Archive for November, 2016

Intro: 94-08-19&20&21 Hardcore Festival

see also: 94-08-19&20&21 Hardcore Festival * Italian impressions

The ‘Iconoclast’ tour was organised by Bernd B. (‘Abolotion’/’Stack’/Equality recs/Scorched Earth Policy) who drove the whole time. The band, from New Jersey, played emo hardcore. They were: Kevin Sabarese (guitar), Dan Roberts (guitar), Ian White Williams (vocals; here replaced by ‘Merel’s singer José Juan Ruiz – see below), Kevin Kajetzke (drums) and Pat Kelsey (bass). That year their Groundlessness Of Belief 7” got out on Ebullition recs (after an untitled 7” and some others on Kevin S.’s Old Glory recs). They broke up a few months after this tour (last gig with ‘Avail in Philadelphia on Oct 2nd). I really liked the band (music and people; we’d already met the week before when they played in Herentals) and I think I planned an interview but that didn’t work out. Their last recordings were released ‘post mortem’ on a split double 7” with ‘Abyss’ (from Germany).

94-08-21-iconoclast-by-massimo-mosc‘Iconoclast’ (pic by Massimo Moscarelli) – Dan Roberts (L), Kevin Sabarese (M), Pat Kelsey (R)

94-08-21-iconoclast-by-albert-c94-08-21-iconoclast-by-albert-c94-08-21-iconoclast-by-albert-c‘Iconoclast’ with ‘Merel’s singer José Juan Ruiz (photographed by Albert Cheong)

‘Neckbrace’, a band from Bradford, played powerful vegan sXe HC (hence there 7” on the German hardline label No Cruelty recs; recorded in April of that year) playing “mid-tempo chugga chugga”. In the band: guitarist Andy/Andrew ‘Bez’ Berry (and James – also in ‘Unborn’ – for a short while), singer Heath Powell/Crosby (previously sang in ‘No Way Out’ & ‘Nailbomb’, later ‘Stampin’ Ground’), drummer Neil Godding and bassist Steve/Stephen Harran. (Andy, Neil and Heath had been in ‘Nailbomb’ together.)

94-08-21-neckbrace-by-massimo-mosc‘Neckbrace’ (pic by Massimo Moscarelli)

A bit before Roger played his last show with ‘Feeding The Fire’s. The bassist here was Kay Roderburg, who was also ‘Backdraft’ with Illona and Rob – another band they had started with already (they played the day before this one)… Check the V.V. concert-list for the several shows they did before this one!

94-08-21-ftf-heath94-08-21-ftf-bass-kay-heath94-08-21-ftf-kay-har-heath‘Feeding The Fire’ (photos courtesy of Heath Crosby) [1. Rob Franssen – 2. Illona Stephan, Rob & Kay Roderburg – 3. Kay & Har(ald) Brosselt]

‘Hopeman Path’ was the band of my mates Dirk ‘Scum’ (vocals; ex ‘Zero Positives’), Stefan Goos (drums; Empower newsletter and later in the band ‘Vuur’), Bart Verelst (bass; also ‘State Of Grace’) & Gunter Braem (guitar). They were from the Kempen area (Herentals/Geel) and had played here already 93-04-25. They lasted a couple of years and would merge into ‘Vuur’ with members of ‘Deconsume’ and ‘Outrage’… Later some of them and myself engaged ourselves for the Newland collective (zine and concerts).

94-08-21-hopeman-path-by-miguel-angel-lorca‘Hopeman Path’ (photo by Miguel Angel Lorca) – Gunter Braem (L) & Bart Verelst (R)

‘State Of Grace’ – Jeroen Vanlaer (guitar), Tom Gabriels (guitar), David Heylen (drums), Jan ‘Jakke’ Geeraerts (bass) and Sven De Backer (vocals) – had played the V.V. on 94-04-09. Later Bart Verelst (ex ‘Hopeman Path’) joined on bass and ‘Jakke’ played guitar; then they became ‘Sheen’ (who played the V.V. 95-11). No recollections of them playing this one here…

