Posts Tagged ‘Mainstrike’

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

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

(1&2) This year we went to the famous Vort’n Vis festival again. Our car was filled to the brim. After a long drive we arrived in the ever charming town of Ypres, where we had to find the new place where the festival was (the old one had become too cramped). This new place happened to be in the yard of an old school. The joys of the outdoors!

(1) I was disappointed to have arrived too late to see ‘Hebriana’ that first day… We had to wait until a local thrash band (read: H8000) stopped playing to see the first interesting band: ‘Discount’ that I only knew by name until then. Poppy punk rock with female vocals. Nice surprise! Their gig was pleasant and many made a diary-entree because of the singer. ‘As Friends Rust’, who accompanied ‘Discount’ on this tour, gave a good concert musically (tinged with emo and metal), that brought the audience together. On the other hand, I was rather disappointed by the performance of the ‘old-school heroes’ in ‘Mainstrike’, compared to the concert they gave two years ago. Normally this was their last concert. The band of the day was undoubtedly ‘Hot Water Music’: they offered the audience an excellent energetic emo-rock concert. A lot of people were there for them and they even managed to convince the youth-crew 88 (like Olivier; who even bought their CD); congratulations guys!

(2) We weren’t hardly out of the car when metal chords of the worst kind reached our ears. A shiver ran through my body. Would I once again have to endure a treatment of metal during this Belgian weekend? Fortunately we were just at the end of ‘Heaven Shall Burn’ (phew!) The rest of the day (in my opinion) more accessible groups were scheduled. I was pleasantly surprised to discover ‘As Friends Rust’ and ‘Discount’ that I didn’t know yet musically. On the other hand the performance of the grandpas of ‘Mainstrike’ disappointed me a lot. It was super flabby. The last band of this first day was ‘Hot Water Music’ and something that didn’t really had to happen, did happen. It was a revelation. I’m still in love with it. Emo rock’n’roll at its best.

(1&2) After this busy first day we had to find the famous camping-site (where no one pays) and especially find ourselves a place, something rather difficult at past 1 a.m. Most seemed to believe that everyone had a soundproof tent. After this very ‘white night’, restless people had decided to skate at 7 a.m., destroying all chances to close our eyes…

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‘Tumult’ – “Ruhrpott powerviolence” – were announced but apparently didn’t play. It was a fast-core band from Bonn/Köln with Christian Czerwinski (vocals), Marco Andree (guitar), Dirk Weißenfels (guitar) and others. They did a few 7”s: The Heroic Bloodshed (Defiance recs ’97), a split with ‘Gomorrha’ (on Anomie recs & Marco Andree’s Bastardized recs ’98) & a split with ‘Yacøpsæ’ (Spiral Objective 2000); and a self-titled LP on Per Koro (2000). For some reason they didn’t show up…

‘Hundred Years Of Forgetting’ – “Rocking slomo emo HC.”. A Belgian SxE band. Vincent ‘Pit’ Maes, the singer of ‘Instinct’ was in this band… So was Bjorn Dossche (One Step Down zine). The band had a demo out. Both guys were later in later ‘The Deal’ & ‘Rise And Fall’.

JR Ewing’ – “Noisy & pissed off, feat. ‘Amulet’ member – split set with ‘O.N.A.’.”. Norwegian HC band with (at that time) Andreas Tylden (vocals; ex ‘Lash Out’, also ‘Amulet’), Erlend Mokkelbost (guitar), Martin Molden (guitar), Jonas Thire (drums) and Nils Petter Strand (bass). At that time they had 3 7”s (also compiled by Scorched Earth Policy) out on Dance Of Days Recording Coalition: a split with ‘Break (97), Integritas.Consonantia.Claritas. (98) and another split with the Belgian ‘S.Y.C.’ (99). Together with his gig they did 5 (!) other shows in Belgium (Kontich, Leuven, 2 in Antwerp & Tongeren).

‘Once…Never Again’ – “New school, CD presentation – split set with JR!”. A “heart-core band” (as their label dubbed them) from the Antwerp area. Originally a straigt-edge band but that changed… They did a CD entitled Others Came Along And Killed My Dreams (on Funtime recs, ‘99) which was referred to as resembling ‘Morning Again’. Members: Bram De Laet (guitar), Hans De Groef (guitar), Kristof Van Den Broeck (drums), Stijn Op De Beeck (bass) & Stijn Davignon (vocals).

‘Surface’ – “Metallic new school mosh!!”. Another “Ruhrpott metal-core band.” (with 5 sXe-ers): Frank Knöfler (drums), Sven Pust (bass), Thorsten Kleine-Hegermann (guitar), Boris Pracht (guitar) and Sammy Eftekhari (vocals). They did 2 albums on Mad Mob recs: To Millenium…And Beyond (’97) & Shadows Cast By The Light Of The World (’99); toured with ‘Snapcase’ in ’98.

‘Hebriana’ – “Rapid, distorted Merksplas emo-core.”. They’d just played the V.V. (99-06-27) supporting ‘Shai Hulud’. Stijn Colson (guitar), Sven Hoskens (bass/vocals; later ‘Confuse The Cat’), Peter Bols (drums) & Vaast Colson (guitar/vocals) came from a little town in the North of Belgium and were described as an emo/post-HC band with references to ‘Reiziger’. They did a split-7” with ‘Leiah’ (from Sweden) ‎on Genet recs in1999. A review mentioned their music is “herky-jerky post-hardcore with vocals that are pretty shouty, kind of Dischord-y”…

Heaven Shall Burn’ – “Blistering H8000 style metalcore.”. A “melodic death-metal/ metal-core” band from Thüringen (Germany). They’d released some demos, an EP (In Battle…There Is No Law) in ’98 and a split-LP (with ‘Fall of Serenity’) in ’99. At that time they were Eric Bischoff (bass), Maik Weichert (guitar), Marcus Bischoff (vocals), Matthias Voigt (drums) and Patrick Schleitzer (guitar).

‘Discount’ – “Poppy punkrock/HC, female vocals. Shake it up!”. In the band (from Florida) were: Alison Nicole Mosshart (vocals; nowadays ‘rockstar’), James Parker/Todd Rockhill (bass), Justin Focco/Bill Nesper (drums) & Ryan Seagrist (guitar). Comparisons with the melocic HC band ‘Tilt’ were made. To mention just a few of their relases: a split-7”with ‘As Friends Rust’ (GoodLife recs 1999), split-LP with ‘J Church’ (on Rugger Bugger Discs 2000)… In 1999 their album Crash Diagnostic was released (recordings with Alison, Todd, Bill & Ryan).

