Posts Tagged ‘Decline’

‘Ego’ ended up not doing this Euro tour, we actually weren’t on it; only did the 1991 Go! Euro tour. The band was myself on guitar, Charlie Adamec (bass) & Jim. [Brob: And a guy named Dave on drums.]

Mike ‘Bullshit’ Bromberg

The Vort’n Vis was my favourite European venue.

Joe Martin, ‘Hell No’ bassist

Actually remember that show very well. We were excited to play there.

John Woods, ‘Hell No’ singer

‘Hell No’ was a great hardcore/emo band from NY. After ‘Citizens Arrest’ quit, guitarist Janis Chakars and bassist Joseph ‘Joe’ (Brendan) Martin formed ‘Hell No’, together with Ted Leo (also ex-guitarist of C.A.’; but he wasn’t in the band when they came to Europe). Vocalist was John Woods and drummer Jim (James) Paradise (of ‘Go!’ – see 91-06-08). The other guitarist was Aaron Kaufman (also in Go!). Their self-titled 7” (recorded at Don Fury’s NYC studio) was out on my mate Freddy Alva’s label Wardance recs. The Skin Job LP was soon to follow…

‘Decline’ were back. Paul ‘Cyb’ Lewis (drums) and Julian (guitar & vocals) found themselves another bassplayer – Mark ‘Whitey’ Wightman (During their tour with Go! – see 91-06-08 – it was Graham.); who used to play drums for ‘Electro Hippies’… After that 1st tour (October 1991) they had recorded their 2nd 7” entitled Lost Again.

‘Ivich’, a bunch from the Paris suburbs, played self-willed emocore (some would say ‘screamo’) band. Their music was quite innovative and sometimes interspersed with nervous trumpet outbursts. They consisted of Eric Mirguet (vocals), Yves Maisonneuve (drums), Cédric (bass), Yann Maisonneuve (guitar; later in ‘Vanilla’ with his brother) & Thierry (trumpet). This was their 1st gig here; at which timepoint they had a demo out (called Sculpteur De Cris)… I corresponded with their singer, Eric, who was a very kind and intelligent chap.

‘Creepshow’, HC from Treviso, had a 7” out on Inauditi dischi (Parisian label that also released stuff by bands such as ‘Maze’, ‘Permanent Scar’, ‘By All Means’, etc.). They were announced in one of the newsletters at that time but not on the flyer… The singer confirmed me via via that they never played outside Italy.

This was probably ‘Selfish’s debut at the V.V., their first appearance of a whole row (see e.g. 93-10-31). Here Otto brought along ‘War System’, another one of his projects… It wasn’t always clear who was in which band.


‘War System’ on that tour was: myself on bass, Jaska on guitar and Vikke on drums & vocals. ‘Selfish’ here was: me drumming & vocals, Vikke playing guitar and Jaska on bass. Ha ha, what a circus….!

Otto Itkonen

This time on tour with ‘Hell No!’, a two month (about 50+ shows in 65 days) long gruelling episode of a tour where we all lost friends and made new friends, fell out, made up again. ‘Ego’ didn’t play on this tour. This show was one of the last one and probably one of the best of the tour, we’d had a couple of days off in Haarlem and came to the Vort’n Vis refreshed. ‘Hell No’ rocked it with ease and we really enjoyed it. Whitey crowd-surfed while playing bass. Out of all the places we played in Europe the Vort’n Vis had the best mixed crowd, a real nice bunch of people. It was a great venue to play.

Edward wanted me to play for ‘Nations on Fire’ in 92/93 after we came back from the ‘Hell No!’ tour as their drummer had a bad accident. I couldn’t do it but Jamie from ‘Jailcell Recipes’ did it. The last band I was in were a death-metal band called ‘Godbotherer’ but I am looking at drumming for a more old-school HC band.

Paul ‘Cyb’ Lewis, ‘Decline’ drummer

I think Mathias and I travelled to Ieper two or three times together but he also was there once or twice on his own. I don’t remember ‘Hell No’ but ‘Selfish’ were lots of fun..

Carsten Pötter, visitor from Frankfurt

I had met Bruno when he was driving along with ‘Nations On Fire’, at the gig in AJZ Homburg [Saarland, Germany] (an incredible gig at an incredible place: ‘N.O.F.’ with ‘Sleepy Lagoon’, ‘Articles Of Faith’ and ‘Born Against’). He’d given me his address (because I wanted to order records or something) and it was written on one of the program-flyers of the Vort’n Vis. That way I realized there was a great venue/centre in Ieper, asked Bruno about it and he more or less invited me to come over. Because I had liberal parents, I made plans to come to Belgium during my summer-break. I don’t know whether it was a coincidence or not but my father and my younger brother went on some cyclo-tourist tour through Flanders at that time, which gave me the chance to meet my parents and my younger brother after my visit to the V.V., and drive back with my mother. So I took of with the train by myself: from Hassel/Rohrbach (Saar) via Trier, Luxembourg, Brussels to Gent. Bruno said he wouldn’t be able to pick me up but a good friend of his – Brob – would pick me up in Gent. So we met… Carsten and Mathias were crashing at Brob’s place and we actually visited the big street-festival [Brob: the Gentsche Feeste], briefly met Bruno and I think the next day we went to Ieper. The gig was on my 15th birthday.

