Archive for the ‘VV 1992’ Category

92-10-04 Agent 86 - Disaffect - Downcast (+)

Besides the bands that actually played (can’t remember if ‘Punishment Park’ were there aswell; I think they abondoned touring with ‘Agent 86’ by then) also ‘Jawbreaker’ was announced (see poster). Can ‘t recall why exactly they didn’t show up (the UK part of the tour was cancelled) but they played here a couple of years later (94-10-01) though… This day was part of a ‘B.L.O.’ weekend (can ‘t remember what that meant) and ‘Naked Lunch’ performed the day before…

This was the first time ‘Disaffact’ played here. They would be back 93-07-04 and 94-05-22. As everyone knows, ‘Disaffect’ (a political HC/punk band from Glasgow) was Andy Irvine (bass; later ‘Scatha’, ‘Debris’, etc.), Lynne Entwistle (vocals), ‘Joe Fear’ (Jock Deacons; vocals; nowadays in ‘Constant Fear’), ‘IB’ Iain Blue (a.k.a. Debo Williamson; drums, later bass in ‘Scatha’) and Brian Curran (guitar; later ‘Quarantine’, ‘Debris’, etc.). Billy Steele (‘Sedition’) played second guitar only the last time they were here… They must have had their 7” An Injury To One Is An Injury To All out (on Flat Earth & Nabate) at that time… Martin Mann (drummer of ‘Sedition’) did the cover. Marc Papito, ‘Agent 86’s driver filmed ‘Disaffect’ live and you can see the video here (It was ‘92 not ’91, as is stated).

92-10-04 Disaffect 7'' cover

‘Agent 86’ were touring but since a few gigs fell through the tour was a bit messy: they’d played here already but not on 92-09-06 as was mentioned on the tour-schedule. Mike Briggs (guitar & vocals), Michelle Orgill (bass) and Rob(ert) Perry (drums)…

‘Downcast’, a political band from Santa Barbara, played metallic hardcore. They were known for their “anti-dancing” stance: an effort to rid the pits of the ‘tough guy’ attitude and allow all women in the hardcore-scene to return to their rightful place up-front or in the crowd (instead of in the back). The band consisted of Brent Stephens (guitar; co-founder of Ebullition), Kevin Doss (vocals; also helping out Kent McClard with distribution of Ebullition releases) and Dave McClure (bass). They had different drummers on their recordings (Lance York, Javier Vasquez & Chris Harvey – RIP 1996). Not 100% sure who did this tour but I believe it was Chris… They released a tape by themselves in 1990 and Kent McClard (whom I’d met in San Francisco a few years before and toured with ‘Downcast’) put out a 7” and an LP (both self-titled, ’90 & ‘91) on his label Ebullition recs. ‘Downcast’ broke up after the tour. Kent reminded me (personal communication ’93) that Sonia Skindrud (Exedra zine and Kent’s partner in Ebullition) started singing for ‘Not For the Lack Of Trying’ (with Kevin & Dave of ‘Downcast’)…

‘Farside’, a Californian band playing melodic HC (reminiscent of ‘Dag Nasty’, consisted of (during this tour): Michael ‘Popeye’ Vogelsang (vocals), Kevin Murphy (guitar; ex ‘Headfirst’ & ‘411’; he replaced Rob(ert) ‘Cubby’ Haworth who went on to play with ‘State Of The Nation’), Bryan Chu (bass) and Robert (Bob) ‘Violence’ Beshear (drums). Zack De La Rocha (‘Inside Out’ & ‘Rage Against the Machine’) had been in the band shortly but left before this tour. Around that time they releases the Rochambeau LP on the straight-edge label Revelation recs. I wonder if ‘Farside’ actually did play? I have no recollection of them. They were announced on 92-11-22 aswell but cancelled that one for sure… ‘Supertouch’ played with ‘Farside’ at the 1 in 12 in Bradford (92-12-19) but they didn’t tour together, they, sort of linked up in the UK.

‘Fireside’, from the Kortrijk area preceded ‘Faroutski’ – see 95-06-18) with guitarist Piet Geldhof (I think). The others were Geert ‘Barney’ Blomme (drums) and Rine Amelynck (bass). They were part of to the scene around the indie club The Pits in Kortrijk.

Zine-editor (and mate of mine) Ben ‘Sicko’ of Raising Hell (or was it You’re So Hideous by then already?) visited that day. Can ‘t remember if he was travelling around on his own or toured with ‘Disaffect’…

Brob

‘B.L.O.’ was the ‘Bond der Langharige Onderdrukten’ [League of Longhaired Suppressed]. Peter Vanthuyne [one of the V.V.’s collaborators] met them on the-university-campus in Brussels. (‘Frank & Freddy’s Fietsenfabriek’ [bicycle-factory] was the sequel.) They did somewhat playful, student-like actions. And they needed a benefit from time to time, it seemed. ‘Naked Lunch’ was a band from Brussels with people from Limburg; if I remember correctly they did a ‘Metallica’-cover and some songs resembling the ‘Butthole Surfers’. They might have become ‘Crossfader’ later on…? I think Peter did the poster…

David Stubbe

‘Downcast’ wasn’t anti-dancing. They were anti-hurting people. They were fine with people dancing but not violent dancing that hurt people. There is a big difference… Sean Sellers was the drummer of ‘Downcast’ on the European tour. No one else was travelling with us. We had some people with us for a few days at a time but it was just ‘Downcast’ and I for most of the trip. I don’t believe ‘Farside played’ here…

Kent McClard

I remember on that tour looking forward to playing at Vort’n Vis due to its cooperative, DIY approach. It had a great reputation and people I had spoken with mentioned the club along with 1 in 12 as their “home away from home”. I sincerely remember feeling the same there. Sean Sellers played drums for us on this tour and he went on to play with ‘Crack’, ‘Manumission’, ‘Shelter’, ‘Good Riddance’, ‘Real Mckenzies’, ‘Authority Zero’, ‘Blink 182’ and ‘The Transplants’. ‘Jawbreaker’ and ‘Farside’ were not there. I remember the ‘Disaffect’ people sharing their food and tales of Glasgow with me. I also vividly remember meeting Mike and Michelle from ‘Agent 86’ (I think we did 2 or 3 shows with them), liking their band instantly and sitting in their van hearing their tour-stories of Yugoslavia (!), cancelled shows, broke and hungry and not knowing how or when they were even getting home. [Mike wrote about all of that in Tremontane #1] ‘Downcast’ was going through our own emotional insecurity issues and I asked to join ‘Agent 86’. They politely declined and kicked me out of their van…

David McClure, ‘Downcast’ bassist

92-10-04 Downcast shirt back92-10-04 Downcast shirt front

The ‘Downcast’ gig @ Vort’n Vis! Could hardly stand upright…

Vik Bulik

I recall playing with ‘Downcast’ at that gig aswell as ‘Agent 86’ (definitely) but I also know I didn’t play with ‘Jawbreaker’. I’m pretty certain ‘Jawbreaker’ were on the flyer but never played – I‘d been looking forward to seeing them but they had cancelled, I got to see ‘em in Glasgow eventually… :-) We played in Liège the night before [92-10-03 @ La Zone: ‘Disaffect’, ‘Seein’Red’ & ‘Hiatus’]. Joe might have a flyer… I tried fruit-beer for the first time here (and the last time as it happens)…

Brian Curran, ‘Disaffect’ guitarist

The tour was worth it for the experience and the fun. It was good to meet your good self at the Vort’n Vis and I enjoyed our chat. It was a really good gig although a little strange to be playing in the afternoon!

Andy Irvine, ‘Disaffect’ bassplayer; personal communication oct ‘92

I do remember you, Brob, and the Vort’n Vis fondly. I have at least one flyer from the show we played there with ‘Downcast’. I do have some memories from that awesome spot – it was one of my very favourites, you guys did a fantastic job there. One of the best organizations we worked with on either of our tours over there.