My friends from Paris, ‘Undone’ played the V.V. many times. They were announced for this one but can ‘t remember if they actually played…

‘Vanilla’ (an emo band from Paris) did a demo in ’94 and put out their I Can’t Stop Hating This Empty Space 7” on Olivier Lépine’s label Laissez-Nous Jouer (together with Norbert Chomat) in 1995. On that record Jean Lebrun played bass and brothers Yann & Yves Maisonneuve (both ex ‘Ivich’), guitar and drums. Alain Vidal (also in ‘Symptom Of Isaac’ & ‘El Vidal Sonido’) joined them later (’96). Bruno released a self-titled LP of them on Genet recs in 1996. They also played 95-01-29, 96-03-24 & 96-08…

Some people thought ‘Nations On Fire’ played aswell but their bassist ‘Goofy’ explains they didn’t. Jaak had left ‘N.O.F.’ and David of ‘Scraps’ abondonned aswell… The line-up around this time (as on the Death Of The Pro-Lifer album) was with Wim Vandekerckhove (also ‘Blindfold’ vocalist) on guitar and Filip Devolder on drums; besides Ed(ward) Verhaeghe (vocals) and Jeroen ‘Goofy’ Lauwers (bass).

Bruno (Genet recs) had organised a tour for ‘Scraps’ that turned out rather “disastrous” (with disorganised dates in Spain, administrative & van-trouble in France). Can ‘t recall if Ma Raab (‘Egotrip’) toured with them or in ’95… Amanda Trevens, a correspondent of mine, did a tour-diary about it (Looking Back It Doesn’t Seem So Bad). She played in a band called ‘Timmy’, was helping out at Neil Robinson’s Tribal War recs (actually an internship, studying ‘music technology’) and the HC/punk venue ABC No Rio in NYC, also was the guitarist of ‘Huasipungo’. David of ‘Scraps’ had been staying with her in N.Y.C. the month he spent there and she was asked to be in the band as (guitarist) Raph(aël) couldn’t make it. Touring at that time were David (vocals), Pierre (drums), Tomoy (bass), ‘Straw’ & Alex. Later, Amanda was in band called ‘Ex Teenage Rebels’ with Chris (‘Scraps’ roadie)… The ‘Scraps’ tour had ended prematurely so they didn’t play here, she told me.

Brob

Ed and I hadn’t talked for a few months until I heard that he’d gotten seriously ill in July 1994…

Jeroen ‘Goofy’ Lauwers, ‘N.O.F.’ bassist

The Vort’n Vis was pretty rad. I liked it a lot. It’s difficult to tell from one show but it was a nice atmosphere, there weren’t any fights (though I was told it was violent when ‘Oi Polloi’ played). […] I know now why you reacted the way you did when I asked you if you were Bruno when I first got to the V.V. […] Things that were very different at European shows were sound-checking, putting everything through the P.A. at most places, getting fed at shows. This is a rad custom but I still don’t think it should be taken for granted. Most shows are pretty well attended.

Amanda Trevens; personal communication Sep ‘94

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In ‘94 I came over in May; practiced for 2 weeks (living in Lille) and toured for 6. I was at the Vort’n Vis for one show – dont remember which one. I’m pretty sure we didn’t play the Vort’n Vis or in Belgium at all. I went there with David or Pierre or both, before the tour started and met you, and maybe Edward. Neil [Robinson] and I were involved in putting on shows at ABC No Rio, and being part of the collective for many years and we were roommates for a bit.

Amanda Trevens

goofy-pierre-anne-amanda-trevens-fifi-2‘Goofy’ (‘Nations On Fire’), Pierre Anne (‘Scraps’) & Amanda Trevens (taken from Fifi #2)

I’m pleased to have been at the Vort’n Vis for the festival. I discussed with a lot of people… But I also was a bit disappointed because of what I saw and heard during these 2 days! I’m talking about the people who, like you said, were showing themselves off. It was incredible. A lot of them were rather superficial, relation-wise. I also have a hard time understanding that thing with the X-s on hands and feet! […] On the other hand, I met a lot of people that I never seen before (Vique [Martin of Simba zine] e.g.). […] It was true what you said about ‘scene-celebrities’: it’s rather strange because when you listen to socalled ‘important’ people, they tell us they’re not doing anything extraordinary and that everyone could do what they do (and that’s true), but then why is there this distance that is being created? […] All this irritates me a bit…

