Posts Tagged ‘Ensign’

Introduction => 2000-08-18&19&20 Ieperfest

Laurent Chopard & Olivier Bresson (from Besançon, France) wrote in their zine Co-existence:

Arriving at the entrance it seemed like we heared a well-interpreted cover of ‘Serene’; in fact, to Laurent’s great despair, it was the last piece of a surprise reunon of the band. And to add to our frustration we also missed ‘Ariel Kill Him’ and ‘With Love’. Things started off in a bad way. In addition we were denied access to the distro-space. The bouncer in service at the entrance claimed there was a lack of space, even though we had only two miserable boxes. Once the distro was set up, we could finally enjoy the sweet metal melodies.

It wasn’t until ‘Reiziger’ we found a little consolation. But Olivier found that a little too long. Fortunately for him the English legend ‘Voorhees’ took the stage. For Olivier it was the best concert of the festival, Laurent got tired of it after 5 or 6 songs, and the mangled ‘D.R.I.’ cover didn’t make things better. ‘Ensign’ concluded the evening in a déjà-vu kind of way (not to sound mean).

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‘AmenRa’s performance here – “Mix of hard and soft mid-tempo doomy core; all star formation!” – was their first time in Ieper… That was with (ex ‘Spineless’ guys) Kristof Mondy on bass, Mathieu Vandekerckhove playing guitar & Colin Van Eeckhout singing; plus Bjorn Lebon on drums & Jan Maelfait (ex ‘Spirit Of Youth’, ‘Blindfold’) on extra bass.

‘Ariel Kill Him’ (from Gävle, Sweden) – “David ‘Leiah’ solo with guests! Acoustic emo-pop” – was indeed the band of David Lehnberg (guitar/vocals). That year the album She Wears The Stars Like Him (alternative/indie rock, emo) was out. No idea who supported him: Alec Ahlénius (drums)?, Magnus Björk (keyboards)?…

In 1996 ‘With Love’ was added to the bill last minute. (96-08-18) In 2000, the band (from the Triviso area, in Italy) had an album (entitled I Love Cul-De-Sac) out on Green recs that year. It was recorded with Paolo Riscica (guitar), Giovanni Donadini (bass; canedicoda.com), Nico Vascellari (vocals; pinchukartcentre.org), Andrea Giotto (guitar) & Nicolò Fortuni (drums). They were described as “screaming emo rock”.

‘With Love’ (courtesy of Paolo Riscica)

‘Lvmen’ (Prague, Czech Republic) were announced wit the phrase “As pompous as ‘Neurosis’, as bright as ‘Unbroken’!”… The band at that time consisted of Petr ‘Husar’ Proft (vocals/keyboards), ‘Melnick’ Robert Taschner (drums), David Mirda (guitar; R.I.P.), Tomis (guitar), Tschepitz/Čepic (bass; ex ‘Rat Race’). They had several releases on the Czech label Day After recs (ran by Miroslav Pátý) by that time 2 albums (a self-titled one and Raison D’Être).

‘Lvmen’ (source unknown)

‘Cataract’ – “Brilliant brutal metalcore/mosh presenting their new CD” – was a band from Zürich, Switzerland. In 1999 they did a couple of EPs (one of which was on Marco Walzel’s label Join The Team Player recs). In 2000 Carl Severson released the album Golem on his label Ferret recs (with vocalist ‘Mosh’ Chris(tian) Ebert, guitarists Simon Füllemann & Greg(or) Mäder, bassist Michael ‘Michi’ Henggeler and drummer Patrick ‘Ricky Lions’ Dürst). Federico ‘Fedi’ Carminitana probably sang for the band here…

‘Cataract’ (source unknown)

The German band (from the Münster area) ‘January Star’ – “Soft & delicate emo-pop! Like drinking a mineral water on a sunny day…” – had an album out on Genet recs in 2000: Home Without A Heart. Line-up: Andre Beyer (bass/vocals), Lars Röhm, Jan Flick & Henrik Neumann. They were often compared with ‘The Get Up Kids’…

‘January Star’ (source unknown)

‘Building’, a “youth-crew style” SxE HC from Antwerp, had played at the fest before (98-08-14). Supposedly this here was their goodbye show. The line-up probably was: Olivier ‘Paco’ Packolet (vocals; later ‘True Colors’), Jelle De Cremer (guitar), Werner Boes (bass, also ‘Kombat’; replacing (P)Andy Van Den Wijngaert) & original drummer Bruno had left and was replaced by Gert Jacobs (drums; later ‘Dead Stop’). They released material on SoberMind recs: In Time We’ll Grow (1998) & split-7” with ‘Up Front’ (1999). There’s also a live-tape of them playing at the GoodLife 1999 summer-fest. “Old school mosh heroes, nailed to the X!”