I wasn’t especially happy with our set on the day we played with ‘Downcast’ & ‘Disaffect’. We played with ‘Jawbreaker’ in Lyon about a week later – but I have no notes about why they didn’t make it to the Ieper show (I suspect it was Blake’s throat-illness, which I believe he ended up having surgery for). I traded ‘Agent 86’ records (with possibly Kent, or Kevin?) for a ‘Downcast’ LP, and made a note that there were “so many people stuffed in that little showroom” that I spent most of the evening outside! I also remember being struck by how many of the guys at the show were “All X’d up”, referring to the omnipresent straight-edge symbol on their hands, and that they slowly filed out during our set (we had driven from mid-France that day and were, admittedly, flagging in energy by that point of a really chaotic and emotionally draining tour). While I didn’t get a lot of time to talk to ‘Disaffect’ on the night of the show, we did spend the next morning chatting and I do recall our drummer Rob getting on quite well with them – both they and ‘Downcast’ blew the doors off the night in terms of performances. I was, as always, impressed with the organization and what appeared to be cooperation with everyone at the Vort’n Vis, and we stayed/’played almost exclusively at squats all over Europe that tour – so we were experiencing all varieties of squats (and ended up travelling to Serbia as well). I am amused to see the note I left in the guest-book (cannot believe I used the term ‘uberstud’ – apologies to Bruno!) but we did have a nice time there.

The only other real note from that show is that we got a speeding-ticket on our way back to France and ended up spending what little money we had made at the V.V. on that. When the French cop pulled us over telling us we were speeding even though there were no signs to let us know the legal limit, he told us (via Sonja, the girlfriend of our pal Marc): “The speed is 50 km in the city – éveryone knows that.” and it became a talking point for days.

Michelle Orgill, ‘Agent 86’ bassist

The one memory that sticks out is lending my snare-drum to ‘Downcast’ and having it returned covered in the drummer’s blood. That was also the first time I had ever heard ‘Disaffect’. They were amazing!

Robert Perry, ‘Agent 86’ drummer

In reaction to the remarks (by Dario Adamic): How can we be sexist when we’ve had a woman in the band 30 of the 32 years of our existence!? And letters to MRR? Never saw ‘em, never published? If you have copies I’ld like to see… Not DIY? That’s why we’ve never signed a corporate deal and last year self (that’s DIY) -released our 22nd?, 23rd? 12”/CD….I’ve lived DIY my entire adult life… And dishonest? This from a guy who demanded to be paid every day he’d travelled with us, even though he knew we didn’t have money to feed ourselves. My Dad ended up footing the bill to rent the van he so comfortably travelled around Italy in… Amazing….

Mike Briggs, ‘Agent 86’

Guitarist of ‘Fireside’ was indeed Piet Geldhof. The band recorded a double live 7” at Democrazy in Gent. ‘Faroutski’ was the same line-up without Piet (who moved to France). ‘Faroutski’ did 2 7”s (1994 Faroutski, 1995 Funarchy) and 3 CDs (1997 Mars, 1999 V8 Powered Punk’n Roll, 2001 Farout Chicken Ride). The rhythm-section continues as ‘Unwanted Tattoo’… I attended this gig. Piet had already left: it was the second gig ever by ‘Faroutski’. It was ‘Barney’ on drums, Rine on bass and Johan [Dekyvere] on guitar. Later they had a second guitarist Dominiek.

Joost Dierick, BZN productions

According the ‘Faroutski’ website it should not have been ‘Fireside’ but ‘Faroutski’ who played here. I suspect that it was ‘Fireside’ however. [They signed as ‘Faroutski’ in the guestbook.] That band was an intermediate between ‘Roadtrain’ and ‘Faroutski’; the core was: ‘Barney’ (drums); Johan (2nd guitar) and Rine (bass). In ‘Fireside’ Piet G. (lead-guitar) and Nathalie (vocals) invigorated the heavy guitar-rock with influences of US bands from the pre-grunge era (‘Green River’, ‘U-Men’, early ‘Melvins’). In the brief span (1991-’92) that ‘Firside’ was active they release a double split-7” with ‘Party @ Vanzettis’ on their own Rock Labyrinth recs. At the end only the rhythm-section and the rhythm-guitarist remained: they chose the direction of melodic punkrock (‘Leatherface’, ‘D.O.A.’, ‘Snuff’, ‘Bad Religion’) and name was changed to ‘Faroutski’; they played “V8 powered Rock’n’Roll” as they called it themselves.

Dirk ‘Bowy’ Bauwens

Kevin Murphy from ‘Farside’ tells about their 1992 European tour in an interview:

>>It was the first time any of us had been to Europe and the entire thing was a disaster. This guy was tagged with booking it and about 3 weeks before we were supposed to leave he contacted Revelation and announced that he had not booked a single date and was not going to. Now, being dirt broke, we had purchased non-refundable tickets to and from Germany, so we were going, tour or not. Jordan knew this great guy in Bradford, England named Ian [Leck] who had booked some shows for some other touring Rev band before. Ian sang for the HC band called ‘Voorhees’. He agreed to book this tour for us and we left the U.S. without having more than 3 or 4 shows booked. So we’d finish playing in a squat in Freiberg, Germany, go to the pay-phone and call Ian and he’d tell us we were scheduled to play in Italy the next night. It was crazy. I also blew my amp the first night which meant I had to borrow equipment every night of the tour. Plus, we were all cramped inside of this tiny VW Euro van along with all of our gear and merchandise – it was just horrible. And somehow, we walked away from it, after losing tons of money, having had an amazing time. At the time, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be a permanent member of the band but I couldn’t leave after that. It sounds cheesy but it really was a make or break moment for us and it made us. We felt extremely “punk.<<

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 92-10-04 - (book A) Disaffect AndyVV 92-10-04 - (book A) Disaffect BrianVV 92-10-04 - (book A) Disaffect IBVV 92-10-04 - (book A) Disaffect Lynne

VV 92-10-04 - (book A) Kevin Downcast

VV 92-10-04 - (book A) Michelle Agent 86VV 92-10-04 - (book A) Mike Agent 86VV 92-10-04 - (book A) Rob Agent 86

VV 92-10-04 - (book A) FaroutskiVV 92-10-04 - (book A) Joost Dierick

VV 92-10-04 - (book A) Ben Sicko

VV 92-10-04 - (book A) VV cook Filip Goudeseune

additions wellcome!…

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92-08-29 Sedition - One By One

The first gig of ‘Sedition’ (from Glasgow) here. On their 1st tour with ‘One By One… I’d probably already heard them on tape. Later I helped distribute the LP over here. I’d exchanged some notes before with ‘Brycey’ about his on Reel To Real tape-label but I didn’t realize it was the same guy who played with them. The band was: Angus ‘Gus’ Quinn (vocals; later ‘Scatha’), Martin Mann (drums; just joined before this tour, replacing Jamie Usher – who later also played in ‘Quarantine’ for a while), Billy Steele (guitar; ex ‘Disturbed’ – he replaced the original guitarist Davie Thompson after the 1st 7”; also ‘Disaffect’ & ‘Scatha’) and Craig ‘Brycey’ Bryce (bass; later in ‘Dawson’ – see 93-10-03). They played raging political hardcore/ peace-punk. Their music was also often described as ‘Celt-core’ because of their love for the tribal societies of Ireland/Scotland (hence the kilts by times)… Their 1st releases were the Dealing With Clichés 7” (1989) and a split with ‘Pink Turds In Space’ (the latter on Reel To Real recs, 1990 – re-issued in 1994 on Flat Earth recs). Later came the Earth Beat LP and the split-7” with ‘Disaffect’ on Sned’s Flat Earth recs (‘93).

92-08-29 Sedition (by Karl P) (-)92-08-29 Sedition (Karl P)92-08-29 Sedition' (Karl P)‘Sedition’; photos courtesy of Karl Penando

‘One By One’ had been here before (91-08-18 & 92-03-08)… Karin joined the lads (Sned, Mac & Micky) early ’92 (after the World On Fire 7” and the LP on Words Of Warning). The first ‘One By One’ release with Karin on vocals was the Fight 7” (recorded Oct ’92). There was also the Atrapad@s En El Fascista Planeta Tierra 7” on the Spanish label Víctimas Del Progreso and the Les 40 Ans Du Vieux 7” (with one ‘Sedition’ track) – recorded at a farmhouse somewhere near Tours, France, both in 1994.

92-08-29 One By One (by Karl P)‘One By One’ (with an attentative Hazel on the L); pic courtesy of Karl Penando

For info on the starting ‘Dreft’ see: 89-07-09. I think by then they had already evolved from grind to death-metal… Can’t remember if U.J. was in the band at that time…

Brob

I was at the old V.V. when ‘One By One’ and ‘Sedition’ toured. And later at one or two festivals?! Sascha [May] and Gregor [Kanitz] went as well as, with some other people from Düsseldorf. Only thing I recall at once is the long yet comfortable train-trip with them cheap Belgian 6-trips group-tickets for the local/short-distance trains. Dead cheap really. The lot of us were still pupils/students and could ride free to the border.

