95-08 HC fest

Local (Menen/Roeselare) straight-edge hardcore band ‘Regression’ was announced but didn’t play. Perhaps because they just switched drummers? (Bjorn Lescouhier, ex ‘Shortsight’ replaced Raf – who played in ‘Liar’.)

‘Steadfast’, a band playing “powerful new-school sXe hardcore” from the Osnabrück/Munster region, didn’t play either. Their guitarist Stefan Uhe and bassist Volker Pohlschmidt (R.I.P.) did visit.

‘Chokehold’ wasn’t announced but they showed up anyway; read the story below. Also ‘Solid’, ‘Concrete’ and ‘End In Sight’ were added to the bill…

18 aug ’95: The Jedi (Bel), Solid (Bel), Burning Defeat (Ita)

19 aug ’95: Veil (Ger), Concrete (Ita), Doughnuts (Swe), Rancor (Nl), Mainstrike (Nl), Blindfold (Bel), Comrades (Ita), Kosjer D (Bel), Congress (Bel), Abhinanda (Swe)

20 aug ’95: Churn (Bel), By All Means (Ita), Liar (Bel), Fungus (Bel), Timebomb (Ita), End In Sight (Swe), Chokehold (Can)

If I remember correctly Christophe Mora (‘Undone’, Stonehenge recs) was there. Henk Smit (Kangaroo recs) was selling records. Patrick Federli took photos… Yann Boislève from Rennes wrote a review about this fest in his SxE newsletter #13.

Brob

95-08 review in SxE newsletter - part 195-08 review in SxE newsletter - part 2

Mathias Hartmann and I attended together. The V.V. was too full, the weather nice, so we slept a few hundred metres away on some nice grass in front of a church, I think. People strolling by the next morning were not amused about us. ;-)

This summer-festival in the bigger ‘hall’ in the back of the V.V. I remember ‘Kosjer D’ and ‘Chokehold’ from Canada played there. The ‘Chokehold’ guys were coming from the train-station with their guitars and bass in hand. Their European tour [with ‘Feeding The Fire’] was a mess (some of the last gigs of their tour got cancelled) and they got robbed if I remember correctly. I felt sorry for them for having such a bad experience over here. They mention it in an interview.

Carsten Pötter, Frankfurt

If my memory serves me right, this was my first Ieper HardCore Fest. I turned 18 just a few months earlier, I had a very broad musical taste ranging from simple hardrock to the most extreme black/death metal, but it was just a year or so that I really started to appreciate the HC-scene and started to attend a lot more HC shows than metal. Because of the music and especially the very metallic sound of the H8000 bands, but also because the HC-scene was – in my eyes and at the time – a much more interesting scene with a lot more open-minded people (that was of course, pure bullshit, but it was a nice smoke-screen that got me fooled for a while :-) …). You soon learn that assholes are everywhere but so are nice people really… You just need to know who to avoid, that’s all. :-)

Anyway, I remember this fest as the most underground thing I had ever seen or been to… I just took a backpack with some basic ‘go-away’-stuff and just headed to Ieper… There was not really a camping back in those days. I remember people sleeping in the bar, the barn, on the upper floors. I remember those funny Hare-Krishna kids that seemed to attend every show in the whole Benelux (bands like ‘Abhinanda’ and other Umea-area bands were kinda the big thing then… So a lot of people became Krishna all of a sudden – LOL).

All the bands I have seen then performed legendary sets… I was just blasted away by the atmosphere … The barn was as full as it could get and then some more, people were flying all over the place, the pictures I have of that HC fest are still some of my favourite ones. It was pure madness!!! HC the way it should be! Massive mosh-pits, pile-ups, sing-alongs, circle-pits, you name it… From morning till evening, all day long. If I were to attend now, I probably would see 1 band and need 2 other sets to catch my breath… Yeah, we were young and unstoppable then :-).

I remember also ‘taking a shower’ on the Ieper market, in the fountains with a lot of people… It was a ‘group-shower’ (at least 30 people, strength in numbers huh?) in the morning. With all the soap we used, the market was quickly transformed into a big foamy place. :-) Lotsa fun, but not appreciated by the police… Ah well…what’s new???

Also, we met some nice gothic kids and had a very cool evening in their bar ‘Den Donkeren Helft’ [The Dark Half]… After an afternoon of HC-metal, nothing better than some wave/EBM/gothic to relax a little. :-). Since that day, I always go to that bar when I go to Ieper (I think it’s gone now…).

I have very fond memories of ‘Liar’, ‘Congress’, ‘Veil’, ‘Comrades’, ‘Mainstrike’, ‘Abhinanda’ and ‘End In Sight’. You can see me going nuts on the back of the H8000 The Way It Is – European SxE HC compilation-CD (GoodLife recs)… I’m in the picture with ‘Mainstrike’ playing in the barn at that fest. [Brob: There was also a pic ont the ‘Mainstrike’ 7”?] A lot of bands that played that summer in Ieper are on the CD.

After that weekend I got home with sooooo many adresses and phone-numbers, I didn’t know where to start… I made a lot of friends, had wonderfull conversations,… good times in general! From then on until 2005 I attended every single HC fest… but none were so memorable than my first one… And for me, the Vort’n Vis became an icon of underground DIY music.