Olivier Lépine, Laissez-Nous Jouer (later ‘L’Invention de Morel’; personal communication Sep ‘94

I found my journal from that time and it says that ‘Iconoclast’ played on Sunday. Sadly I didn’t write about the bands we played with, I only remember that I tried Hoegaarden [beer] for the first time. I have some good memories about the Vort’n Vis and I remember that show especially because José from ‘Merel’ had to sing because Ian went home early to prepare for college. I don’t have so many detailed memories, as we were in a different town every single day, making it a lot of experience in little time. The thing is that the experience of being in that underground scene forever changed me and put me in contact with all kinds of cool people. I met Inge Wynants and [her friend] Judith [Wuytens] that day… I lived in Hoogheultje near Olen [Belgium] for nearly a year back in 1996. That was because I kept in touch with Inge and after seeing her again on the ‘Merel’ tour, I went to visit her and then became romantically involved with her sister Katrine for a few years.

Kevin Kajetzke, ‘Iconoclast’ drummer

Like Kevin K., I also found my journal from that time… It was day 51 of the tour; we were just in from a show in London the previous day and had a rare day off the following. Apparently I was on band-finances at the time, because that’s what the page is about. We made good on 350 DM of expenses to Bernd, took in 6.000 Belgian francs for playing (about $275 in 2017 USD), 2.850 Belgian francs in shirts/records were sold (thanks everyone!), and Kevin K. and I got both into and out of a small amount of debt to the band the following day. Well, it was a hell of a lot better of a time than that dry entry suggests, at the tail end of a good two months to get lost in Europe. I have many very detailed memories from those two months but I have not been able to come up with anything specific from this day – I took the time to look at all the inside/outside photos I could find, and so far…nothing. It is a strange feeling to see yourself in a photo at a place you cannot otherwise remember. It is perhaps not so surprising, as while I feel there are so many things I do remember about that summer, it was an incredible number of people and places in a relatively short amount of time. Maybe exhaustion was setting in by then.

Patrick Kelsey, ‘Iconoclast’ bassist

I visited the Vort’n Vis during a festival in the beginning of the 90s. ‘Iconoclast’, ‘Fabric’, ‘Acme, ‘Vanilla’ and more bands were playing. I’m sure ‘Acme’ and ‘Vanilla’ played. ‘Acme’s set was very short and intense… I travelled together with Carlos Arillo and other friends…. Carlos Arillo was the guy organising gigs at that time in Madrid. He booked shows for many bands: ‘Doom’, ‘Shortsight’, ‘Disrupt’, ‘Iconoclast’, ‘Abolition’, ‘Health Hazard’,…

Miguel Angel Lorca, Madrid

I attended this festival at the Vort’n Vis… Mostly straight-edge bands on the bill who didn’t take too kindly to us lot who were all quite big smokers and drinkers! It said it wasn’t a straight-edge festival but it certainly felt like one! My main recollections of the straight-edge bands were they were very young with very expensive guitars and amps that I didn’t have a hope in hell of having myself at the time. Also I found the bands too be quite serious and self-righteous. I remember really enjoying seeing ‘Iconoclast’; I think they were the stand-out band of the weekend. It sounds like I didn’t enjoy it! But that wasn’t the case; I had a real good laugh with my mates I was with – still see Louis [Warren] now who I went to the festival with; he is now singer in ‘Rotunda’…

Marcus Jones, ‘Marker’ guitarist

That was my first longer tour…been on the road for 8 weeks but it was fun.

Bernd Bohrmann

94-08-21-iconoclast-tour-with-bernd-b-sherry‘Iconoclast’ on tour – with Bernd B. (squatted), Sherry Beth Sacks & Franziska ‘Franzi’ von Hasselbach

I went to 2 Vort’n Vis festivals. I had a brilliant time at both. During the 2nd visit I sprained my ankle while dancing to ‘Acme’. I had do go to hospital. ‘Acme’ played in the dark… Simon Johnson organized both the trips. He was a punk/hardcore promoter in Birmingham.