Roland, autonomous centre Mülheim (Germany)

I am actually not sure whether I have been at this gig. Actually, I think our first trips were to Liège – I am sure I saw the lot there. We only knew about what was happening in Liège or Ieper because Gregor started his distro and dealt with Alain from Nabate & Bruno from Ieper. Otherwise, no info would come over to us. Düsseldorf and the Ruhr-area were pretty much dead in the first half of the 1990s. Occasionally, we could get Gregor’s mother’s car and took the ride to Liège. The [railway] GoPass would come into play later, for the longer journeys to Flanders. Dead cheap it was indeed: a 10-ride card costed about 30 Euro and that would be valid for journeys between any two Belgian stations. Problem for us: making the transition from Aachen to any first station in Belgium. I guess we did anything: hitchhiking to Welkenraedt, watching the conductor and try not to pay until Verviers, pretending to sleep until Liège. Eventually, we would have to get out at Liège to get a GoPass anyway. Things became a bit easier when Klumpi started an affair with Gratien from Gent, because she would always have a Pass to share. But very soon, people from the Düsseldorf-area came over quite a lot and there would have been always one or two cars to go to Ieper. But I bet I didn’t come to the V.V. in 1992 yet.

Sascha May

I have some video of ‘Sedition’ playing at the V.V. I think (an old Hi 8 tape that I am in the process of getting put onto DVD). It was our first escapade into Europe and I can remember it was nothing like we had experienced before, then we got woken in the night with cops with guns demanding our passports and lots of craziness that followed. I will get the whole story of the night and get it posted!!! [C’mon Billy!!!]

Billy Steele

Me and Jane [Graham; Shag Stamp zine & ‘Witchknot’] were together for 4 years from about 1990, we came over with ‘Sedition’/‘One By One’ and they played Ieper, Hasselt, Liège and probably some other places. We also stayed in Liège and Gent (with Leffe) while the bands went on to Germany.

Russ Snell, ‘Stalingrad’ guitarist

This was the first time the bands toured together, so it must have been the one with ‘Sedition’ in a crazy bus called Amyerbus, driven by Angus Buchan [The guestbook mentions ‘Fazzy’…]. They got refused entry to Switzerland, Arjen [van der Meulen; Groninger who organised quite a few tours] got arrested (that happened a few times back then ) and … I got other memories but we toured a few times in a short time and I get them mixed up…

Sned

I’m the Angus that used to be in the band ‘Glue’ and also drove for ‘Quarantine’ / ‘Scatha’ a few times. We have indeed met more than once and also had some correspondence. [Brob: I’d mixed the 2 Angus-es …]

Angus McPhee

We had a nice dinner with the blokes of ‘Sedition’ & ‘One By One’ upstairs at the old Vort’n. Our line-up was probably still the one from the demo with myself on vocals, Erwin & Sammy on guitars & Narre on drums.

Kris ‘Mosh’, ‘Dreft’

This was the day before they played in Hasselt [92-08-30 @‘De Hazelaar’] and a week later they were in Liège [92-09-11]…

Ralf Leesen

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 92-08-29 - (book A) Sedition

VV 92-08-29 - (book A) One By One

VV 92-08-29 - (book A) Sedition'

VV 92-08-29 - (book A) Dreft

additions wellcome!…

92-05-24 MDCDieter R. (who did the poster) didn’t listen very carefully when he heard the name ‘Tribe 8 ‘… ;-)

Quite a while after their 1st appearance in Belgium (1982, supporting the ‘Dead Kennedys’ in Mechelen) this one, but in the meantime Smurfpunx (90-09-14), Hageland Hardocre (87-11-22) and a bunch of others had hosted them more than a few times already. Time for a show at the Vort’n Vis!

In the band (residing in San Francisco) at that time were: Erica Liss (bass; replacing Matt Freeman), Al Schultz ‘AlShvitz’ (drums), Dave Dictor (vocals) and Chris Wilder (guitar; ex ‘Stikky’; replacing Bill Collins). Later during this tour they became the first HC band to play in Russia (see MRR #117). At the end of that year they recorded the Thanks For Giving Me What I Didn’t Want… 7” that was released by New Red Archives in 1993. The next album Shades Of Brown (We Bite recs ’93) was with the same line-up and contains quite a few written and/or composed by Chris (e.g. the hip-hop vegetarian song Real Food, Real People, Real Bullets or Hail Satan; witty but clever).

The band still exists and did its 1st Australian tour Summer 2013.

92-05-24 MDC Dave (by Eric W)92-05-24 MDC Dave (& Al Shvitz's 6 year old boy)92-05-24 MDC drum (by Eric W)92-05-24 MDC bass (Erica Liss) (by Eric W)92-05-24 MDC guitar (by Eric W)‘M.D.C.’ photos kindly donated by Eric ‘React’ W.

‘That’s It’ (Los Angeles) had played the V.V. earlier that year (92-01-12; with guitarist/vocalist Shawn Stern, bassist Greta Brinkman, guitarist Mark Phillips and Tom(my) ‘Stupid’ Withers on drums). Tommy left the band halfway their tour so Chris took over on drums (David Andler played on the 7”). I can’t remember the others who were in the guestbook – A.J. (A.J. Ness did the artwork for the 7”), Ricky A.

Bettina who did a guestbook-entry is – as far as I can recall – Bettina Geile, a nice girl from Bremen who drove bands around in her van. Someone with a heart-warming smile and outgoing personality!… Nowadays she works for Schlachthof (a venue where a lot of HC/punk bands played at that time).

‘No More’, from Luxembourg (the country, not the Belgian province) were: Claude ‘Pattex’ Werer (guitar), Fränz Laureys (bass), Steve ‘Diff’ Differding (vocals) & Mike ‘Schof’ (drums). This was their 1st appearance here (they would be back – 92-09-05 & 93-03-28). In 1991 they’d released a split-12” (All Life is Equal) together with another band from Luxembourg (‘Subway Arts’) on Markus Haas’ Per Koro recs. Their 7” How Much is Enough – with one track recorded live at the 500 Years Of Genocide show at the Kulturfabrik in Esch, 92-10-25 – was put out by Peacy recs (Diff and Simone Winandy).

92-05-24 No More (by Eric W)92-05-24 No More bass (by Eric W)92-05-24 No More Diff (by Eric W)92-05-24 No More guitar (by Eric W)‘No More’ photos kindly donated by Eric ‘React’ W.

‘Tribe 8’ was an all-women outspoken dyke punk band from San Francisco. Considered one of the first queer-core groups. ‘Tribe Eight’ is a play on the word tribade, which was once used to refer to a lesbian.

At the time of touring they had a 7” out, called Pig Bitch (HARP recs, 1992) and split-7”s with ‘Blatz’ (Bitches’n’Brew‎ & Stranger Fruit, both on Lickout! – spoof on LookOut!- recs, 1992). Their LP By The Time We Get To Colorado (1993) came out on Outpunk recs (who also released a 7” for ‘Pansy Division’). A lot more followed…

The line-up on the Pig Bitch 7” was ‘Mahia Kobayashi’ (bass; later Lynn Payne), Silas ‘Flipper’ Howard (guitar), Leslie Mah (guitar), Lynn Breedlove (vocals) and Kat Buell (drums; later Slade Bellum) so I guess that’s who was on the tour. They played guitar-driven punk’n’roll and singer Lynn Breedlove (who became an author) delivered controversial lyrics dealing with subjects such as SM, nudity, fellatio and trans-gender issues. Some will only remember them for performing bare-breasted or wearing a strap-on dildo but the band’s message sure came across to those who really listened…

Read more about the band on tribe8.com. From (the book) Cinderella’s Big Score – Women Of The Punk And Indie Underground: “Lynn Breedlove ran Lickety Split All-Girl Courier, an all-female bike-messenger service which employed more than 100 women. […] Leslie Mah works as a tattoo-artist at the woman-owned and -operated Black & Blue Tattoo since ’96. […] Silas Howard co-wrote/-produced the film By Hook Or By Crook.” Silas is a writer, producer and director. You can read about Lynn’s projects on lynnbreedlove.com.