Greg ‘DragonBreath’ (90s zine; Bruxel)

I’ve only been to Vort’n Vis once, back in the summer of 1995. I went there for, what we called then, the Vort’n Vis festival. I remember a lot of Italian bands were playing, so it felt like I knew half of the people at the fest. [Brob: Dario is Croatian but lived in Rome at that time…] It was almost 20 years ago, so my memory is a bit fading, but I believe ‘Concrete’, ‘Timebomb’, ‘Comrades’, ‘Burning Defeat’ and ‘By All Means’, all from Italy (the first three from Rome), played at the festival and it was bands whose members I knew very well. I remember spending most of the time with ‘Sardo’ from ‘Tear Me Down’ [Massimo ‘Il Sardo’ Leonardi, vocalist], and I recall the sleeping-place was upstairs and there were dozens of bodies and arms+legs everywhere – it was almost impossible to find a free spot to lie down.

Everything was very DIY and there were several small distros, as well as bigger ones ran by Edward of GoodLife and Burkhard [Jünger] of GreenHell [label, record-store & mailorder in Münster, Germany]. I remember meeting one of the Boislève brothers [Yann & Pierre] for the first time at the festival, and that kid [Aaron Vyvial?] that used to make a really nice fanzine and later moved back to the US with ‘Hazel’ of ‘Rise Above’. ‘Mainstrike’ played one of their first shows and the crowd went pretty wild. I’ld see them later both in Italy and the USA. ‘Kosjer D’ were solid. I liked their first 7” a lot. I wasn’t impressed by ‘Doughnuts’ and I think I missed ‘Abhinanda’. I checked both ‘Liar’ and ‘Congress’, but that wasn’t really my cup of tea. I remember the ‘Congress’ bass-player was nice to us, but musically it’s nothing I would listen to at home…

Dario Adamic, Zips & Chains zine

I was there with Christophe (Mora). Brob, you were screaming against the business during the ‘Abhinanda’ show. I found your attitude so cool; I totally agreed with you!

Fabien Charlot, later vocals for ‘JeanxSEberg’, Bordeaux; personal communication spring ‘96

I only went to the festival on Saturday. I couldn’t stand it very long. Firstly: I felt very lonely; I didn’t feel like communicating. It didn’t feel right…the people that were attending, all that typical sXe fuss. I had the feeling that a lot of these girls and boys were just there to be seen. It seemed like a competition: who has the newest T-shirt, who can dance the hardest, who knows the most lyrics by heart? It all seemed so fake. I don’t want to generalise though: there were also kids that seemed sincere…

Dirk De Vriendt, Introverted Outlet zine; personal communication August ‘95

I was seriously annoyed: everybody’s speaking out against pollution, using big words; but for perhaps half of them it remains just that: words. Have you seen the public road? Simply outrageous! Do people still understand what HC is about? The ‘scene’ has grown enormously but the ideals haven’t evolved. I think it’s sick!

Nico Peeters, ‘Outrage’ bassist/Day One distro; personal communication August ‘95

I thought there were only few really good bands. ‘Kosjer D’, ‘Mainstrike’ & ‘Burning Defeat’ were cool though. I saw a video of the fest and it was cosy. There was a bit of a fight between ‘Rancor’s guitarist and someone. What struck me was that flirting with satanism seems to become popular…Scary, because it equals extreme rightist ideas (egoism, fascism, war, etc.).

Peter Kroes, Ruinerwold (NL); personal communication December ‘95

I’ve been at the Vort’n Vis once in 1995. I was young, my first festival abroad I think…travelling alone by train, by the way. I remember enjoying the concerts of ‘Abhinanda’, ‘Doughnuts’, ‘Congress’ a lot. There were many Italians there! ‘By All Means’ played a crazy show, ‘Timebomb’ were great. I remember buying the ‘Rorschach’ discography CD, great vegan food, soy-milk in stores (I was stoked: in Italy nobody knew what that was). I recall hanging out with several country-mates but also with the guys from ‘Abhinanda’ in some kind of disco. It was fun and I keep great memories of that weekend. I also think some of the Italian bands being pissed off for not being treated like the Swedish bands but I’m not totally sure about that, haha!!!

Borys Catelani, Montorsoli/Sesto Fiorentino (Ita), Agipunk recs

I have the worst memory so details are very sketchy! I had some amazing times at Vort’n Vis… Vique always drove and I spent a lot of time at the festivals (I was there in ’94 as well) helping out with her distro and checking out everyone else’s. In the pre-download/-streaming days it was amazing to be able to get hold of so much great stuff all in one place. My strongest memory from Vort’n Vis was ‘Kosjer D’ playing here… One of my favourite gigs ever. I think it may have been their last show… Anyway, it was so much fun – great band (totally under-rated) and an incredible moving joyous set.

Mark ‘Macca’ Wilkinson, Brighton

I think Ieperfest 1995 was my first time at the V.V. Jenni wasn’t there, I think ’96 was the first time for her.

Robert Matusiak, Refuse recs (at that time Warsaw, nowadays Berlin)

I was there to support ‘Veil’ (who had a 7″ on my label Thressome recs)

Ferry Krop, Sittard (NL)

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 95-08-20 - (book B) Hans VerbekeVV 95-08-20 - (book B) Saskia Verbekeorganisers Saskia & Hans Verbeke (of course together with a whole bunch of other Vort’n Vis collaborators…)

additions wellcome!…

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