Posts Tagged ‘No More’

This gig was announced as a benefit-gig “in order to be able to finance the reparations needed for the vocal P.A.”. Lots of things, line-up wise, changed during the preparation…

At first another Portugese band, ‘Inkisiçao’ (see 94-09-17) was gonna tour with ‘No More’ but they couldn’t make it because of the singer’s job-duties… Their replacement ‘Corrosão Caótica’ – a hardcore/punk band from Lisbon with vocalist Paulo ‘Piranha’ Baptista, guitarist João(zinho) Morais, drummer Rui Lucena and bassist Miguel ‘Zé Gato’ (later also in ‘Subcaos’), and for a moment they also had a female guitarist called Susana – cancelled the tour aswell in the end. Hence the gig that was announced for July 31st was abandoned…

‘Subcaos’ from Lisbon were Diogo Tovar Carvalho (vocals; also did Recognize No Authority zine, and distributed mine), Xico (or Chico or FJ; vocals), João Abrantes (guitar; was ‘held up’), João Barrelas (guitar; also in ‘X-Acto’), Tópê (bass) & David (drums). They put out a demo (Genocidio, “chaotic crustcore”) in ’92 and tracks for the split-7” with ‘Hiatus’ (out on Slime recs) were recorded at the gig they played in Bruges the day before … (93-07-31) Slime recs (which existed since 1989) changed it’s name to Ataque Sonoro around 1994/95 (ataquesonoro.blogspot) and released their split-album with ‘Genital Deformities’ in ’94. They came back twice… (94-04-02 & 94-12-31).

‘Subcaos’ photos from Ludovic Hache’s zine Ras L’Bol #3 (top => bottom: Tópê – Diogo – ‘Xico’)

‘No More’ (see 92-05-24, 92-09-05 & 93-03-28) – Claude ‘Pattex’ Werer (guitar), Fränz Laureys (bass), Steve ‘Diff’ Differding (vocals) & Mike ‘Schof’ (drums) – who were supposed to play with ‘Corrosão Caótica’ the day before didn’t come over either (or did they?)… Another band that ‘Diff’ played guitar for, ‘Subway Arts’ (political hardcore/punk from Esch/Alzette), played. The others in the band: Claude ‘Bourano’ Bour (drums; (drums; Mike played on the split-LP but left also soon after), Fränz Laureys (bass), Sabrina D’Aurelio (vocals; David on the split-LP) and Xavier (guitar). It wasn’t their first visit either (92-12-20, 93-02-06, 93-07-04) and it wouldn’t be their last (94-04-02) … The Luxemburgers had released a split 12” (All Life is Equal) together with ‘No More’ in 1991 (on Markus Haas’ Per Koro recs). Around this time here they released a 12” titled “Una Definizione Perveresa Della Pace” (‘93) – a collaboration of Genet recs and PeaCy recs (ran by Diff and Simone Winandy).

‘Subway Arts’; photos by Eric ‘React’ Wawrzynkowski

‘Scraps’ were announced (in the newsletter) with a new line-up and new songs. At their previous passages (90-02-24, 90-09-15, 91-03-16, 91-09-01, 91-12-31) David (vocals) & his brother Raphael Dutriaux (guitar) still had Xavier (drums) in their ranks – besides Tomoy (bass) off course. I guess they might’ve recruted Pierre Anne (ex ‘6 Feet Over’) as drummer by then… He was on the LP Dismantle The Machine One Cog At A Time (recorded April ’94).

‘P.J.D.’ (Private Jesus Detector) was also mentioned in the newsletter but there’s nothing about hem in the V.V. notes for that day… They’d played the Vort’n Vis several times before: 90-08-25, 90-10-27 & 91-03-16.

Brob

We’d split up since a while because we rehearsed very rarely in 1992. We did that last show in Ternat [93-10-23] because it was a benefit. We did a few show in 1993 but ‘Pette’ didn’t feel like it much anymore… Gigging became sporadic but the fun of it was gone by the end of ‘92/beginning of ‘93. Also ‘Spatje’ didn’t feel like it anymore…

Koen ‘Siesele’ Lammens, ‘P.J.D.’ bassist

Since we [‘No More’/’Subway Arts’] were kind of a collective with people switching from here to there and we all had a great relationship witch each other, we might have decided to just play as ‘Subway Arts’…

‘Diff’