Brob

‘Mahia Kobayashi’ was the bass-player for a minute (also ‘92); she left in a huff early on… Leslie and Silas were the guitar-players…

Lynn Breedlove, ‘Tribe 8’ singer

‘S.O.T.W.’ was called ‘PositiveYouth’ at first and I did the vocals then. A while later I took up second guitar and Jan (brother of Maarten Beckers who was the drummer in the band) started singing. Those 2 later founded bands such as ‘Kindred’ and ‘Enemy Of The Sun’. ‘Positive Youth’/’Strength Of The Will’ were from the Tongeren area (except for myself). They were just guys who were in their last year of secondary school, who liked the ‘Exhaustless Revolt’ [Filip’s 1st band] tapes, heard that we’d stopped and called me one day asking to sing for them. :-) Crazy, actually… I didn’t know any of them but took the train tot the other side of Belgium (which I already had gotten used to, travelling to HC concerts; even if we had to play ourselves we went by train) and we started a band. Can’t remember very well how long it lasted, I estimate a year or two… Then the whole thing faded out: things weren’t that easy because of the distance, we rehearsed very little… A bit later ‘Kindred’ started. ‘S.O.T.W.’ played a few times at the V.V. [see 92-09-06], on one occasion with ‘Wheel Of Progress’, a precursor of ‘Congress’, I think.

Filip Staes

I visited the old V.V. between 1994 and ‘98, the first time I went there was this ‘M.D.C.’ / ‘Tribe 8’ gig, I think. I used to make a zine/newsletter called Carry On Screaming in the 90s, which later became Scream zine. Maybe that rings a bell? I believe we wrote each other a few times and definitely met at the V.V. I probably went to the V.V. 5 or 6 times (Leed festivals, etc.). I also went to a couple of summer festivals when it took place in a school-yard (late ‘90s/early ‘00s) but that was nowhere near as inspiring as the old V.V.

Luc Ardilouze, France (nowadays drummer for ‘Gasmask Terrör’)

One day, the promoter of the show or maybe the club-owner was trying to screw the bands around for money and the manager, a real crazy guy named Syd [Migx; vocalist for ‘Cheetah Chrome Motherfucker’ and doing tours – Big Flash at 6 – with his partner Lorelei], said he was going to get a baseball-bat, wrap it in barbed wire, shove it up his ass and wave him around like a flag. That may not have been in Belgium… I was six so its all very blurry. But I do definitely remember that happening somewhere. Haha… Syd was really funny and great. He has come up a lot when we’ve talked about the tour and always good/funny things are said about him by everyone. His friends from Italy called me ‘Satanino’. Little satan… I’ve always thought that was pretty cool.

Bri, Al Schultz’s son

Chris Wilder & I were the fresh young members and Dave & Al were the originals. ‘M.D.C.’ had always been heroes of mine. I saw them on the Rock Against Reagan tour in the early 80s. I played with Al in a San Francisco band called ‘Gecko Velour’ – after Matt Freeman of ‘Operation Ivy’ (and currently in ‘Rancid’) left the band they ushered me in – I played with them from ‘92-‘95, doing several world-tours, recording Shades Of Brown and several split-singles (one with ‘Capitalist Casualties’).

‘Tribe 8’ had a separate van from us though I rode with those fun troublemaking dykes as often as possible :0). Kat was the original drummer. Slade was the drummer in my very first band in 1987: ‘Industrial Rainforest’. We also played together in ‘Thursdays Child’. The San Francisco scene was pretty small and incestuous!

Erica Liss; ‘M.D.C.’ bassist

‘M.D.C.’ has played Belgium quite often and it’s tough keeping it straight … May ‘92 was our 4 month tour in Europe where we eventually played Russia. Erica Liss on bass, Chris Wilder on guitar, Alschvitz on drums and myself on vocals. We felt very proud touring with ‘Tribe 8’.

David Dictor

We had a blast and as my first tour of Europe, I was constantly surprised at how nice and welcoming everyone was… Even though America had (and still has) a lousy reputation in so much of the more progressive world.

Chris Wilder; ‘M.D.C.’ guitarist

Bettina was with us although she wasn’t really our driver. Chris Lagerborg was the drummer, he died maybe 10-12 years ago from a bad heart I believe. AJ was playing with ‘Throw Rag’ for a while but I don’t think he’s playing music for some years now. Ricky lives in Forida.

Yeah, AJ did some artwork on a 7” I believe… Can’t remember. AJ, Ricky and Greta were all fill-ins after the initial band members left the band. Tommy Stupid bailed the band in DC; a week before we were going to Europe without bothering to tell anyone. He basically used the ‘tour’ across the US to get to his drunk fat girlfriend that he met at one of our first shows in L.A. to the East-Coast. So the bassplayer left (he was brought into the band only a week or 2 before the tour when Tommy decided ‘we’, meaning me, had to fire the bassplayer we had (who was a nice guy but not the best bass player), and Mark Phillips & I had to find a drummer and bassist in a week in DC. We found David Andler and Greta. They did the first European tour with us, Greta broke her arm near the end of the tour. The 2nd European tour was with AJ, Ricky and Chris.

Shawn Stern; ‘Youth Brigade’, Better Youth Organization, ‘That’s It’

I was in the band for the winter tour but this one in May of 1992 I was not there. I don’t know who replaced me; on drums was my old friend Chris Lagerborg who I was later in ‘Joykiller’ and ‘Cheater’ with and he was in ‘Down By Law’ after me. He died in about 2002, he was a roadie for ‘Slayer’. I remember something about a guy named A.J. who was a big black guy with a mohawk (from Long Beach) that played bass but I don’t know if that’s the same guy. Ricky…I’m not sure at all.

Mark Phillips, ex ‘That’s It’ guitarist

‘M.D.C.’ was the main reason to be present. The head-liners that visited the Vort’n Vis in the period from ‘91 to ‘95 were more than the motivating factor to go see great touring foreign hardcore bands. I’d seen ‘M.D.C.’ already a few times in the 80s and each time they turned out to be a guarantee for an intense hardcore/punk party. And on top of that built by a band with brains and an absurd form of (self)irony. Here they brought along the fairly militant ladies of ‘Tribe 8’, who managed to reduce the machismo of many to realistic proportions – or to an non-existent level – with their ‘dyke’-core. ‘M.D.C.’ produced a spectacular show (this time in the ‘barn’ at the back of the ‘old V.V.’.. A place that proved to be the ideal setting for this kind of show: a high ‘squat-content’ with minimal, D.I.Y. accommodation. The ultimate image, to me, remains the circle-pit ‘pur sang’, lead by ‘M.D.C.’s frontman Dave Dictor: circling around a loose fluorescence-lamp that kept lightening the vortex in front of the stage with its last flashes. The ideal way to let a more then succesful show resonate.

Dirk ‘Bowy’ Bauwens

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 92-05-24 - (book A) Tribe 8

VV 92-05-24 - (book A) No More

VV 92-05-24 - (book A) That's ItVV 92-05-24 - (book A) That's It & Bettina

additions wellcome!…

92-06-27 Rorschach Needlepack cover

92-06 Rorschach poster

Charles Maggio, ‘Rorschach’s vocalist and owner of Gern Blandsten, at one point wrote: “Brob, I’ld like you to be my exclusive distributor for my label in Belgium.”. That was probably after the Fuse fiasco (a trial to merge 3 local distros – my own Tilt!, Bruno’s and Joeri’s) but I it didn’t actually happen (I wanted to keep things manageable)… A few years before I’d met Charles live when he was touring. Also in the band were Thomas ‘Tommy’ Rusnak (bass, replacing first bassist: Chris Laucella; later in ‘Ambush’ [95-01-29]), Andrew Gormley (drums; later in ‘Shai Hulud’ [99-06-27]) & ‘Bhakta’ Keith Huckins & Nick Forté (guitar). Their driver was Tobias Werner from ‘Ambush’ (van owned by Peter Carstens)… I’d gotten to know of the band through my correspondents Sam McPheeters (‘Born Against’ singer) – who released their LP Remain Sedate (on his label Vermiform) and the split 7” (with ‘Neanderthal’; came with Sam’s zine Dear Jesus) – and Freddy Alva – who put out the Needlepack 7” on Wardance (out 1991). This was before the Protestant LP (which would appear after this tour, I think). There’s also a tape, called Close Your Eyes And See Death…, of their show in Firenze during that tour (92-06-18). The music of ‘Rorschach’ (who were from New Jersey) was compared once with a bone-marrow biopsy; hard, brutal, painful,… It was also angry, intimidating and energetic. Here’s ‘Rorschach’ playing My War @ the 1in12 (Bradford, UK) on the 1992 tour.