‘Cast In Fire’ (originally named ‘Full Assault’) – “Brutal, stomping, slow & heavy Detroit m-o-o-o-s-h”. In 2000 they had a split-7” out with (the Belgian) ‘Kombat’, and Genet recs released their Apology ‎album. The people in the band were Jake Dufour (drums), Vincent ‘Vinny’ Dufour (guitar), Nate Stickney (guitar), Ricardo ‘Fire’ Hernandez (bass) and Len(ny) Adams (vocals; ex ‘Earthmover’).

‘Cast In Fire’ ([1] & [2] photographed by Roel Brals; [3]?)

‘Out For Blood’ – “BXL style moshcore, back on the map!” –  was a hatecore band with Alain Herszaft on vocals (he ran Released Power Productions label and was the singer of ‘Mental Disturbance’ in the 80s). Apparently they didn’t make it over. There was a surprise show by ‘Serene’ (see 97-08-16). Read the remark below…

‘Reiziger’, announced here as “top quality European emo HC”, had played a few fests before this one: 97-08-15, 98-08-16.

‘Voorhees’ (“Power-violence legend, around since ages!”) hadn’t been ablo to make to the Vort’n Vis 1994. In 1999 they had their album entiled 13 released on Richard Corbridge’s label Armed With Anger recs. It was recorded with a totally different line-up than in ’94: only vocalist Ian Leck remained. The others on that were Andrew Wright (bass; ex ‘Ironside, ‘Unborn’), Dave(y) Allen (drums) and guitarists James Atkinson & Rich(ard) Armitage (ex ‘Ironside’). It was followed by a split-12” with ‘Out Cold’ in 2000 (on Ian Glasper’s Blackfish recs). The split-7” with ‘Kill Your Idols’ was recorded in August with Steve Stewart on bass (who’s mentioned in the guestbook). It was released by Dave Mandel on his label Indecision recs.

‘Ensign’ with ‘Fedi Edge’ of ‘Cataract’ (pic taken by by Patrrick Federli)

In the announcements for this fest, Bruno poses the question “Remember last year’s circle-pit with 1000 kids?!” referring to the show they played the year before (99-08-21)… ‘Ensign’ was a hardcore/punk band from New Jersey. I read somewhere that guitarist Ryan Donoghue had left the band before that tour. Read Nate’s remark below though… Nate ‘Edge’ (Nathan Gluck) switched from bass to guitar and Chris Oliver became the new bassist on the tour. Tim(othy) Shaw was the vocalist. In June 2000, the band recorded for the For What It’s Worth EP with drummer John ‘Vince Vegas’ O’Neill.

Brob

I totally had forgotten about his… How I experienced it?… Ieperfest was always THE show/experience of the year. Back then it was still the biggest underground HC festival I think, so everyone was looking forward to it. Internet was not that prominent but people were eager to meet up with international friends. I remember being impressed by ‘Knut’, ‘Children of Fall’ and ‘As Friends Rust’ [the next days]. The first 2 became real friends: I played with some of the guys of ‘Knut’s new band; I did the drawing for the cover of the ‘Children Of Fall’ CD… ‘Knut’ played that off-beat hardcore (Hydra Head recs) that sounded super-tight live. ‘C.O.F.’ was in the Swedish emo-core vein, live one big lump of passion. And ‘As Friends Rust’… a party on stage, poppy up-tempo hardcore with one of the best frontmen of that era (Damien Moyal). Sweet… Good times!

Kristof Mondy, ‘AmenRa’ bassist

Our first show ever, I believe. Not many people know this or took note of it but in the beginning (just a few shows) we had 2 bassplayers. The second was Jan Maelfait.

Colin H Van Eeckhout, ‘AmenRa’ vocalist

First time ‘AmenRa’ was indeed Colin, Mathieu, Bjorn, Kristof Mondy (with cowboy-hat, if I remember correctly) & Jan.

Lennart Bossu, later ‘AmenRa’ guitarist

One of my clearest memories was watching ‘Serene’ doing their one-off reunion gig here. Not the complete original line-up. Olle [Johansson], the drummer of ‘Serene’, got a nasty infection on his leg after doing a huge tattoo while we were on tour. I think he had to cancel Ieper because of that and go home?

Gunnar Forsman, ‘Leiah’ drummer

I didn’t play in ‘Reiziger’ anymore there…

Arne Van Petegem

Pretty sure that was the line-up with Ryan Murphy on drums (ex ‘Undertow’) and ‘Mackenzie’ [Ryan Donoghue] (the younger kid that played/recorded with ‘Ensign’ on Cast The First Stone and did most of the touring with us) on guitar, plus me & Tim obviously. I know ‘Circle’ played, love that band. Most likely it was either Mad agency [Ute Füsgen, Berlin] or Avocado booking [Marco Walzel, München] that booked our tours, I just don’t remember off the top of my head. I believe in 2000 I was playing guitar at Ieperfest and our friend Chris was filling in on bass.

