Posts Tagged ‘Alians’

93-03-28 Sofa Head promo pic93-03-28 Sofa Head promo

Bruno, who was the main promoter for the ‘Pissed’ tour (which kinda ‘blew up’, see 93-02-27), decided to invite ‘Alians’ (my mate Rafał ‘Kazi’ Kasprzak & his friends from Poland – they’d been at the V.V. before (see 91-09-21) – to do a part of the tour with the Americans. One day, I got a call from Diff (of the Luxembourg band ‘No More’) – who was driving them – that the Polish got busted at the Swiss border for carrying ‘shit’ (or was some of their ‘mates’ who travelled with them?). They were fined and found themselves unable to continue. Bruno was in Spain (with ‘Doom’) at the moment so it was up to me to try and persuade them but I was unable too…

‘Sofa Head’, from Darlington, played tuneful hardcore-punk with great vocal harmonies by times. Their lyrics were insightful/personal-political but not weaned of some humour. They were: singer Claire Sykes (Chapman nowadays; she married Tom), bassist Ian Armstrong, guitarist ‘Wal’ James Wallis and drummer ‘Woody’ (Matt Woodward – also in ‘Kito’; not Andrew Laing who played on the records). Wal & Ian had been in ‘Dan’ before, Andrew was also in ‘H.D.Q.’ & ‘Leatherface’. Ian Armstrong ran an excellent label called Meantime recs (mostly melodic punk-rock bands) at that time and now runs Hidden Talent Booking (hiddentalentbooking.com) and manages a band called ‘Random Hand’. Nice people (I think I’d already met them in Diksmuide when ‘Inside Out’ played or was it just Ian?) – I also interviewed them for my zine Tilt!)…

‘No More’, from Luxembourg (the country, not the Belgian province) were a political HC band: Claude ‘Pattex’ Werer (guitar), Fränz Laureys (bass), Steve ‘Diff’ Differding (vocals) & Mike ‘Schof’ (93) (drums). This gig was around the time of the How Much Is Enough? 7” on PeaCy recs (ran by Diff and Simone Winandy). Their 3rd time here (after 92-05-24 & 92-09-05) because they were good mates…

Brob

We had a blast in Europe!

Claire Sykes/Chapman

The line-up on the European dates was Claire, myself, Wal and Woody (Matthew Woodward) on drums, he was in the band for around 2 years but I don’t think we ever recorded with him.

Ian Armstrong

I remember playing at Vort’n Vis with both ‘Sofa Head’ and ‘Kito’ [94-07-10]. I have to admit that I can’t really remember much other than that…

Funny that Ian says I didn’t record with ‘Sofa Head’ because we recorded a live LP at The Square in Harlow, Essex, that came out on vinyl as a US only release. Weird that he forgot that!

Matt Woodward

93-10-02 Sofa Head' (Brugge) Joeri H (-)Claire (‘Sofa Head’) in Brugge (later that year: 2 oct ’93 @ ‘De Kelk’; with ‘Four Walls Falling’, ‘Blindfold’, ‘Feeding The Fire’, ‘Nations On Fire’ & ‘Glue’) – picture by Joeri Hoste

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 93-03-28 - (book A) Sofa Head

VV 93-03-28 - (book A) No More

additions wellcome!…

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After corresponding quite a while and visiting them in their hometown Piła (North of Poznan), I decided to try and organise a few concerts for my mate Kazi’s band ‘Alians’. These were their first concerts in the ‘West’ [see Brob’s tours] They rented/borrowed a car and drove over here. Things didn’t go very smoothly (car-trouble) but eventually they made it.

‘Alians’ has an unique sound (they still exist by the way): an original mix of punk, hardcore, folk, reggae and ska; they also use “unusual” instruments like an accordion and flute. At that time they had a tape out (Gavroche) and consisted of Rafał ‘Kazi’ Kasprzak (guitar, vocals, flute), Darek Kułak (drums & backing-vocals) & his brother Tomek ‘Korabol’ Kułak (bass & accordion). Shortly after Michał ‘Dósiołek’ Thiede joined (bass, melodica, flute) and later more people came along to play trumpet and keyboards e.g. [Kazi: Not totally correct but I don’t think it’s so important. Our first bassplayer was Michał ‘Dósiołek’ (but quite soon) the band was joined by our former drummer’s brother (Korabol) playing accordion. Dósiołek unfortunately destroyed his personal life, relationship with friends and musical activity, while Korabol is still with us being an important part of the band.]

‘Mushroom Attack’ was a crusty hardcore-punk band from Groningen. After ‘E.N.E.’ (‘Extreme Noise Error’) split up, drummer Maynard, vocalist Robbie (Tempel) and guitarist Piet (Pierre Erickson) decided to start a new band with the help of Juul on bass and Janine [Janien] on vocals.

