Archive for October, 2016

98-03-29-stratford-mercenaries-counter-attackThe ‘artist’ must’ve had a beer too many when he was making this flyer… Gig organised  by Michael Maes (‘Link’).

Stratford Mercenaries’ (from London) were vocalist Steve ‘Ignorant’ (Steve Williams; formerly ‘Crass’, ‘Schwartzeneggar’), Gary ‘Gazzer’ Buckley (from ‘Dirt’) on guitar, drummer Phil(ip) Barker (later incarnation of ‘Buzzcocks’) and bassist Ed(ward) Addley (ex ‘Suicidal Supermarket Trolleys’). The band played anarchopunk. They self-released their 7” Live In The U.S.A. 1997 and did 2 albums for Southern recs: No Sighing Strains Of Violins & Sense Of Solitude. This gig was the last of a 3-week European tour…

‘Counter-Attack’ (originally from Alken in Limburg – far East of Belgium – but gradually ‘embedded’ in the anarchist/squat scene in Gent) played anarcho-punk influenced by ‘Crass’, ‘Flux Of Pink Indians’ & ‘Dirt’. In the band at that time: ‘Groovy’ Jochen (vocals; replaced the original female singer), Stef ‘Irritant’ Heeren (guitar/vocals), Wim ‘Simsallabim’ De Neve (bass), Jeroen (drums; later replaced by Yvan Meers who’s now in ‘Visons Of War’). They’d played at the V.V. already on 96-04-27 & 97-02-28. Nowadays Stef is the main man behind ‘Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat’… In autum that year they would record for their Laments & Skulls LP on Prejudice prods (JP Vandestien, Louvain-La-Neuve). The recordings for Masters and Jesters – with Yvan on drums – were done at Michaël ‘Link’ Maes’ studio in December 1999 (LP out on Nabate).


This was the second gig we did with ‘Counter-Attack’. [Brob: 3rd time at the V.V.] It was in the pub and we supported ‘Stratford Mercenaries’… A ‘dream come true’ for me at that time…to be able to come so close to some of my ‘punk idols’. That whole concert I played on the guitar of Gary (from ‘Dirt’)! Some years before we’d played on a Leed Festival at the Vort’n Vis. [Brob: 96-04-27 or 97-02-28; not Leed…] That was our first concert outside of Limburg then; being very young punks it was an enormous enterprise at that time to travel from Hasselt to Ieper.

Stef ‘Irritant’

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:


additions wellcome!…

99-09-10 Phobia – Yacøpsae

Posted: October 18, 2016 in VV 1999
Tags: , , ,


Start of the 1999 Leed festival – “a meeting of grind, HC, punk, crust & noise” – organised by Frederic Driessens.

Playing here in ‘Phobia’, at that time a grindcore band from Mission Viejo, Orange County, California – a “crust whirlwind” – were (I believe) Shane McLachlan (vocals; also ‘Final Conflict’), Steve Burda (guitar), John Anthony Haddad (drums; Dino Sommese of ‘Dystopia’ during one recording-session) and Bruce Reeves (bass – originally guitar). Earlier that year they had recorded for the Destroying The Masses 10”…

99-09-10-phobia-by-erik-minnen‘Phobia’, courtesy of Erik Minnen

Yacøpsae’, a noisecore/power-violence (the announcement says “highspeed grind”) outfit from Hamburg, were Stefan ‘Stoffel’ Jenkel (guitar/vocals), Frank Venet (bass; replaced by Ramiro later on) and ‘Emu’ Oliver Ebeling (drums). They had done several split-EPs (e.g. with ‘Active Minds’), appeared on a buch of compilations (e.g. Chards Of Civilisation 7” on Grinding Madness recs) and done some tapes (e.g. a split-tape with ‘Selfish’ & ‘Mrtvá Budoucnost’ with tracks recorded live in the practice-room of ‘Völkermord’ and ‘Impftest’ – Düsseldorf, 98-05-17). You can watch them play this gig here (part 1 & part 2).