‘Sad Origin’ – “DMD brutal stomping HC – LP/CD presentation.”. Their album A Double Edged Sword In A Triangle of Emotions was released by Genet recs. They did a demo in ’96 and a ‎mini-album entitled Window Of Sarcasm on Inner Belt recs (‘98). The band (from Dendermonde) consisted of Robin ‘Robby’ (bass; replaced Peter De Bondt who played on 98-08-15), Wim Aerts (drums), Wesley Steels (guitar) and Hans ‘Link’ Teirlinck (vocals). Peter XKombatX did backing vocals on the Genet CD. Some people reviewed it as “metal with an early ‘Morbid Angel’ sound” or “metalcore with NYHC influences” or (On Display #3) “bad death-metal”. Alain Herszaft put out the split-CD with ‘Misura’ on Released Power Productions in 2000. Some of the members went on as ‘Die My Demon’.

‘Sad Origin’ (source unknown)

‘As Friends Rust’ – “Damien & co back in Europe!”. American punk/hardcore band founded in 1996 in Gainesville, Florida; with Damien Moyal (vocals: ex ‘Culture’/‘Shai Hulud’/‘Morning Again’). In early 1996 Jeronimo Gomez (bass), Henry Olmino (guitar) and Matt Crum (drums) were jamming and recruited Damien. After recording six songs and making a three-track demo, the band soon disbanded and was not picked up until 1998 when Damien revived it with new members, mostly from the breaking up band ‘Culture’. The new line-up recorded a single new song, and used four from the demo, to come out with the debut The Fists of Time (GoodLife recs). A year later, with a slightly different line-up, the split with ‘Discount’ came out and they quickly went on tour. Another line-up change and the new EPs God Hour and As Friends Rust were released on GoodLife recs. Damien posted a video of ‘As Friends Rust’ playing Encante at this festival here. They came back the next year…

‘Mainstrike’ – “Youthcrew masters.”. They played the V.V. before They did their last gig 99-10-30 at their hometown’s Goudvishal (where Pytrik Schafraad interviewed them for It’s Raining Truths #4) so this was probably their last Belgian show… On the www there’s a video of ‘Big’, Jonas, Jeroen, Johnny & Pepijn performing their song Break The Cycle… In May 1998 they’d recorded the album No Passing Phase. And in January & April 1999 four songs meant to be for two split-7”s (with ‘Ensign’ and with ‘True Blue’); but the band later decided to put all the songs on one record. The self-titled 7” came out in 2000 (a year later after they had already had broken up). Former V.V. gigs: 95-04-09, 95-08-19, 95-10-20 & 97-08-17.

‘Mainstrike’ (photographed by Marco Pasini)

‘Hot Water Music’ (pics courtesy of Stijn Vliegen)

‘Hot Water Music’ – “Leading Florida emo hardcore.”. Melodic punk/hardcore band. Releasing material on No Idea recs and more recently Epitaph recs. The band still exists (hotwatermusic.com). Members of the band are Charles Allen ‘Chuck’ Ragan (guitar), Christopher James ‘Chris’ Wollard (guitar), Jason William Black (bass) and George Rebelo (drums).

Brob

The first revived line-up of ‘As Friends Rust’ – the one that recorded Home Is Where the Heart Aches (1998) was me, Tim Kirkpatrick (drums), Joe Simmons (guitar), Kaleb Stewart (bass) & Gordon Tarpley (guitar). The ‘Discount’ split line-up (1998): me, Tim, Joe, Kaleb & Peter Bartsocas (guitar). The God Hour line-up (1999): me, Tim (drums), Joe, Kaleb and new guitarist James Glayat (guitar).

It was the first year in that outdoor space. Great energy. I think that was sort of a peak year for us in Europe…

Damien Moyal

Actually I do have some pics and stuff of that festival. Stories too, cause we slept in our cars most of the time.

Sammy Heininger, ‘Surface’ vocalist

I know I have some pics from when we played that Vort’n Vis fest in ‘99. Just need time to find them…

Jonas Thire, JR Ewing’ drummer

From 1999 on, when ‘ADESIATOE’ was recorded, Robin took over the bass.

Peter De Bondt, ‘Sad Origin’s first bassist

Bruno (Genet recs) asked us to do a split-set with ‘JR Ewing’… Can’t remember which band we had to replace. [Probably ‘Turmoil’ from Germany] Our band only lasted about one and a half year.

Stijn Davignon, ‘Once Never Again’ vocalist

One of our band-members had to work a bit longer than expected that day so we weren’t sure if we could make it in time. We asked the organiser (the Genet recs guy) what would happen if we’ld arrive later than planned in the time-schedule. He replied “If you’re to late, you won’t play. You hàve to be there in time otherwise you won’t play.”. I remember him being quite inflexible, not giving us the chance playing later, so we quickly decided to stay at home. We were really looking foward to play Ieper but that guy didn’t give us any leeway. Imagine us in a hurry arriving like 20 min late and that guy’s like “Tough luck, you’re too late.”. To avoid this awkard situation a.k.a. trouble we decided not to show up at the fest. That’s it.

Christian Czerwinski, ‘Tumult’ vocalist

I’m not 100% sure about our line-up because we had a change that year but it must’ve been me and Tommy on guitars, ‘Sabbel’ [Christian] doing vocals, Jens on drums and bassist Marco. That’s at least the line-up we recorded our LP with that year.

Dirk Weißenfels, ‘Tumult’ guitarist

I recall that we were all super nervous. It was our first ‘big’ concert (I was only 16) and everything was pretty overwhelming. Because of the tense nerves we played our set twice as fast. Actually one of our worst gigs ever. But we were, and still are, proud for being able to play the Vort’n Vis fest. And we could see the rest of the bands for free. A gift of the gods for a 16-year old with a flat wallet…

Hans De Groef, ‘Once…Never Again’ guitarist

We only played the festival in 1999 (and 2002), I believe. At least when I was in the band. Unfortunately I can’t say that much because we went there in an overnight drive, played in the afternoon and left in the early evening. We were supposed to play another festival in East-Germany the next day, early afternoon. I only remember that it was a rather bad show for us, but a good way to introduce ourselves to a wider audience. I wish we could have stayed longer and watch the other bands…

Matthias Voigt, ‘Heaven Shall Burn’ drummer

additions wellcome!…

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

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

The last day started earlier – right after lunch – so that it all could be finished by 9 o’clock.

‘Lifecycle’ had played the V.V. their 1st gigs a bit before (97-06-27 & 97-07-12) and they would become one of the ‘house bands’ in the future… I believe here they played in the early line-up: Sofie Vantomme (vocals; co-founder Vincent Merveillie had joined ‘Spirit Of Youth’), Karel Deweerdt (guitar), Steve Noyelle (guitar), Jan Volckaert (drummer of ‘Resist The Pain’; was stand-in a few times for Jan ‘Relle’ Verhelst ex ‘Convict’) and Jurgen Degryse (bass; later there were a few others).

Barricada #2: “A young band with a metal sound and a girl singing; a lot like ‘Shortsight’. The guitarist mentioned how terrible the garbage was around the concert-venue and that Hardcore should go all the way and not make a mess in the city. I tought wasn’t that bad with the waste last year though.”