Louis Warren, ‘Rotunda’ vocalist

We were there when ‘Iconoclast’ and ‘Acme’ played but I don’t think we were there the day before…

Karl Penando

Bernd Bohrmann organised that ‘Iconoclast’ tour indeed… There was an American young woman named Sherry [Sherry Beth Sacks; Beehive activist and drummer] on tour with ‘Iconoclast’. [Sherry was a friend of Hazel too. H. named a band that Jeroen L. and her started ‘Sherry’…]

Joeri Hoste

I do have memories of that awesome concert. That was an important first trip to Europe for me. I later returned many times and eventually met my husband Pau (Aina/Barcelona).

Sherry Beth Sacks (sherrybethsacks.tumblr.com)

I remember we hired a small car to travel over to Ieper. Four of us cramped in the car with musical instruments and the boot filled with drum-stuff and a guitar amp-head! Travelling along: myself, ‘Bez’ (Andy) on guitar, Neil on drums and Steve on bass. We were totally blown away to be playing and to be given the opportunity to play such a great festival, with so many other great bands. I would play it one other time doing vocals for ‘Stampin’ Ground’ [96-08] but that’s another story… I remember the car-journey well, crammed, sweaty and suffering from cramp! When we arrived we were amazed so many hardcore kids hanging around, we were like “This is amazing”! The show was great, with lots of people supporting ‘Neckbrace’, with a few people even knowing the tunes. I can’t remember the other bands that played; we were only over for the day. The journey back to England was again with cramps because of the confined space, filled with four sweaty bodies!

Heath Crosby, ‘Neckbrace’ singer

94-08-21-neckbrace-car-heath94-08-21-neckbrace-car-heath‘Neckbrace’ travels (photos courtesy of Heath Crosby) [1. Andrew ‘Bez’ Berry (L) &  Stephen Harran (R) – 2. Heath (L) & Neil Godding (R)]

I remember playing at the Vort’n Vis. I was the drummer in the band ‘Neckbrace’. The band at that time was Heath Powell [nowadays named Crosby] (vocals), Andrew Berry (guitar), James ‘Bim’ Johnston (guitar), Stephen Harran (bass) and myself on drums… We were crammed in a tiny car with all our gear and we drove from Bradford UK, got the ferry across to France and drove to Ypres [Ieper]. I don’t think Rich Corbridge [Armed With Anger zine and label] came with us, we could only fit 5 people in the car. I remember we arrived at the venue to find that the bass-guitar was broken, so I crafted a new headstock nut from an old dirty comb I found in the street. In the venue I remember seeing all the people, the disturbing PETA videos and some band on stage getting crazy. We were (I think) the very last band of the night and we played at maybe 1 a.m. We gave it our all. I was sweating like crazy, so much so my recently tattooed forearm (‘Neckbrace’ tribal X) cracked, and has scars in it, that always reminds me of Vort’n Vis. At some point during the day I walked to the WW1 memorial and found the name of one of ancestors who died in the war.

Neil Godding

I have no recollections of playing this one with ‘Undone’. Not sure that we played! I don’t remember too much… Not even about playing with all these great bands on the concert-list… I just remember that we were all always so happy to drive up to Belgium and meet our friends up there…

Christophe Mora, ‘Undone’ drummer

additions wellcome!…

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Probably ‘Undone’s last gig here (their 5th at the V.V.) as they split up early ’97… ‘Sully’ (vocalist Sullivan Chédanne) had already moved to Italy. Apparently he’s living in Australia nowadays… By the end of ’97 Christophe (Mora; drummer) wrote me he was in a new band with ‘Scholl’ (Stéphane Brochier; guitarist), called ‘Narodnaya Volya’ (The People’s Will) (No idea if that ever happened?) and he did a fanzine entitled Desiderata (with Gérome & Séverine from the band ‘Alcatraz’)… ‘Stu’ (Stéphane Joly; bassist) would re-surface in ‘Ananda’. Their last release (The Other Side 7”) was recorded May that year at Ape studio. An ‘Undone’ discography is planned (since a long time)…

