Archive for December, 2017

Intro: 96-09-20&21&22 8th Leed festival

‘Strain’ had been at the V.V. before (95-04-09). These Canadians (from Vancouver) played “metallic mosh-core in the vein of ‘Snapcase’ & ‘Chokehold’ with staccato rhythms”: Eric ‘Flexyourhead’ Thorkelsson (bass; ex ‘Fratricide’; does the Flex Your Head radio-show), Jody Taylor (vocals), Chris Rayes (drums; replaced Len Greenblat), John Franco (guitar; replaced Greg Dinardo) and Sean Lande (guitar; seanlande.com). They had put out some 7”s (self-titled on Overkill recs ’94, Cataract & Driven on HeartFirst ’94, Remorse on Pushead’s Bacteria Sour recs ‘95) and later recorded for several more releases on the label ran by Flo(rian) Helmchen (my mate from Berlin; ex ‘Squandered Message’ bassist): HeartFirst recs. In ’96 New Age recs released their CD Here And Now (recorded in January).

‘Strain’

‘Ananda’ came from Parisian suburbia. They’d been at he V.V. before (95-07-02) and earlier that year (February) they’d recorded a demo. Recordings of their show with ‘Policy Of 3’ and ‘Avail’ (95-05-30 in Poitiers, France) were used for a split-tape with ‘Symptom Of Isaac’. The band consisted of Chrystèle Grall & Jean-Yves André (vocals), Thomas Guillanton (guitar; ex ‘Fingerprint’, ‘Jasemine’) & Sylvain Klein (guitar), Jérôme ‘Mizou’ Bessout (drums; ex ‘Fingerprint’, ‘Jasemine’) and Jérôme ‘Gunthar’ Lacombe (bass). (Günthar studio was Jérôme’s the home recording-studio in the 90s.) Their 10” Masqué had been recorded that summer and was released by Olivier Lépine on his label La Libre Expression. Later Stéphane ‘Stu’ Joly (ex ‘Undone’) replaced Sylvain and Michaël Clergeot joined December ’97 (did vocals in stead of Jean-Yves; after the 10” and the Habeas Corpus LP); the sound changed “from screamo to heavy gloomy hardcore sludge”. They would come back to the V.V. on 99-08-21.

Elision’, from Würzburg (Germany), were: Christian ‘Mosh’ Ebert (vocals), Franky G (guitar; R.I.P.), Tobias/Toby (bass), Schmitze (drums, ‘Mosh’ drummed on the 7”) & Marco Reuss (guitar). They did a self-titled 7” in 1994 and an LP (Thoughts) in ‘96 on Steffen Rose’s label Navigator productions. He also relesed a double live 7” of the band with ‘Yuppicide’ (who they toured with), ‘Strain’ & ‘Radical Development’ in ‘95. Their music at that time could be described as NY-style, fast new-school hardcore. Navigator HQ organised their tour…

‘Sektor’, a H8000 veg(etari)an straight-edge metalcore band, did 2 7”s on Hans Verbeke’s Sober Mind recs: Ultimate Threat (1995) and a split with Vitality (1996); later there was also a 12”/CD (Human Spots of Rust, ’97). ‘Lenny’ Wouter Cael (bass), Bert Guillemont (drums; also in ‘Liar’), Piet ‘Pete’ Cardoen (guitar), Vadim Vandekerckhove (guitar) and Jeroen Therry (vocals). The band already played the V.V. pub (96-05-12) and the fest that (96-08-17) that year; and would come back a few times…

‘Vitality’ had also made an appearance on the fest a month before (96-08-16). This “tough-guy edge-metal” outfit, from Oostduinkerke (ODK; Belgian coast), consisted of ‘Chief’ Steve De Clercq (vocals), ‘Noptje De Mens’ Bob Van Lierde (guitar) & ‘Alien King’ Chris Paccou (guitar; nowadays sound-engineer for ‘Carcass’), Olivier ‘Ollie’ Dobbels (drums; also nick-named ‘Simon’ or ‘Original Gangster’) and ‘Switch’ Marc Paccou (bass). In their early days they did one show with Frederic ‘Fre’ Flameygh on drums (ex ‘Burning Fight’, DJ Flameboy see 92-02-22) and also Ilja (‘Congress) played a short while for them… They supposedly recorded a demo that year; and Hans ‘Liar’ released 2 7”s for them on his label Sober Mind: a split with ‘Sektor’ an one entitled Bloodline. They would also play the 1997 fest…