‘Acheborn’s music was “raw, heavy, violent and brutal: thick guitars, hard-pounding rhythm-section and screaming vocals building a wall of metallic crust”; some compared them with ‘Unbroken’. They came from the Darmstadt area: André Liegl (bass), Heikki Eiden (vocals), Sascha Salipurovic (drums), Steffen Heller (guitar) and Jens Wucherpfennig (guitar). At that time I believe they just had the Demon Love (7”) out (Defiance recs). The split-7” with ‘Systral’ (on Trans Solar; Christian Mix-Linzer’s label) came in 1998. The LP Tuesday Is Dead LP (also released by Trans Solar) in ’99. Sascha Franzen of Alveran recs (vocalist of ‘Nyari’ – from Bochum) intended to release a split-7” with ‘Upset’ but that didn’t work out.

Barricada #2: “Next up were the Germans of ‘Acheborn’, an enjoyable thrashing of the ears.”

‘Starmarket’, an indie-rock band from Sweden Piteå (north of Umeå), were: Fredrik Brändström (guitar/vocals), Patrik Bergman (bass; later Jesper Löfroth), Johan Sellman (guitar), Magnus Öberg(-Egerbladh) (drums). They did a bunch of records on the Swedish alternative/indie label Dolores recs. Around this time their album Sunday’s Worst Enemy was out…

Barricada #2: “Melodic punk, but they played for a minority of the people attending (everyone seemed to load up power for the evening).”

The band ‘Deformity’ played death-core/metal and were from the H8000-area (Menen/Houthulst/Roeselare). They had started in the summer of ‘95, with ‘Bolle’ (Dominiek Defrancq, drums), ‘Wulf’ (Kristof Dewulf a.k.a. ‘Christopher D. Wolff’, bass; also sang for ‘Solid’ for a little while), ‘Lookmulle’ Davy Vanlokeren (guitar; also in ‘Regression’, later bass in ‘Spoil Engine’) and ‘Gaze’ Steven Sanders (guitar; later ‘Spoil Engine’). A “power-throat” was found in the person of ‘Becque’ (Laurent Delbecque; later in the blues-band ‘Smoking General’ with Bjorn Lescouhier of ‘Shortsight’ & ‘Regression’). After a few months ‘Becque’ and ‘Lookmulle’ switched places (the latter sang on ‘Misanthrope’ & ‘Murder’…). Around the end of ’96 they recruted Michael (‘Micha Soprano’ Pintelon; also ‘Congress’) as second guitarist because “they sounded a bit too empty for your average metal-outfit”. Their 1st release was the Beyond live demo (in Dadizele, ‘96; with Dave/y Vanlokeren on guitar and Laurent Delbecque doing vocals). The CD Misanthrope and the split-7” with ‘Congress’ followed (GoodLife ‘97)…

Barricada #2: “After a lengthy tuning and sound-check, and even longer intro, they started playing. The second guitarist of ‘Congress’ was in the band. Just metal, nothing more. This didn’t have much to do with hardcore.”

‘Mainstrike had played here a few times already (95-04-09, 95-08-19 & 95-10-20. At some point they split with bassist Jasper Meijerink and Johnny van de Koolwijk of ‘Reaching Forward’ became the new bassplayer. In March 1997 ‘Mainstrike’ recorded the Quest For The Answers album. Here the line-up was Roland ‘Big’ Roller (vocals), Jeroen ‘Beertje’ Vrijhoef (guitar), Johnny (bass), Jonas Moberg (guitar) & Pepijn Oostenbrink (drums). Their set here was recorded on video

‘Mainstrike’ (photoshoot by Sergi E. Costa)

posi crew crowd; pics by Sergi E. Costa

Barricada #2: “The Dutch ‘Mainstrike’ started of with the words ‘Do you remember real hardcore?’. Somewhat older people playing classic old-school sXe, similar to bands such as ‘Wide Awake’, ‘Youth Of Today’ and others of those acient times. There was a great atmosphere and especially during the last covers of ‘Y.O.T.’ and ‘Chain Of Strength’, the crowd gathered on stage again.”

‘Rubbish Heap’ had been hear already on 96-05-19. They were a HC/metal band from Antwerp with Dave Vanderplas (drums), Kim Vandyck (vocals; later guitarist of ‘KingTerror’), ‘Peche’ (guitar), Tijs Geerts (bass; later ‘Bad Influence’) and Vincent ‘Vinnie’ Royers (guitar). They were friends of Joris De Buysser (Conspiracy recs) who released their Path Of Lies 7” (“mix of ‘Rorschach’ & ‘Downcast’…”), and their other stuff later. Early on they had done a rehearsal-tape and a demo (Slow Defeat). Here Kim was injured and had to be replaced… (read his comment) Was their set also video-taped?

Barricada #2: “This gave me power; emo with a metal sound!”

Not new (96-08-16, 96-09-22) for the V.V. each either: ‘Vitality’s “tough-guy edge-metal”. By that time the band, from Oostduinkerke (ODK; Belgian coast), consisted ‘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). 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.

Barricada #2: “Crazy Belgians again, H-8000 power! I prefered to leave…”

In 1997 ‘Congress’ put out a split-7” with ‘Deformity’ (Exhume The Truth / God Defined; on GoodLife recs). Angry With The Sun (released in ‘98) was with Michael Pintelon as second guitarist.

‘Congress’ (photographed by Sergi E. Costa)

Barricada #2: “With the exit of the moon, ‘Congress’ path of immortality conquered the stage. They started with the old songs Lifting The Ban & Prayers [from Blackened Persistance], and finished with new songs. During the concert, the bassist sang more than the singer, who climbed in the ceiling-beams and jumped down on people’s heads. The Belgian fans got angry; I expected the worst. At that moment the hall was about to burst with people.”

‘Morning Again’ toured with ‘Congress’. They were a vegan straight-edge metal-core band from Fort Lauderdale, Forida. The line-up here was Kevin Ray Byers (vocals, bassist of ‘Outcast’; he replaced Damien Moyal, who was “asked to leave the band”), Joseph Lee ‘Joe’ Simmons (guitar; also ‘As Friends Rust’, ‘Culture’), Matt Thomas (drums; replaced Louis Ogburn Long), John Michael Wylie (guitar; ex ‘Culture’) and Gerardo ‘Jerry’ Villarroel (bass). In the guestbook there’s mention of Kevin, Joe, Matt and Jerry; Jordan Leitner did the merch… They’d done a few 7”s on various US labels in ’96 and in ’97 GoodLife recs released the album Martyr (recorded in February).