Nathan/Nate ‘Edge’ Gluck a.k.a. Nathan ‘Voorhees’

This was our last show on a ‘real’ European (3 weeks), before leaving for a tour of 10 days in Japan… I remember that that show started really well, good and powerful sound…but there was a technical problem after the first song (no more electricity?) and when the problem was solved the sound was awful! Good memories anyway…

Paolo Riscica, ‘With Love’ guitarist

After our appearance in 1996 [96-08-18] I think we weren’t able to play the festival again untill 2000. Our second album (I Love Cul De Sac) had been very well received and we left that summer for what has been the longest and best tour for With Love: an entire month around Europe and Japan. We were still excited by the vivid memories of the concert in ‘96 at the Vort’n Vis: that was absolutely one of those tings we were mostly looking forward to. We actually wanted to play there so badly that we accepted Bruno’s invitation even knowing that the day before we were playing in Barcelona (1.400 km away) and that we would have to play in the early afternoon as one of the first bands. That meant we would have had to start driving immediately after the show in order to catch our flight to Tokyo in Venice 2 days later (another 1.300 km). We arrived and basically had to get on stage immediately. The show started and it was incredible. There was so much energy in the air. At least for the first song. Than the electricity failed and it took what seemed like an hour (it was probably just 5 minutes) to be fixed. It happened again during the 3rd or 4th song of our set. That was surely one of the most frustrating and horrible shows we’ve ever played. Then we took of for a 16 hours drive. I’m not even sure why I miss touring sometimes…

Nico Vascellari, ‘With Love’ vocalist

Swiss guys living it up (shot by Patrick Federli)

Pat Federli came with us if I’m not mistaken…

‘Ricky Lions’, ‘Cataract’ drummer

I just remember trying to hold ‘Ensign’s drumkit together from the frontside: the stage was so crowded and everything was almost falling apart during their last song…

‘Fedi Edge’, ‘Cataract’ vocalist

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

Introduction => 99-08-20&21&22 Ieper HC festival

Laurent Chopard & Olivier Bresson (from Besançon, France) wrote in their zine Co-existence:

(1) Overall, the second day announced to be more metal/old-school HC and it needs to be said, the least enticing. I’ll remember however some likeable stuff such as ‘Reveal’ and their wild cover of ‘Inside Out’s No Spiritual Surrender, ‘Lifecycle’ [???] and their SxE hard-rock, ‘Bloodpact’ for the very militant side, ‘Ananda’ and their chaotic metal or ‘Mörser’ for the impressing aspect (3 singers, bassists) more than for the music. Big disappointment was ‘Sabeth’ who seem to want to be early ‘Helmet’ without getting anywhere much because of an incredibly monotonous voice. As for ‘Ensign’: they quickly tired me despite the giant mosh-pit in the audience during a song.

(2) On Saturday the festival started with a band of local heroes, with little importance, that allowed me to finish my night. I arrived on the site for ‘H Street’, who made a good impression. I took advantage of the next bands to replace Laurent at the distro (Sell or die!) and make a tour of the record-fair. This day only the performances of ‘Bloodpact’ (We can be old-school and committed, right Guy?) and ‘Ensign’ (boys-band on tour) challenged me.

(1&2) Determined to take advantage of this night, we took some precautions (earplugs,…) but unfortunately the Belgian summer-nights don’t resemble nights of Ibiza, so we found ourselves victims of a chill we rarely experience in the East. Laurent managed to sleep an hour, Olivier none. Once out of the tent, surprise, the Belgian army paraded outside of the camping-site, determined to recruit two or three depressed vegan warriors who were looking for a new home since hardline stopped. In addition the soldiers organized their own festival in the camping-site. What a contrast to the troops heading for the Vort’n Vis.

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‘Ochtenddauw’ – “H8000 twisted power Metal.”. A local band (from Ieper; they rehearsed at the V.V.) with Wouter Keirse (guitar; keyboards in ‘Eclipse’, guitarist of ‘Warcraft’), Vince(nt) Tetaert (guitar; drummer of ‘Lifecycle; also in ‘Alignment’), Peter Leuwers (bass; also in ‘Lifecycle’), Ward Spruytte (drums; also guitar in ‘Solid’) & Steve Lammertyn (vocals). They had a demo out that year.

‘H-Street’ – “Snotty old school, start piling up now!”. SxE band from Vienna, Austria with Dan(iel) ‘El Toro’ Braaf (guitar), Thomas ‘Tom’ Krutzler (vocals), Mario Schöbinger (bass), Rob(ert) (drums) and Georg Ondrak (guitar). They did a demo (’98) and a self-titled 7” (’99). They got a massive response for covering ‘Token Entry’s The Edge here…

‘H-Street’ (photo by Marco Pasini)

‘Stroke Of Grace’“Limburg softcore! Great riffing!!”. Band from Belgian Limburg playing “pretty original and diverse metallic emo-core” with references to ‘Refused’ or ‘Abhinanda’: Stijn Vliegen (vocals), Jurgen Werelds (guitar), Steven Duchateau (guitar), Manu Fredericks (bass) and Luc Nicolaers (drums). Their CD The Body, The Soul, The Spirit was released in ‘98 (Flying World recs). They were also on some compilations.