The next day LoggerHead (a band that was due here) turned up. Also played: ‘Distress’ (Nl), ‘Disbeer’ (Fra), ‘Insult’ (Nl), ‘Suppository’ (Nl), ‘Bloodsuckers’ (Bel), ‘Sickness’ (Fra). More on that: 99-09-11. On ‘Yacøpsae’s website it’s mentioned that ‘Container Crusties From Hell’ played but Dave ‘Opoespook’ (their drummer) assures me they never played the V.V. It was also announced that on Sunday there were a bunch of SxE bands playing but I find no track of these…



Me and Shane were in ‘Final Conflict’ together. We met on that tour. I think I joined ‘Phobia’ in 2008 or 2009. I’m still in the band. Bruce is back in the band right now [Oct 2016]; he’s playing guitar while Cece [‘CC Grind’ Loessin] takes some time off: she’s opening her own vegan bakery in Austin, Tx.

Calum Mackenzie, ex ‘Oi Polloi’

I know I had a blast playing everywhere we went in Europe. Hard to sift through all the memories exactly per show to be honest. I do recall though the show in Belgium being a great one. Lots of support from the fans, and great food and hospitality.

John Anthony Haddad, ‘Phobia’ drummer

I’m a painstaking archivist of our band’s chronology and so I list àll our shows (incl. the other bands of the bill). To be correct, here’s the precise list of that weekend. It was a two-day-event. September 10th 1999: ‘Yacøpsae’ & ‘Phobia’; September 11th 1999: ‘LoggerHead’, ‘Container Crusties From Hell’, ‘Bloodsuckers’, ‘Disbeer’, ‘Distress’, ‘Suppository’ & ‘Insult’. The first day ‘LoggerHead’ was supposed to play too but someone told me that they couldn’t make it, so they would catch up their gig the following day. Our show here was taped on video.

We didn’t tour with ‘Phobia’. We were booked for the V.V. show on the first day. The next day, we played in Mülheim (Germany) on another 2-day event. As far as I remember, we hung around with some of the ‘Phobia’ members the other day. It was sunny and we stayed outside. Our drummer got very drunk and kept sleeping in the attic. Our bass-player Frank and I went downtown for a while.

‘Stoffel’, ‘Yacøpsae’ guitarist

For me it was a really good concert and there were very nice people there. I liked the place and the people, and I remember we got a little bit drunk… Our dummer ‘Emu’ tasted all beers he could get. I sat on stage after the concert with some guy and saw Sonia for the first time (one of the biggest fans of ‘Yacøpsae’)… Some French guys slept there in tents on the first floor.

Frank Venet, ‘Yacøpsae’ bassist

excerpt from the V.V. guestbook:


additions wellcome!…


Another night organised by grindcore/ death- & black-metal lover Frederic Driessens…

‘Appalling Spawn’ was a band from the Czech Republic playing “brutal progressive death-metal and grindcore”. They had a demo out entitled Bestial, Mystical & Spiritual. Members were: Ondřej ‘Ondra’ Martínek (guitar/bass), Petr ‘Ptoe’ Tománek (vocals/guitar/bass) and Gabriel ‘Gábin’ Pavlík (drums). They replaced their fellow Czech death-metallers ‘Fleshless’…

‘Rhymes Of Destruction’, a black-metal band (in their own words “symphonic pagan metal”) from Deerlijk/kortrijk, were: Frédéric Caure (bass; later ‘Thee Plague Of Gentlemen’ with ‘Neuthrone’s Steve W.), Martijn ‘Tyne’ Debonnet (guitar), Bart ‘Barre’ Marescaux (vocals) & Christophe Verhaeghe (guitar). The band used a drum-computer until Wouter Debonnet joined. They’d put out a demo in 1995 (Dark Pagan Wartunes Stray Above The Land Of Huarochiri) and 1996 (Under The Spell Of The Mist); and a split-CD with ‘Cosmic Interfluvium of Silence (’96).

‘Slow End’ was described as “gothic rock from West-Flanders”.

‘Darkgods’ was a doom/trashcore band from Poperinge (near Ieper/Ypres).


‘Darkgods’ was Gwen Buseyne (guitar/vocals), Angelo Santy (drum), Peter Debruyne (guitar) and myself (bass). More noise than thrash…

Noam Sohier

I believe we played the V.V. twice [???] with ‘R.O.D.’ but can’t remember when. Have good memories of the Vort’n. Saw numerous concerts, both in the ‘barn’ and in the pub. Also ice-cold stay-overs upstairs… On that Oct. 11th there was mini-tour (3 dates that Bart and I set up [96-10-12 @ the Pits in Kortrijk]) planned with ‘Fleshless’ from the Czech Republic, they didn’t show up but their Czech (not German) friends were there: ‘Appalling Spawn’…

Frédéric Caure

I only started to play in ‘R.O.D.’ around ‘99 I believe, so this was before my time. I do recall having attended a few gigs at the Vort’n Vis but it’s too long ago to remember any details… I do know it was a cool place!

