Posts Tagged ‘Facedown’

Introduction => 97-08-15&16&17 HardCore – The Next Generation festival

The Czech zine Barricada #2 mentions ‘Starmarket’ switched places with ‘Endstand’…

‘Instinct’ was a – “positive old-school” (Steve Noyelle’s words) – band with people from my hometown Tielt (and Deinze). Alex Dierickx & Thomas Hauttekeete played guitar, Vincent ‘Pit’ Maes sang (was also in ‘Hundred Years Of Forgetting’, later ‘The Deal’ & ‘Rise And Fall’), Pedro Tallieu did the bass and the drummer was Tuur Delodder. They’d played the V.V. before (probably a few times that year: 97-03-01, 97-06-27 & 97-07-12)… They did a 7” on Marc Decaigny’s label Braveheart recs, entitled Friendship, A Lifetime Commitment (release-party 98-04-18).

On the internet (the German Outspoken forum – outspoken.de) one could read “In 1997 Purification made it to the most important European hardcore festival of those days, the Vort’n Vis fest in Ieper (Belgium).”.

‘Purification’ was a Roman vegan sXe metal-core band and they were inspired by (hardline and pro-life bands) ‘Vegan Reich’ & ‘Earth Crisis’, and influenced by American Straight-Edge. The members were: ‘Puritan’ Maurizio ‘Er Vegano’ Ricci (vocals on the demo and here aswell) – later Matteo ‘Cumenda’ Ferrari (‘P Bird’ or ‘Caustic Bird’, switched from bass – which he played here – to vocals), Andrea ‘Monster’ Campanelli (guitar; later together with Emiliano ‘Er Frusinate’ De Santis), Fabio ‘Kappa’ Cappabianca (drums; Demian Campora informed me he wasn’t in the band at that time). They did a demo in 1996 entitled Arkangel. The Vessel Of Wrath 7” was released on Maurizio Ricci’s label Surrounded recs (xCatalystx recs in the US) in 1998. They also had a track on the Animal Truth compilation that SoberMind recs did. Hans also released their 1996-2000 compilation-CD in 2001.

Barricada #2: “I was really curious about ‘Purification’ because their demo is really good. But I was surprised when the new songs turned out even better than those on the tape. A sympathetic band that talked a lot about veganism and ecology. They also played an ‘Earth Crisis’ cover, The Order That Shall (from the compilation Stones To Mark A Fire). Their performance may have taken a wrong turn with the infernal dancing of the Italian fans, but otherwise I was content.”

‘Purification’; courtesy of Adam Malik

‘Clouded’ was a “new-school” metal-core band from Antwerp (Kontich) with Björn Van Loy (bass), Jeroen Verelst (vocals), Serch Carriere (drums) and Wout Bosschaert (guitar; he replaced Kurt). They started rehearsing November ’96 and did their first show March ’97. The 7” Inheritance was released by Genet recs in ‘98. They played a show at the V.V. pub (98-05-10) and also did the ’98 & ’99 fests.

‘Endstand’ was a HC/punk band from Riihimäki consisting of Jani Kivijärvi (drums), Janne Tamminen (vocals), Joel (Asseri) Sipilä (bass) and Mika Kaukonen (guitar). They’d done a demo-tape (Fear Of Future) in ’96. A split-7” with the Swedish band ‘Outlast’ came out on Grey Days recs / Bridge Of Compassion (‘97). The same year as their Tolerance 7” (on Arto Savolainen’s label Rising Justice recs). The next years there was the Freedom mCD (’98, on Impression recs, the later Lifeforce recs) and a split mCD with ‘Aurinkokerho’ (Halla Julkaisut ‘99). Learn more about the band’s history from the documentary Fire Inside that is on the www.

Barricada #2: “I went to relax in the car when ‘Starmarket’ was supposed to play. About half an hour later I went to the hall and I was horrified: instead of the Swedes, ‘Endstand’s show was in full swing. I only saw the last 6 songs but these were full of energy, which was evidenced by the people piling up on stage. The guys in the band said it was their best concert ever.”

‘Endstand’; (1)&(2) from Hobson’s Choice #4 zine, (3) by JanCoert Toerse

‘Reiziger’ evolved from ‘Kosjer D’; their music was described as “post hardcore” and “emo-core”. I think they were an ‘indie’ band on the edge of the DIY scene… The band consisted of Sven Gielen (drums), Pascal Hens (guitar), Kristien Hendrix (bass) & Geert Plessers (guitar/vocals). At this time I think they were about to release their 1st (12”) EP Don’t Bind My Hands (Genet recs)… They’d just done an intimate show at the V.V. pub (97-06-14) and would return for the ’98 fest.

Barricada #2: “Things calmed down a bit with ‘Reizger’. Pleasantly affectionate emo!”

‘Reiziger’; pics courtesy of the band

‘Spineless’ (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 ex ‘The Jedi’ in ‘97; later ‘AmenRa’) and Stefaan Buyse (drums). Their music was brutal sXe H8000 metal-core. After their initial demo (’96) Hans Verbeke of SoberMind recs released the Painfields 7”/mCD (1997) and the A Talk Between Me And The Stars album (1998).

Barricada #2: “After peace had filled our hearts, a more violent band came along. A very compact mix of HC and metal, in the vein of ‘Morning Again’. Their new MCD is very brutal.”

Not the first time for ‘Facedown’ (‘new-school’, metal-influenced, vegan SE-HC band from Kontich, near Antwerp) either… Thomas Baeken (bass), Youri Baeken (drums), Daniel Mies (vocals), Niko Poortmans (guitar) and Geert Ceuppens (guitar) saw the Ferket brothers (Evil Twin recs) release their 7” Friendship Is Everything (recorded at Studio 195 in July 1996) but Bruno re-released it – with some additional tracks – on Genet recs this year… … The same for the split-7” with ‘Earthmover‎’ (on Moo Cow recs). “Powerful, brutal, moshing emo-core”…

Barricada #2: “Evening fell when ‘Facedown’ came up. They surprised us last year but now it was really worth checking them out. The whole hall rumbled when they played songs from their EP and also new ones that should appear on the new album. As a bonus, they added ‘Earth Crisis’ Firestorm – that was screamed along by all.”

‘Facedown’; by JanCoert Toerse

The 3rd appearance (after 94-08-20 & 95-08-19) of the Swedish SxE band ‘Abhinanda’. In ‘96 they had released their self-titled CD. As Mel Hughes put it: “hardcore passion…metallic riffs speaking to you in poetic tones; fuelled by the power of ‘Verbal Assault’, ‘Shelter’ and ‘Inside Out’…”. It was recorded with José Saxlund (vocals), Pär Hansson (guitar; replacing Kris(tofer) ‘Stone’ Steen), Adam Nilsson (guitar), Mattias ‘Abris’ Abrahamsson (bass) & Daniel Berglund (drums; replacing Jonas Lyxzén). When they recorded in spring of ’98 for the album The Rumble, Niklas Rudolfsson played guitar instead of Adam. Niklas also played at this gig. Their set was recorded on video.