‘Stroke Of Grace’ (photos courtesy of Stijn Vliegen)

‘Redemption’ – “Vegan metal mosh – split mCD presentation.”. From the “Roma Straight Edge Legion”. A band that was compared to ‘Catharsis’. They did a self-titled 7” & a mini-DC (Until The Next Day) on Surrounded recs (Maurizio Ricci’s label) in ’97 & ‘98, and a split-mCD with ‘Timebomb’ out on War.ds (’99). ‘Gipsy Rufina’ (Emiliano) was the “founder and everlasting member of the band”. The members were Liv Cosentini (guitar), Pierpaolo Perilli (vocals), Simone Achille (guitar), Dario (drums) & Emiliano Liberali (bass).

‘Ananda’ – “Terrifying metallic HC, sort of ‘Acme’ meets ‘Carcass’.” had already played at the V.V. on 95-07-02 & 96-09-22. They switched vocalists in 1998 which “marked a drastic change in their sound from screamo to heavy gloomy hardcore sludge”: Michaël joined in December ’97. Their Profane LP (2000) co-released by Snuff recs (Didier Severin & Roderic Mounir of the band ‘Knut’, Genève) and Molaire Industries (label run by Fabien Thévenot of ‘Iscariote’). Members were Jérôme ‘Gunthar’ Lacombe (bass), Jérôme Mizou (drums), Michaël Clergeot (‘Mikachu’; vocals) and guitarists Stéphane ‘Stu’ Joly (ex ‘Undone’) & Thomas ‘Tom’ Guillanton (ex ‘Fingerprint’/’Jasmine’).

‘Ananda’ (courtesy of Vincent de Roguin)

‘Sabeth’ – “Turbo stuff, like ‘Helmet’ meets ‘Botch’?”. Band from Böblingen, South Germany with Carsten Pflugbeil (bass), Felix Böhlken (guitar/vocals; ex ‘Dawnbreed’), Thomas Hahn (guitar; nowadays Thomas Harsem, producer) and Steffen Falcke (drums). Marten Thielges was only on their debut. They did their first (self-titled) 7” themselves (’96). Their next releases were on Marco Walzel’s Join The Team Player recs: the Zwei 7” (’98) and the Cobrajet LP (’99).

‘Product – “Rapid old school by really dedicated people.”. Italian poison-free (vegan SxE) band from the Milano area. Stefano Bertelli (guitar; was in ‘By All Means’ – but not when they played the V.V. in 95-08-20), Stefano Milani (bass), Chris(tian) Paracchini (drums), Dan(iele) Casti (vocals) & (Pier)Paolo Bruschi (guitar). Green recs put out their Dedication 7” (‘98) & Not An Answer 7” (’99). A 7” (Watch Your Step) came out on Genet recs (’99), together with New Type Crew (a mCD version of the 7” containing bonus-tracks previously released on their 1st 7”).

‘Product’ (courtesy of the band’s fanpage)

‘Mörser’ from Bremen were not announced; apparently they replaced ‘Enemy Of The Sun’, who had split up. They played diabolic ultra-fast death/grind with 3-4 singers, 2 bassists, guitarist & drummer. At that time (I think): André Wendelken (drums; also ‘Carol’, etc.), Sven ‘Svenion’ Nienaber (guitar; also ‘Minion’, etc.), Matthias ‘Matze’ Trenne (bass; also ‘Carol’, etc.), Sven Seelkopf (bass; also ‘Metöke’, ‘Systral’), Björn Schmidt (vocals; also ‘Carol’ & ‘Systral’, etc.), Denny Schmidt (vocals; also ‘Systral’), Daniel ‘Grabi’ Grabowski (vocals; also bass in ‘Assay’, ‘Rusty James’) & Ulf ? (vocals). At that time they had an LP (Two Hours To Doom, ’97) out, and a split-7” with ‘The Swarm’ (’98) on Markus Haas’ Per Koro.

‘Mörser’: (1) Sven Seelkopf [taken from Bords Perdu fanzine] – (2) Sven Nienaber [courtesy of Sven]

‘Reveal’ – “Emo-metal, ‘Unbroken’ meets ‘Converge’?”. Another GoodLife – Genet recs band: Dissection Of Thought EP (GL 97), Through The Eye Of Perfection Evolution Dies Slowly CD (GL 98) & To Explore The Invention To Create CD (Genet 2000). Maarten van Oers (drums), Mischa van Rodijnen (guitar), Geert van Hoesel (vocals) & Dave van Beek (bass) were from Dongen (near Breda, NL).