The day after (92-06-28) ‘Rorschach’ played at La Zone in Liège with ‘6 Feet Over’… Tobias was driving Peter Carsten’s van (that broke down in France).

The band still exist today… But some of them are in other bands. The projects of Nick (who married Stacy Wakefield – of Evil Twin publications) are summarized on nickforte.eviltwinpublications.com

‘Blurred Vision’ were Marko (bass), Niklas (drums), Oliver ‘Olli’ (vocals) and Richard (guitar). In ‘94 Boezie released a split-7” (with ‘Jobbykrust’) on his Grinding Madness label but they’d already split up in Nov ‘93). They played “screamed emotional slow/mid-paced abrasive crust-core”.

‘Shortsight’ had played here a couple times (91-10-12, 91-12-21) but were still on their way to a steady line-up. Saskia wasn’t in the band yet…

I’ve no idea anymore who ‘Planet Coldox’ were (announced in the newsletter) or if I saw them actually play… I read somewhere Micha (bass), Emma (drums), Christoph(er) Nobis (guitar) & Heiko (2nd guitar; later replaced by Ingo) were from Manheim.

Brob

I have to admit that show has become a bit of a blur to me. What I do remember was sleeping in the van that night and being woken up by what I thought were jet-engines. After about 10 minutes of constant noise I got dressed and wandered out of the alley where the van was parked and almost got run over by a rally-car. I heard what sounded like a crowd so I started to follow the noise and ended up where I think was the finish of a rally-race. It was one of the most surreal things I have ever experienced. I know it’s not really show- or HC-related but that is what I really remember from that night. [Brob Indeed there’s the annual Ypres Rally end of June. The Vort’n Vis has always protested against it.]

Keith Huckins, ‘Rorschach’ guitarist

92-06 Rorschach - beginning of the European tour‘Rorschach’ & friend: (L => R) Nick Forte – Charles Maggio – Keith Huckins – Will Tarrant (Chainsaw Safety recs from NYC) * photo taken at the beginning of the European tour

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 92-06-27 - (book A) Rorschach

VV 92-06-27 - (book A) Shortsight

VV 92-06-27 - (book A) Blurred Vision

VV 92-06-27 - (book A) Planet Coldox 2VV 92-06-27 - (book A) Planet Coldox 3

VV 92-06-27 - (book A) RudyNOT Rudee P. but a Belgian Rudy [that used to hang out with the Shortsight people]

additions wellcome!…

2nd day of the 1st Ieperfest

(1st day: 92-09-05 Ironside – Strong Event – Blindfold – Shortsight – No More – Feeding The Fire – Spirit Of Youth)

The best ‘N.O.F.’ line-up here: Jaak De Cock (drums; ex ‘C.P.D. & ‘Disorder’), David Dutriaux (vocals; also ‘Scraps’), Jeroen Lauwers (bass) and Ed(ward) Verhaeghe (guitar; ex ‘Midnight Man’ & ‘Rise Above’). Their album Strike The Match was out for a while. Recordings for the Burn Again double-7” were ongoing. Same for the Non Smokers 7”… Actually Jaak played his last show with ‘Nations On Fire’ in Brugge, October 17th 1992 (a benefit for G.A.I.A.). He was a fervent promoter of veganism (the Belgian Vegan Society and the likes) and would start a vegan/healthfood shop in his hometown Hamme…

92-09-06 NOF (VV pic from Ras l'Bol)‘Nations On Fire’ (pic from Ludovic Hache’s zine Ras l’Bol)

‘Abolition’ (at the very beginning named ‘Violent Arrest’) played power-trash from Ludwigshafen and were: Bernd ‘Mr Intolerance’ Bohrmann (vocals; used to do Confrontation zine), Corey ‘The Cat’ Von Villiez (bass), Jens ‘Violent’ Wagner (guitar) and Andreas ‘Huy’ Huyhammer (drums). At that time they had the Jesus Was A Fuckin’ Dick 7” out (a co-release on Bernd & Corey’s Equality recs and Jens’ Homemade recs).

Corey was a pen-pal. We shared a clinical chemistry training and the fact that we were both rather critical towards consumerist attitudes in the HardCore scene. I admired her political stance and intelligent writing. She obtained a PhD in Political Science & Philosophy eventually…

The LP Complaceny (with Miguel Andrade on 2nd guitar) was recorded end ’93 and got out in 1994… Thesir raging hardcore fitted well with Bernd’s anger and critical attitude. The lyrics were very political (and elaborated into pamphlets that came with their releases). If you wanna know how they sounded, have a look here…: Abolition live @ Nagold (Germany) 1992.

Corey and Bernd formed ‘Stack’, Jens & Huy went on to play with ‘Nothing Remains’ (their bassist Frank Henkelmann actually ran Homemade recs together with Jens) and we’ld see Miguel back with ‘Age’ & ‘Rusty James’…

‘Inner Circle’, from Germany would play here again on 92-10-10. ‘Inner Circle’ They were to become ‘Spawn’ later…

Mike Briggs of ‘Agent 86’ contacted me to help find some gigs for his band ‘Agent 86’ (their tour was mainly arranged by their French label New Wave recs). I quite liked their music, political lyrics and DIY attitude…so I tried to help where I could. Their tour was a bit messy so I believe they played where/when it was possible and I think they ended up at the Vort’n Vis a few times (definitely Oct 4th). On the tour-poster it’s indicated this day they were due in Ieper (they’re also mentioned in concert-review in Holy Hardcore #2 below)…

92 Agent 86 tour

‘Agent 86’ played punk-rock, sometimes flavoured with a bit of reggae, and had an LP out that year called Just Say No. The line-up on that record was bassist Michelle Orgill, drummers Billy Ropple & Wes Hambright, and Mike Briggs (guitar & vocals). The drummer on the tour was Robert Perry. Before that they’d already done a whole bunch of 7”s, e.g. Vietnam Generation (also on New Wave recs).

Kjell E. Moberg, the guitarist of the Norwegian band ‘Punishment Park’ (a band from Bergen that played punk-rock, here with a female vocalist, Anja) had asked my help before but for some reason they couldn’t convince me that they had the true D.I.Y. punk spirit so I said no. They eventually ended up touring with ‘Agent 86’ and did turn up to play here… In my review of their CD for Tilt! #7 I wrote “Melodic uptempo punkrock with a touch of reggae sometimes. Good but nothing too special…”

Brob

‘S.O.T.W.’ was called ‘Positive Youth’ at first and I did the vocals then. I think we might’ve played with ‘Sedition’ at one time. A while later I took up second guitar and Jan (brother of Maarten Beckers who was the drummer in the band) started singing. Those 2 later founded bands such as ‘Kindred’ and ‘Enemy Of The Sun’. ‘Positive Youth’ / ‘Strength Of The Will’ were from the Tongeren area (except for myself [from Antwerp]). They were just guys who were in their last year of secondary school, who liked the ‘Exhaustless Revolt’ [Filip’s 1st band; see 90-10-06, 91-05-03 & 91-11-23] tapes, heard that we’d stopped and called me one day asking to sing for them. :-) Crazy, actually… I didn’t know any of them but took the train tot the other side of Belgium (which I already had gotten used to, travelling to HC concerts; even if we had to play ourselves we went by train) and we started a band. Can’t remember very well how long it lasted, I estimate a year or two… Then the whole thing faded out: things weren’t that easy because of the distance, we rehearsed very little… A bit later ‘Kindred’ started. ‘S.O.T.W.’ played a few times at the V.V., on one occasion with ‘Wheel Of Progress’, a precursor of ‘Congress’, I think.

At a certain time-point there was a song on a GoodLife promo by ‘Ill Balance’, a band that I played in somewhere in the 90s. That was also the period that I (and my grilfriend at that time) worked for GL for 6 months… I played also in another band called ‘Braveyard’ (a mix of hardcore/metal with hiphop/rap) but we didn’t release anything officially. Nowadays [2013] I play in a band called ‘Barricade’. We recorded some tracks in a professional studio. Musically it sounds like death-metal but with hardcore riffs but the themes are more socio-critical.

Filip Staes (ex ‘Exhaustless Revolt’)

Ieperfest [It wasn’t called like that yet back then…] September 1992. ‘Strength Of The Will’ opened in the pub. 3 and a half hours on the train (Tongeren – Ieper), saw 2 bands and had to leave early to get home… Didn’t get to see ‘Nations On Fire’ that time.