Barricada #2: “The Swedes appeared with a new guitarist and drummer. During the first riffs everything seemed calm but as soon as the singer started, a wave of people rose and made their way to the stage, striking the microphone. The musicians disappeared in the piles of people, sometimes the guitarist and the singer peeked over the heads of the crowd. They played songs from the last album but also old hits such as Senseless or Needle. All rocking and thrashing. The classic Let’s March! dragged some 100 people along. The best show of this Friday – as could be expected.”

‘Abhinanda’; (1) courtesy of Adam Malik, (2) by JanCoert Toerse

Two years after their first performance ‘Veil’ (from the Hannover area) returned. Jens Lauterbach (bass), Flo(rian) Schul (drums), Raoul Festante (vocals) and Nils Nordmann played metallic hardcore. In 1996 Ferry Krop (of ‘Crisis Of Society’) had released the 7” Time Will Tell (Threesome recs label) after he did their first self-titled one. The same year their LP The Burden Of Life was released (Frontline).

Barricada #2: “They arrived last minute. People were screaming along to their best songs, such as Everyday or Time Will Tell. But it seemed to me that ‘Veil’ gave a bit extra that evening.”

Brob

It sure was quite an experience to play this festival in Ieper and I have good memories about it.

Joel (Asseri) Sipilä; ‘Endstand’ bassist

We did play at the V.V. in ‘97 (when ‘Abhinanda’ played there as well)… Actually we arrived so late that they were forced to play before us, so we ended up being the headliners of that night… I remember that so well since we got out of the car (had an accident during the day which was a reason for the delay) after an 8 hour drive… When we finally arrived, we stretched out and and got right on stage. Holy moly! I’m pretty sure the first crowd-shot on the intro-page was during ‘Veil’s set.

Raoul Festante, ‘Veil’s vocalist

What I always remembered is the good atmosphere, the warm welcome by the audience. Not obvious at that time , ‘cause ‘Reiziger’ was not a typical hardcore-band.

Sven Gielen, ‘Reiziger’

Our record Our Kodo was just out then… I remember we were the ‘the odd one out’… Geert started our performance with “Hello, we’re ‘Reiziger’ and we’re gonna play half an hour of pop-music for you.”. It was a legendary gig, incredible ambience, very hot on stage, warm reactions afterward aswell. One can hear on the compilation that Bruno released, that Geert’s voice was broken…

Pascal Hens, ‘Reiziger’

I don’t remember that much gigs we played with ‘Clouded’. But the ones I will never forget are the shows at the Lintfabriek in Kontich (our second home) and at the Vort’n Vis festivals. I think we played there the last two times before the festival moved outside, to a much bigger location. We still played in the barn (no other way to call it), with sweat dripping of every wall, people diving from the ceiling-beams,… Chaos, but in a very contagious way. It was amazing to see how much people actually fit in that barn :-) … I remember being knocked out after our show – too many people, too much sweat, too little oxygen – but also kind of high on adrenaline at the same time. The Fest always had the most receptive and the most enthusiastic ‘crowd’. People were singing along with songs we played for the very first time. Songs that had no lyrics yet (I just shouted something). When ‘Kindred’ and ‘Culture’ played (my favorite bands back then), the barn just exploded.

I don’t know what it’s like nowadays, but back then all the bands (also the American ones) stayed at the same camping-site. We all hung out in the city and we played soccer together. I made friends in Ieper that I’m still in touch with 20 years later. Sweet memories.

Jeroen Verelst, ‘Clouded’ singer

What I particularly remember of that show is that we, being a young band, got a lot of support from the audience. Our song Positive Kids was enregistred that day and used for the H8000 sampler.

Alex Dierickx, ‘Instinct’

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

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Introduction => 96-08-16&17&18 Hardcore, The Next Generation

Since I (Brob) was rather disgusted with and had commented on the increasing commercialism, violent/sexist/homophobic attitudes, I spent most of the time I was there (for my literature-distribution) talking to fellow “PC emo-morons who stop everyone from having a good time” (as mentioned in the Hate 8000 Zine) in the courtyard and therefore hardly saw any of the bands, I reprint a review I found on the internet:

>>They had entitled this fest ‘Hardcore; the new generation’, as far as I’m concerned I would have rather called it ‘Hardcore the last generation’ or better yet ‘The demise of the Belgian scene’. It started early on Friday with ‘Firestone’: heavy metal from da neighborhood or something. Then I think it was ‘Facedown’, quite a good surprise, powerful emo-ish metal with quite a few things to say. ‘Vitality’: can’t rermember so I guess it was heavy metal or maybe even death-metal from Belgium. ‘Outrage’: pretty good powerful emo-metal; I was disappointed they didn’t talk much between songs. ‘Victims Of Society’ might have been the best band of the day; raging old-school hardcore punk à la ‘Inkisiçao’; I talked to them a bit and it turned out their lyrics are not serious, just funny or weird. ‘Down For The Count’ from Spain were good modern style HC but the sound-quality wasn’t too hot unfortunately. ‘Liar’: at least the vocalist was honest when he said “If you think it’s too violent get out!”, ‘cause the crowd did act like a bunch of football-supporters. But I enjoyed it, it was very powerful death-metal. ‘Spawn’ disappointed me a bit: at first the sound-quality wasn’t that good, and the band acted like a bunch of musicians. No wonder they went from Crucial Response to New Age… I think they’ve split up now. Oh yeah, it was good old-school though. Late at night ‘Unborn’ came up with their powerful basic death-metal, I totally enjoyed it but the set was short!<<

Here’s what Helene K. of Subjugation recs wrote about this fest on her blog:

>>Alas things were a bit different when I returned to the Ieper festival in 1996 with my friend’s band ‘Unborn’…It was much bigger and people seemed to be more into the idea that the highest echelons of human connectivity was achieved through busting some karate-esque moves, pushing those who weren’t turned on by this to the back of the room, and I guess philosophically speaking out of the way and out of the door to find desultory solace back in the mainstream. This aggressive individualism was in stark contrast to the good humoured communal feeling at the earlier festivals. I have to confess I find all this muscle-flexing a bit dull. I find it executed in a more finessed and meaningful way on the football-terraces and in any northern town on a weekend, and the need for ‘unity’ in this context much more understandable than one where you just watch a band together. But I can be a bit slow to grasp some of the more deeper and progressive philosophical stances about the inter-relationships between people, community and society. But I have to admit it had an effect on me. Some guy in the pit hit me once too often so I punch him in the back of the head, and I offered him out for a fight, which alas he turned down. Funny now to think of Nick from ‘Unborn’ stepping in to separate us. I guess you can take a girl out of the north east, but never the north east out of her!<<

The “H8000 Press” (‘Ringmaster’ Nicholas Malfeyt) wrote about the different nationalities of the visiters, the various ‘crews’ (H8000, Suckcore, ODK, Rennes, Evil Blood, Ruhrpott Posse, UK Vegan Warriors, Roma SxE) and the fact that this was ‘The Year Of The Moshpit’… Interesting ;-).