[‘Mushroom Attack’ live @ V.V.]

‘Disorder’ has a long-lasting Belgian connection since my mate Jaak (‘C.P.D.’, ‘Nations On Fire’) drummed for them a while, and him and Rudy Hoeykens (‘C.P.D.’s bassplayer – see e.g. 21 dec 85) followed them to Norway in the 80s (to escape military service). (Smurfpunx did a few benefits for that cause; see e.g. 12 dec 87).

Brob

My Oslo story… I think it must’ve been May 1987 (?). I hadn’t been together with Jaak for a long time. It became apparent he wasn’t gonna be able to finish his (law) studies and he also didn’t want to do military service, so he made up the plan to go abroad. He asked me to come with him because my studies to become a school-teacher weren’t going that well either; so I wanted to join. We decided for Oslo because of Taf: I recall vaguely him being rather praiseful about Oslo. We secretly took the train, boat and hitchhiked up there: Jaak, Rudy, myself and 2 other girls. I think Taf took care of us there… He was working for a theatre, TV-studio or something like: handing out flyers, putting up poster,… We stayed in a flat that was empty. My meagre savings were used for our survival… If we wanted to go to a concert, we went begging in the streets (I still know the little line in Norwegian), that went rather well… Since the money was gone after a few weeks, Jaak and myself returned, on the sly. Our families didn’t know (we told them we were going to work in Brazil). That winter Jaak was asked as drummer for ‘Disorder’ and we went on tour with them. Back to Oslo, then Belgium, Milan, three cities in what was then still Yugoslavia (Zagreb, Ljubljana & Sarajevo) and after that Greece (Thessaloniki & Athene). Steve was in the band. I think it was just the 3 of them. There was also Norwegian band but they were travelling in their own van. We drove in our own car.

Kristel

Remember the police-attack? ;-) And on our way back home in a broken-down car: it took us 4 days to get from France to Poland.

Funny thing with that police-attack… I wouldn’t like to minimalise anybody’s feeling or experience but I saw it a bit different. I was only just sleeping when the story began, so when I woke up and got outside perhaps it was already after the main attack. In fact nobody of us suffered, I even remember I was arguing with one of the police-chiefs, something that is impossible in Poland. I was quite surprised he was in fact polite and for me it was unbelievable, compared to some experiences with the police in communist Poland. Perhaps they quickly realised we were Polish and in that era, shortly after the fall of communism in Poland, it was maybe popular in Europe to support Eastern Europe. Anyway, it happened a few times that we were stopped by the police in Western countries and actually nothing serious happened. Once or twice we even got some help with finding directions or so… Quite different from Poland, where they were always arrogant and narrow-minded. On the other hand: that moment in Ieper I got to understand what it meant that the police in the West is just ‘rightwing’. I read about that before but didn’t really realise what it meant. We were so inexperienced these days…

Rafał ‘Kazi’ Kasprzak, ‘Alians’ guitarist/singer

The police raided that concert and arrested nearly everybody, only me and Piet of ‘Fleas & Lice’ [‘Mushroom Attack’ here] did not get arrested, and 5 or 6 Belgians. What a mess that was! The police came in at about 4 in the morning, there was still some group playing inside. They were very hard and brutal beating up defenceless drunk young people.

At that time ‘Disorder’ consisted of ‘Taf’ [Phil(ip) Lovering] (bass & vocals), Rudy (vocals), Thor [Tor] (drums), Steve Allen (guitar). Stian (guitarist) joined in 1993 after ‘Kafka Prosess’ split up… The tour came about because ‘Disorder’ and ‘Mushroom Attack’ did a split-lp [Masters of the Glueniverse; on Desperate Attempt recs].

Taf, ‘Disorder’

Oh yeah, the police-raid, I remember that well!!! It’s not correct that only Pierre wasn’t arrested: me neither. At the moment of the raid I was in the sleeping-room and came down (in my underwear) to have a look what was going on. I saw a venue full of armed cops who were taking almost everyone with them, supposedly for public drunkenness! How’s that possible when you’re inside a bar? The next day we tried to find out where everybody was and what had happened to them. If I remember well, the father of one of the guys at the V.V. 1 was the mayor of Ieper or something, and he helped to get everyone free. Our driver had been beaten up pretty badly by the police in jail and he decided to make a declaration against them. He was told that if he would do that, they would file a serious charge against him and they wouldn’t let him go and would have to stay in prison. So he dropped the complaint. Practically everyone in our tour-bus got injured that night. Before the police came to spoil everything things were great, ‘Disorder’ are fun people to party with and a number of our friends from Liège had come over aswell. I can’t remember the other bands.