‘Reveal’ (pic by Peter Hendricks) [drumset switched around so one can see the crowd]

‘Spineless’ – “Emo-metal, H8000 rocker-jacks! Last show?”. This band (from Kortrijk) played their first gig at the Vort’n Vis on the fest in August ’96. They were Kristof Mondy (bass; Yoda zine; later ‘AmenRa’), Colin H. Van Eeckhout (vocals; later ‘AmenRa’), Pedro ‘Fifi’ Fioen (guitar; also ‘Congress’), Mathieu Vandekerckhove (guitar; replaced Koen Sandra in ‘97; later ‘AmenRa’) and Stefaan Buyse (drums). Their music was brutal sXe H8000 metal-core. After their initial demo (’96) Hans Verbeke of Sober Mind recs released the Painfields 7” (1997) and the A Talk Between Me And The Stars album (1998). The band played the V.V. quite a few times. After Spineless ended in 1999, 3 members started a new band called AmenRa, which is still going nowadays.

‘Bloodpact’ (USA) were described as “old-school feat. ‘Earthmover’ & ‘Trephine’ members” or “political pissed-off hardcore”. They were from Ann Arbor/Detroit (Michigan): Andy Dempz (vocals; +/- recs, ex ‘Earthmover’, also in ‘Ruination’), Annie Sullivan (bass), Dustin Schoenhofer [see below] or Adam Arola (drums), John Skinner (guitar). At the time of this tour they had a split-LP (with ‘Varisty’; on +/-) and a 7” (As Good As Dead; on Element recs) out. Later they would release some stuff on Reflection recs and on Genet recs.

‘Thumbs Down’ – “Belgium’s old school HC pride.”. ‘This band (from Antwerp) played “youth crew hardcore”. They’d played at the Vort’n Vis before (97-08-16, 98-05-10 & 98-08-15): Roeland (De Keulenaer?) (bass; or was he already replaced by Andries Beckers?), Ken or his replacement Benjamin Buschgens? (drums), Raf(aël) Balrak (guitar) and Steven Tuffin (vocals). They were signed to Genet recs (Going For Gold 7” – with bassplayer Roeland – in ’97, No Retreat No Surrender 7” and Crossroads LP in ’99).

‘Pray Silent’ – “Clevo style HC – LP/CD presentation.”. A Swiss (from Sankt-Gallen) vegan straight-edge band (metal-core) signed to Bruno VdV’s Genet recs. They’d played the fest the year before aswell (98-08-15). The band consisted of Andi/y Grob (guitar), Attila Varga (vocals), Etienne Geyer (guitar), Philipp Zimmerman (bass) and Roger Cadalbert (drums). They were compared with H8000 in ads…

‘Ensign’ (courtesy of the band’s fanpage)

‘Ensign’ – “Topclass old school, back after touring with ‘S.O.I.A.’!”. Hardcore punk band from New Jersey. Nathan Gluck (bass; replaced Walter Svekla), Ryan Donoghue (guitar; replaced John Fraunberger), Ryan Murphy (drums; ex ‘Undertow’; replaced Chris(topher) Ross) and Tim(othy) Shaw (vocals). Early on they were signed to Dave Mandel’s label, Indecision recs. They came back the next year (2000-08-18)…

Brob

For us it was the hugest audience we have ever played. It was a pleasure for us to play there. I think it was the biggest HC festival in Europe and everybody was there. I am not involved in the HC-scene anymore but I think about the gig in Ieper very often. I loved it.

Carsten Pflugbeil, ‘Sabeth’ bassist

I was at the ‘Ieperfest’ as a stage-hand ‘for Sabeth’…

Johannes Schreiber, ‘My Hero Died Today’

Thomas Harsem had taken over guitar for me when I moved to ‘Dawnbreed’ (now ‘Monochrome’).

Marten Thielges, ‘Sabeth’

I have a couple of pictures and 2 videos (‘H-Street’ & ‘Mainstrike’) from that Ieperfest.

Danny Braaf, ‘H-Street’ guitarist

That was an amazing gig!!! We came over from Bremen only for that night. I think we’d just come back from our US tour a few days before. So it wasn’t sure we could make it over to this festival. The organiser decided to put us on the running-order as a secret special headliner. We played before ‘True Blue’ I think. [These played the next day.] Even most people of the festival-team didn’t know we were the ‘special guests’. When we got on stage there were already rumours running through the crowd and a lots of people were already standing waiting up-front. And a lot of people surrounded us on stage (as you can see on photo). After the show we met some guy of ‘As Friends Rust’ in the backstage-kitchen. He was totally sad about missing us because he was informed too late were playing (he was on the camping-area). At that time ‘Mörser was: André – drums, Sven – bass, ‘Matze’ – bass; ‘Svenion’ – guitar, Daniel ‘Grabi’ – vox, Björn – vox, Denny – vox.