‘Morning Again’; by JanCoert Toerse

Barricada #2: “Then the last band (also from Florida) was on! I was curious: ‘M.A.’ & ‘Culture’ are some of the American bands that are widely recognised in Belgium; thanks to GoodLife recs. (I noticed almost every girl in the scene wears a ‘Morning Again’ T-shirt!) So I was curious about what would happen on the ‘home ground’. Although the sound wasn’t excellent, they melted the crowd. The stage was packed with 100 people all singing along; the vocalist couldn’t even sing because they were all-over, he stumbled all the time. There were several moshpits. I was pleased with the sympathetic behavior of ‘M.A.’: it didn’t matter a lot how they were playing; it didn’t exactly work out because the crowd had such a power and the whole stage was rocking! After back-breaking hits such as Turning Over, America On Line, Puppet And Soldier, and Martyr, the whole crowd joined in for the finale: Remedy. The bomb exploded! Count the victims! On the brink of collapse, we crawled out of the hall into the courtyard, where we could take a bit of breath. After regaining my senses, I had to start thinking about heading home, and with tears in our eyes we left the nightly city.”

Brob

Finally, a brief evaluation… Compared to last year, there were fewer that were breath-taking, we probably also already knew what was going to happen and the Belgian bands didn’t seem that dangerous anymore. But where else can you see so many wonderful bands and people together, find things that you don’t have at home, and especially meet new friends and learn about European scenes. Beautiful memories, which we won’t forget… That was Ieper ‘97 … Goodbye Belgium!!!

Jan and Jakub, the bros. of Barricada zine and ‘Balaclava’

I remember playing football with a huge bunch of festival-visiters. There’s a photo of that somewhere at home.

Johan Sellman, ‘Starmarket’ guitarist

I toured with ‘Morning Again’. I did merch for them for a number of years.

Jordan Leitner

>> I didn’t like touring Europe. I did pretty much everything for the band so it wasn’t really fun anymore. I think I just reached my breaking point. […] We all agreed to finish off the tour for financial reasons, and also because we were in Europe and we wanted to enjoy it one more time. Everyone had different reasons for wanting to finish the tour. <<

John Wylie, ‘Morning Again’ guitarist (interviewed on xstuckinthepastx.blogspot)

At that time I had a dislocated hip from skateboarding. Kris Delacourt (‘S.Y.C.’, ‘Stifled Cries’, …) replaced me and sang.

Kim Vandyck, ‘Rubbish Heap’ vocalist

I remember spending more time in our van than in the venue. Not everyone was into ‘Rubbish Heap’ back then, I believe. Not really SxE (guess what the cloud hanging over the van was). I also recall that a lot more people than I expected were shouting along, and that eventually made it into a good show. ‘Rubbish Heap’ were my local (from the same village as myself) heroes at that the time and it was honour for me to this replacement (a series of 3 concerts, if I’m not mistaken). We also played an encore at the V.V. (which we didn’t expect): the song Broken (which we didn’t rehearse and I fucked up big time). The sound-engineer recorded that concert so if he still has them, I would like to hear it…

Kris Delacourt

When ‘Deformity’ first came out, they were called ‘Race Deformity’. I told them to change their name, which they did ‘cause HC isn’t about race…

Edward Verhaeghe, GoodLife recs (on the www)

There was a report on the regional TV-station (WTV) about this. I still have it on tape…

‘Bolle’ Dominiek Defrancq, ‘Deformity’

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

 

Intro: 95-08-18&19&20 Hardcore Festival

95-08-19-vik-crowdsurfing-letske-smiling-during-veil-q-by-p-federliVik B. crowdsurfing + Letske M. (L) smiling – during ‘Veil’s set?  (pic by Patrick Federli)

‘Veil’ (from the Hannover area) were: Jens Lauterbach (bass), Florian Schul (drums), Raoul Festante (vocals) and Nils Nordmann (guitar). They played metallic hardcore. Around that time they the Dutch (Sittard) label Threesome recs (Ferry Krop of ‘Crisis Of Society’) put a self-titled 7” our (recorded in April). In 1996 Ferry did another one entitled Time Will Tell… and their LP The Burden Of Life was released by Frontline. The band was also on the bill of the 1997 HardCore – The Next Generation festival…

95-08-19-veil-by-s-lammertyn95-08-19-veil-by-s-lammertyn‘Veil’, photographed by Steve Lammertyn

‘Concrete’ was a (screamo) “chunky” hardcore band from Rome. Their line-up: Cristiano ‘Capoccia’/‘Nerone’ D’Innocenti (drums; later ‘Comrades, ‘Los Vaticanos’), Cristiano Fini (guitar; also ‘Comrades’), Giorgio Gregorio ‘Greg’ Luciani (bass; also ‘Comrades’), Matteo Fadighenti (guitar), Tommaso ‘Tommy’ Garavini (vocals; tommasogaravini.com). At that time I think they had released, a demo (’93), The Sound Of Rome 7” (’94; mentioned on cristianodinnocenti.blogspot) and the Patior Ergo Sum 10” (recorded Nov ‘94) on Paolo Petralia’s SOA recs. Their next release was the Sescenti Sexaginta Sex 7” (recorded Feb ‘96) on Hailey recs.

95-08-19-concrete-by-s-lammertyn‘Concrete’, pic by Steve Lammertyn

‘Doughnuts’ was an all-women vegan SxE (metal-influenced) hardcore band from Umeå (Sweden): Asa Forsberg (vocals), Linda Lundberg (drums), Sara Almgren (guitar; later in ‘Saidiwas’ & ‘International Noise Conspiracy’, and a bunch of mainstream acts), Sara Sjögren (guitar; on the 1994 CD) and – I think – Jenny Johansson (bass; replacing Helena Löfgren). In 1994 Desperate Fight recs put out their 1st CD called Equalize Nature (recorded March ’94). The following years Victory recs did their albums The Age Of The Circle (1995) and Feel Me Bleed (1996). They had just come back from a US tour with ‘Snapcase’ when they played here.

95-08-19-doughnuts-by-p-federli95-08-19-doughnuts-by-p-federli‘Doughnuts’, pictured by Patrick Federli [1-2] & Sarah Van de Mosselaer [3]

The Dutch ‘Rancor’ had played the V.V. a couple of months before (with ‘Strain’, see 95-04-09). They were Michel ‘Mike’ Senden (guitar; also ‘Bloodsport’), Fabrice Zander (bass), ‘R2D2’ (drum-computer) and Pascal Crombach (vocals). Later it was intended that Armand ‘Persecution’ would take over the bass so Fabrice could play guitar… They recorded a CD entitled Distinguish, released in ’97 by Lifeforce recs (Leipzig). Mike & Fabrice had the idea to do a label, One Solution recs…

‘Mainstrike’ (The Netherlands) also played the above-mentioned gig (95-04-09). Jeroen ‘Beertje’ Vrijhoef (guitar), Jasper Meijerink (bass), Jonas Moberg (guitar), Roland ‘Big’ Roller (vocals) and Pepijn Oostenbrink (drums) had this ‘practice’ a few weeks before they recorded for their 7” (Times Still Here). On the back-cover there’s a photo of the pit during ‘Mainstrike’s performance here… (also on the insert there’s pics from the V.V.). I read somewhere that “When the microphone broke down during their set, they played a three-song cover-set with a crowd of hundreds singing along.”… Later that year they would do a brief tour with ‘Onward’ (95-10-20).