‘Firestone’ was a H8000 (from Kortrijk, Belgium) metal band. This was probably their first appearance at the Vort’n Vis. Their later singer Iris Walgraeve explained the band’s history in the post on their 97-06-27 show: >>Early on it was Thomas Desimpelaere who sang, then Alexander [Baert?] (who played drums at first), than Pieter-Jan and than me. Mathieu Storms drummed (after Alexander). After him Vincent Tetaert played the drums. In the beginning Matthias Desimpelaere played guitar but in the end Ward Dufraimont replaced him [June ‘99]. Diederik Claes [bass] and Lennart Bossu [guitar; also ‘Liar’, later ‘Janez Detd’, ‘AmenRa’] were the only constant members I think.<< In August 1996 they recorded for their Dark Fantasies demo.

Also a first time for ‘Facedown’ (‘new-school’, metal-influenced, vegan SE-HC band from Kontich, near Antwerp): Thomas Baeken (bass), Youri Baeken (drums), Daniel Mies (vocals), Niko Poortmans (guitar) and Geert Ceuppens (guitar). The Ferket brothers (Evil Twin recs) released the Friendship Is Everything 7” (recorded at Studio 195 in July 1996; Bruno would re-release it – with some additional tracks – on Genet recs in 1997)… “Powerful, brutal, moshing emo-core”…

‘Facedown’, picture by Sergi E. Costa

‘Vitality’ was a “tough-guy edge-metal” band from Oostduinkerke (ODK; Belgian coast): ‘Chief’ Steve De Clercq (vocals), ‘Noptje De Mens’ Bob Van Lierde (guitar) & ‘Alien King’ Chris Paccou (guitar; nowadays sound-engineer for ‘Carcass’), Olivier ‘Ollie’ Dobbels (drums; also nick-named ‘Simon’ or ‘Original Gangster’) and ‘Switch’ Marc Paccou (bass). In their early days they did one show with Frederic ‘Fre’ Flameygh on drums (ex ‘Burning Fight’, DJ Flameboy see 92-02-22) and also Ilja (‘Congress) played a short while for them… They supposedly recorded a demo that year; and Hans ‘Liar’ released 2 7”s for them on his label Sober Mind: a split with ‘Sektor’ an one entitled Bloodline. In 1998 their Crucial Wires CD appeared on the French (from Rennes) label Overcome recs.

‘Vitality’, shot by Sergi E. Costa

‘ODK Crew’, also a band from Oostduinkerke, played a few songs unannounced. They played “Clevo style HC” and got quite some criticism for covering a song by ‘One Life Crew’ (with supposedly fascist inuendo)… The guys had some members of ‘Vitality’ (guitarist Bob Van Lierde & bassist Marc Paccou) and ‘Congress’ (drummer Ilja De Ceuleneire) in their ranks…

‘Outrage’ (friends from the Kempen area in Belgium) had already played the V.V. a few months before this (96-03-24). Sigi Loots (drums), Steven Van Goubergen (guitar), Ringo Van Dingenen (vocals) and Nico Peeters (bass). ‘Outrage’s had recorded their 1st 7”, Between Brackets (out on Nico’s Day One recs) in April ’96…

‘Victims Of Society’ were a (pretty commercial) band playing old-school HC hailing from Heist-op-den-Berg (Belgium). They recorded the Screams From The Gutter demo at Labie’s Studio 195 that year and did a CD (Way Of Life) on Lost & Found (!) in 1997. They were: Davy Helsen (guitar), Dieter De Backer (drums), Hans Van Keilegom (guitar), Toon Severijns (bass) and Jim (vocals).

‘Down For The Count’, a new school sXe hardcore band from Madrid, were: Gonzalo Ávila (bass), David Fernández (drums), Conrado Isasa (guitar), Francisco Arroyo (Sanchez) (guitar) and Hugo Ortiz (vocals). They recorded for their tape entitled Reflections in April ‘96 (released by Víctimas Del Progreso – Crímenes De Estado).

‘Down For The Count’, photographed by Sergi E. Costa

I guess ‘Liar’ did one of their first shows with Bert Guillemont (also ‘Sektor’; replacing Raf) here since he’d just joined in June. Being locals they played the V.V. several times. The others were Hans Verbeke (vocals; also ‘Blindfold’, etc.), UxJx (bass; also ‘Congress’) and Joost ‘Josh’ Noyelle (guitar; also ‘Congress’). The line-up on the Invictus LP (1997, Genet recs). In August they did a 3 week tour in Europe together with ‘Blindfold’ and ‘Congress’…

Apparently Bert tore down an anti-violenct dancing poster (“hung up by Spanish fruits”)… Trying to prove ‘Liar’s aggressiveness I guess… In the interview with ‘Sektor’ in Slaves Of Mainstream he describes how violend the crowd was during ‘Liar’s set (read below)…

Watch a bit of their set here: ‘Liar’ 96-08, Invictus line-up.

‘Spawn’ was an sXe HC band from the Ruhrpott area (Germany). They performed at the fest 2 years ealier, 94-08-19) played their last concert. After that they still released an album entitled Adrift on the US label New Age recs (’96) and a split-7” with ‘Despair’ (USA) on March Through recs (’97). The guys in the band were Dirk Zeiser (bass), René Natzel (drums), Daniel Frankowski (guitar), Patrick Uhle (guitar) and Chris Van Dornick (vocals).

‘Spawn’ (pics by Sergi E. Costa): 1  – Dirk Zeiser bass  (Andre Hoppe, Two Face distro + Stefan Grabowski, World Eaters distro; in the crowd); 3 – Daniel Frankowski (supported by Peter Hoeren)

On the back of the flyer of the 1996 festival in the 1in12 (Bradford, UK), ‘Unborn’ was announced as “modern straight-edge mixed with Slayer”… The band consisted of Nick Royles (vocals; ex ‘Sore Throat’, ‘No Way Out’, ‘Nailbomb’, ‘Ironside’, ‘Cracked Cop Skulls’; also How We Rock zine), Chris Meadows (drums; Clear Perception zine), Patrick ‘Rat’ Poole (guitar; ex ‘Cracked Cop Skulls’), James (guitar; ex ‘Neckbrace’) and Andy ‘Wrighty’ Wright (bass; ex ‘Ironside’; R.I.P.). At that time they had the Ancestral Pagan Roots 7” out on (Nick’s label) Sure Hand recs (recorded in February 1996).