Ulf had left the band earlier to move to Berlin. Hajo (short for Hans-Joachim) was the guitarplayer of ‘Carol’ and ‘Rusty James’. There were much more bands we all played in but not every band released something.

Sven Nienaber, ‘Mörser’ guitarist

One of the Top 5 shows in 20 years.

Sven Seelkopf, ‘Mörser’ bassist

I believe we opened on Friday??? This was something we’d been looking forward to for a long time. I’d been visiting the fest for several years. That weekend some of my favourite bands were on the bill (‘As Friends Rust’, ‘Hot Water Music’, ‘JR Ewing’, ‘Reveal’, …). Some of them played in Tongeren (Pumpkeskal) aswell. There were quite some people from the beginning of our set; one of the biggest crowds we had. It didn’t go smoothly though: because of nerves and the over-enthousiasm, I myself as singer was the cause that the lead-gitaar was out of tune from the first note on. That wasn’t very helpful to calm us down :-). In the end it mustn’t have been that bad because Bruno [Genet recs] asked us that very day if we could play at the Frontline together with ‘The Get Up Kids’ a few days later. I still have the live recordings of our set somewhere. Apparently all bands were recorded. What also stuck, is the fact that is everything was so well organised. We didn’t have to ask anything: everything was made clear to us from our arrival. Something we didn’t anymore later on. ‘Ieperfest’ was a starting-point for ‘Stroke of Grace’. That was because of the international character of the fest. Because of that we got the opportunity to play a number of shows in Germany.

Stijn Vliegen, ‘Stroke Of Grace’ vocalist

Always loved playing at the V.V.! A personal highlight will always be ‘IeperFest’ [not yet that name] 1999, I think it was. Where we had the hugest circle-pit I’ve ever seen!!!

Nathan Gluck, ‘Ensign’ bassist

Hey, I did play in ‘Ensign’, was one of the original members, but left the band in 1996 or 97 before they toured Europe. Tim and Nate were definitely in the band. Not sure if Chris Ross was still drumming or not at that point. John F had been playing guitar but was probably out. I think I saw them in Seattle in 99 or thereabouts…

Walter Svekla

I did not play with ‘Bloodpact’ in Europe.

Dustin Schoenhofer

additions wellcome!…

From the www… >>The Vort’n Vis Festival is one of the biggest underground fests in Europe and can be found in Ieper. It exists a long time already, I think from the eighties. It used to be in the club called Vort’n Vis but since two years it has become an open-air festival at the music-school. The fest offers us a lot of styles of hardcore like old school, NYHC, emo, more metal stuff; and combines big names with lesser known names. The big names this year were Ensign, Good Clean Fun, Stigmata, Grade and As Friends Rust. Convinced, Walls Of Jericho, Out For Blood and Shai Hulud were bands listed on the bill but who couldn’t show up in the end, pity… The weather on this year’s fest really sucked, lotsa rain… But that couldn’t stop the fun. The atmosphere on the fest was good but not as good as last years. There were no fights or something but some people seemed to enjoy fucking things up at the camping. A lot of people showed up. They told me almost 1.500 people on Friday, about 1.700 on Saturday and the same for Sunday. Also a lot of people decided to stay on the camping.<< (author unknown)

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Programme (full posts with photos of some bands can be accessed by clicking…):

Friday 18 August: Ensign (USA), Voorhees (UK), Reiziger (Bel), Out For Blood (Bel), Serene (Swe), Cast In Fire (USA), Building (Bel), January Star (Ger), Cataract (Swi), Lvmen (Cze), With Love (Ita), With Love (Ita), Ariel Kill Him (Swe), AmenRa (Bel)

Saturday 19 August: Grade (Can), Good Clean Fun (USA), Leiah (Swe) Sad Origin (Bel), Firestone (Bel), Withdrawn/Evanesce (UK), Knut (Swi), Born From Pain (Nl), Point Of No Return (Bra), Negate (Bel), Dawncore (Hun), Circle (Bel), Posession (Spa), 5 Day GetAway (Bel)

Sunday 20 August: As Friends Rust (USA), Walls Of Jericho (USA), Stigmata (USA), Length Of Time (Bel), Reveal (Nl), Standing Tall (USA), One Fine Day (Ita), Children Of Fall (Swe), Purification (Ita), Chispa (Ger), Inane (Ger), Course Of Action (Bel), Oil (Nl), Bobby Peru (Ger), Severance (Bel)

2000-08-18&19&20 rockstar badge

VV 2000-08-18&19&20 (book D) visiterAt least one critical visiter… “What are we all doing ???” ;-)

Some shots of the crowd & distro-stalls (source unknown):

