Archive for October, 2017

‘Life But How To Live It’, from Oslo (Norway), had done a gig that Smurfpunx organised (89-03-25; with their friends of ‘So Much Hate’) and played a show in Oostende – that I booked (90-10-27) so I was very glad to be able to meet ‘em again. I really liked their rocky tuneful HC and Katja’s f-great singing (and heartfelt lyrics). The band has always been Katja Benneche Osvold (vocals), Geir Petter ‘Dyret’ Jensen (drums), Roger Andreassen (guitar) & Tom Andreassen (bass) – the brothers had been in ‘Barn Av Regnbuen’ in the 80s; later they were in ‘Drunk’ and ‘Danger!Man’. Katja teamed up with some old school punx in the band ‘Castro’.

‘Life But How To Live It’ (photo by Karl Penando)

‘Dubmerge’ reggae/roots/dub/ska collective (travellers-circuit) from the Worcester (UK) area. Their music grew into a cross-over of dub, hiphop, funk, reggae and jungle. I read somewhere there were 8 people in the band but I can ‘t remember so many people being on the tiny V.V. stage… They’d just started out by then so maybe they weren’t all there yet: Paul Knight (drums), Mark ‘Lofty’ Loughman (bass), ‘Bhima’ Steve ‘Kin-1’ McArdle (vocals), Patrick McArdle (keyboards), Jez King (guitar), ‘Cut La Vis’ Dave Lavis (percussion), ‘Powerstepper’ Colin Consterdine (guest percussion), Molara (guest vocals). As a few others that played the V.V. in their starting-period, they now do some of Europe’s biggest festivals. I know of 2 CDs they did – Wake Up! (‘96) & Greed And Glamour (’99) – on their own label Bud Urge recs. Recordings of their show in La Zone (Liège, 93-06-20) are on the tape Flat Out In Skunkland.


Karl Penando told me this was the day he met his partner Agnes (who he’s till together with…).


excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

The V.V. archive notes mention this was a “free show”… I have a vague recollection of having a hand in getting ‘Bedlam Hour’ this gig. It was probably a last-minute arrangement…

‘Bedlam Hour’, from South Carolina, existed already since the early 80s. They did an LP (Rock The Cradle) on Kevin Seconds’ label Positive Force recs in 1987. At the time of this tour the band consisted of (I believe) Chuck Walker (started on guitar in the early 80s, later drums & vocals when drummer Scott Frey left), Adam Kolesar (bass/vocals; replaced the 1st bassplayer John Leroy) and Scott Kenneally (guitar). They played HC/punk with “catchy hooks and skillful guitar work”. I think it was Adam who contacted me to help out with a few shows when they toured… In the 90s they released Porcupine 7” (Family Fest And Friends recs, 1990), Corn Dances 7” (Manifest Soundworks, 1990) and a split-7” with ‘Stretch Arm Strong’ (Koogle recs, 1993): their song American Technology was recorded July ’93 with Derek ‘Derik’ Roddy on drums and Chuck singing. ‘Bedlam Hour’ was known for their wild live shows in which they sometimes fed the audience freshly-made snacks (made on stage with a small waffle-iron (by Adam the snack-master). Adam also often appeared on stage only wearing an adult-size diaper or dressed in a rubber chicken suit (a jacket with a bunch of rubber chickens attached to it); but in my (very vague) recollection there’s a cow-with-utter-suit…

pic taken from ‘Bedlam Hour’s Porcupine EP

‘Archbishop Kebab’, a Scottish (Edinburgh) collective playing avant-gardesque/ experimental punky stuff… “Their bass heavy sound has developed to embrace elements of dub, afro-beat and ska to their no wave frenetic post jazzcore”. They also held a “confrontational anarcho-punk perspective”. They’d formed in 1986 and did 3 albums: Yinferranodgie in ‘89, Beyond Ma Ken in ’93 and Heeliegoleerie And Scunnered (But Cheerie) in ’95 – the latter was recorded right before this tour but it was only available on tape then. This gig/tour was a while after the recording of the Beyond Ma Ken LP (March ‘92) that got out on Trottel recs (1993). I think the line-up at that time was Karen Jack (vocals/guitar/melodica/sax), Neil Bateman (guitar/mandolin/bass/vocals; also in ‘Badgewearer’), Duncan (drums), Bud (bass/guitar) & Angela (sax). There were various line-up changes; later e.g. a few people from ‘Dog Faced Hermans’ joined…

‘Archbishop Kebab’ – location/source unknown


I organised our tours. It was a long time ago though and I’ve forgotten various venues all over Europe… Neil Bateman might remember!

Karen Jack

Here’s what I remember from the Bedlam Hour European tour… As mentioned the tour was booked before the internet era; which meant a lot of overseas phone-calls. I had the ‘93 edition of Maximum Rock’n’Roll’s Book Your Own Fucking Life, which served as the template to establish a basic network to reach out across the pond. I was able to secure a couple of gigs directly through the contacts listed and then networked from there. The tour had to be relatively ‘compact’ in that we would tour for a couple of weeks given our efforts were un-supported and any door money modest at best. We focused on England, Scotland, Wales primarily as none of us speak a different language. We did venture to France (two gigs) and of course Belgium (Vort’n Vis). A couple of oddball details were the fact that we booked a tour not bringing any instruments. There were all sorts of horror-stories of bands being detained by English customs and shipped back to the USA on the next flight. I devised a plan for each band-member sitting in separate seats on the plane, even buddying up a couple of our less sophisticated travelers to withstand the customs agent’s scrutiny. I stuffed the tour itinerary in my pants as another protective measure. We reunited after we passed customs and immediately purchased guitar-strings and drum-sticks to exchange for use of instruments at each of our tour stops. I have to say our ‘sound’ was fairly variable given what instruments were available to us. There were a couple gigs where our guitarist sounded like he was playing a banjo.

The Vort’n Vis was a great, friendly gig. I certainly remember the other act given their unusual name ‘Archbishop Kebab’. Good turn out, and we were fed pretty great food. They also housed us for the night in their upstairs hostel. For breakfast: baguettes and Nutella (First time I ever had Nutella). My only regret was that I didn’t sample the famous Belgian Ales as I was pretty hardcore straight-edge at the time.

Adam Kolesar

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

‘Bedlam Hour’ – Frankenberry Mosh

unknown visiter…?

Vort’n Vis shitworkers Steph Q. & Jan C. complaining about bar-tender Steve W.

additions wellcome!…