Koen Stassen

I can remember that I took some photos of this two day-festival we played… I also have a T-shirt that lists all the bands. I recall meeting a lot of nice and cool people there. And I have recollections of almost having an accident on the way home because I was soooo tired driving…

Jens Wagner, ‘Abolition’ guitarist

92-09 T-shirt

We played a ‘Negative Approach’ cover and the singer of ‘Voorhees’ (Ian Leck) went nuts…

Bernd Bohrmann, vocalist for ‘Abolition’

‘InnerXCircle’ was Patrick Uhlemann on second guitar and myself on bass. The guy that replaced me later was Dirk Zeiser [later ‘Spawn’].

Holger Andt

I remember this show really well. ‘Inner Circle’ played an awesome set…It was still with Mike Krajewski. When they changed the name to ‘Spawn’, Chris took over the mic and became their singer. Mike is still into hardcore mostly Power Violence.

Peter Hoeren, Crucial Response recs

I think we played twice at the V.V. and might have been scheduled to play that third time with ‘Jawbreaker’ (we did play with them in Lyon on the same tour)…but it was one of several shows I think that fell through… The Vort’n Vis was a favourite just because it was so wellcoming, and fun. Looking over the show-list on your site was amazing; we played with so many bands in that time-period (since we were there that 2nd time for over 4 months)…

We played a pretty grunge-y set, though I was happy with it – there were some inter-band squabbles. I have a note that the show was put on by a guy named Edward, though we also met Bruno that night, and scheduled the gig for October. Sadly don’t remember much else about the actual show.

I stay in contact with a lot of my old punk-rock pals, especially Dario Adamic, who has become a cherished friend, which is pretty amazing given all the drama at the time. [Brob: For history’s sake: Dario Adamic (Zips & Chains zine, Rome) had a lot of stories to tell about touring with ‘Agent 86’: according to him they were not DIY, dishonest, sexist, etc. He wrote letters to Maximum Rock’n’Roll about that…]

Michelle Orgill, ‘Agent 86’ bassist

We played in September 1992, I think it was a small festival. We just turned up after a messed up week in Germany as far as I can remember. We came there with ‘Agent 86’ (we were touring together that fall) and we got to play a few songs each. Most likely it was September 6th since we started the tour late in August that year.

Kjell E. Moberg, ‘Punishment Park’

I want to apologize for letting ‘Punishment Park’ infiltrate in the underground scene. They have nothing to do with the ideas and values of the squats. They buy Shell gas, eat at McDonalds and want to be on MTV.

Mike Briggs, personal communication 1993

My wife, our bass-player at that time, Michelle Orgill and I moved back to the West Coast (Eugene, Oregon) as soon as we got home from the 1992 tour. ‘Agent 86’ is still a thriving entity (www.reverbnation.com/agent86), approaching 30 years. We play mostly in Las Vegas but did our first tour in 17 years in March 2010 – L.A. to Seattle and back. My current wife, Jill, is the bass-player and we have 5 drummers that all know our set that we use. I book, run the door and do sound for shows on Friday-nights at a local bar (Boomers).

Mike Briggs, ‘Agent 86’ guitarist

I played for ‘Agent 86’ for a few years. I joined in ‘91 after the last drummer quit. My roommate was friends with them and hooked us up. I am still in contact with them. I only played on the Riot Girl EP and there is a live record out there somewhere from a show we did in Serbia.

Robert Perry, ‘Agent 86’ drummer

92-09-05&06 gig-review in HolyHardcore #2 (c)review (by Tineke Hoet) in Tom De Pauw’s zine HolyHardcore #2

92-09 Hardcore 92 review''review in Wim Vandekerckhove’s zine Reminder #2

additions wellcome!…

1st day of the 1st Ieperfest

(2nd day: 92-09-06 Abolition – Nations On Fire – Strength Of The Will – Inner Circle – Agent 86 – Punishment Park)

‘Ironside’ were a vegan sXe metalcore outfit from Bradford. Nick Royles (drums; ex ‘Sore Throat’ & ‘No Way Out’ 90-08-25) was in the band; along with Andrew Wright (guitar; later in ‘Unborn’ & ‘Voorhees’; R.I.P.), Doug(las) Dalziel (bass), Tom Chapman (guitar; later in ‘Kito’, ‘Baby Harp Seal’, etc.) and Richard ‘Rich’ Armitage (vocals; later in ‘Voorhees’). They had just recorded for the Neutered Innocence tape that Nick released on his label, Sure Hand recs, and they were about to put out the Fragments Of The Last Judgement 7” (on Ian Simpson/ Helene Keller’s Subjugation recs; 1993). Rich Armitage (somewhere on the internet) wrote: “We played in Belgium in ‘92 and blew away all the ‘88 straight-edge kids there, which laid the foundation for the H8000 thing. No one was doing slow, chugging metal with deep vocals and no recognizable straight-edge lyrics at the time, except ‘Ironside’.”…

92-09-05 Ironside' (by Subjugation) 92-09-05 Ironside'' (by Subjugation)92-09-05 Ironside (by Subjugation)‘Ironside’ photos by Helene Keller (Subjugation recs)

Not really sure but I think ‘Strong Event’ (from Mulheim in the Ruhrpott area) was the band of drummer René Natzel (who was also in ‘Inner Circle’ and ‘Feeding The Fire’ – see 92-10-10 – and did Common Goal zine) before he started ‘Spawn’…

I think this was the 1st time ‘Shortsight’ performed with Saskia singing. Can ‘t recall if guitarist Françoise ‘Hazel’ Lepers was in the band then; the rest was David ‘Mong’ Dumont (guitar), Björn Lescouhier (drums) & Kurt Deprez (bass). There was an incident with smokers when they played… (Dutch-speaking people can read about it on the excerpt from Edward’s zine Dorst #1, below)

92-09-05 Shortsight (Dorst #1)92-09-05 Shortsight Saskia (Dorst cover)Saskia ‘Shortsight’ (on the cover of Dorst #1)

‘Blindfold’ had just come back from a tour with ‘Onward’ (see 92-08-09)… Their Sober Mind Meditation 7” was recorded right after this fest and was to be released on Warehouse recs (that Edward Verhaeghe did together with Jeroen Lauwers). The band had a steady line-up with Jan Maelfait on bass (meaning he had to perform twice that day)…

With ‘Spirit Of Youth’ playing aswell, there was a total of 4 (more or less) local SxE bands… The month after this, they recorded the 7” The Abyss (released by Crucial Response recs). The line-up (see also 92-08-09) that day was: Jan Maelfait (vocals), Dominiek Denolf (guitar), Frederik Denolf (drums) and Ignace Demeyer (bass).

‘No More’ had already played here (92-05-24). They were from Luxembourg (the country, not the Belgian province). A political HC band consisting of Claude ‘Pattex’ Werer (guitar), Fränz Laureys (bass), Steve ‘Diff’ Differding (vocals) & Mike ‘Schof’ (93) (drums). See also 93-03-28.

‘Feeding The Fire’: Not the first time, nor the last time they were here: 91-12-21, 92-04-18, 92-10-10, 93-05-22, 94-08-21 & 96-05-12. Emphasizing the strong connection between some people… Léon Kleikers (guitarist of ‘No Sense’) stood in on drums here. He also did that for the ‘F.T.F.’/’Man Lifting Banner’ tour…

Brob

That day I met most of the Bradford guys, like Nick [Royles] and Tom [Chapman], etc. for the first time. ‘Ironside’ were hard as fuck. Their singer looked like a psycho. Turned out to be a real nice guy. They made quite an impression. Heyday of the first generation H8000 scene.

Rob Franssen, ‘Feeding The Fire’ singer

I visited again [92-07-25 & 92-08-09] for the Ieperfest. (Wasn’t that the very first time that fest took place…?) At least for the Saturday: I had school on Monday and couldn’t stay for the Sunday. The feeling on the first day of school after that summer was incredible. I actually just started in fall 1992 with my English lessons and picked up so fast, but not because of the teacher or the lessons but because of what I’d learned reading in lyrics and fanzines, and writing letters. Brob and me kept a somewhat regular correspondence since then until the summer of 1995. We met again for the fest in the summer of 1996, but the atmosphere at the fest was different and I was aswell; that was my last visit to the V.V. I visited the place (which was a pub) in early spring 2008 and early summer 2009 during field-trips with students of the University of Essen & the University of Siegen, respectively. I never saw the new V.V.

