Archive for August, 2017

I believe ‘Strength Of The Will’ was replaced by ‘W.O.P.’: the first aren’t mentioned in the V.V. notes, the latter are… I believed ‘Wheel Of Progress’ played their only show at the V.V. on 93-06-13 but Hans confirms they played here too so this must’ve been their first appearance here. ‘W.O.P.’ consisted of Rob Franssen (vocals; also ‘Feeding The Fire’), Hans Verbeke (drums; guitarist of ‘Blindfold’), Joost ‘Josh Fury’ Noyelle (guitar) & ‘Uniform’ Jan (U.J.) Vandekerckhove (who was, together with Joost, also in ‘Dreft’ at that time). They recorded their It’s Alive…7″ a bit after this.

There was an anarchist punk band from the squat-scene in Bern (Switzerland) named ‘Brachland’ but the www tells us these existed from 1998 on… Their bassist informed me there was another band with that name from Germany. These played “powerful, agressive acid punk”.

Some members of the Italian bands ‘Growing Concern’ & ‘Open Season’ had been visiting the V.V. before (92-08-09). The latter (an SxE band from Rome) – even though they weren’t on the bill – were represented by some of their members & friends (see guestbook). Paolo Petralia (SOA recs) did their EP (entitled) 1989-1991. ‘O.S.’ (originally ‘One Step Ahead’) was Davide Mancini (guitar), Riccardo Rottaro (bass), Roberto Marroni (drums) & Steve ‘Ahead’ (vocals).

‘Growing Concern’ (from Rome) played aggressive HC (NY style à la ‘Agnostic Front’, ‘Sick Of It All’, etc.). The band consisted of Andrew Mecoli (guitar), Gianni Pantaloni (drums), Massimiliano ‘Massimo’ Corona (bass) & Paolo Piccini (vocals). This gig was around the time they had the Disconnection EP (recorded May 1992 with Andrew on guitar) out on Paolo Petralia’s SOA recs (also some other releases were on his label). He was roadie-ing for them; together with Davide of ‘One Step Ahead’. The band’s music was also described as “powerful old-school HC à la ‘Y.O.T.’…” They came back on 94-01-08.

This might well have been ‘Congress’ first performance at the Vort’n Vis (or anywhere else for that matter)… That was with their first singer Roy Cappan (R.I.P.). Joost ‘Josh Fury’ Noyelle (guitar) & Ilja De Ceuleneire (drums) had been playing together in ‘Burning Fight’ (92-02-22). Jan ‘U.J.’ Vandekerckhove (bass) had played in ‘Dreft’ (together with Joost) for a while…

Brob

We played the first time at the V.V. in January 1993. I remember we met Edward from ‘Nations On Fire’, whom we were in touch with ‘cause we organized a ‘N.O.F.’ gig in Rome, and this scene girl called Saskia [Verbeke, ‘Shortsight’ singer], whom I used to correspond with for a while.

Gianni Pantaloni

I always thought the V.V. was some kind of magic place… ‘Growing Concern’ played there two times, at least with me as a roadie. The first time Davide of ‘One Step Ahead’ / ‘Open Season’ (guitar, a couple of years later also in ‘Growing Concern’) was there too. That time Jana & Cristina (‘Sisterhood’ signature in the V.V. guestbook) were also with us. Both tours happened during winter-time and I do remember how hard the weather was in Northern Europe for our Southern bodies. Both tours were organised by guys from la Bande Bonnot, who released ‘Growing Concern’ records together with me (SOA recs). The 1st tour – first time I left the Italian borders – was a whole week in France and the only Belgium gig at the V.V. As far as I remember ‘Congress’ played both gigs, with their first singer. Have no positive memories about ‘Congress’ as I had later on with the small ‘classic’ singer. The other bands weren’t that impressive either, as I forgot every single note.

At this first ‘G.C.’ gig Ed [N.O.F.] “wanted to exchange views” and I remember clearly – all packed in our van in front at the V.V., freezing – Ed was asking us things; and after that talk -don’t remember about what – we nicknamed Ed ‘The Judge’, a joke on the ‘Judge No One’ moniker he used on ‘N.O.F.’ records. In between the two Belgian ‘G.C.’ gigs we had ‘N.O.F.’ playing Rome with their classic singer. This led to an long friendship with some of the buddies… After that I came over to the V.V. at least 3 more times, always for the summer fest that’s now called Ieperfest. Even played with one of my band [‘Comrades’] at one of the fest and then failed to play there a second time in 2000 due our van breaking down.