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The ‘shit-workers’ in the shadow:

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99-08 Ieperfest (bill)(ieperfest.com)

‘Mörser’ (from Bremen, Germany) played unannounced (as did probably some more bands)…

This August fest was the 1st time outside the Vort’n Vis premises (start of a new era ?) so I guess that’s why it’s sometimes referred to as Ieperfest. I had already parted with the event a few years before (because of the commercialism, violence, homophobia, sexism, etc. – see 96-08). Below are a few impressions of people who attended…

Brob

>> The leading European hardcore festival, the Vort’n Vis Fest in Ieper had to move to a bigger location. The festival was no longer in the ‘big’ barn behind the Vort’n Vis venue but was now held on a school playground. It was open-air and I thought that was odd as hell. A hardcore show in open air. I think this was the beginning of the end of the, once cool, festival. A lot of poseurs had shown up already and in the years to come things would get worse. These days the festival is fucking stupid and most of the bands playing suck. In 1999 only a few cool bands would play. Things I still remember from the ‘99 Vort’n Vis Hardcore Festival is ‘H-Street’ playing and getting a massive response to covering ‘Token Entry’s The Edge (a song that was one of my favorites that summer), being handed Like An Arrow issue #1 by Erik Tilburg, ‘Bloodpact’ being boring as shit and ‘True Blue’ playing a weird show. […]

I think this was the first time I saw ‘True Blue’ live. I was looking forward to seeing them live, but I was a bit let down that I didn’t see 5 dudes in ‘Cro-Mags’ or ‘Chain’ shirts jumping around like idiots and being as straight-edge as can be. What I saw instead were two longhairs with rings playing guitar, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes, and a singer with unposi leg tattoos featuring skulls and post-apocalyptic scenes. I was a bit baffled at first but eventually stuck around and started enjoying the show. I think a lot Ieperfest attendees were a little let down by this sight and performance as well, because the playground emptied pretty much after two songs that sunny summer afternoon. it must have been the lack of political statements. This proofs again that ‘True Blue’ was far from a popular band. There were only a few dudes moshing and I might have done the same had I had a clue as how to mosh (to ‘True Blue’), but the only true moshers doing their thing were Mark Stroeken, Pieter SDC and Erik ‘Arrowman’ Tilburg, all three ‘True Blue’ Army. Mark was dancing like an asshole, like he always did, and probably still does, Tilburg brought his signature ultra-classic T. mosh and Pieter SDC was doing something between clumsy and cool. Other than that BXL Crew jerk Bayram was bashing some innocent bystander’s head in on the tunes of ‘God Of Wrath’ (PK mid-breakdown quote “Relax buddy” addressing some Bayram pit/pit-side beef, can still be heard from time to time during ‘Rise And Fall’ shows when some pit-shit hits the pit-fan) and I think Diamond Dave was just standing in the middle of the pit being hard. Other than that there was a big horseshoe in front of the stage. ‘True Blue’, the band that gets jocked so much and would get a huge pit-response these days, brought the greatest mosh-parts of Ieperfest 1999 and no one cared. Besides the ones I just mentioned. I remember seeing my (then soon to be) homeboy Bjorn Dossche (who was in mosh-tirement from 1997 till 2000) chilling on stage next to Jan ‘Blindfold’ behind some amps and thinking “If these dudes are checking out this band they must be cool.”. […] <<

Comment by anonymous: >> The Vort’n Vis Festival in 1999 took indeed place in a somewhat odd location, and it was the last time I visited the festival. I don’t remember all the bands. ‘Mainstrike’ were at their peak. ‘Ensign’ – whom everybody seems to have forgotten – played a crazy show with a huge circle-pit. ‘Bloodpact’ were originally not scheduled to play; I liked their set a lot at the time, they played a ‘Man Lifting Banner’ cover and I bought their split LP with ‘Varsity’. Not too sure, if I still like ‘Bloodpact’. Haven’t listened to them in many years. ‘As Friends Rust, ‘Get Up Kids’, ‘Mörser’, ‘Spirit 84’, ‘Liar’, ‘Arkangel’, ‘Reaching Forward’ and many other bands were playing; but most of those bands didn’t leave much of an impression. ‘H-Street’ were indeed playing as well: they played this curious mix of rock’n’roll and youth-crew. They were nice guys…not sure what they are up to nowadays.