‘Rusty James’ (from Bremen) played melodic/poppy HC (some compared them with ‘Jawbreaker’). They were: Miguel Andrade (guitar/vocals; ex ‘Abolition’) & Rainer Ohst (drums) – who both used to play in the vegan straight-edge emo band ‘Age’ (with singer Hauke Hersinger, guitarist Markus Czymzik & bassist Ramon Lembke). Dirk Kusche (supposedly in the band between 1995 & ‘97; also in ‘Systral’) came over with ‘Rusty James’ but I can’t remember the exact line-up… Perhaps Pascal Heiduk on bass (replacing Hans Joachim Witt) and Kai Bewersdorf on guitar? At that time they had an untitled 7” out and their Save The Last Dance For Me LP (both on Love recs). Someone described them as “Europe’s best pop-punk band ever”… Miguel, Rainer and Hauke were also in the emo band ‘Assay’ (LP out on Love recs in ’97). The Wolfsburger Andre Pawelzick (Refuge mailorder) & Holger Ohst (Summersault mailorder) might have been there aswell…?

‘Outrage’s first performance at the V.V. They recorded their 1st 7”, Between Brackets (out on Nico’s Day One recs), in April ’96. They were: Sigi Loots (drums; later ‘Crimson Falls’), Steven Van Goubergen (guitar), Ringo Van Dingenen (vocals; later ‘Crimson Falls’) and Nico Peeters (bass; later in ‘Vuur’ & ‘KingTerror’). The latter was a friend from the Newland collective that did shows in Herentals and a zine with the same name. He also ran a distro and label with his partner (at that time) An Caers. The band would be back for the summer-fest on 96-08-16, 97-03-01 & 98-09-19.

‘Carol’ from Bremen had been at the V.V. already (95-09-15). They 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. A bit after this gig – summer of ’96 – they recorded (with André or ‘Shitman’ – also in ‘Mörser’ – on drums) a track for the split 7” with ‘Stack’ that was released on my mate Hoger Ohst’s label Summersault. André Wendelken and ‘Mörser’-guitarist Sven ‘Svenion’ Nienaber later formed ‘Minion’…

Vanilla’ had already played here 95-01-29 and probably also 94-08. They were an emo band from Paris that put out their I Can’t Stop Hating This Empty Space 7” on Olivier Lépine’s label Laissez-Nous Jouer in 1995 (after an initial demo). On that record Jean Lebrun played bass and brothers Yann & Yves Maisonneuve (both ex ‘Ivich’), guitar and drums. Alain Vidal (also in ‘Symptom Of Isaac’ & ‘El Vidal Sonido’) joined them later. Bruno VdV released an untitled LP of them on Genet recs so they were invited back for 96-08.

Brob

I can’t remember who played in ‘Rusty James’ back then – apart from Miguel (singer/guitarist) and Rainer (drummer). I think ‘Hajo’ [André Wendelken] from ‘Carol’ played bass and I was probably playing guitar (or the other way around?). That was in ‘96, I think. I don’t remember the show, though… It was nice, when I had been there with ‘Carol’ [95-09-15]; they played in a smaller room somehow [the Vort’n Vis pub]. Even more exciting when we played on some other date with ‘Systral’ [95-09-16 & 96-09-22] 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 to play in small steamy venues that were more personal.

Dirk Kusche, ‘Systral’ bassist & owner of Kuschelrock studios

Rainer Ohst was the drummer of ‘Rusty James’. Kai Bewersdorf was the guitar-player, the first guy to play the other guitar was Dirk Kusche – he also played bass and founded ‘Systral’…

Pascal Heiduk

I played in ‘Rusty James’ but only the last year and I’m pretty sure I’ve never played in Belgium unfortunately.