A year before this (95-09-16) ‘Systral’ played in Ieper for the first time. This band (from Bremen) played brutal crust-grind/death-metal with a screamo edge (2 vocalists). The members were Björn Schmidt (vocals; also ‘Carol’/‘Mörser’), Denny Schmidt (vocals; also ‘Mörser’), Dirk Kusche (bass; also ‘Rusty James’; started the Chrome Saint Magnus label with ‘Acme’s drummer Gregor Iwanoff in ‘98), Sönke ‘Sonne’ Gabriel (drums; bassist of ‘Acme’) and Andy Lohmüller (guitar). In 1995 Per Koro did 2 releases (Fever…The Maximum Carnage 10” & Maximum Entertainment 7”) for them. In 1998 a split-7” with ‘Acheborn’ and the Black Smoker CD would follow…

‘Family Of Dog’ were from Deinze (Belgium). Their music often labeled as “death-core” metal. The people in the band was: Bert Walgraeve (bass), Stijn Everaert (drums), Peter Staelens & Wim De Taeye (guitar) and Tom Claus (vocals; also sang for ‘Congress’ on their Angry With The Sun CD). They released a promo-tape in ’96, did a split-7” with ‘Liar’ in ’97 (Genet recs) and a self-titled CD (Midas prods, ’98).

Brob

Things grew very fast at the V.V.; I played there with ‘Rusty James’ a couple of years before and had the impression that it became a fair for labels and distros…

Dirk Kusche

Good memories. Our recollections of the Vort’nVis is that we played as one of the first bands there and somehow we managed to break the stage. It was destroyed before all the other bands got to play… I still have the Vort’nVis T-shirt! We were on tour with ‘Strain’. Don’t remember much about the other bands.

‘Mosh’, ‘Elision’ vocalist

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

 

 

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‘Panikos’ (from Thessaloniki) was a band with anarchist sympathies. Their lyrics were in Greek. In the beginning they consisted of: Nikos (guitar), Elmer (drums; later replaced by Lakis), Thanos Georgilas (bass; also in ‘Human Lethargy’) and Christos ‘Panther’ (vocals & guitar). On their demo-tape The War Continues (1990; later released on vinyl) they remind me a bit of ‘Antisect’. They were about to release a 7” on Bruno’s Genet recs (All For The Money) which they came to promote here I guess. The music on that one got described as “a heavy mid-paced crust attack” but it’s more elaborated, slower and metal-influenced (not unlike ‘Amebix’). Later they also did a split-LP with German band ‘WWK’…

‘Panikos’

‘EgoTrip’, from Bad Neustadt (Germany), consisted of Ma Raab (guitar), Ralph ‘Otto’ Pöllath (vocals), Thorsten ‘Dosn’ Raab (bass), Dino (drums; he replaced Patrick). Florian Opitz was in the band too later on… I’d gotten to know them through this girl, Alexandra Geier, that I corresponded with. If I remember well she put me in touch with Otto… They played powerful, skilful, varied HC and put out 2 7”s: a self-titled one & Alone. They also had a few tracks on compilation-LPs (Illiterate on Ebullition recs and the compilation by the German zine Plot)…

‘Virtual Reality’ (Bradford) had played here a few months before (94-03-19). 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). At this time they still used a drum-machine. They did a split-7” with ‘Neuthrone’ on Genet recs in 1994 and would later release the LP Dreamstate (Genet recs & Flat Earth recs, 1995). The band isn’t mentioned in the V.V. notes but they’re in the guestbook…

Stevie Dewar (guitarist of ‘Political Asylum’) had asked me to arrange for this ‘Punkrockfive’. I guess Bruno got in touch with them eventually… ‘Nancy And I’ (from Göttingen) were ‘Hichy’ Jens Hichert (vocals), Gerrit ‘MD’ Schlösser (guitar), ‘Kabob’ (guitar), P-Punk / ‘Little Bee’ ‘Ulli B Lefort’ Ulrich Briese (bass) and ‘Sven No’ Sönke Peters (drums). They had 2 EPs out and did a CD on a subsidiary of a heavy metal label, called All Fall Down (1993).