I remember ‘Subcaos’: very cool people, the loved to play soccer. We went over to Portugal aswell… I guess ‘Diff’ organised all of that. Portugal, Spain,…

Sabrina D’Aurelio, ‘Subway Arts singer

I definitely think that the V.V. gig was the best of the ‘Subcaos’ tour as everyone talked over and over about it. I really would have liked to be there but it wasn’t possible…

Miguel Crespo (Ratazana Productions [a concert-collective, including with Guilherme Chalmers]), personal communication ‘94

I remember we shook hands in 1993 or the second time I was there in 1995. Lots of memories from those times, all the people and the mighty Vort’n Vis where I slept at least a couple of times… It was Bruno’s good intention to help ‘Turmoil’ with touring Europe and with a (split)LP; which never happened because of hard situations in Turkey. It was a nice dream anyway. I tried my best and with the help of Bruno I showed up alone instead of a tour and had a great time. There was a great gig with ‘Scraps’; ‘Subway Arts’ & ‘Subcaos’ were touring. There were lots of cool people at V.V. like the guy from ‘Neuthrone’, the unknown crusties of ‘War Cry’ and ‘Corpus Christi’, the people of Nabate recs and – I want to mention these names – Boezie, Stevie, Jimyh. I believe I have some photos from those days.

I’m still a noise-freak, still enjoy a lot of the same old stuff. I wouldn’t care sounding like ‘Youth Corps’ or ‘Terveet Kadet’…

Tay(lan) Ipek, ‘Turmoil’

I was on the road with ‘Subcaos’ and the Luxembourgers (I’m not sure if ‘Subway Arts’ played on all days or if they only played in Ieper. I think the other 2 days and probably the entire tour was with ‘No More’.); a tour that Bruno organised in the summer of 1993 (I also attended the 1994 ‘Subcaos’ gig): one gig in Manheim in the Cologne area, so not Mannheim in the south-west of Germany) and two in Belgium (Bruges and Ieper). Originally, I just wanted to attend the Ieper gig but Bruno asked if I was up for two more days. There were also a few other people accompanying ‘Subcaos’, which was nice: chatting, beer. :-). It was a really good experience being on tour (well, 3 or 4 days) with people from rather different backgrounds and countries (Portuguese, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany). Markus of Per Koro recs also attended those gigs.

Carsten Pötter (Frankfurt)

I remember ‘Subway Arts’ very well… First time I heard a band from Luxembourg: ‘bonne pêche’, nice people, etc. Don’t remember much about ‘Subcaos’…

Willy ‘Hiatus’

One thing that I can recall from on of the gigs at the V.V. is that we were playing the smaller room and right in the middle of our set smoke started coming out of one of the amps, not sure if they caught fire or not but it would make a better story if it did… ;-)

Diogo (Tovar), ‘Subcaos’ singer

I couldn’t go on tour at that time because I had a ‘small problem” with the law and could not leave the country :-) I believe the band played in the V.V. bar.

João Abrantes, ‘Subcaos’ guitarist

I toured with ‘Scraps’ once, playing the guitar. As far as I can remember I just played Germany and Austria for five weeks. I replaced the guitarist, Raphael (David’s bro; he used to work with handicapped people and could not get holidays). I think it was ‘93. [Brob: I think that was ’95; and Amanda Trevens was touring with them in ‘94…]

Ma Raab

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

92-05-24 MDCDieter R. (who did the poster) didn’t listen very carefully when he heard the name ‘Tribe 8 ‘… ;-)

Quite a while after their 1st appearance in Belgium (1982, supporting the ‘Dead Kennedys’ in Mechelen) this one, but in the meantime Smurfpunx (90-09-14), Hageland Hardocre (87-11-22) and a bunch of others had hosted them more than a few times already. Time for a show at the Vort’n Vis!

In the band (residing in San Francisco) at that time were: Erica Liss (bass; replacing Matt Freeman), Al Schultz ‘AlShvitz’ (drums), Dave Dictor (vocals) and Chris Wilder (guitar; ex ‘Stikky’; replacing Bill Collins). Later during this tour they became the first HC band to play in Russia (see MRR #117). At the end of that year they recorded the Thanks For Giving Me What I Didn’t Want… 7” that was released by New Red Archives in 1993. The next album Shades Of Brown (We Bite recs ’93) was with the same line-up and contains quite a few written and/or composed by Chris (e.g. the hip-hop vegetarian song Real Food, Real People, Real Bullets or Hail Satan; witty but clever).