95-08-19-mainstrike-s-lammertyn95-08-19-mainstrike-s-lammertyn‘Mainstrike’, shots by Steve Lammertyn

‘Blindfold’ were one of the Vort’n Vis’ ‘house-band’s. Hans, Wim & Sascha were also volunteers at the autonomous centre. Hans and and his sis Saskia also had a big hand in the ‘organising’ of this fest. The band came back from a summer-tour. Mike Warden (Conquer The World) traveled with them but I can ‘t recall if he was here. Mich Decruyenaere (guitar; also in ‘Fungus’ and later vocals for ‘Hitch’) played on their German tour but wasn’t on the LP (Astreroid 164) that had been recorded..

95-08-19-blindfold-vique-by-p-federli95-08-19-blindfold-joeri-h-by-p-federli95-08-19-blindfold-s-lammertyn95-08-19-blindfold-s-lammertyn‘Blindfold’, stills by Patrick Federli [1 (with an admiring Vique Martin) + 2 (with an enthusiastic Joeri Hoste)] & Steve Lammertyn [3-4]

‘Comrades’ (Rome) was the band of Paolo Petralia (vocals; SOA recs). He told me that at that time the others in the band were, Cristiano Fini (guitar; also ‘Concrete’, ‘Bruma’), Andrea Marra (bass), Giorgio Fois (drums; singer of ‘Timebomb’) and Greg of ‘Concrete’ was the other singer. This was one of their last shows, I guess, ‘cause they split up in September 1995 (to re-form later). Their music was harsh, crusty grindcore with dual vocals. Their early work was released on SOA recs (a self-titled 7” in ’97 and a split with ‘Eversor’ in ‘98). Later they did a few splits (with e.g. ‘Agathocles’, and ‘Cripple Bastards’; there is also one with ‘Los Vaticanos’ – Cristiano’s other band – on Fulvio Dogliotti’s label Angry recs).

95-08-19-comrades-drumbass-ras-lbol-595-08-19-comrades-vox-ras-lbol-595-08-19-comrades-vox-ras-lbol-5‘Comrades’ (from Ludovic Hache’s zine Ras L’Bol #5)

‘Kosjer D’ had played here a couple of times before, even a month before this fest (95-07-02) and their last would be 95-12-03. They started out as a 3-some (acoustic guitar, bass & drums) and then Arne (Van Petegem; who was in a mainstream pop-band before and nowadays known as the person behind the indie/electronic/dance project ‘Styrofoam’) joined. The name was originally ‘Kosjer Dill’ (nickname of the singer’s girlfriend, who was from San Diego). They were an emo band (personal lyrics) hailing from Limburg, with (besides Arne – guitar/vocals), Geert Plessers (guitar/vocals), Stijn Persoons (drums; ex ‘Dawn Of Liberty’) and Kristien Hendrix (bass). The band did some recordings and asked Bruno (Genet recs) to release them as a 7” (entitled True?). People can read about how it came about in Wim ‘Blindfold’s zine Reminder #5…

‘Congress’ were regulars… Joost ‘Josh Fury’ Noyelle (guitar), ‘Uniform’ ‘UxJx’ Jan Vandekerckhove (bass), ‘Pitbull’ Pierre Vanrumbeke (vocals), Ilja ‘Chill Jay’ De Ceuleneire (drums) and guitarist Michael ‘Micha Soprano’ Pintelon. This was the Blackened Persistance (should actually be ‘Persistence’) period. The album is supposed to be released in ‘95 on GoodLife but actually the label started officially on Jan 1st ‘96…

95-08-19-congress-s-lammertyn-min95-08-19-congress-s-lammertyn-min95-08-19-congress-s-lammertyn-minsome material from Steve Lammertyn’s ‘Congress’ collection… [J-F Fleury was video-taping the show but unfortunately the footage got lost… According to U.J. the bassplayer in the 2nd pic was Fabrice from ‘Rancor’, he did the soundcheck because “no one could see me before I got on stage”]

Ieper hardcore festivalUxJx ‘Kiss’ Simmons ;-) (pic by Roel Brals)

Another Euro tour for ‘Abhinanda’ (named Ever Increasing Bliss) and the second time at the V.V. (since 94-08-20). The EP Neverending Well Of Bliss was recorded in April 1995 with Mattias ‘Abris’ Abrahamsson (bass), Jonas Lyxzén (drums), Adam Nilsson (guitar), Pär Hansson (who had replaced Kris(tofer) ‘Stone’ Steen) and José Saxlund (vocals). There’s a video of their performance at this fest.

95-08-19-abhinanda-tour-shirt

95-08-19-abhinanda-s-lammertynIeper hardcore festivalthe ‘Abhinanda’ show, documented by Steve Lammertyn [1], Roel Brals [2] (‘porter’ Hans Verbeke with Adam Nilsson on his shoulders; Raoul Festante upper R-corner white T-shirt) & Sarah Van de Mosselaer [3] (Mattias Abrahamsson)

Brob

We had arranged a gig for ‘Blindfold’ in Haldensleben [Germany] but a few day before we got a phonecall from Marko Raboldt (Emotion X recs; who was arranging their tour) that it was cancelled because M.A.D. tour-agency [Ute Füsgen & her partner Marc Nickel from Berlin] had promised them more money elsewhere…

Kirsten Klatt; personal communication ‘95

Man, I miss those days! Such a great time at both festivals we played. A very special place for me. On the pic of ‘Mainstrike’s 7” you can see Big in the middle and the guy with the ‘108’ shirt that’s me… Peter Hoeren is also there… Man, that show was magic!!! I remember quite a lot about this event. There was a was very good fanzine called Statue and we got an interview in it. Then I remember that I slept on that stage because there was no free place anywhere else. It was pretty interesting to wake up and then perform on the same spot. I remember meeting the guys from ‘Mainstrike’ and how great they were and I wish someone took a picture of that super packed sleeping-place on the second floor of Vort’n Vis where all the band-members and friends slept and had farting-contests.

Raoul Festante, ‘Veil’

Probably it wasn’t the best line-up we had. Bad show as far as I can remember. It was the year full of Italian & Swedish bands. We were probably the only semi-grind ultra-core band and we were playing for Italians only. It was still at the V.V. but in that bigger place. We share a song on the first GoodLife compilation too: at that time all in the band were sXe. The other guys [e.g. Cristiano D’Innocenti (‘Concrete’, ‘Los Vaticanos’), Andrea ‘Monster’ Campanelli (‘Opposite Force’, ‘Bruma’)] joined later. We’re all still in bands even if we’re all over 40.