If I remember correctly, ‘True Blue’ were not scheduled. They played in the early afternoon and virtually less than a dozen people were moshing; there was a big empty space in front of the stage. I was also surprised to see a long-haired metal guy on stage. I kinda liked their set, but – as you rightly said – it would have been a killer show if it would have taken place a few years later. At the time, very few people cared. When the 7” came out, I felt that it was a bit of a letdown; I have rarely listened to it. There was a peculiar aura surrounding that tape that could not be replicated. […] <<

lionsandcheetahs2011.blogspot (2011-05-14), by Bart De Duytsche (Crucial X Culture zine)

I made the trip to Ieper from Switzerland mostly to meet friends from around Europe and to possibly enjoy some music from the few good bands booked that year. The festival of the Vort’n Vis was like a punk Mecca, it really had a certain mythical appeal to it, although in reality the punk factor wasn’t shining terribly bright, with all these atrocious moshcore bands wearing Nike and Lacoste sweaters. I remember Christophe from Stonehenge/ ‘Fingerprint’ even boycotting that year’s edition and selling his records on the floor right outside the main entrance. The whole thing was very clean, very safe and overall not very exciting. Well, ‘Mörser’ from Bremen did play a surprise gig if I’m correct; that was fun. But I never came back.

Vincent de Roguin, Genève

I remember there were massive circle-pits during ‘Ensign’ :-)

Michael Kopijn, Groningen

Personally I think this was the last cool Ieper festival. Small bands still had the change to play there. Nowadays it sucks totally. I’ve been there two or three times after that but the old comradery is gone. It’s just a mere festival. ‘True Blue’ was really great, I bet people were shocked. They were ahead of their time. ‘Mainstrike’ rocked the show, I think they just came back from their American tour and it was their second to last show before they split up.

Peter Hoeren, Crucial Response recs

99-08-20&21&22 Ieperfest review (by Vincent de Roguin) 199-08-20&21&22 Ieperfest review (by Vincent de Roguin) 2review in the Swiss Evil zine (#2); courtesy of Vincent de Roguin

Photos courtesy of Vincent de Roguin:

99-08-20&21&22 Vincent & Joris Conspiracy (by Vincent de Roguin)Vincent ‘Vinnie’ Royers (‘Rubbish Heap’ guitarist), Joris De Buysser (Conspiracy recs) & Tom Verstraete

99-08-20&21&22 Jeroen Vrijhoef (by Vincent de Roguin)Jeroen ‘Beertje’ Vrijhoef (‘Mainstrike’ guitarist, Coalition recs)

99-08-20&21&22 Markus Haas Per Koro (by Vincent de Roguin)Markus Haas (Per Koro)

99-08-20&21&22 Marc Hartmann Scorched Earth (by Vincent de Roguin)Marc Hartmann (Scorched Earth Policy, ‘Man vs Humanity’ drummer)

99-08-20&21&22 Fabien Molaire Industries (by Vincent de Roguin)Fabien Thévenot (Molaire Industries, ‘Iscariote’ vocalist)

99-08-20&21&22 Sabeth (by Vincent de Roguin)‘Sabeth’; L=>R: Sebastian Busch (friend), Felix Böhlken (guitar/vocals), Thomas Hahn (guitar)

99-08-20&21&22 Some German guy (by Vincent de Roguin)attentive audience (L: Pedro Tallieu, ‘Instinct’ bassist)

99-08 Portugese Crust Vegan Edge Macrobiótico Rafael BrazunaPortugese crust vegan edge Rafael Brazuna, cooking macrobiotic in the old Vort’n Vis’ yard

The V.V. fest was outdoors for the first time and I couldn’t care less about most of the bands that played – a  shitload of sXe bands; just remember enjoying ‘Mörser’ & ‘John Holmes’. Still it was a nice trip with friends (Guilherme Charters, Afonso [Afonso Cortez Pinto; Freedom distro] and Hugo ‘Mosgo’ – the singer of ‘Simbiose’). The four of us drove from Lisbon to London by car to stay with some friends. We passed through Belgium for the fest and before that we stayed a couple of days at Jaak [ex ‘Nations On Fire drummer] ‘s house, which was fucking cool since he lived just above his health-food store, vegan paradise!

Rafael Brazuna

additions wellcome!…

(full posts with photos of some bands playing are planned…)

99-08-20: Hundred Years Of Forgetting (Bel), JR Ewing (Nor), Once Never Again (Bel), Surface (Ger) Hebriana (Bel), Tumult (Ger), Heaven Shall Burn (Ger), Discount (USA), Sad Origin (Bel), As Friends Rust (USA), Mainstrike (Nl), Hot Water Music (USA)

99-08-21: Ochtenddauw (Bel), H-Street (Öst), Stroke Of Grace (Bel), Redemption (Ita), Ananda (Fra), Sabeth (Ger), Product (Ita), Mörser (Ger), Reveal (Nl), Spineless (Bel), Bloodpact (USA), Thumbs Down (Bel), Pray Silent (Swi), Ensign (USA)

99-08-22: Instinct (Bel), Point Of Few (Nl), True Blue (Ger), Jane (Ger), Sunrise (Pol), Reaching Forward (Nl), Leiah (Swe), Vitality (Bel), John Holmes (UK), Facedown (Bel), The Get Up Kids (USA)