You can imagine what a feeling of empowerment, enlightenment that gave me; fun, getting to know things about a world that was there for me… I had managed (we always had a Belgian trains-schedule book – no internet then) to make it to a place that was 2 countries away. I saw Bruno again, who I had briefly talked to at that HC gig near my home, and met Brob and a lot of others. The feeling of community was very strong. I was impressed by the Flemish scene – although from Brob’s perspective it was in a phase of decline, wasn’t it?). Brob’s involvement definitely made an impression on me, because the interconnection of the HC-scene with the world of political literature and a vast amount of fanzines. I got enriched a lot by Brob and his political perspective on things, the stuff he was reading and distributing. I had gotten a deeply ingrained political consciousness by my parents (especially by my mother) and the ‘scene’ put that in a bigger perspective. Brob was somebody who reconnected much of that, partly because he didn’t limit himself to one of the sub-scenes in a strict sense and had a political view on the things happening. Although a bit older, his perspective was integrating, not discouraging.

I came back to the V.V. twice that summer, I was completely set alight by the straight edge scene… [more elsewhere]

Jörg Jacoby, visitor from Saarbrücken

Here’s a bunch of photos by Karl Penando (merci beaucoup!):

‘Hell No’ (L=>R): Aaron, John, Jim, Joe, Janis (2nd pic: a very young Jörg J. far R)

‘Decline’ (L=>R): Julian, Paul & Whitey (1st pic: Hans Verbeke & Jörg J. in the middle; 2nd pic: a Edward ‘N.O.F.’ jumping & with the backpack: Ludovic H.?)

‘Ivich’ (L=>R): Yann, Yves, Eric, Cédric

‘Selfish’ (L=>R): Vikke, Otto, Jaska


Joost Dierick informed me that he had noted ‘Human Alert’ also played that day. I’ve no recollections of that and there’s no trace to be found of it either. They were definitely not announced and Roel, their singer, informs me he can’t remember either. Here’s the story…


We played in Fance and Spain with ‘Hell No’. I came to Belgium, Germany and Poland with them. I used to organise concerts in Haarlem and foreign bands regularly stayed over during their tours. If they were fun enough, I happened to travel with them for some days. This was also the case with ‘Go!’ & ‘Decline’.

Rob Mandemaker, ‘Human Alert’s bassplayer

Roel & Willem weren’t there. The boys of ‘Hell No’ sang Anarchy & Justice [song from ‘H.A.’s 1st 7” with the same title]. I have photos of that; they’re also in the booklet of ‘Human Alert’s CD Sex & Drugs & Anarchy. We played over ‘Hell No’s equipment. They were a band that was far ahead of their time!

Sven Korvemaker, ‘Human Alert’s guitarist

‘Human Alert’ later played at The Massacre Fest no.1 [2002-06-29, with ‘Funeral Dress’, ‘Urban Blight’, ‘Dirty Scums’, ‘The Accused’, etc.] in the ‘new’ Vort’n Vis. I believe we didn’t play in Belgium during the 90s. [Brob: The older band of Sven & Roel, ‘Courage’, played in Dendermonde and Mol in 1990.] A lot of our history is described in my Rock’n’Roel book.

Roel Smit, ‘Human Alert’s singer (also cartoonist and illustrator)

‘Human Alert’ was a “anarcho-punk” band from Haarlem/ Amsterdam; sometimes serious, often humorous. In 1991 they did a 7″ called Anarchy And Justice with the following line-up: Roel Smit (vocals), Willem Geerts (vocals & trombone), Sven Korvemaker (guitar; also ‘N.R.A.’), Rob Mandemaker (bass) and Thomas (drums). A lot more followed…



excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

visitors Jörg Jacoby (from Saarbrücken), Carsten Pötter & Mathias Hartmann (both from the Frankfurt area)

A flirting Kris?…

additions wellcome!…


My mate Esneider (of the NYC band ‘Huasipungo’ and a volunteer at ABC No Rio) had already informed me that the band ‘Go!’ of his friends from the ABC No Rio scene were going to tour (see: Go! tour 1991 infosheet)… The band consisted of Mike ‘Bullshit’ Bromberg (vocals, ex ‘S.F.A.’, also did a zine called Bullshit Monthly), Aaron Kaufman (guitar, also shortly in ‘S.F.A.’ and later on the ‘Hell No’ Euro tour), James ‘Jimmy’ Paradise (drums; also in ‘Hell No’) & Stephen Gardner (bass). They definitely were not a typical NYC HC band but had pro-gay and -lesbian, feminist, anti-racism and -violence lyrics.