Jörg Jacoby, visitor from Saarbrücken

A couple of quick facts… ‘Ironside’ were never explicitly “vegan straight-edge” and certainly not metalcore. ‘Ironside’ was a straight-edge band. I really enjoyed that trip to Ieper, as I knew I was gonna be living in Lille in France in the near future. I was really keen on the whole Euro music scene and so for me it was great to meet people from ‘Nations On Fire’, ‘Spirit Of Youth’, ‘Feeding The Fire’, Jean-Paul [Frijns] from Value of Strength zine, some of the Lille people, etc. The scene was so much bigger than in the UK it seemed although in the UK the straight-edge scene was much smaller and less insular. We had a great time, going to the swimming-pool, watching a lot of bands that weekend…

In 1992 I lived in Lille, France for one year as part of my studies. I spent a lot of time travelling to Belgium, staying with the ‘Spirit Of Youth’ guys, hanging out with Ed, Bruno, Jeroen, UJ, Hans, etc. Also some of the Lille/ Roubaix/ Mouscron guys like Pierre ‘Six Feet Over’, etc.

As I commented [see link on top] I am sure there were plenty of people there whose intentions were misguided – whether it was just to make as much money, or young kids who were full on straight-edge vegan one weekend and turned back to a conservative lifestyle the next, and obviously didn’t look beyond the surface of what was going on…

Tom Chapman, ‘Ironside’ guitarist

>> With my twenty-first birthday looming in September 1992, I was where I always had been: restless and skint, devoid of potential fellow voyagers and lacking the guts and information to go it alone. But then there was Belgium – how hard could it be to travel there, to go to the first hardcore festival in Ieper? Was I just going to give in to my mates who didn’t want to go to it, or in fact go anywhere beyond their crap summer-jobs. So Belgium wasn’t Bolivia but it was a start, and it was a music festival and how cool would it be that I had been while other guys hung about the UK that summer? So I bit the bullet and got in touch with a guy called Jase [‘Step One’ Fox] from Manchester who was going too and together we headed over to Belgium. He had sorted staying with friends in Ieper so I managed to blag myself on to that ticket and got to stay with some lovely people in Belgium who were part of the beating heart of the hardcore scene there.

It is difficult to convey now how boundary-breaking it felt to travel abroad on my own – well at least emotionally on my own, not knowing my travelling companion very well. It all seems a bit silly now what with books and internet resources so readily available, but at the time I didn’t know that things like the Lonely Planet guides existed, which would tell how you how to get to a place and find somewhere cheap to stay. As far as I was concerned you had to buy a ticket for somewhere and hope for the best that you could figure it all out when you got there in your best pigeon version of the local language. All that to me – and to others where I came from – seemed a bit scary in the early nineties. I guess some of us just weren’t destined to be the world’s greatest (budget) explorers! At the time of my little jaunt to Belgium, it was quite a talking-point for the neighbours back home that I had just swanned off to the ‘continent’ on my own when most of us didn’t go much further than Bournemouth or if we did, it was just a touch of Spain on a package!

The Ieperfest was fab. The sun shone, there were loads of new people, bands, distros from right across Europe and of course many records to absorb and vegan food to devour – spaghetti I recall. There we go again, I can remember what I ate nineteen years ago but I’ll struggle to remember which bands played. ‘Shortsight’, ‘Feeding the Fire’, ‘Blindfold’, ‘Ironside’, ‘Spirit Of Youth’, that’s the best I can do! I don’t know if it was in part a consequence of the sun shining, compared to a dour and sour Yorkshire, and there being lots of people from around Europe having lots of super friendly conversations, but the whole event and the community gathered there seemed to simply ooze positivity.

Maybe it was just because it was all new to me but things seemed definitely different to back in the UK. For one thing – and this really stood out for me – there was a mini manifesto on the gig-flyer [perhaps this: Fast music doesn’t mean violent dancing] about violence and violent dancing not being tolerated, and this was something that the guys there really held fast on. I had never been to a gig like this where was so much good natured dancing going on, where everyone felt safe and looked out for with zero posturing. A couple of hundred people were crammed into the café, watching the bands and there was lots of fun stage-diving going on and people hoisting others into the air to surf the crowd. Secondly, the pleasure and openness with which people met each other for the first time, and the thirst for conversation, information-sharing and political discourse. It felt like everyone was bursting with ideas and political perspectives they wanted to share. I met some really brilliant people there, from which I took much inspiration home with me. Also just as exciting was the recurring references by the bands to the tediousness of sexism in life but also closer to home in the scene. But best of all was seeing some of the coolest girls rock out in the bands, and even better was to come in that I would eventually have the privilege of releasing some of their work on the next Subjugation record.

But back to 1992. It was a bit scary being there on my own, a kind of strange British waif and stray amongst large groups of friends who rubbed along with an easy and gentle bonhomie. I am not very good at being the kind of creature who finds it easy to impose themselves upon someone and their circle of friends. I really didn’t know Jase, who I travelled over with, very well and was keen not to be a social burden to him. At this time I didn’t really know the guys from ‘Ironside’ and they always looked a bit scary to me so I was way too shy to barge my way into their gang and they didn’t exactly rush my way either to save me from being the lonesome British girl there! So I just had to get on with it, trying to look nonchalantly cool and OK about being totally on my own, reading zines and killing loads of time between bands while being completely out of my social depth!!

Zines being sold at gigs…to me that was one of the best things ever and probably not for the reasons you think. They saved my social dignity on many occasions! In the early days there weren’t too many girls at gigs and I think most of us felt pretty awkward being a minority – an alien being on the landscape, often finding ourselves behaving like wall-flowers on the periphery of the gathering – even if this was contrary to our ‘normal’ personalities. We often failed to reach out to each other while an easy bonhomie flourished between the boys, powered it seemed to me by talk of record-collecting and being in bands! The boys didn’t seem to want to engage with us very much at gigs. On a lot of occasions the most I could get out of them was a “Hello, how are you…”, without much enthusiasm for any further follow-up and inclusion! My favourite scenario was when I used to go up to a group of guys who weren’t complete strangers to me and say the usual “Hello, how’s it going?…” hoping to join in and hang out and they would all go quiet and look awkward… I can laugh about it now but at the time it was terrible. It was like always being the new kid at school that people are polite to but you can’t be arsed to try with and let into your gang! It meant that there was often a lot of time to be killed on your own and so you needed strategies to help you stop you looking like a total pariah. This is where zines came in and saved me! So three cheers for zine-writers – the unsung heroes and heroines of the socially excluded at gigs!! On several occasions over the years I have tried to fathom why I wasn’t allowed to hang out with the same ease as those guys who were new to our local scene or visiting. The answers generally fell into two categories. Firstly I was someone’s girlfriend and that made people feel weird about approaching and including me. The second category is that they were frightened of me. This was nicely summed up some years ago by one member of ‘Bob Tilton’, confessing that he only had the guts to speak to me freely when he was drunk. There is a possible third category – that is I am tedious, but my friends promise me that I am not and just maybe they are right, as they have at least stuck with me for a decade or two.

Once again, back to 1992….so I probably did a lot of zine-reading at the Ieper festival but I could couldn’t hide away forever. I now ran a record-label and responsibilities to face up to, like shifting the 500 ‘Strength Alone’ records sat in Ian’s house in Darlington and more immediately the ones I had with me. I had to be brave and bold, and try and trade or sell them to the distros at the festival. I dread to think what they thought of this timid little thing trying to thrust my meagre offering on them. I also remember sitting there on my own with my little box of records, next to the big distros trying to sell them… Ah bless me. I totally thought the guys from ‘Ironside’ must be so laughing at me. I felt very small but nothing ventured nothing gained…for me the fight back against the under-valued and minority-status of women in hardcore-punk had to begin with trying to sell 50 ‘Strength Alone’ 7”s! And you know what…I did it, I got rid of them and came back with contacts for the major distributors in Europe. If first base is pressing a record, then second base is working with European distributors and I was on my way.

The Ieper festival was an opportunity to see ‘Shortsight’ and ‘Feeding the Fire’ play, both of which had female members in the band – Saskia, the vocalist in ‘Shortsight’ and Ilona, the bass-player [guitar actually] in ‘Feeding the Fire’. They seemed like warrior-queens, leaders of a tribe that were out numbered twenty to one, shouting “bring it fucking on”. I was in awe, not only of them but the friends they had that had the where with all to help them take their place centre stage. Being in Ieper was also an opportunity to meet Hazel, who was way ahead of the rest of us in breaking the mould, having played bass in the Belgian straight-edge band ‘Nations On Fire’. I also met up with a really cool woman over from Canada called Mel who wrote a straight-edge fanzine. It was pretty exciting to be, for the first time, around other women who were trying to make their presence felt in the straight-edge/hardcore scene and start to share experiences and find common cause. It is very liberating to come to the realisation that what you considered to be personal deficiencies are in fact systemic: you are not totally crap, the environment you are in skews your chances significantly in favour of being perceived as crap! The rush of oxygen to the brain when you finally work this out is quite something. It doesn’t make walking up to a group of guys to try and trade records any less daunting but at least you haven’t beat your self up too much before you try!!

