Posts Tagged ‘Growing Concern’

I believe ‘Strength Of The Will’ was replaced by ‘W.O.P.’: the first aren’t mentioned in the V.V. notes, the latter are… I believed ‘Wheel Of Progress’ played their only show at the V.V. on 93-06-13 but Hans confirms they played here too so this must’ve been their first appearance here. ‘W.O.P.’ consisted of Rob Franssen (vocals; also ‘Feeding The Fire’), Hans Verbeke (drums; guitarist of ‘Blindfold’), Joost ‘Josh Fury’ Noyelle (guitar) & ‘Uniform’ Jan (U.J.) Vandekerckhove (who was, together with Joost, also in ‘Dreft’ at that time). They recorded their It’s Alive…7″ a bit after this.

There was an anarchist punk band from the squat-scene in Bern (Switzerland) named ‘Brachland’ but the www tells us these existed from 1998 on… Their bassist informed me there was another band with that name from Germany. These played “powerful, agressive acid punk”.

Some members of the Italian bands ‘Growing Concern’ & ‘Open Season’ had been visiting the V.V. before (92-08-09). The latter (an SxE band from Rome) – even though they weren’t on the bill – were represented by some of their members & friends (see guestbook). Paolo Petralia (SOA recs) did their EP (entitled) 1989-1991. ‘O.S.’ (originally ‘One Step Ahead’) was Davide Mancini (guitar), Riccardo Rottaro (bass), Roberto Marroni (drums) & Steve ‘Ahead’ (vocals).

‘Growing Concern’ (from Rome) played aggressive HC (NY style à la ‘Agnostic Front’, ‘Sick Of It All’, etc.). The band consisted of Andrew Mecoli (guitar), Gianni Pantaloni (drums), Massimiliano Carnevale (bass) & Paolo Piccini (vocals). This gig was around the time they had the Disconnection EP (recorded May 1992 with Andrew on guitar) out on Paolo Petralia’s SOA recs (also some other releases were on his label). He was roadie-ing for them; together with Davide of ‘One Step Ahead’. The band’s music was also described as “powerful old-school HC à la ‘Y.O.T.’…” They came back on 94-01-08.

This might well have been ‘Congress’ first performance at the Vort’n Vis (or anywhere else for that matter)… That was with their first singer Roy Cappan (R.I.P.). Joost ‘Josh Fury’ Noyelle (guitar) & Ilja De Ceuleneire (drums) had been playing together in ‘Burning Fight’ (92-02-22). Jan ‘U.J.’ Vandekerckhove (bass) had played in ‘Dreft’ (together with Joost) for a while…


We played the first time at the V.V. in January 1993. I remember we met Edward from ‘Nations On Fire’, whom we were in touch with ‘cause we organized a ‘N.O.F.’ gig in Rome, and this scene girl called Saskia [Verbeke, ‘Shortsight’ singer], whom I used to correspond with for a while.

Gianni Pantaloni

I always thought the V.V. was some kind of magic place… ‘Growing Concern’ played there two times, at least with me as a roadie. The first time Davide of ‘One Step Ahead’ / ‘Open Season’ (guitar, a couple of years later also in ‘Growing Concern’) was there too. That time Jana & Cristina (‘Sisterhood’ signature in the V.V. guestbook) were also with us. Both tours happened during winter-time and I do remember how hard the weather was in Northern Europe for our Southern bodies. Both tours were organised by guys from la Bande Bonnot, who released ‘Growing Concern’ records together with me (SOA recs). The 1st tour – first time I left the Italian borders – was a whole week in France and the only Belgium gig at the V.V. As far as I remember ‘Congress’ played both gigs, with their first singer. Have no positive memories about ‘Congress’ as I had later on with the small ‘classic’ singer. The other bands weren’t that impressive either, as I forgot every single note.