Read more about ‘Go!’ here

Because First Strike records from the UK released some material by ‘Go!’, I think Alan Woods sent ‘Decline’ along to tour with them… I think they had a demo out at the time and a 7” called Blind (recorded in November ’90 with Ju(lian) doing guitars & vocals, ‘Cyb’ on drums, ‘Stey’ on 2nd guitar and ‘Fletch’ on bass). The band came from the Manchester area and played melodic HC.

‘6FO’ were Fred (bass), Pierre Anne (drums), Karl Penando (guitar – ‘petit nain’ or ‘little dwarf’ as we lovingly called him), Stéphane Cormary (vocals), a bunch of lads from the Dunkerque area that visited the V.V. regularly. They usually came down with a whole bunch: Karl’s girlfriend Agnès, his brother Rudee, etc. were ‘regulars’. I had been corresponding with Stéphane (originally from the region of Toulouse), who had been doing a zine called ‘God Bless Cheese Steaks’… This was their 1st gig…

Of course everyone knew ‘Nations On Fire’ by now… ‘Spirit Of Youth’ was a starting band with 2 young brothers (guitarist Dominiek ‘Dompi’ & bassist Frederik Denolf; in their very early teens), Jan Maelfait (vocals) who would later play the bass for ‘Blindfold’ and Hans Verbeke (ex ‘Rise Above’, later ‘Blindfold’, ‘Liar’) on drums. This was probably their very first gig aswell…


‘Decline’ were from the UK, Alan from First Strike recs arranged that. Great guys – really got along well with them. They also has a van and equipment we could use.

Mike ‘Bullshit’ Bromberg

I moved to Toulouse. Steph and me did a new band a few years ago called ‘Mediocratie’. Later he played in ‘Dissiped’ and I’m still in ‘Tol Eressëa’… The most important things to all these concerts wasn’t just the music! That period didn’t change my life but just consolidated the political and ethical opinions I already had! I still see Steph (we share a rehearsal-space). Fred: nobody knows what became of him. Pierre is still a good friend which I see when I go up North, he plays surf-rock since no less than 10 years! His band ‘Les Chefs’ released an lp.

Karl Penando, ‘6FO’ guitarist

We exchanged records and zines, I got a bunch of Tilt!s and tried to distro it here, a place where people cared little about non-USA punk. We have never met person to person: I was illegal in the USA for many years meaning I never could travel and my band could never really tour anywhere but here. I finally got documents and so has the rest of the band slowly so now we are planning to tour somewhere soon.


‘S.O.Y.’ started out with Jan singing and Hans drumming. When Hans left, my brother started drumming, Ignace De Meyer took over the bass (Ward Verhaeghe sang also for a while, some time later Hans played the bass again); that was the period of The Abyss 7” (Crucial Response recs). ‘S.O.Y.’ became ‘Love, Truth and Honesty’:-) and afterwards started ‘Solid’ (myself on guitar, my bro drumming, Sid on vocals & Kris Kasier on bass. After that we re-started, putting out unreleased ‘S.O.Y.’ songs (with Vincent Merveillie singing, Vincent Theeten on 2nd guitar & Sim Meerseman on bass): 3 CDs – Source on Genet recs, the split with ‘One King Down’ (USA) on GoodLife recs & the Colours That Bleed full-length on GoodLife recs. After the split ‘S.O.Y.’ became a phenomenon upto Japan :-)…

Dominiek Denolf

‘Decline’ were Paul ‘Cyb’ Lewis (drums), Graham (bass), Julian [Parkinson] (guitar & vocals) at that time. We were playing a sort of HC type music à la ‘Prong’. I remember the show, the stage was made up from crates and boards, it was hot and there was a great HC crowd. I remember before the Vort’n Vis show we went for vegan food at a house with some really nice people, the guys who put the show on were great people. We played another show in Belgium in a very small café [the Pits in Kortrijk] as well….

Paul ‘Cyb’ Lewis, ‘Decline’ drummer

some photos from Karl Penando’s archives (Muchos gracias!):

‘Six Feet Over’

gentil p’tit nain Karl Penando

‘Go!’ (in the audience Bruno VdV & ‘Scraps’ Raph exchanging appreciation)

Mike Bullshit addressing his public (a certain zine-editor listening attentively)…

‘Nations On Fire’: Ed – Jaak – David – Jeroen


Dompi – Fré – Hans – Jan (‘Spirit Of Youth’)

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

Hans Verbeke, at that time drummer for ‘S.O.Y.’

Jeroen Lauwers, ‘N.O.F.’ bassplayer

Yep, I had  a great time too…

Nick Zimmer, visitor & gig-promoter in Mons: “Vort’n Vis; hope for a united and positive scene! Very good atmosphere.”

additions wellcome!…