Maynard Schut, ‘Mushroom Attack’ drummer

>>It was big fun to tour with ‘Disorder’; they’re completely out or order. During the whole tour we were wasted out of our fucking heads. Most of the gigs we were totally pissed on stage so I can’t remember a lot. After the gigs we were communicating, drinking and having fun with people. After the gig in Ieper, the pigs showed up and arrested some Belgian punx, 2 persons from ‘Disorder’ and 3 of ‘Mushroom Attack’…<<

‘Mushroom Attack’s Piet in Ripping Thrash #7

I remember that gig, a funny thing happened to me just before we were going to start to play: I had to piss and get me a beer to have on stage, and as far as I remember this place was like a bar in front and the concert-hall at the back of the same building, so I had to get out of the door of the concert-hall and into the door of the pub to get a beer. When I came back the guy standing in the door refused to let me in because I didn’t have any stamp on my hand (of course I forgot to get one when I walked out, silly me). So, while Rudy, Taf and Steve were ready to play and stood on the stage shouting after me for a long long time, I had to argue with the door-man that refused to believe that I was playing with ‘Disorder’. He told me that a lot of people had been telling him the same that evening, so he didn’t buy that one… ;-). After a while he started to serve other people that wanted to get in to the gig. So once he turned around, I jumped over his counter and ran trough all the people inside the concert-hall with the door-man running after, trying to catch me. Once I jumped up on the stage and sat in behind the drum-kit this man realized that I wasn’t lying to him about that I was going to play. Ha ha…

The thing with the police was like this, as far as I remember: The police came and told the people in front of the bar that they were not allowed to sit down on the sidewalk. This happened over and over again so the pigs got irritated (I guess they didn’t like the idea of a punk concert in ‘their’ town in the first place and it more and more of them came down. I think at the most, it must have been something like 50 pigs around there and the local people told me that they got enforcement from all the villages around there). So, after the gig when the pigs came into the bar, someone shouted “police bastards” and then five of them jumped on him really violently. A woman started to pull their arms to stop them hitting him, then they started to hit on her too, so I shouted to them to stop being so unnecessary violent, especially to a woman, then four of the pigs jumped on me. They handcuffed me and two of them held my arms as high up behind my back (in handcuffs) as they managed, while two of them hit me in my kidneys as hard as they could, when dragging me to their police-car. Someone came and opened the door from the outside, letting me out of the police-car but we didn’t get far before we were caught again and she was arrested too. Our vocalist [Rudy] was really attacking and fist-fighting the pigs, so they attacked him hard to and put his face down on the burning hot hood of their cars, but they let him go at once they discovered that he was from Belgium. The pigs told me very clearly that they didn’t want to have people from other countries in their town, and especially not punks. So the people that did get arrested were the bassist, both vocalists and the driver of ‘Mushroom Attack’, our guitarist and me. They pulled ‘M.A.’s driver in front of our cell-doors windows and asked him what his name was, he replied that he did not want to cooperate with the pigs, so he said: “Well you got my passport in your hands, can’t you read?”. Then they beat the shit out of him with their batons, hitting him mainly in his neck, this went on and on and on for a long time. It was horrible to just stand in the prison-cell, locked in, watching this torture of a friend, not to mention for the driver himself, I met him about two years later and he was still having permanent extremely heavy headaches, I don’t know how he is doing today?? The next morning they let us out after some lobbying that I didn’t quite catch. As they say, Just another day at the office…

Tor, drummer of ‘Disorder’

‘Greenhorns’ were a local country-rock outfit with influences of Neil Young & ‘Green On Red’ …Not really punk but sympathetic.

Henk Loobuyck

Had a chat with the [female] bassplayer of ‘A Bao A Qou’ [from Belgium?] and we got along rather well :-). But nothing happened of course. Man, man, that entry [below] is funny. Can’t remember anything about their music though… [Brob: On the www I read “a Belgian new-wave/cold-wave band. They sung in French, sometimes in English and one song in Dutch. The style is comparable to ‘Flesh & Fell’. Also influences of ‘Aroma di Amore’.”]

Steve W.

We [‘Private Jesus Detector’] were asked to play when the gig was finished. We had no gear with us so had to lend it all from ‘Disorder’. I broke some of Thor’s drumsticks but he didn’t care. I remember Steve Allen to be a very friendly guy.

Leffe, drummer of ‘Private Jesus Detector’

‘Disorder’, pics by Eric ‘React’ W.:

‘Alians’, pics by Eric ‘React’ W.:

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…