Paolo Petralia, ‘Comrades’ vocalist

I remember sleeping in the cold attic without a sleeping-bag, but we had immense fun. There was a Swedish invasion. I saw a green Straight Edge/Go Vegetarian shirt for sale there. I wanted it so desperately that I instantly threw away my sandwiches with salami…

Pascal, ‘Rancor’

About us wearing identical T-shirts: we might have found those on tour. Just a gimmick…

Wim, ‘Blindfold’

Indeed: halfway our set the mic got fucked up so we couldn’t play all those new songs. I was pretty pissed. But the fest was great!

Jonas Moberg, ‘Mainstrike’

The ‘Kiss’ face was done by Catherine Cabeza; good job – she did it without an example.

U.J., ‘Congress’ bassist

excerpt from the V.V. guestbook:

vv-95-08-19-book-b-abinanda“Hello! This festival is completely cool!! Hope we will be back next year!!”

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!…

 

95-08 HC fest

Local (Menen/Roeselare) straight-edge hardcore band ‘Regression’ was announced but didn’t play. Perhaps because they just switched drummers? (Bjorn Lescouhier, ex ‘Shortsight’ replaced Raf – who played in ‘Liar’.)

‘Steadfast’, a band playing “powerful new-school sXe hardcore” from the Osnabrück/Munster region, didn’t play either. Their guitarist Stefan Uhe and bassist Volker Pohlschmidt (R.I.P.) did visit.

‘Chokehold’ wasn’t announced but they showed up anyway; read the story below. Also ‘Solid’, ‘Concrete’ and ‘End In Sight’ were added to the bill…

18 aug ’95: The Jedi (Bel), Solid (Bel), Burning Defeat (Ita)

19 aug ’95: Veil (Ger), Concrete (Ita), Doughnuts (Swe), Rancor (Nl), Mainstrike (Nl), Blindfold (Bel), Comrades (Ita), Kosjer D (Bel), Congress (Bel), Abhinanda (Swe)

20 aug ’95: Churn (Bel), By All Means (Ita), Liar (Bel), Fungus (Bel), Timebomb (Ita), End In Sight (Swe), Chokehold (Can)

If I remember correctly Christophe Mora (‘Undone’, Stonehenge recs) was there. Henk Smit (Kangaroo recs) was selling records. Patrick Federli took photos… Yann Boislève from Rennes wrote a review about this fest in his SxE newsletter #13.

Brob

95-08 review in SxE newsletter - part 195-08 review in SxE newsletter - part 2

Mathias Hartmann and I attended together. The V.V. was too full, the weather nice, so we slept a few hundred metres away on some nice grass in front of a church, I think. People strolling by the next morning were not amused about us. ;-)

This summer-festival in the bigger ‘hall’ in the back of the V.V. I remember ‘Kosjer D’ and ‘Chokehold’ from Canada played there. The ‘Chokehold’ guys were coming from the train-station with their guitars and bass in hand. Their European tour [with ‘Feeding The Fire’] was a mess (some of the last gigs of their tour got cancelled) and they got robbed if I remember correctly. I felt sorry for them for having such a bad experience over here. They mention it in an interview.

Carsten Pötter, Frankfurt

If my memory serves me right, this was my first Ieper HardCore Fest. I turned 18 just a few months earlier, I had a very broad musical taste ranging from simple hardrock to the most extreme black/death metal, but it was just a year or so that I really started to appreciate the HC-scene and started to attend a lot more HC shows than metal. Because of the music and especially the very metallic sound of the H8000 bands, but also because the HC-scene was – in my eyes and at the time – a much more interesting scene with a lot more open-minded people (that was of course, pure bullshit, but it was a nice smoke-screen that got me fooled for a while :-) …). You soon learn that assholes are everywhere but so are nice people really… You just need to know who to avoid, that’s all. :-)

Anyway, I remember this fest as the most underground thing I had ever seen or been to… I just took a backpack with some basic ‘go-away’-stuff and just headed to Ieper… There was not really a camping back in those days. I remember people sleeping in the bar, the barn, on the upper floors. I remember those funny Hare-Krishna kids that seemed to attend every show in the whole Benelux (bands like ‘Abhinanda’ and other Umea-area bands were kinda the big thing then… So a lot of people became Krishna all of a sudden – LOL).

All the bands I have seen then performed legendary sets… I was just blasted away by the atmosphere … The barn was as full as it could get and then some more, people were flying all over the place, the pictures I have of that HC fest are still some of my favourite ones. It was pure madness!!! HC the way it should be! Massive mosh-pits, pile-ups, sing-alongs, circle-pits, you name it… From morning till evening, all day long. If I were to attend now, I probably would see 1 band and need 2 other sets to catch my breath… Yeah, we were young and unstoppable then :-).

I remember also ‘taking a shower’ on the Ieper market, in the fountains with a lot of people… It was a ‘group-shower’ (at least 30 people, strength in numbers huh?) in the morning. With all the soap we used, the market was quickly transformed into a big foamy place. :-) Lotsa fun, but not appreciated by the police… Ah well…what’s new???

Also, we met some nice gothic kids and had a very cool evening in their bar ‘Den Donkeren Helft’ [The Dark Half]… After an afternoon of HC-metal, nothing better than some wave/EBM/gothic to relax a little. :-). Since that day, I always go to that bar when I go to Ieper (I think it’s gone now…).

I have very fond memories of ‘Liar’, ‘Congress’, ‘Veil’, ‘Comrades’, ‘Mainstrike’, ‘Abhinanda’ and ‘End In Sight’. You can see me going nuts on the back of the H8000 The Way It Is – European SxE HC compilation-CD (GoodLife recs)… I’m in the picture with ‘Mainstrike’ playing in the barn at that fest. [Brob: There was also a pic ont the ‘Mainstrike’ 7”?] A lot of bands that played that summer in Ieper are on the CD.

After that weekend I got home with sooooo many adresses and phone-numbers, I didn’t know where to start… I made a lot of friends, had wonderfull conversations,… good times in general! From then on until 2005 I attended every single HC fest… but none were so memorable than my first one… And for me, the Vort’n Vis became an icon of underground DIY music.

Greg ‘DragonBreath’ (90s zine; Bruxel)

I’ve only been to Vort’n Vis once, back in the summer of 1995. I went there for, what we called then, the Vort’n Vis festival. I remember a lot of Italian bands were playing, so it felt like I knew half of the people at the fest. [Brob: Dario is Croatian but lived in Rome at that time…] It was almost 20 years ago, so my memory is a bit fading, but I believe ‘Concrete’, ‘Timebomb’, ‘Comrades’, ‘Burning Defeat’ and ‘By All Means’, all from Italy (the first three from Rome), played at the festival and it was bands whose members I knew very well. I remember spending most of the time with ‘Sardo’ from ‘Tear Me Down’ [Massimo ‘Il Sardo’ Leonardi, vocalist], and I recall the sleeping-place was upstairs and there were dozens of bodies and arms+legs everywhere – it was almost impossible to find a free spot to lie down.