Kai Bewersdorf

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

vv-96-03-24-book-c-carol

vv-96-03-24-book-c-outragevv-96-03-24-book-c-outrage

vv-96-03-24-book-c-rusty-jamesvv-96-03-24-book-c-rusty-jamesvv-96-03-24-book-c-rusty-jamesvv-96-03-24-book-c-rusty-jamesvv-96-03-24-book-c-rusty-james

vv-96-03-24-book-c-undone

vv-96-03-24-book-c-vanilla

additions wellcome!…

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‘Hundred Years Of Forgetting’ was a project of Vincent ‘Pit’ Maes with a few people from Deinze. They only did a few shows. [Brob: They are in the guestbook but not really sure if they played. ‘Pit’ was the singer of ‘Instinct’. ‘Hundred Years Of Forgetting’ also played at the 1999 Ieperfest and their music was described as “rocking slomo emo HC”…]

Pedro Tallieu, ‘Instinct’

According to the V.V. notes this gig was again arranged by ‘xSchmitterSx’ (Stijn Desmyter from Oostnieuwkerke)…

‘Thumbs Down’ had played already on 97-08-17 (The Next Generation festival). They were from Antwerp and played “youth crew hardcore”. I believe in the band at that time were Roeland (bass; later replaced by Andries Beckers of ‘Diablo Blvd’), Ken (drums; since ’99 Benjamin Buschgens – later ‘The Setup’), Raf(aël) Balrak (guitar; later ‘The Setup’) and Steven Tuffin (vocals). They were also signed to Genet recs (Going For Gold 7” – with bassplayer Roeland – in ’97, No Retreat No Surrender 7” and Crossroads LP in ’99). They also performed at the ’98 & ’99 fests….

‘Clouded’, a metal-core band from Antwerp (Kontich), were: Björn Van Loy (bass), Jeroen Verelst (vocals), Serge ‘Serch’ Carriere (drums) and Wout Bosschaert (guitar; replaced Kurt). Their 7” Inheritance was released by Genet recs in 1998. They also played at the ’97, ’98 & ’99 fests…

‘Rain’ (from Antwerpen/Edegem) played post-rock, emo metalcore, with sluggish guitar-riffs and manic vocals: Mark Kram (vocals), Joris Van Haute (bass), Sven Leys (guitar) & Jeroen Taeymans (drums). They had self-released their album Redeem The Monsters ‎(1997) under the name Redeem The Monsters And Kill The Beast recs…

Locals ‘Lifecycle’ had been on the V.V. stage a bunch of times before and it wouldn’t be their last. In a letter from May ’98, Sofie (‘Lifecycle’s vocalist) mentions that their bassist Jurgen Degryse had quit the band. His last show was May ’98. He was replaced by Maarten Kinet (who later played for ‘AmenRa’)… When he left Peter Leuwers joined… And later there was Céline Delqueux and then Jelle Dobbelaere…

‘Sorehead’ (from Ieper) had already played the V.V. several times. They were Laurent ‘Lorre’ Peene (vocals; R.I.P.), Dries Verclyte (bass), Pieter Derycke (drums), Jan Lazeure (guitar; he’s not in the guestbook and might’ve quit for half a year [According to Dries he’s always been in the band…]) and Pieter Desmyter (guitar). Steve Noyelle describes their music as resembling ‘Sektor’. The music on their demo sounded metal-influenced and the vocals were raw & aggressive.

‘Symbiont’ and ‘Mindfist’ were Belgian bands but I’ve got no recollections of them…

Brob

I’ve also played at the V.V. with ‘Before Machine’ (with Serge ‘Serch’ Carriere of ‘Clouded’ / ‘The Setup’ / ‘Bear’)… The excerpt in the guestbook was done by our singer Mark. Our CD was released on the 1997 Ieperfest. [Brob: It was still called HardCore – The Next Generation festival; no trace of ‘Rain playing there…]

‘Mindfist’ was with singer Kevin Heynen, who’s in ‘Shirley’s Locker’ nowadays…

Sven Leys, ‘Rain’ guitarist

I joined ‘Thumbs Down’ in ‘99! I replaced Roeland De Keulenaer.

Andries Beckers

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

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vv-98-05-10-book-c-lifecycle

vv-98-05-10-book-c-sorehead

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additions wellcome!…