Brob

It was kinda sad that there were so many labels with a commercial attitude and that so many people bought their records from them (Green Hell, GoodLife, …) That’s why I’m so happy that there were also people showing an alternative way…

Manuel Harand, Smart Cookies Collective, Vienna, Austria (personal communication Sep. ’96)

I was at the “Ieperfest” in ‘96 (and also in’97). I remember ‘96 very well indeed because it was such a special time, a great line-up and much fun for me and my travelling-party from Vienna. we were loads of people, all sleeping inside the Vort’n Vis too. I have quite a few photos: they’re all on film of course and but haven’t scanned them all yet, it’s a task to do all of that…

Daniel Eberharter, Eloquence zine (Vienna, Austria)

People were dancing very violently during ‘Liar’s set. It was very harsh. I saw people coming from everywhere. It was like 5 meter wall of kids laying on top of each other in front of the stage. People have marked ‘Liar’ as “pro-violence, satanic” band but that’s bullshit. ‘Liar’ started out as a side-project of ‘Congress’- and ‘Blindfold’-members. They wanted to play music influenced by aggressive metal. It’s not because we’re anti-religion that we’re satan-worshippers.

Bert Guillemont (‘Liar’ drummer since June ‘96) in Slaves Of Mainstream zine #2

I feel my most interesting V.V. memories are of my first visits – I’d been there with ‘Bob Tilton’ (95-12-03) and also came for the festival in 1996 when ‘Unborn’ played.

David Allen (later ‘Voorhees’ drummer)

source: anonymous (but not ‘Unborn’)

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

 

97-08-15&16&17 newsletter97-08-15&16&17 newsletter'

‘Blindfold’ was supposed to play their “last show ever” but they still did shows, even toured during the summer, in ’98, their drummer Chatn informs. According to Hans their last gig was at ‘t Molentje in Kuurne. They recorded their live-LP (with 2 new songs only to be heard there) at the V.V.

Brob

97-08-16 Blindfold live @ VV cover97-08-16 Blindfold live @ VV back

We released our CD [Redeem The Monsters] at this fest but we didn’t actually play… Our singer Mark arrived with the first 500 copies, straight from the prsssing-plant and they were practically all gone in a day (sold to people attending and on consignment to various distros. We had to order a second pressing immediately. Crazy!

Sven Leys, ‘Rain’s guitarist

I ended up there with some SxE friends from Vienna (Daniel Eberharter of Eloquence zine), from Vienna (Austria), that were going to the fest. I was also friends with ‘By The Grace Of God’ (ex-members of the Louisville band ‘Endpoint’ [BTGOG had been touring earlier. They were already back in the states by August.]) who I think played the fest. They were on tour in Europe and I dragged along as van-duty, slacker, bad jokester for some shows. I toured with them on and off throughout the tour. We had a blast at Ieper and met great people. It was a nice meet-up of us all. I slept in the ‘loft’-area on an old couch. I had a giant necklace with a cock-ring on it. Good times! The venue was pretty unique in what I’ve seen around the world. It was impressive seeing the show set-up and so successful, especially with so many bands. The diversity in the punk-styles was evident and it was great to be apart of. There were New York style harcore, crust-punk and metal bands; and kids all hanging out.

Kevin Zelko; Wellfair? zine (also helped putting out ‘The Get Up Kids’ record)

97-08 Zelko & EberharterKevin Zelko & friends (Daniel Eberharter and Henrik from Stockholm)

I was at the Vort’n Vis with ‘Acheborn’… I have very good memories of sleeping in the park nearby in the festival. It was only us and another two people the first time The next year it was pretty full in there. The groundkeeper was actually so friendly that he almost didn’t let us go. A bit like in the movie Misery ;-) (Where a nurse takes care of an author that had a car-accident, in her house; and at the beginning she is all caring but then becomes this psycho who doesn’t let him leave her house, etc. We thought maybe he is all nice and then he won’t let us leave anymore…)

Here’s a few random memories:

There were 2 guys sleeping in the middle of the main square close to the venue because it was super-packed with people occupying every inch on the floor. We were walking past the main square when they were waking up and they were surrounded by market-stalls and people shopping. I guess they were too polite to wake them up to tell them that there is a market going on in their new bedroom….

There was this guy selling rare test-pressings of ‘Infest’, etc. for big bucks and American bands were spending a lot of money on it. I was sleeping at this guy’s house once on tour and he had hundreds of sleeves left and was making a test-pressing every once in a while. Power-violence hardcore capitalism…

And once I hitchhiked half way and was picked up by two guys from Munich at a highway-stop along the way but didn’t have a seat to get back. I didn’t really find anyone and at the last night there were four guys with a tiny car from Frankfurt that didn’t have any space as it was loaded with records that they were selling… Either way they squeezed me in and we all had records literally up to our nose driving for 6 hours or so. I think that was in the top 10 of the worst car-drives I ever had. but I guess that was the price to pay for going to the Vort’n Vis.

Christian Mix-Linzer (Outlet recs)

I was here aswell: I drove ‘Acheborn’. That was my first time at the V.V.

Marc Hartmann (Scorched Earth Policy, ‘Man vs Humanity’ drummer)

The persons (Jan & Jakub ‘Kuba’ Dušek of the sXe band ‘Balaclava’) that wrote a report in the Czech zine Barricada #2 mentioned that they got a discount on the admission-fee (a ticket for all three days costed 40 DM [20 Euro] – which was too much for them). The first day “of the three-day marathon” started about half past three. They spent the first (hot) night on the sand near the shore, and in the morning went skipping in the sea. They came back to the city and after lunch got ready for “the next round”. After day 2 they they left the hall “soaking in sweat and with torn earrings”, looking for a place to sleep in town. But there was hardly a place to lie down? “It’s not easy at all in this part of Belgium: there’s either cow-pastures and corn-fields surrounded by wire, or villages everywhere; but no forests where one can lay down one’s head.” After straying around for a long time, they found that single one place in the whole state and “slept the sleep of the righteous”. The last day started early right after lunch to get everything finished by nine o’clock… “Compared to the year before, there were fewer bands that took our breath. We probably also knew what was coming and the Belgian bands weren’t that big of a risk. But where else can you see so many wonderful bands and people together, find things you don’t know about, and especially to meet new friends and learn about European scenes. Beautiful memories…”

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

[‘Natural Order’ & ‘Timebomb’ were not listed on the poster but they signed the guestbook. They didn’t play… Some bands got switched around… ‘Lifecycle’ was added to the bill last-minute.]