At this first ‘G.C.’ gig Ed [N.O.F.] “wanted to exchange views” and I remember clearly – all packed in our van in front at the V.V., freezing – Ed was asking us things; and after that talk -don’t remember about what – we nicknamed Ed ‘The Judge’, a joke on the ‘Judge No One’ moniker he used on ‘N.O.F.’ records. In between the two Belgian ‘G.C.’ gigs we had ‘N.O.F.’ playing Rome with their classic singer. This led to an long friendship with some of the buddies… After that I came over to the V.V. at least 3 more times, always for the summer fest that’s now called Ieperfest. Even played with one of my band [‘Comrades’] at one of the fest and then failed to play there a second time in 2000 due our van breaking down.

I couldn’t find any V.V. pics at all… I have 2 pics from that first tour: one with Andrew (‘G.C.’ guitarist), Davide ‘One Step’, Paolo SOA, Gianni (‘G.C.’ drummer), Paolo (‘G.C.’ guitarist) – taken by Massimiliano (‘G.C.’ bassist) at the Eiffel tower, the day before the V.V. gig.; an another with me trying to memorise ‘G.C.’ lyrics in the van because the singer lost his voice after first day of the tour (in Torino) – Davide ‘One Step’ did it at the Marseille gig, without knowing any words…

Paolo Petralia

I believe there was a cancellation and since all members of ‘W.O.P.’ where present, we played this show after our very first show in Mulheim (Germany) the week before that…

Hans Verbeke

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

94-01-08 GC cover

January 1994 was our second time [1st time: 93-01-09] at the V.V. It was with ‘Blindfold’ and ‘Spirit Of Youth’, I think. Even though some band-members were SxE, ‘Growing Concern’ wasn’t a 100% straight-edge band, we were more of a NYHC-influenced positive hardcore band, sometimes with very political lyrics. I guess some people liked us, some others didn’t because we didn’t really fit in the strictly SxE/vegetarian scene that was popular at V.V. at the time.

I have doubts about the bands we played with in ‘94. I remember clearly that one band was pretty much in the 90s emo vein, with mid-tempo and crunchy guitars that sounded a bit like ‘Shelter’… The singer had some sort of metal bar he would hit with a stick during some songs and which produced a very metallic sound [Brob: That was Wim of ‘Blindfold’ allright!]. I also recall we played with one of Hans’ band, so that’s why I thought about Blindfold. I remember there was also another band who was very SxE/ ‘Youth Crew’ influenced, the guys were all wearing band T-shirts and had bleached hair, could that be ‘Spirit Of Youth’?

Gianni Pantaloni, ‘Growing Concern’ drummer

The second time we were there… Stiv Ahead (‘One Step Ahead’ / ‘Open Season’ singer) came with us. I recall we arrived late, just during the gig itself. That’s why I cannot remember that much – we drove from somewhere far way in Germany. I thought there was some friction in the audience due to some discussion with ‘Congress’ singer (about his pro-life ideas) but Brob wrote me this episode happened at some other gigs [93-04-25]; so everything’s not so clear anymore to me (even though I’m still nailed to the X…) I do remember Hans (‘Blindfold’/’Liar’) getting on stage and singing the entire cover of ‘Kiss’ song Hard Times when ‘Growing Concern’ played it. And singing ‘Kiss’ covers seemed a thing he’d always done… We slept at Hans’ house and I remember there was a queue for the bathroom that ended with me not entering at all, keeping the pee for the whole night – the bladder of a 21-year old must be strong…

If I remember correctly ‘S.O.Y.’ didn’t play this one [Brob: I think they’d returned by then…]: we met them together with ‘Nations On Fire’, somewhere in Germany; they were touring and ‘N.O.F.’ had Ed singing already.

Truely loved the V.V., as we came from the squat experience which meant lotsa political issues and hard times. [Brob: But the Vort’n Vis was far from a-political; at least not in the beginning…] Places like this were more open to youth and musical stuff. In Rome we were used to relate with people that ended up being fired to death for their political beliefs, so youth-centres in Germany or like the V.V. were something more fresh; I did like it a lot. Have some nice memories at Bruno’s home and his legendary hospitality or hitting the Belgian/Dutch highways with U.J., the metal-man, and his car, the ‘Millenium Falcon’.