Everything was very DIY and there were several small distros, as well as bigger ones ran by Edward of GoodLife and Burkhard [Jünger] of GreenHell [label, record-store & mailorder in Münster, Germany]. I remember meeting one of the Boislève brothers [Yann & Pierre] for the first time at the festival, and that kid [Aaron Vyvial?] that used to make a really nice fanzine and later moved back to the US with ‘Hazel’ of ‘Rise Above’. ‘Mainstrike’ played one of their first shows and the crowd went pretty wild. I’ld see them later both in Italy and the USA. ‘Kosjer D’ were solid. I liked their first 7” a lot. I wasn’t impressed by ‘Doughnuts’ and I think I missed ‘Abhinanda’. I checked both ‘Liar’ and ‘Congress’, but that wasn’t really my cup of tea. I remember the ‘Congress’ bass-player was nice to us, but musically it’s nothing I would listen to at home…

Dario Adamic, Zips & Chains zine

I was there with Christophe (Mora). Brob, you were screaming against the business during the ‘Abhinanda’ show. I found your attitude so cool; I totally agreed with you!

Fabien Charlot, later vocals for ‘JeanxSEberg’, Bordeaux; personal communication spring ‘96

I only went to the festival on Saturday. I couldn’t stand it very long. Firstly: I felt very lonely; I didn’t feel like communicating. It didn’t feel right…the people that were attending, all that typical sXe fuss. I had the feeling that a lot of these girls and boys were just there to be seen. It seemed like a competition: who has the newest T-shirt, who can dance the hardest, who knows the most lyrics by heart? It all seemed so fake. I don’t want to generalise though: there were also kids that seemed sincere…

Dirk De Vriendt, Introverted Outlet zine; personal communication August ‘95

I was seriously annoyed: everybody’s speaking out against pollution, using big words; but for perhaps half of them it remains just that: words. Have you seen the public road? Simply outrageous! Do people still understand what HC is about? The ‘scene’ has grown enormously but the ideals haven’t evolved. I think it’s sick!

Nico Peeters, ‘Outrage’ bassist/Day One distro; personal communication August ‘95

I thought there were only few really good bands. ‘Kosjer D’, ‘Mainstrike’ & ‘Burning Defeat’ were cool though. I saw a video of the fest and it was cosy. There was a bit of a fight between ‘Rancor’s guitarist and someone. What struck me was that flirting with satanism seems to become popular…Scary, because it equals extreme rightist ideas (egoism, fascism, war, etc.).

Peter Kroes, Ruinerwold (NL); personal communication December ‘95

I’ve been at the Vort’n Vis once in 1995. I was young, my first festival abroad I think…travelling alone by train, by the way. I remember enjoying the concerts of ‘Abhinanda’, ‘Doughnuts’, ‘Congress’ a lot. There were many Italians there! ‘By All Means’ played a crazy show, ‘Timebomb’ were great. I remember buying the ‘Rorschach’ discography CD, great vegan food, soy-milk in stores (I was stoked: in Italy nobody knew what that was). I recall hanging out with several country-mates but also with the guys from ‘Abhinanda’ in some kind of disco. It was fun and I keep great memories of that weekend. I also think some of the Italian bands being pissed off for not being treated like the Swedish bands but I’m not totally sure about that, haha!!!

Borys Catelani, Montorsoli/Sesto Fiorentino (Ita), Agipunk recs

I have the worst memory so details are very sketchy! I had some amazing times at Vort’n Vis… Vique always drove and I spent a lot of time at the festivals (I was there in ’94 as well) helping out with her distro and checking out everyone else’s. In the pre-download/-streaming days it was amazing to be able to get hold of so much great stuff all in one place. My strongest memory from Vort’n Vis was ‘Kosjer D’ playing here… One of my favourite gigs ever. I think it may have been their last show… Anyway, it was so much fun – great band (totally under-rated) and an incredible moving joyous set.

Mark ‘Macca’ Wilkinson, Brighton

I think Ieperfest 1995 was my first time at the V.V. Jenni wasn’t there, I think ’96 was the first time for her.

Robert Matusiak, Refuse recs (at that time Warsaw, nowadays Berlin)

I was there to support ‘Veil’ (who had a 7″ on my label Thressome recs)

Ferry Krop, Sittard (NL)

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 95-08-20 - (book B) Hans VerbekeVV 95-08-20 - (book B) Saskia Verbekeorganisers Saskia & Hans Verbeke (of course together with a whole bunch of other Vort’n Vis collaborators…)

additions wellcome!…

95-04-09 Strain Remorse 7'' cover‘Strain’ – Remorse 7″

This gig was organised by Hans Verbeke…

‘Strain’ was a band from Vancouver (Canada) that played “metallic mosh-core in the vein of ‘Snapcase’ & ‘Chokehold’, with staccato rhythms”: Eric ‘Flexyourhead’ Thorkelsson (bass; ex ‘Fratricide’; does the Flex Your Head radio-show), Jody Taylor (vocals), Len Greenblat (drums), Greg Dinardo (guitar) and Sean Lande (guitar; seanlande.com). They had put out some 7”s (self-titled on Overkill recs ’94, Cataract & Driven on HeartFirst ’94, Remorse on Pushead’s Bacteria Sour recs ‘95) and later recorded for several more releases on the label ran by Flo(rian) Helmchen (my mate from Berlin, ex ‘Squandered Message’ bassist): HeartFirst recs. The latter was on the road with them and present here. On this tour Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Mantle stood in on drums, and I believe Jennings ‘Jinx’ Stringer stood in on guitar. The band came back on 96-09-22…

‘Mainstrike’, a SxE band from Arnhem/Nijmegen did their first gig at the V.V. that day. They were Jeroen ‘Beertje’ Vrijhoef (guitar; together with Marcel Palijama he also ran the label Coalition recs), Jasper Meijerink (bass; later replaced by Johnny van de Koolwijk), Jonas Moberg (guitar), Roland ‘Big’ ‘Lord Bigma’ Roller (vocals, also guitarist ‘Man Lifting Banner’) and Pepijn Oostenbrink (drums, later also in ‘One Day Closer’). They had a demo out, called Youth Crew ’95. After the summer they did a 7”, Times Still Here, released on Peter Hoeren’s Crucial Response recs. They came back a bunch of times: 95-08, 95-10-20, 97-08 & 99-08…

‘Rancor’, an ‘edge’-metal band from Dutch Limburg were Michel ‘Mike’ Senden (guitar; also ‘Bloodsport’), Fabrice Zander (bass), ‘R2D2’ (drum-computer) and Pascal Crombach (vocals). Later it was intended that Armand ‘Persecution’ would take over the bass so Fabrice could play guitar… They recorded a CD entitled Distinguish, released in ’97 by Lifeforce recs (Leipzig). Mike & Fabrice had the idea to do a label, One Solution recs…