97-08-15: Instinct (Bel), Purification (Ita), Clouded (Bel), Endstand (Fin), Reiziger (Bel), Spineless (Bel), Facedown (Bel), Abhinanda (Swe), Veil (Ger)

97-08-16: Thumbs Down (Bel), ODK Crew (Bel), Metroschifter (USA), Intensity (Swe), Spirit Of Youth (Bel), Serene (Swe), Sektor (Bel), Blindfold (Bel), Kindred (Bel), Liar (Bel), Culture (USA)

97-08-17: Lifecycle (Bel), Acheborn (Ger), Starmarket (Swe), Deformity (Bel), Mainstrike (Nl), Rubbish Heap (Bel), Vitality (Bel), Congress (Bel), Morning Again (USA)

97-08 crowd-shot97-08 crowd-shot'crowdshots by Sergi E. Costa

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 97-08 - (book C) visiters Czechvisiters from the Czech republic; some of them wrote a review in Barricada #2

‘Roman vegan sXe legion’

militant… or hardline…?

VV 97-08 - (book C) visitersall sorts of visiters…

additions wellcome!…

 

98-08 HC - Next Generation (intro)

Paul Van den Berg wrote me (around that time) that ‘Seein’Red’ had discussed the fact whether they would play this fest or not (also with people like Bernd ‘Stack’, ‘Beertje’ & Marcel of Coalition recs, Theun Koelemij and some others) because there had been a lot of communication from various people (and myself) that this fest was not truly D.I.Y. They’d taken a collective decision to confront the audience and not compromise… “By staying away, you’re not gonna change things!”. I might’ve gone there for an afternoon (allthough I have no recollctions, it might’ve been the year before) to try and explain some people but I definitely didn’t pay entrance or saw any of the bands, because I considered this whole thing nothing more than a ‘year-market’/fair(ground) intended as promotion for the record-labels GoodLife and Genet… The latter also relased a CD of the Fest.

Brob

98-08 Vortn Vis Fest

The HC-fest was a mix of fun and some irritation. We travelled down with a whole gang and that was cosy of course. Also met nice people in Ieper; old friends and contacts. A minus was ‘Arkangel’ and the monotonous program. ‘Seein’ Red’ was great. A real party and they also had sensible things to say. Also ‘Eyeball’, ‘Reiziger’, ‘Stack’ and ‘Highscore’ were good.

Jeroen ‘ Beertje’ Vrijhoef, ‘Mainstrike’ guitarist; personal communication Sep ‘98

I was at the Ieper SxE festival this summer and it sucked. I didn’t pay entrance and only managed to get in when ‘Seein’Red’ played. But besides the dumb consumerist kids, I met some nice friends from Germany so being on the train for 15 hours was worth it.

Philipp Smeh (Austria), personal communication Nov ‘98

That was my first Ieper fest ever, great memories! First time to I saw ‘Seein’Red’ and ‘Stack’ as well. Great! I remember there was some fuss during the ‘Stack’ set when a girl was asking the band to say something about some people dancing violently in the back during their set.

Stig Koppen

[Brob: “propaganda-flyer ‘Stack’ frontman Bernd wrote a few years later…]

2001 Stack Propganda flyer VV

This was the first time I went to this Fest!

Vincent Troplain, Rouen (nowadays Emergence recs & photo-zine)

Two friends of mine wanted to go to the unholy Vort’n Vis to meet / see & hear ‘Seein’Red’, ‘Highscore’, ‘Stack’, ‘Grade’ [???], … I didn’t give it much thought and drove to Ieper, and was very surprised to see so many stupid, trendy HC kids. It was terrible …

Christian Dreker, ‘Asmodinas Leichenhaus’ (Germany); personal communication Nov ‘98

additions wellcome!…

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

98-08-14: One X More (Bel), One Fine Day (Ita), Driven (Nl), Building (Bel), Contrition (Ger), Stack (Ger), Timebomb (Ita), Liar (Bel), Culture (USA)

98-08-15: Sad Origin (Bel), Highscore (Ger), Opposite Force (Ita), Pray Silent (Swi), Clouded (Bel), Seein’Red (Nl), Spineless (Bel), Thumbs Down (Bel), Facedown (Bel), Earthmover (USA)

98-08-16: Reply (Bel), D.S.A. (Bel), Lifecycle (Bel), Inflexible (Pol), Ashlar (Bel), Caliban (Ger), Firestone (Bel), Arkangel (Bel), Reiziger (Bel), Eyeball (Ger), Congress (Bel)

98-08 pit (by P Federli)98-08 pit' (by P Federli)crowd-shots by Patrick Federli

98-08 QQQ (Nick Royles)British HardCore women – Camilla Bradshaw Burke / Louise Brown / Nicola Waterson (photo Nick Royles)

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)

96-08-16&17&18 HC The Next generation (1st)

96-08-16&17&18 HC The Next generation (pre 2)pre-posters

96-08 HC fest

Right before this fest Stephane Boens (74-04-17 * 96-08-06) a.k.a. The Famous Vegan (a friend of some collaborators at the V.V.) passed away…

96-08 VV frontphoto: Roel Brals

This trend that had silently been creeping in during previous years (commercialism, violent/sexist/homophobic attitudes) got even more established here. Earlier in ’96, I had been isolated, denigrated and vilified because of my criticisms (by the H8000 buisnessmen and their disciples). For many I wasn’t wellcome but I tried to be one of the few who offered radical/political literature, and went over to explain to those who wanted to listen and support my few remaing friends. This here below shows there were also still a few people trying to get (part of the) message across…

96-08 VV fest in SxE Bulletin x (-)someone from The NL in Yann Boislève’s SxE Bulletin #20

96-08 anti Windmilling

96-08 H8000 Violence (Lenny Sektor)96-08 H8000 Violence (Lenny Sektor)'

96-08 Lost & Found anti-campaign (-)

It was the last time I attended… I refused to pay entrance and hardly saw any of the bands. I believe this was the programme (but some might have been added):

96-08-16: Firestone (Bel), Facedown (Bel), Vitality (Bel), Outrage (Bel), Victims Of Society (Bel), Down For The Count (Spa), Liar (Bel), Spawn (Ger), Unborn (UK)

96-08-17: Voices At The Front (Bel), Kindred (Bel), Sektor (Bel), Saidiwas (Swe), Regression (Bel), Timebomb (Ita), Burning Defeat (Ita), Congress (Bel), Racial Abuse (Öst), Despair (USA)

96-08-18: Spineless (Bel), Resist The Pain (Bel), Stampin’ Ground (UK), Vanilla (Fra), Approach To Concrete (Ger), Bruma (Ita), Separation (Swe), Swing Kids (USA), With Love (Ita)

the marketplace… :-(

96-08 VV koer met distros (by Karel Deweerdt)courtesy of Karel Deweerdt (Wim ‘Blindfold’ & UJ ‘Liar’ on the left)

