff’ Differding (guitar), Fränz Laureys (bass), Sabrina D’Aurelio (vocals; David on the split-lp) and Xavier (guitar).

‘Spirit Of Youth’ had played plenty of times before this one: 91-06-08, 91-09-01, 91-12-21, 9208-09 & 92-09-05. Their line-up here was the one of the Abyss 7” (Crucial Response recs) – recorded at Cats studio in Brugge, October 1992 – with Jan (Maelfait) back on vocals (after a short stint by Ed ‘N.O.F.’), little Fred (Frederik Denolf) hitting the drums, Ignace De Meyer on bass and ‘Dompie’ (Dominiek Denolf) playing guitar. Their performance here was taped (see cover) and there’s also some video-footage on the H8000 DVD.

92-12-20 Spirit Of Youth (by Fré)‘Spirit Of Youth’, Jan crowdsurfing (supported by Peter Hoeren and others)

92-12-20 Spirit Of Youth live tape


I didn’t tour with ‘Supertouch’ (nor ‘Farside’)…

Jordan Cooper, Revelation recs

I wasn’t in the band in 1992. I’m on the 7” from ‘88 and The Earth Is Flat. We broke up in ‘91. I came back in July 2010. I don’t know who was in the band when I was not.

Andrew Guida, ‘Supertouch’ drummer

Our European tour of October-December 1992 was arranged by Steffen Rose at Navigator Booking. ‘Supertouch’ played in Ieper a day after playing a show in Bradford, England. We were really pressed for time so we did the Bradford gig, loaded up the van immediately after and started driving to Dover to catch a ferry. Our driver from Berlin (Tobias) was very good and got us to the ferry in great time. The boat took us from Dover to Calais, France and instantly got back on the road to Belgium. We reached the gig a little late but with enough time to set up and play a full set but unfortunately we missed the two bands before us. The staff were very nice. They fed us after the show and supplied us with drinks and a case of beer. Everyone we hung out with that night was very cool. It was a good after-gig party. I vaguely remember the room we played in but I do remember the stage was fully carpeted. I found that interesting. The club let us stay the night. We all slept on the carpeted stage, with our backline still set up. I also remember the beer the venue gave us (Duvel). So whenever I have a Duvel, I think of Ieper. It was our only show in Belgium on that tour in 1992.

Jon Biviano, ‘Supertouch’ guitarist

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 92-12-20 - (book A) SupertouchVV 92-12-20 - (book A) Supertouch'

additions wellcome!…