Wouter Debonnet

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:




additions wellcome!…




1st day of the 7th Leed festival

‘Undone’ had been in the studio for the Dark Future LP in April that year. It was the 4th time at the V.V. (after 94-04-23, 94-08-21 & 94-10-01) for the Parisian emo band and they would be back a couple of times more… Great friends – especially drummer Christophe Mora (Stonehenge recs & distro) and guitarist Stéphane ‘Scholl’ Brochier (also did Kleines Mädchen distro & Infest zine) – so I tried to see them as much as possible.

95-09-15-undone-by-albert-c‘Undone’ photo by Albert Cheong

95-09-15-undone-by-sned95-09-15-undone-by-sned‘Undone’ pictured by Sned

When Mandy left, the Bradford-based ‘Health Hazard’ reformed into ‘Suffer’ (see 95-04-29): Alec Mac doing guitar & vocals, Chris ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne playing bass and ‘Sned’ on drums. They did 3 7”s on Flat Earth recs (Mac and Sned’s label), one of which was a self-titled one recorded a few months after this tour. The night after this they played in Liège with ‘Extinction Of Mankind’ and ‘Unhinged’. (More pics on the introduction-page)

95-09-15-suffer-by-albert-c‘Suffer’ photo by Albert Cheong

‘Suffer’ pic by Kerim Gönencer

‘Carol’ from Bremen played brutal, energetic screamo hardcore with a crusty edge…influenced by ‘Acme’. The guys in the band were (I think) Andy Lehmann (guitar), Björn Schmidt (vocals; later in ‘Mörser’ & ‘Systral’), ‘Hajo’ André Wendelken (guitar), Matthias ‘Matze’ Trenne (bass; also ‘Mörser’), ‘Acme’s bassist Sönke Gabriel did drums. That year (January) they had recorded the Prefabricated 7” (Philipp Styra ‘Queerfish’ was the drummer on the 1st one) that came out on Markus Haas’ label Per Koro. The next year they came back (96-03-24) and then recorded (summer of ’96 with André or ‘Shitman’ – also in ‘Mörser’ – on drums) a track for the split 7” with ‘Stack’ that was released on the label my mate Holger Ohst’s (Summersault mailorder) did.

95-09-15-carol-vox-by-sned‘Carol’ photographed by Sned


Think this was the 1st full ‘Suffer’ tour after ‘Health Hazard’ with Max singing 1/2 the set. We’d been touring quite a lot and were in full anti-authoritarian moustache mode, had been having lots of near misses with headline/ body-lice and were finding our feet playing as a 3-piece. Always great to spend time with the ‘Undone’, ‘Carol’, ‘Anarcrust’, ‘Acme’, ‘Systral’ comrades. Lots of great intense, emotional HC that night and lots of cool chats. Proper empowering gig. I seem to remember ‘D.D.I.’ being around  but we played with them a few times so I could be getting confused. [Brob: They played the next day but where there already…] Definitely remember feeling how recharging it was that folks from all over could come together and make something great happen, especially at places like the V.V. which were where the tribes would meet and we’d meet up with the Belgian family.

‘Suffer’s Alec Mac

That weekend was great fun!

Sas (‘Anarcrust’, Kbaal distribution)

It was nice when I was there with ‘Carol’. I think they played in the smaller room, and exciting when we played on some other date with ‘Systral’ but that was on a quite big stage in front of a big audience. Exciting, but a bit weird too, since we liked it better when we could play in small steamy venues that were more personal. [Brob: the first evening of his fest took indeed place in the pub. The next days the concerts happened in the ‘barn’ so ‘Carol’ played in the (smaller) pub and ‘Systral’ in the bigger room the next day…]

Dirk Kusche, ‘Systral’ bassist & Kuschelrock studio

I was in Ieper several times. The first time with ‘Acme’ [94-04-09] (but I didn’t play in ‘Acme’). I played at the Vort’n Vis more than once (with ‘Carol’ in ’95, also with ‘Systral’). I think we also played there once together with ‘International Noise Conspiracy’. [Brob: That must’ve after the turn of the century…]).

Andy Lehmann

‘Shitman’ was drumming in ‘Mörser’. Maybe also in ‘Carol’…

Gregor Iwanoff; drummer for ‘Acme’

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:




additions wellcome!…