96-08 stalls (by Joeri H)photo by Joeri Hoste (central: Eric Allen, Marco Walzel, Justin Pearson)

96-08 VV yard96-08 VV yard'

the international crowd… :-)

96-08 upstairs room''96-08 upstairs room'96-08 upstairs room96-08 Spanish invasion'

VV 96-08-xx - (book C) chiro (C) -even the local girl-scouts visited…

96-08-18 Vique Martin by Joeri H…and a little British kitten named Vique… (photo courtesy of Joeri Hoste)

photos by Sergi E. Costa (unless where otherwise mentioned)

There were people from all over but there was especially an Italian invasion… Quite a few bands from there played and some people who were in Italian bands that didn’t play also came over. One of them was Federico Oddone (ex ‘Maze’), the guitarist of ‘Sottopressione’ (from Milano). In that band he played together with ‘Diste’ Andrea Di Stefano (bass), ‘Kuku’ (drums; replaced Mauro Dossi ex ‘Crash Box’) and Mayo Maggiore (vocals). The band released a 7” through Mele Marce recs and 3 albums on Rudy Medea’s Vacation House recs. Federico wrote this entry in the guestbook:

Veganism was a big issue too… Animal Truth zine (by Cindy Frey & An Lehaen) a reference…

additions wellcome!…

97 Catharis - Gehenna Euro tourVort’n Vis last day of the tour ?

97-10-12 Catharsis - Gehenna

I think I organised that show at the Vort’n Vis! Cut, pasted and wrote the poster! I’m still friends with them [‘Catharsis’], met them at Ieperfest 2013. I believe Brian is the one who stuck to the anarchistic roots most – he didn’t feel ‘well’ because the [Ieper]fest was “too manly”. “There are not enough women here”…

Lieve Goemaere

I remember visiting Lieve (Ugly Duckling) at the place where she lived during her studies one sunny day when she said ‘Catharsis’ was playing (98-05-19) at the Frontline (a pub in Gent where Bruno VdV of Genet recs/Pyrrhus often booked bands). I disliked the place (too commercial and a history of extreme-right sympathies) and certainly didn’t want to support Pyrrhus). I knew about the band and of CrimethInc and their publications (Harbinger and Brian’s zine Inside Front)… Lieve (who did an interview with Alexei and Brian for her zine Ugly Duckling #2) said I ought to have a talk with Brian since she knew I was connected with the anarchist scene in Gent, collaborating at the infoshop, and distributing radical literature and pamphlets. So I joined her and had a conversation with Brian in front of the pub. Even though I value his and the collective’s activities, he couldn’t convince me of why they would have to play such a place.

Another reason to go see them that day, was because my pen-pal Eric Boehme (After The Revolution zine) travelled with ‘Catharsis’ and he’d written me to come and say hello…

Because ‘Catharsis’ wasn’t really part of ‘my scene’ (Certain people I knew in the US were shrugging their shoulders when hearing the name ‘Catharsis’: “a jock-band”. I did tape the CDs Lieve borrowed me though so I know what they sounded like), I also didn’t go see them at the V.V. here (they also had connections with the ultra-commercial label GoodLife)…

A few of the guys of ‘Gehenna’ spend some weeks in Gent after the tour…

Some people that were at the gig at the V.V. (I was told): Tom Claus (‘Family Of Dog’), Bjorn Dossche (One Step Down zine); on the pic: Thomas ‘Bieter’ (Bistro distro), ‘Kluze’ (‘Wise Up’ vocalist), ‘Rain’s guitarist, Steve Lammertyn, Carlo Steegen, etc.

Brob

One of those legendary shows one remembers in full detail… I recall that all of us in ‘Spineless’ were big fans of ‘Catharsis’. The persona of front-man Brian will have played a big role in that. Brian was active on many levels and was one of those people that seemed to fill a room with his presence. The fact that they were from ‘Clevo’, the area where ‘Integrity’ originates from, did the rest. [Brob: Cleveland, Ohio is pretty far away from Greensboro or Atlanta]

This was the first appearance of ‘Catharsis’. ‘Gehenna’ was still unknown to me… I met the band at Pyrrhus in Gent [record-store ran by Bruno of Genet recs], the favourite hang-out for H8000 sect-members [sic]… To be honest they didn’t really make the impression that I had hoped (says maybe more about myself in that period than about ‘Catharsis’ & ‘Gehenna’. Internet didn’t take the form yet that we know today. We had to get by with vague, photocopied pics from fanzines.

That night my preconception disappeared radically. Even more: I can ‘t remember a thing about ‘Sektor’ & ‘Facedown’; something that is significant when you know that H8000 bands were almost worshipped by the audience at that time. ‘Gehenna’ played with so much energy and power that Tsjernobyl seemed like a commonplace. The singer [Mike ‘Cheese’] seemed to come straight out of a prehistoric cave, wielding a big bottle of water as a club, furiously swaying it among the crowd. [Supposedly he has Tourette’s Syndrome…] We were all doomed! And then… Booooom! With a hard blow he slammed the bottle amidst the spectators… Such a smack hadn’t been witnessed in Ieper for over 80 years. The audience went beserk. We moshed on the glass; the day after I could still pich the pieces from my sole. After their show – I remember it vividly – Lieve Goemaere [editor of Ugly Duckling zine] was reprimanding the Neanderthal about how irresponsible it is to smash a bottle of water on the ground in and how disrespectful it was towards the collaborators of the Vort’n Vis. As fierce as he was during the show, as quiet afterwards. The man apologised over 10 times and promised to clean things up (not so sure about that anymore ;-) …).

97-10-12 Gehenna (by Vincent Maes)‘Gehenna’ (photo courtesy of Vincent Maes, ‘Instinct’ singer)

And then ‘Catharsis’ still had to take off… Well, what can I say. The show was fantastic. I still don’t understand how a band can play so tight and solid at the same time. And above all, it was so real, no rehearsed ‘Biohazard’ moves or breakdance-steps; pure power, pure emotion. Like a demonic preacher Brian strung the songs together with power-speeches, confronted us with the capitalist robbery; visionary, thinking back. The impression was overwhelming.

I saw ‘Catharsis’ back in Ieper in 2013, Brian still hasn’t lost any of his youthful anger against a system that is rotten to the core. The band played tighter than ever, still blowing an entire Roman legion out of their sandals.

Pedro ‘Fifi’ Fioen (guitarist of ‘Resist The Pain’, ‘Spineless’, ‘Congress’, etc.)