The band still exists and did its 1st Australian tour Summer 2013.

92-05-24 MDC Dave (by Eric W)92-05-24 MDC Dave (& Al Shvitz's 6 year old boy)92-05-24 MDC drum (by Eric W)92-05-24 MDC bass (Erica Liss) (by Eric W)92-05-24 MDC guitar (by Eric W)‘M.D.C.’ photos kindly donated by Eric ‘React’ W.

‘That’s It’ (Los Angeles) had played the V.V. earlier that year (92-01-12; with guitarist/vocalist Shawn Stern, bassist Greta Brinkman, guitarist Mark Phillips and Tom(my) ‘Stupid’ Withers on drums). Tommy left the band halfway their tour so Chris took over on drums (David Andler played on the 7”). I can’t remember the others who were in the guestbook – A.J. (A.J. Ness did the artwork for the 7”), Ricky A.

Bettina who did a guestbook-entry is – as far as I can recall – Bettina Geile, a nice girl from Bremen who drove bands around in her van. Someone with a heart-warming smile and outgoing personality!… Nowadays she works for Schlachthof (a venue where a lot of HC/punk bands played at that time).

‘No More’, from Luxembourg (the country, not the Belgian province) were: Claude ‘Pattex’ Werer (guitar), Fränz Laureys (bass), Steve ‘Diff’ Differding (vocals) & Mike ‘Schof’ (drums). This was their 1st appearance here (they would be back – 92-09-05 & 93-03-28). In 1991 they’d released a split-12” (All Life is Equal) together with another band from Luxembourg (‘Subway Arts’) on Markus Haas’ Per Koro recs. Their 7” How Much is Enough – with one track recorded live at the 500 Years Of Genocide show at the Kulturfabrik in Esch, 92-10-25 – was put out by Peacy recs (Diff and Simone Winandy).

92-05-24 No More (by Eric W)92-05-24 No More bass (by Eric W)92-05-24 No More Diff (by Eric W)92-05-24 No More guitar (by Eric W)‘No More’ photos kindly donated by Eric ‘React’ W.

‘Tribe 8’ was an all-women outspoken dyke punk band from San Francisco. Considered one of the first queer-core groups. ‘Tribe Eight’ is a play on the word tribade, which was once used to refer to a lesbian.

At the time of touring they had a 7” out, called Pig Bitch (HARP recs, 1992) and split-7”s with ‘Blatz’ (Bitches’n’Brew‎ & Stranger Fruit, both on Lickout! – spoof on LookOut!- recs, 1992). Their LP By The Time We Get To Colorado (1993) came out on Outpunk recs (who also released a 7” for ‘Pansy Division’). A lot more followed…

The line-up on the Pig Bitch 7” was ‘Mahia Kobayashi’ (bass; later Lynn Payne), Silas ‘Flipper’ Howard (guitar), Leslie Mah (guitar), Lynn Breedlove (vocals) and Kat Buell (drums; later Slade Bellum) so I guess that’s who was on the tour. They played guitar-driven punk’n’roll and singer Lynn Breedlove (who became an author) delivered controversial lyrics dealing with subjects such as SM, nudity, fellatio and trans-gender issues. Some will only remember them for performing bare-breasted or wearing a strap-on dildo but the band’s message sure came across to those who really listened…

Read more about the band on tribe8.com. From (the book) Cinderella’s Big Score – Women Of The Punk And Indie Underground: “Lynn Breedlove ran Lickety Split All-Girl Courier, an all-female bike-messenger service which employed more than 100 women. […] Leslie Mah works as a tattoo-artist at the woman-owned and -operated Black & Blue Tattoo since ’96. […] Silas Howard co-wrote/-produced the film By Hook Or By Crook.” Silas is a writer, producer and director. You can read about Lynn’s projects on lynnbreedlove.com.