Congress Euridium limited 7'' cover

At the time of this gig ‘Congress’ (who’d played here already a bunch of times, e.g. 93-04-25, 93-05-22, 94-01-08, etc.) consisted of Joost ‘Josh Fury’ Noyelle (guitar), ‘Uniform’ ‘UxJx’ Jan Vandekerckhove (bass), ‘Pitbull’ Pierre Vanrumbeke (vocals), Ilja ‘Chill Jay’ De Ceuleneire (drums). Their additional guitarist Michael ‘Micha Soprano’ Pintelon (also in ‘Deformity’) played here too. GoodLife’s marketing-strategy (“H8000 vegan edge-metal”) was taking form. After the ‘release’ of the Euridium 7” (at first on Warehouse recs – the precursor to GoodLife – GL started officially on Jan 1st ‘96; a limited edition was handed out at their gig in The Pits, 94-12-23) and the band working on the Blackened Persistance (should actually be ‘Persistence’) album, Ed had “things going for him”…

Brob

‘Rancor’ and ‘Congress’ played here too. I wasn’t at the festival [95-08] so the pics are from this gig. ‘Rancor’ played with balaclavas that day. And it was also the first day the ‘Congress’ LP was available. [Brob: Blackened Persistance LP/CD was actually officially released on the “release-show” on Nov. 26th 1995 with ‘Nations Of Fire’ in Izegem.]

Jeffrey Kroesen

‘Rancor’….the band I started with Michel (ex ‘F.T.F.’ & ‘Point Of No Return’ guitarist)! I played and we asked Pascal as vocalist. Michel and I were programming sounds/beats but eventually Michel did it on his own. Even before the 1st show Fabrice got in the picture, in the beginning as second bassist (if it was my call) but the other 2 didn’t like the idea (too heavy?). But Pascal already had it in his head: Fabrice would definitely be in the band; as he had promised him. That became a bit of a problem. I then chose myself, stupidly enough, to leave the band to save everything. Fabrice became bassist and from the first show on they were a trio, without me. Still regret this, because it was also my ‘baby’ and Fabrice turned out a big asshole! I’ll save you the details… So, no, I never was on any stage with ‘Rancor’ (unfortunately). I did help ‘em set up on stage at the V.V. and when they played the Ieper-fest, in the barn at the back [95-08].

The music I’ve been making (solo) since 1995/1997 is not an extension of what ‘Rancor’ did, or what I wanted to do. It’s dark ambient/drones/soundscapes. ‘Monotonos’, check my website: monotonos.org (quiet room, good speakers/headphones recommended!), enjoy.

Roger ‘NBH, Nothing But Human’

So ‘Rancor’ is Roger ‘NBH’s baby? That’s interesting…didn’t know that. He and Michel made this song, which eventually got the name Victim 206, but that was even before ‘Rancor’ became a band. (Name and lyrics of that song are by Henry ‘The Serial Killer’ Körver). Roger never showed up for practice, so I guess it’s safe to say he’s never been a member of the band. He was part of the crew though and he made a very nice layout for our tape and indeed, he helped us in Ieper roady-style. But that’s it. It’s something he seems to regret and now he likes to bitch about it. Talking shit about Fabrice. Get over it and grow up, you’re making a fool of yourself.

‘Rancor’ was an experiment. We know it wasn’t all that great, it was experimental and fun, looking back I can say we where ahead of our time. But it was all over before we could give ourself a chance to grow and make our sound more complete. Still, it was fun playing with all these great bands like ‘Congress’, ‘Integrity’, ‘Mainstrike’, ‘Ringworm’ and many more.

By the way: Armand ‘’Persecution’ never played bass, it was something we talked about, but never happened. One Solution recs was just a name but didn’t exist.

Vort’n vis was a great venue, there was nothing like it. It was the heart of the Straight Edge hardcore scene and it was always great being there!

Pascal Crombach, ‘Rancor’ vocalist

Len Greenblat had some sort of break down; that’s what I heard anyway…

Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Mantle, ‘Strain’ drummer on this tour

I was on that tour in ‘95 (guitar) but I wasn’t on the tour in ‘96. (Four your interest: due to some member-issues, ‘Strain’ was almost not going to do the tour in ‘95 but glad they did. Fun times!!!) Sorry, I don’t remember the club or show exactly, but I do remember Ypres… First time for me in Belgium, first time I had some Belgium fries… Yum. I believe there was an air-balloon festival of some sort at the time? Also remember visiting the war-monuments, but it seems like a long time ago. Just by looking at the show-lists, ‘Strain’ played with ‘Congress’… I remember them being pretty damn heavy, probably heavier than any band we played with on that tour. I believe they were still pretty unknown at the time, I think I may still have a 7”?…

Jennings ‘Jinx’ Stringer, ‘Strain’ stand-in guitarist

I was 19 and it was my first big tour. A lot of it was a blur. I remember the ‘Congress’ guys but my memory is so bad. I actually recall playing that show and something about the stage. I don’t even remember most of the shows whatsoever. It was a 7 week tour with shows almost every night.

Sean Lande, ‘Strain’ guitarist

My memory is fuzzy. I remember a strange stage and lots of windows in the venue. Ed took us for some frites and laughed at us when we were surprised that Belgians put more than ketchup on their fries. We also walked around looking at some war-memorials. As for the show: ‘Congress’ blew me away, they were amazing! Met some very cool people there.

Jody Taylor, ‘Strain’ vocalist

I was indeed on tour with ‘Strain’ and at this gig. I do not have a lot of recollections of it; mainly that I met Ed [GoodLife] and Bruno [Genet]. And that I thought what a bunch of clowns this whole H8000 thing was. I also remember ‘Mainstrike’ taking SxE very seriously with their white hooded sweaters, esp. the singer. The gig was pretty OK but I don’t really have much interesting and positive to write about it.

Flo(rian) Helmchen

I have fine memories about the Vort’n Vis. I came over regularly with Jean-Paul of Value Of Strength zine, long before the ‘Rancor’ period. That were always great weekends that I will never forget. ‘Rancor’ played there twice. This first time was enormously embarrassing because the P.A. wasn’t prepared for a drum-computer. Our 2nd performance [95-08], on a sweaty afternoon, was more succesful.

Pascal Crombach, ‘Rancor’ vocalist

photos courtesy of Jeffrey Kroesen:

95-04-09 Strain (by J Kroesen)‘Strain’

95-04-09 Rancor (by J Kroesen)‘Rancor’

95-04-09 Congress' (by J Kroesen)(in the back: Roger ‘NBH’)

95-04-09 Congress'' (by J Kroesen)(on the right: Joeri Hoste (black tie), Ed GoodLife, Aaron Vyvial, Yannick Daems)

95-04-09 Congress (by J Kroesen) helft van Sektor in de pitcrowd (with some ‘Sektor’ members) during the ‘Congress’ set

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 95-04-09 - (book B) MainstrikeVV 95-04-09 - (book B) Mainstrike'

VV 95-04-09 - (book B) DianaDiana B. (‘Mainstrike’ driver): “… I loved it here! The bands were great, the atmosphere good, and it’s always nice to meet up with friends and acquaintances, and meet new people …”

additions wellcome!…

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)