I don’t remember any of that! But it would’ve been my 2nd run-in with the singer of ‘Gehenna’ ‘cause I lashed out at him at the Pyrrhus store for treating me like his dog…

Lieve Goemaere

‘Catharsis’ was an “anarchist” hardcore band (metallic with heavy riffs and raw vocals) originating from Greensboro, North Carolina, releasing their albums through the CrimethInc. Collective (Atlanta, Georgia). Their singer, Brian, was editor of the political hardcore punk fanzine Inside Front and later went on (with other ex-members of ‘Catharsis’) to form the band ‘Requiem’. The 7” released in 1996 (by Endless Fight recs) featured Brian ‘Diablodein’ Dingledine (vocals/guitar), Jonathan Raine (bass), Alexei ‘Rasputin’ Rodriguez (drums; later ‘Walls Of Jericho’, ‘Prong’, etc.) and James ‘Jimmy’ Chang (guitar). The same on their 1st CD (CrimethInc ‘96). According to Lieve the band here was Brian, bassist Ernie Hayes, drummer Alexei and guitarists Matt Miller & Dan Young. The band came back on 99-10-31. They still exist/play…

>>The ‘Catharsis’ guitar-player died after they released the Samsara album. He had psychological problems and took drugs to die says Brian D. (Inside Front #11 mentions Dan Young’s problems).<<

Visit the CrimethInc Ex-Workers’ Collective website: www.crimethinc.com

‘Gehenna’ was a HC/metal band (“blending death, black and thrash metal”), originating from San Diego (California) and Reno (Nevada). The band described their musical style “negative hardcore; an extreme brand of hardcore with raw black metal influences”. On this tour the band consisted of Jensen Ward (drums; later ‘Iron Lung’), ‘Reno’ Dean C*** ‘DC’ (guitar), Mike ‘Apocalypse’ Cheese (vocals; apocalypsewestcoast.blogspot), Mike Rhodes a.k.a. ‘Mickey Featherstone’ (bass) and original guitarist Justin Holbo.

In 1997 the band was offered to release the War Of The Sons Of Light And The Sons Of Darkness CD (first full-length release; a compilation of the band’s early discography in chronological order, all recorded ‘94-‘96: a 3-song cassette, The Pain Of Life split-7” with ‘Apartment 213’ and The Birth Of Vengeance 7”) on CrimethInc recs. They also did a split-LP (‘Gehenna’ live at CBGB’s) on Wicked Witch recs with ‘Catharsis’ (Live In The Land Of The Dead / Eat, Fight, Fuck). The new drummer (on the Negotium Perambulans In Tenebris album) couldn’t go to Europe so they got a friend from to fill in on drums.

‘Sektor’ was a H8000 veg(etari)an straight-edge metalcore band (from the Ieper area). Heavy stuff! They did 2 7”s on Hans Verbeke’s Sober Mind recs: Ultimate Threat (1995) and a split with Vitality (1996); later there was also a 12”/CD (Human Spots of Rust, ’97). The band consisted of ‘Lenny LadyLover’ (bass), Bert ‘BabyNipples’ Guillemont (drums, also ‘Liar’), Piet ‘Pete’ Cardoen (a.k.a. Mousti; guitar), Vadim ‘KarateKip’ Vandekerckhove (guitar) and Jeroen Therry (a.k.a. KungFu Mike; vocals). See also 96-05-12.

‘Facedown’ (who had already played on the fest 96-08) was a socalled ‘new-school’ (metal-influenced) vegan SE-HC band from Kontich: Thomas Baeken (bass), Youri Baeken (drums), Daniel Mies (vocals), Niko Poortmans (guitar) and Geert Ceuppens (guitar). The Ferket brothers released the Friendship Is Everything 7” (Evil Twin recs in 1996) and Bruno re-released it (with some additional tracks) on Genet recs in 1997). They did also a split with ‘Earthmover‎’ (7” on Moo Cow recs in 1997) and Beyond All Horizons got out on Genet recs in 1998. Some of them formed ‘.Calibre’ (and got a record-deal with a major label)…

‘Lebensreform’ (from Hamburg), a “straight edge thrash/ hardcore / screamo outfit”. At that time they had 2 7”s out on Per Koro (Licht + Luft + Leben & Retor) recorded with his line-up: Christian Wruck (drums), Mark Wehrmann (guitar), Niels Abele (bass; didn’t play Vort’n Vis ‘cause he quit the band before that and was replaced by Dennis Becker) and Sven Christiansen (vocals).

97-10-12 Lebensreform''''' (met Mike Gehenna)The ‘Lebensreform’ guys (and Patrick Federli) with met Mike ‘Gehenna’ (courtesy of Sven Christiansen)

According to Ernie Hayes, at the 1997 show also ‘Sincerity’ and ‘Natural Order’ played. While the German ‘Sincerity’s vocalist says they didn’t. The poster indicates the band was from Deinze (Belgium). Members were: ‘Sjaab’ (vocals), Maarten Kinet (bass; later ‘Lifecycle’ & ‘AmenRa’), Bram Walgraeve (guitar), Fré(derick) De Vogelaere (drums) & Thomas Hauttekeete (guitar; also ‘Instinct’). They had already played the V.V. on 97-07-12.

The German ‘Sincerity’ were a youth-crew / old-school band from Werne (Germany); they had a tape out entitled Positive Hardcore. (A whole bunch of stuff followed in the new century.) The band consisted of: Birte (drums), Salat (bass), Olli (guitar; later Daniel) & Björn ‘Lexi’ Lexius (vocals).

‘Natural Order’ was a vegan sXe hardcore / hardline band (“violent dancers and pro-life” as someone described them once) with Cindy Frey’s brother as singer, hence their track on Animal Truth’s Animal Rights Benefit Sampler (out on Sober Mind recs in 1998). There’s also a live tape recorded in Poperinge 97-11-15.

Brob

We didn’t play the Vort’n Vis.

Björn Lexius, ‘Sincerity’

We played here with ‘Catharsis’, ‘Gehenna’, ‘Sektor’ and a bunch of others. There is a famous photo (amongst others) of me lying under the stage while our bassist kept screaming into the crowd. It was printed in some fanzines, on internet-platforms and in the German music-magazine Visions (which did a feature on the 1990s emo/screamo scene in Germany). Just for the record: we weren’t a Straight Edge band by then anymore; only half of us were and we didn’t play those two/three songs anymore that had ‘those’ lyrics… As for the line-up: Niels wasn’t with us anymore, it was Dennis Becker (also in ‘Loxiran’ at that time) on bass. Myself, I married afterwards and took my (ex-)wife’s name, so to be correct in timeline I was Sven Chojnicki by then…

Sven Christiansen, ‘Lebensreform’ singer (horizonsinc.blogspot)

97-10-12 Lebensreform'97-10-12 Lebensreform''''

(pics courtesy of Sven Christiansen)

 A lot of the 1997 tour was done with ‘Lebensreform’.

I have some pictures from ‘97, including a group-shot with ‘Catharsis’ & ‘Gehenna’ and some of you local guys, and some good shots from when we played on Halloween 1999 [99-10-31]…

Ernie Hayes

I remember playing there a few times. Seemed like a great place.