I couldn’t find any V.V. pics at all… I have 2 pics from that first tour: one with Andrew (‘G.C.’ guitarist), Davide ‘One Step’, Paolo SOA, Gianni (‘G.C.’ drummer), Paolo (‘G.C.’ guitarist) – taken by Massimiliano (‘G.C.’ bassist) at the Eiffel tower, the day before the V.V. gig.; an another with me trying to memorise ‘G.C.’ lyrics in the van because the singer lost his voice after first day of the tour (in Torino) – Davide ‘One Step’ did it at the Marseille gig, without knowing any words…

Paolo Petralia

I believe there was a cancellation and since all members of ‘W.O.P.’ where present, we played this show after our very first show in Mulheim (Germany) the week before that…

Hans Verbeke

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

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‘(The) Mushrooms’ (photo from their split-7″)

(The) Mushrooms – Steve Erauw (vocals/guitar), Chris(tophe) Calmeyn (bass) & Patrick ‘Schimmel’ Gyde (drums) – were a street-punk band from Brugge/Bruges. Thy recorded a rehearsal (demo) tape in their rehearsal-room, at the end of the eighties or beginning of nineties… Probably one of the only excisting recordings of their whole setlist. In 1991 the Belgian punk-label Unity recs released their 7” (entitled Youth Of Today). Later there was a split-7” with Belgian Oi! Band ‘The Pride’ (with ‘Mushroom’-members)…

‘(The) Mushrooms’ (pic courtesy of Leslie Delacauw)

That night they started playing at midnight to make the bridge from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day. They probably weren’t the only band that night.

Apparently ‘Sloth’ (see also 91-02-08 & 91-10-05) – a local grindcore band with Dieter ‘Lord Moloch’ Roelstraete doing vocals, David ‘Spans Hrac’ Stubbe (guitar; later drums for ‘Neuthrone’, etc.), Fabrice Baclet (bass) & Jeroen Vanhandsame (drums) – played aswell.

Brob

Ha! My very first performance. First time stoned too, I guess. And I had the flu! Add some booze to that and a bunch of nerves (and the fact that I actually didn’t know how to play the drums)… and that makes a beautiful cocktail ;-). I was unstoppable that night. Usually the others had to turn down their amps to hear me but that night I went full speed ahead. I didn’t even stop in-between songs a few times (the rhythm stayed the same for the biggest part anyway :-). I think there must be a recording of it somwhere. I even know it circulated. Haven’t owned it or lost it afterwards… Would be fun to hear that back…without an audience because it must’ve been terrible!

Very vague memories: crazy enough music was just a side-issue. To me the distributions were very important! [Jeroen later started Tegenstroom (‘counter-current’) in Leuven; together with his brother Stijn & Filip Vandenberghe.] Much more than the music. Looking backwards: I should’ve enjoyed it more. And work harder. Because the music kept attracting. But I never got to it. Pity! The other guys did have a lot of patience with me. Always great meeting up with David… Fabrice was a great guy. Fantastic bassist. Missed him often. His clever humor. His smile.

Don’t have more memories. I do recall a gig later with ‘Sore Threat’ in the 4AD [venue in Diksmuide] ( I think). But that was our last ‘achievement’ if I remember well. The other guys were much better and cooler than me… They were better of without me. Dieter was already living in Ghent, had ‘grown up’ and started his ‘Anus Mundi’, etc. Too much doom/goth for me…

Jeroen Vanhandsame

additions wellcome!…

“Don’t mention the war!”… No problem here: Germans and Brits getting along just fine…

‘Scum Of Toytown’ (from Stevenage) played fresh and very danceable but political ska/reggae/dub/punk with female vocals: Craig (drums/vocals), Ni(c)k Hooper (guitar/vocals), Jo(h)n Thurlow (guitar/vocals; ex ‘Chron Gen’), ‘Toad’ (bass/vocals) and Lea (vocals & keyboards). Jon wrote me shortly after this gig that Lea (who wanted to concentrate on other things) was replaced by Georgia ‘G’ Howson. I’d gotten to know them via their 7” Destruction Of Both Houses Of Parliament By Fire that Karl of Words Of Warning (who’s stuff I was distributing) put out in 1993. I recall the 1994 LP Strike (also on Words Of Warning) sold very well via Tilt! distro. The enchanting/empowering anti-fascist anthem Jackboot Crusade gave a lot of people (including me) goosebumps and motivation… The band is still performing! (check www.toytown.org.uk)

‘Scum Of Toytown’ – Nick , Craig, John, Toad & Lea

‘Virtual Reality’ (Bradford) was a project/band that played ‘Black Sabbath’ influenced stuff 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). The years before they still used a drum-machine but I think they had a real drummer here. They’d done a split-7” with ‘Neuthrone’ on Genet recs in 1994 and released the LP Dreamstate (Genet recs & Flat Earth recs, 1995) – “groovy beats and heavy riffs to techno-based tracks”. This was their 3rd time here (see: 94-03-19 & 94-05-08).