With Jase I was staying at Hans’ house, who was the guitarist in ‘Blindfold’ and ran P.M.A. recs. For those of you that like your band-member facts, he eventually went on to be in ‘Liar’. Also staying over at the house was the ‘Feeding the Fire’ crew (Rob the singer went on to be in ‘Born From Pain’). I remember hanging out with them after the night ‘Ironside’ had played the festival, laughing at the impressions we were all doing of Arm’s, (the singer of ‘Ironside’), slightly scary stage-persona.

I was also probably trying to impress them with my world-domination plans for Subjugation, which frankly boiled down to trying to put together an Animal Rights benefit compilation 7”. We had been in touch with various bands over the summer and it was pretty much coming together. Signed up were ‘Feeding the Fire’ from Holland, ‘Shortsight’ from Belgium and ‘Struggle’ from San Diego, who had just released the most amazing 7” on Ebullition recs, and a track on the compilation 12” Give Me Back which was a benefit for Women’s support-groups. To get them on board was totally brilliant. Again for those of you who like band-member facts, ‘Struggle’ included Justin Pearson who went on to be in ‘Swing Kids’ and ‘The Locust’. […]

Feeling buoyed up and a bit giddy by what I achieved at the Ieperfest I made my way back to the UK. ‘Ironside’ were on the same ferry crossing as me. I said “Hello” without sounding too squeaky and secretly hoped that they would kind of indicate that it was cool for me to hang out with them for the four hour crossing, but sadly they didn’t, so I did my best impression of cool independence and sauntered off to get coffee, hiding my disappointment that I wasn’t getting the chance to hang out with the über-cool Nick Royles, the drummer of ‘Ironside’. Ian Leck (the singer of ‘Steadfast’/’Voorhees’) did find me later in the café and joined me for some chit-chat, which was a welcomed charitable act that I have clearly remembered for the last twenty years! The initial tepid relations between myself and Bradford boys was later in part explained by the unearthing of a snake in our midst’s! Someone was peddling tales and creating general mistrust been the Leeds and Bradford posses. In the following months the perpetrator was unmasked and confronted and the outcome of this was to be some cool collaborations between us all on gigs and record releases, general good times and an enduring friendship between Nick and I. It is shame that the petty power-games of this one individual prevented the cool stuff happening all the sooner, but I guess such games are all part of the rich pageant that is human relationships… <<

Helene Keller, Subjugation recs (subjugationrecords.wordpress.com)

92-09-05 Helene, Hazel and Saskia outside the V.V.the sisterhood (Helene, Hazel & Saskia)

92-09-05&06 gig-review in HolyHardcore #2 (a)92-09-05&06 gig-review in HolyHardcore #2 (b)review in Tom De Pauw’s zine HolyHardcore #2

92-09 Hardcore 92 review (-)review in Wim Vandekerckhove’s zine Reminder #2

additions wellcome!…

92-08-09 Blindfold Onward tourpass

92-08-0x tour Blindfold Onward (+Hoeren+Gruter+Muller)‘Blindfold’ & ‘Onward’ on tour; with Andreas Grüter, Michael Müller, Peter Hoeren, U.J., etc.

Wim (who sang for ‘Blindfold’) wrote a report on their tour with ‘Onward’ (in his zine Reminder #2) of which this here was the last gig:

>>We arrived in time to see ‘Burning Fight’ and ‘Spirit Of Youth’ (which was our goal). There’s a saying ‘You don’t have to convince a home-crowd’ but I don’t think you can say that for this one… A lot of kids I never saw showed up. This show turned out to be the second best on this tour [8 dates] for both ‘Blindfold’ and ‘Onward’. It felt good to be back.

It was the first tour for everybody involved. When I look back at it, there’s only one thing to say: there couldn’t have been a better band to tour with. A million thanks to Peter Hoeren, Michael Müller, Thomas Baldsovik and Andreas Grüter.<<

‘Blindfold’ did a lot of shows at the V.V. (They rehearsed there if I remember correctly.); even before this one… The (international) attention grew and this one here was during their first European tour. They were ready for it! After this they would record their Sober Mind Meditation 7” (@ CATS Studio in Brugge, Sep ’92; their 2nd studio-experience), a year after Deprogrammers Do Not Exist (the first official release on P.M.A., Hans & UJ’s label).

‘Onward’, a straight-edge hardcore band from Oslo were: Arne (Olav) Haabeth (bass), ‘Bhakta’ Ollie Andersen (drums), Peter Amdam (guitar) and Torgny Amdam (vocals; later in ‘Amulet’). In 1991 they had a demo out and did a 7” for Crucial Response recs (Peter Hoeren would also release the LP In A Different Place the next year.). Later some of them formed ‘Sportswear’… Ollie was into Hare Krshna: did Wim ‘Blindfold’ pick up the interest for that kind of spirituality while touring with them…?

‘Burning Fight’, a SxE band from the Belgian coast, had already played here half a year before (92-02-22)…

After the gigs with Hans Verbeke drumming (91-06-08, 91-09-01, 91-12-21), little Fred started hitting the drums in ‘Spirit Of Youth’; Ignace De Meyer played bass and during a short while Edward Verhaeghe was singing (instead of Jan Maelfait, before he came back by the end of this year). That period they did a demo (released by Edward on Warehouse recs) with that line-up. The songs were later re-released on Love, Truth & Honesty (the name that ‘Spirit Of Youth’ took for a while)’s 7” (entitled The Impossible Dream…) on Jeroen’s Machination recs. Their Abyss 7” (Crucial Response recs) was recorded in October 1992 with Jan back on vocals.

Brob

92-08-09 SOY (Ward) by Dompi92-08-09 SOY (+ Jörg Jacoby) (-)‘Spirit Of Youth’ (Ward addressing Jörg Jacoby)

My band, ‘Growing Concern’ didn’t play -nor did ‘Open Season’- in August ‘92; but some members of GC and OS were there (Steve & Davide -who later joined GC- of OS and Andrew of GC) since they were travelling with Interrail through Europe. [‘Growing Concern’ came over to play twice later on: 93-01-09 & 94-01-08]

Gianni Pantaloni, ‘Growing Concern’ drummer

92-08-09 members of Ironside, NOF, Enemy's Voice, Growing Concern, Blindfold, Step One, Onward (Jase Fox)>>Some members of ‘Ironside’, ‘N.O.F.’, ‘Growing Concern’, ‘Blindfold’, ‘Onward’ and ‘Step One’ + the guy of Enemy’s Voice zine<< (photo courtesy of Jase Fox)

After my 1st gig at the V.V. [92-07-25], I came back to the V.V. twice that summer, I was completely set alight by the straight-edge scene… I visited again for this one and later for the Ieper-fest (Wasn’t that the very first time that fest took place? [1st ‘Ieperfest’?])…

Jörg Jacoby, visitor from Saarbrücken

L.S.C., the Last Struggle Crew was a militant leftist, socialist, politically oriented group straight-edgers from various countries; hence also the name Red Edge. It was more a reaction to various op militant straight-edge groups, mainly in the US, that focussed purely on straight-edge. Straight-edge was of course also very important to us but it was a part of a bigger, politcal setting.

Har, ‘Feeding The Fire’/’No Sense’

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 92-08-09 - (book A) Blindfold

VV 92-08-09 - (book A) Onward ArneVV 92-08-09 - (book A) Onward Ollie

VV 92-08-09 - (book A) Onward fans Norway“Thank you for a pleasant stay. We stayed here for 2 nights and had a great time.” (Catherine Skar & Anne Mette Bergseth, from Norway)

VV 92-08-09 - (book A) Growing Concern  + Open SeasonItalian visiters…

VV 92-08-09 - (book A) LSC PetePeter Hoeren (Crucial Response recs)

VV 92-08-09 - (book A) RedEdge + LSCLast Struggle Crew, ‘Gloves Of Destruction’ (see 91-12-21), Jase ‘Step One’, …

additions wellcome!…