I remember ‘Gehenna’ being upset about money. They didn’t know ‘Lebensreform’ was going to play shows with us (we didn’t either)… Three bands on tour means the money gets split three ways instead of two…

Matt Miller

I didn’t play in ‘Catharsis’ in those years.

James Chang

Members of ‘Catharsis’ & ‘Gehenna’ stayed at my place in Gent after their gig at the Pits in Kortrijk. They asked me if there were people who could offer them a place to sleep for a few days. I’d heard that records got stolen from earlier hospitable concert-visiters that had put them up. I told both bands what I’d heard but they promised me that this was absolutely untrue. Anyway, few days after they’d left I discovered 10 of my LPs were stolen, some very rare. Still they continued to claim it wasn’t them but perhaps a few crusty Americans that toured with them and also stayed at my place (& others). Assholes!

One of the guitarists of ‘Catharsis’ and myself jammed quite a bit. (Dan Young also played my Gibson because his was broken I believe.) Shortly after their tour in Europe he started going totally crazy and committed suicide. The others must’ve been aware of the thefts because those crusties were driving along in their van. So, fuck those ‘scene’ guys if they steal from people who wanna help and support them.

Steve W. (‘Neuthrone’)

I seem to remember that Brian ‘Catharsis’ behaved like the king of the ‘anarchistic realm’ and that Alexei was their damn good drummer. About ‘Gehenna’: the singer was a twisted fuck but the music was reasonable. ‘Facedown’: can’t remember (played together many times)…

Bert Guillemont, ‘Sektor’ drummer

It was October. We drove through the night and slept in the van in the cold. I’d pulled a muscle in my lower back a few days before and couldn’t stand up straight. Our tour was screeching to a halt within the next few days. We were upset with the booking-agents (Drive To Play [Markus Große]; they set up the whole tour through Brian D. of ‘Catharsis’.), for not having a backline, doing nothing to promote the tour and adding a band from their label which cut into the already non-existent guarantees. We were upset with our driver, Patrick F***, who took every opportunity to explain how a hardcore band should be on stage and what we should listen to off stage. We were upset with Brian D. for making us carry his pseudo-political newspaper around and his unending need to use sign-language to preserve his delicate voice for his half hour speeches between songs. We were upset with the double-talk and horse-shit of the music-industry sneaking into punk and hardcore. So we said “fuck it”. We loaded our stuff into the Vort’n Vis while hearing Patrick tell tales of the legends that walked there before us and how lucky we were to stand in a rotted building. He told us the names of bands who had graced the world with a performance on the Vort’n Vis stage (oddly enough all of the bands contained Damien Moyal [‘Culture’, ‘Shai Hulud’, ‘Morning Again’, etc.]. We were underwhelmed to say the least. The ‘magic’ of this room seemed to be another set of typically embellished and fabricated suburban straight-edge lore. I made my mind up that this place was just another shitty club.

But that was before the crowd got there. As kids started to gather and get together inside and outside the club something different happened. It seemed as if everyone who came into contact with one another stopped to say ‘hello’ and exchange some conversation. Between bands it was the same and after the show the same thing. It was then that I realized the Vort’n Vis wasn’t just a venue (because in the end the building didn’t matter). It was a community of folks who did everything and anything they could to help touring bands.

I felt like the truth of the matter is that we were having a shitty tour but in cities like Ieper, Gent and Amsterdam the punk community made things great. What I wrote is all fact. The Vort’n Vis wasn’t just a building where some bands played. It was a community of people that got together to support touring bands. Long after the doors of Vort’n Vis are closed, the bands and the building will never be as important as the community of people who made it all possible.

Mike ‘Apokalypse’

We played the Vort’n Vis on October 12, 1997, and then again on October 31, 1999. Traveling in Europe and being exposed to independent, collectively organized spaces like the Vort’n Vis was tremendously important to my development as a person. As Lieve says about me, that the most lasting result of my involvement with the DIY underground is a lifelong commitment to anarchism, and if I hadn’t seen spaces like that all around the world, it would have been much harder to imagine that a world without capitalism and authority could be possible. I still remember the drink-tickets, a pirate currency proclaiming “Independent Republic of Vort’n Vis”.

Looking back, the main thing that strikes me is how much gratitude I owe to so many people. Lieve, who set up that show, Patrick, who booked our tour, Bruno, who housed us, the members of the bands who made us welcome, everyone whose volunteer efforts kept the spaces open and made the shows happen – most of those people had no particular ideological affinities with us, and none of them ever made any money off us (not even the ones who were trying to make money from hardcore). They helped us out of the kindness of their hearts. In return, we had only our poverty, confusion and self-destructive emotional problems to offer, loosely translated into an obscure form of art. I hope that life has been as kind to all those people as they were to us.

Seeing the entry in the Vort’n Vis guestbook from Dan, my old bandmate and best friend, stops me in my tracks. Please understand, Dan didn’t kill himself because he had psychological problems – he was struggling with depression because he was a beautiful, sensitive and sincere individual in a society that crushes beauty and sincerity. What happened to him could have happened to any of the members of our band, and the rest of us owe our survival to others’ generosity. Let’s make a world that no one would ever want to leave.

There’s a lot more to say but I’ll stop there for now. Thank you, friends.

Brian D., ‘Catharsis’

Those were some hard, depressing times back then. We lived on people’s couches, office-spaces with no running water, squatting at some kid’s grandma’s house while they were gone… but somehow we scrambled and got the cash to roll bare bones. I remember feeling pretty bummed on a lot of shit… It’s no ones fault I suppose but things didn’t go as planned.

As for this show… I remember people coming up to us after our set being confused and happy or confused and bummed out. Asking “Why would you do this?…punching your face?”… “Why did you not play off the stage?”, “Why did you brake this glass?” Apparently my jumping from the stage to the floor at any given time – people didn’t understand how we feel our music and go with it I guess. But everyone was friendly and we enjoyed the DIY atmosphere.

Pretty sad we are still accused of theft. Our reputation for living free and being black sheep bring many false accusations. Ha, too bad thats the life of a ‘Gehenna’ boy – LOL.

It’s very cool and caring you have put this together. Thank you

‘Reno’ Dean, ‘Gehenna’

Catharsis Gehenna VV‘Catharsis’ & ‘Gehenna’ at the Vort’n Vis (photo courtesy of ‘Reno’ Dean)

 excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 97-10-12 - (book C) Catharsis

VV 97-10-12 - (book C) Gehenna DeanVV 97-10-12 - (book C) Gehenna Mike

VV 97-10-12 - (book C) Facedown

VV 97-10-12 - (book C) Sektor

VV 97-10-12 - (book C) Sjaab‘Sjaab’ of ‘Sincerity’ (Deinze)

additions wellcome!…