During ‘Doom’s tour in Scandinavia (Sep. ’95) Scoot had to leave (Tom Croft had already dropped out before). In ’96 the band did their LP (Rush Hour Of The Gods) for Sned’s label Flat Earth with Wayne Southworth (R.I.P.) on vocals, Brian Talbot on guitar, Denis ‘The Deuce’ Boardman also on guitar, Chris ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne (ex ‘Health Hazard’, ‘Suffer’) on bass and Anthony ‘Stick’ Dickens on drums. The Monarchy Zoo 7” was recorded with Denis on bass (Sep. ’95). Michael Kopijn put a video on-line Doom – Live In Europe 1996; but no footage of this show here…

‘Doom’ (photgraphed by Wim De Leersnijder)

‘Pink Flamingos’ (Berlin) played powerviolence; Thought Crime ‘marketed’ them as “highspeed ultraviolence glamrock heroes”. Carsten Kissler (drummer; also ‘Cold War’, ex ‘SM-70’; he’d been at the V.V. when he organised the ‘M.V.D.’/‘Suffer’ tour – see 95-04-29), Jens Walter (bass; ex ‘SM-70’), Stefan Hinsch (guitar) and Lars (guitar/vocals, ex ‘SM-70’). A Slovenian tape-label released a split-tape with recordings of them and ‘Hiatus’ live in Zorro, Leipzig (95-11-18 ‘Pink Flamingos’, 96-03-21 ‘Hiatus’). The years before they did some 7”s (including splits with ‘M.V.D.’ and ‘Man Is The Bastard’) on the Hannover label Farewell recs; and Thought Crime recs (Thomas Franke/Jens Walter) did the Poppin’ Eye Effect 7” in ’96. Their last release was the split-7” Germania Meets Britannica with ‘Substandard’ (UK) in ’97 (on Wicked Witch recs). A lot of all that was on their discography (Crippled Silence).

‘Y’ was a grindcore band from Berlin: Tino Schulz (vocals; replaced ‘Froesi’ Hendrik Froese), Hartmut Barsch (guitar), ‘Keule’ Matthias Franke (drums) & ‘Spremme’ Thomas Franke (bass; Thought Crime recs). First there was their Überall Ist Kotze demo (’94). They also had a split-7” (with ‘Discript’) out on Anomie recs (from Bochum) and just recorded for a 7” (Feb. ‘96). Later had several releases on labels such as Thought Crime recs, Sound Pollution recs, Flowerviolence recs, etc.

‘Y’ (pic from Sascha May’s zine Evilspeak #3)

‘Y’ (courtesy of Thomas Franke)

‘Counter-Attack’ (originally from Alken in Limburg but gradually ‘embedded’ in the anarchist/squat scene in Gent) played anarcho-punk influenced by ‘Crass’, ‘Flux Of Pink Indians’ & ‘Dirt’. ‘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 of ‘Visons Of War’). Stef sent me a letter and their demo (Demonstrate Or Demolition) around that time asking to help/support them with gigs. This was their first time performing at the V.V. They came back 97-02-28 & 98-03-29.

‘Up In Arms’ (from Leipzig) consisted of peolpe who used to be in ‘D.M.B.’, ‘L’Attentat’, ‘Der Schwarze Kanal’: Stefan ‘Schnö’ Beckmann (bass), Thomas ‘Reudnitz’ Henschel (guitar), Jens ‘Jose’ Schossee (drums); Thomas ‘Tommi’ Schliephake (guitar) & ‘York’ (vocals). The Czech label Day After recs released their Up In Arms ‎EP (‘93) and in ’95 they had an LP out entitled Rotation. Their music was described as hardcore/emo and references were made to ‘Quicksand’, ‘Neurosis’ & ‘Prong’.

Brob

I can’t remember this gig but we did that in Greece too. I went over with ‘V.R.’ and then ‘Stick’, ‘Scoot’ & Tom were supposed to fly over and meet me there; except: only ‘Stick’ & ‘Scoot’ made it as Tom couldn’t find his passport (an excuse I think). So we got Gordy (ex ‘Psycho Flowers’) to sing for the Greek gigs as he was just on holiday with ‘V.R.’!

The one & only drummer in ‘V.R.’ was Duncan. He used to drum in ‘Crash’, an old punk band from Hebden Bridge (They did a a split ep with ‘Crux’: Keep On Running). We did a recording too (in Leicester while Darron was at college there). I lost my copy but it sounded dead good.

Brian Talbot

Belgium was definitely the best place to play for ‘V.R.’ Don’t think we ever went down very well though, not many of the regulars were into our style of music (the audience seemed to be more into the noisier bands) but we always were looked after well there and enjoyed it in Ieper.

Darron Ward

Don’t remember much only that it was a good show and I liked the other bands and felt pretty floored to play this. I think I might have a few pics…maybe that will trigger some memories (if I find them)…

It´s a bit hard to recall details now, also because at the time we did experiment with alcohol quite a bit. Especially when ‘Pink Flamingos’ were also part of the action things usually ended with a horrible hangover but also some good stories. I do remember that I felt a bit overwelmed playing with ‘Pink Flamingos’ and ‘Doom’, something that two years before would have been a wet dream at best. Also looking at that picture I must say that we were some good looking brats at the time, looking at us now makes it hard to believe it´s even the same individuals, haha.. It definitely was a very special show to me.

Thomas Franke, ‘Y’ bassist

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…