‘Growing Concern’ stopped around 1998 with a different singer and line-up. They did a handful of gigs in 2008 and a one-off in 2013. I still do the label [S.O.A. recs], no longer fulltime, but as a sort of long-lasting hobby. I mainly do a kitchen-job, opening my own veggie restaurant in Rome October 2013.

Paolo Petralia, S.O.A. (Scream Of Anger) recs

‘Growing Concern’ (from Rome) played aggressive HC. They were Andrew Mecoli (guitar), Gianni Pantaloni (drums), Paolo Piccini (vocals) and Massimiliano Carnevale (bass, or was it already his replacement Simone Tripodi here?). This gig was probably around the time they had the Seasons Of War LP out on Banda Bonot & Paolo Petralia’s SOA recs (also most of their other albums were on his label). The latter was roadie-ing for the band.

‘Congress’ had done a couple of shows at the V.V. already. At this timepoint Joost (guitar), Ilja (drums) & Jan ‘UJ’ (bass) had asked ‘Pitbull’ Pieter ‘Pierre’ Vanrumbeke to replace Roy Cappan (who moved to Thailand in 1999 and died there in 2001 “under mysterious circumstances”) to do the vocals.

During the last week of December 1993 ‘Shortsight’ did a few concerts in Spain. ‘Blindfold’s drummer Sacha was driving them. They were back after New Year’s Day. There’s a report on that in the 2nd issue of Hazel’s zine Superfluous. There’s also a report by Wim (‘Blindfold’s singer) about him being on tour with ‘Nations On Fire’ in Germany (organised by Steffen Rose; driver was Ma Raab of ‘Egotrip’). Wim had joined them (as guitarist) in April 1993. They also had Filip (Devolder) drumming for hem then (replacing Jaak). On Dec 30th ‘N.O.F.’, ‘S.O.Y.’ and ‘Growing Concern’ played with ‘Egotrip’ in the their hometown… ‘N.O.F.’ did 5-6 shows with ‘S.O.Y.’ (with Hans ‘Blindfold’ on bass, Jan singing, ‘Dompie’ & Fred) in Germany and played their last concert with that line-up on January 2nd in Köln (Germany). Interesting insights on ‘Nations On Fire’s demise there… Anyway, they were all back to play with ‘Blindfold’ aswell.

In 1993 ‘S.O.Y.’ had recorded Engine/Darkroom that Hans (Sober Mind recs) put out as cassette only. He wrote that the tape got sold out on the ‘S.O.Y.’ winter-tour 93-94 (of which most dates where with ‘Nations On Fire’, mostly Germany and one date in Austria on New Year’s eve)…

The pictures taken by Jean-Paul Frijns prove that ‘Shortsight’ played… The line-up at that time was Saskia Verbeke (vocals), Kurt Deprez (bass), David ‘Mong’ Dumont (guitar), Björn Lescouhier (drums) and Françoise ‘Hazel’ Lepers (guitar, ex ‘Rise Above’ & ‘Nations On Fire’). ‘Hazel’ had been on the band’s ’93 summer-tour with ‘Blindfold’ but wasn’t on the recordings of the Cold Wounds Waking CD that was recorded in July ’94.

‘Blindfold’ had done many a show here already but they were always ready to entertain their (local and international) friends. This could well have been the start of another tour ‘cause a week later they were in Germany (‘Blindfold’ – Germany 94-01-16) – or was this just a one-off? They had recorded the Restrain The Thought LP some months earlier (in September 1993; released on Conquer The World recs).

94-01-08 Blindfold (Ferry Krop)‘Blindfold’; photographed by Ferry Krop (‘Goofy ‘N.O.F. – R)


94-01-08 Wim Blindfold thx“Thanks to Brob for the dedication to the Sober Mind Hardcore” (on the sleeve of my copy of ‘Blindfold’s Restrain The Thought)

excerpt from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 94-01-08 - (book B) Growing Concern

additions wellcome!…