Brob

My mates from Germany, ‘Nancy And I’ ended up having to pay to get into their own gig in Ieper since the whole town-centre was cut off for a festival. Also they came back to Göttingen, where they come from, with 0 cash somehow. ‘Political Asylum’ also played with the two ‘Nancy And I’ boys on bass and drums at some time-point. I think we played as support for the ‘Instigators’ at the V.V. [Brob: ‘Political Asylum’ played the V.V. on 91-07-07]

Steve Dewar, ‘Political Asylum’ guitarist

As far as I can remember we (‘Nancy and I’) played at the Vort’n Vis in Ieper. I think it was the day the whole city was celebrating, something like cat’s death day??? [Kattenstoet, the cats’ parade, a folkloric parade] We played there together with a band from Greece. Two of us replaced drum and bass for ‘Political Asylum’. It was ‘Little Bee’ on bass and ‘Snök’ on drums. Maybe Steve Dewar could tell you a little bit more of that tour and dates.

Gerrit Schlösser, ‘Nancy And I’ guitarist

I remember that on that day the whole town was like a carnival of cats. People in cats’ cars and costumes. The whole city was surrounded by road-blocks and police, so that one our cars couldn’t get easily in. It was a very chaotic day and I only remember the Greek band playing and a band from the UK. There was no P.A. so we had to improvise a lot. We only had one amplifier for the vocals and a very, very short microphone-cable, no great ‘jumping around’ performance to be expected, haha. We enjoyed it a lot playing that gig in Belgium, in a small club having ourselves “lekker” [tasty] strawberry-beer and freaky people in the crowd. On our way home, we saw yellow lights on the highway in the night, so we gave Belgium a new name: “gelbien” [gelb = yellow]. It was fun and we arrived 9 hours later after a short trip to Brussel, still don’t know why we took the wrong route, haha.

Jens Hichert, ‘Nancy And I’ singer

I can remember this show. As usual it started quite early. Not sure if we have been on tour or if it was a single show. Our singer Otto Pöllath booked the tours. I think there was a kid band practicing [Brob: probably ‘Spirit Of Youth’] when we arrived at the club. We had to wait they to finish before we could set up our equipment. I think… So many shows… Florian Opitz was also in the band. [Brob: I thought that was later when Thorsten had quit…] He also was very active in the scene those days. He did shows in Baden-Baden.

I recall meeting you Brob. I also played guitar in ‘Scraps’ during their ‘94 tour and I was driver, mixer and tour-manager for a lot of bands like ‘Rain Like The Sounds Of Trains’, ‘Texas Is The Reason’, ‘Yuppicide’, … The good old Belgium shows. I always loved the afternoon starts.

Ma Raab

Fantastic, I went back to Greece with ‘Panikos’ because I got along so well with Vagelis (or ‘Vanx’; the drummer of ‘Human Lethargy’ from Athens – who was friends with ‘Panikos’), at a ‘gay punks’ level ;-). Actually I got back in touch with him: I have the impression that after [the squat] Villa Amalia got closed down by the Greek authorities, many old punks suddenly started to appreciate the importance of that place, and that that meeting-spot has been taken away from them out of fear that protests would erupt. Villa Amalia was also a place where actions and concerts were organised, but especially where also friendships were built that still stand 20 year later. That gives it a tremendously important place in the lives of all who lived, rehearsed or stayed there.

‘Human Lethargy’ and ‘Panikos’ were a mixed bunch; I think Thanassis has played in both bands. There was also Thanos from ‘Panikos’ who was good friends with ‘Human Lethary’. Villa Barbara (squat in Thessaloniki) and Villa Amalia had the same intentions and people ‘commuted’ back and forth all the time. ‘Panikos’ was Christos (vocals/guitar), Thanos (bass), then there was this vague guitarist who called himself Ozzy and looked more like a football-hooligan. I never knew Elmer; I only knew ‘Panikos’ when Lakis already drummed for them. Panos (Thanos’ brother) might’ve played in the 1st line-up (he committed suicide in ’93) but I’m not sure of that.

‘Panikos’ is still playing, they put out a new LP in 2012 and Vagelis also still hits the drums in ‘Atopia’, a DIY punk band.

I carry that whole Greek gang of punks still deep in my heart.

Joris De Buysser

I don’t remember if we played or not… The only things in Belgium I can recall is a concert with ‘Bad Influence’ somewhere… And being live on a radio-station… Nice friends and hospitality there… The last few years we did 3 LPs with all old songs (some remastered and some totally new). The scene today…? Most important I think nowadays is the lack of fresh ideas and the feeling of community plus the spirit of revolution and evolution…

Christos ‘Panther’, ‘Panikos’

I was in ‘Ego Trip’ at that time and do remember just a tiny bit…

Florian Opitz

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…