Brob

‘Mahia Kobayashi’ was the bass-player for a minute (also ‘92); she left in a huff early on… Leslie and Silas were the guitar-players…

Lynn Breedlove, ‘Tribe 8’ singer

‘S.O.T.W.’ was called ‘PositiveYouth’ at first and I did the vocals then. A while later I took up second guitar and Jan (brother of Maarten Beckers who was the drummer in the band) started singing. Those 2 later founded bands such as ‘Kindred’ and ‘Enemy Of The Sun’. ‘Positive Youth’/’Strength Of The Will’ were from the Tongeren area (except for myself). They were just guys who were in their last year of secondary school, who liked the ‘Exhaustless Revolt’ [Filip’s 1st band] tapes, heard that we’d stopped and called me one day asking to sing for them. :-) Crazy, actually… I didn’t know any of them but took the train tot the other side of Belgium (which I already had gotten used to, travelling to HC concerts; even if we had to play ourselves we went by train) and we started a band. Can’t remember very well how long it lasted, I estimate a year or two… Then the whole thing faded out: things weren’t that easy because of the distance, we rehearsed very little… A bit later ‘Kindred’ started. ‘S.O.T.W.’ played a few times at the V.V. [see 92-09-06], on one occasion with ‘Wheel Of Progress’, a precursor of ‘Congress’, I think.

Filip Staes

I visited the old V.V. between 1994 and ‘98, the first time I went there was this ‘M.D.C.’ / ‘Tribe 8’ gig, I think. I used to make a zine/newsletter called Carry On Screaming in the 90s, which later became Scream zine. Maybe that rings a bell? I believe we wrote each other a few times and definitely met at the V.V. I probably went to the V.V. 5 or 6 times (Leed festivals, etc.). I also went to a couple of summer festivals when it took place in a school-yard (late ‘90s/early ‘00s) but that was nowhere near as inspiring as the old V.V.

Luc Ardilouze, France (nowadays drummer for ‘Gasmask Terrör’)

One day, the promoter of the show or maybe the club-owner was trying to screw the bands around for money and the manager, a real crazy guy named Syd [Migx; vocalist for ‘Cheetah Chrome Motherfucker’ and doing tours – Big Flash at 6 – with his partner Lorelei], said he was going to get a baseball-bat, wrap it in barbed wire, shove it up his ass and wave him around like a flag. That may not have been in Belgium… I was six so its all very blurry. But I do definitely remember that happening somewhere. Haha… Syd was really funny and great. He has come up a lot when we’ve talked about the tour and always good/funny things are said about him by everyone. His friends from Italy called me ‘Satanino’. Little satan… I’ve always thought that was pretty cool.

Bri, Al Schultz’s son

Chris Wilder & I were the fresh young members and Dave & Al were the originals. ‘M.D.C.’ had always been heroes of mine. I saw them on the Rock Against Reagan tour in the early 80s. I played with Al in a San Francisco band called ‘Gecko Velour’ – after Matt Freeman of ‘Operation Ivy’ (and currently in ‘Rancid’) left the band they ushered me in – I played with them from ‘92-‘95, doing several world-tours, recording Shades Of Brown and several split-singles (one with ‘Capitalist Casualties’).

‘Tribe 8’ had a separate van from us though I rode with those fun troublemaking dykes as often as possible :0). Kat was the original drummer. Slade was the drummer in my very first band in 1987: ‘Industrial Rainforest’. We also played together in ‘Thursdays Child’. The San Francisco scene was pretty small and incestuous!

Erica Liss; ‘M.D.C.’ bassist

‘M.D.C.’ has played Belgium quite often and it’s tough keeping it straight … May ‘92 was our 4 month tour in Europe where we eventually played Russia. Erica Liss on bass, Chris Wilder on guitar, Alschvitz on drums and myself on vocals. We felt very proud touring with ‘Tribe 8’.

David Dictor

We had a blast and as my first tour of Europe, I was constantly surprised at how nice and welcoming everyone was… Even though America had (and still has) a lousy reputation in so much of the more progressive world.

Chris Wilder; ‘M.D.C.’ guitarist

Bettina was with us although she wasn’t really our driver. Chris Lagerborg was the drummer, he died maybe 10-12 years ago from a bad heart I believe. AJ was playing with ‘Throw Rag’ for a while but I don’t think he’s playing music for some years now. Ricky lives in Forida.

Yeah, AJ did some artwork on a 7” I believe… Can’t remember. AJ, Ricky and Greta were all fill-ins after the initial band members left the band. Tommy Stupid bailed the band in DC; a week before we were going to Europe without bothering to tell anyone. He basically used the ‘tour’ across the US to get to his drunk fat girlfriend that he met at one of our first shows in L.A. to the East-Coast. So the bassplayer left (he was brought into the band only a week or 2 before the tour when Tommy decided ‘we’, meaning me, had to fire the bassplayer we had (who was a nice guy but not the best bass player), and Mark Phillips & I had to find a drummer and bassist in a week in DC. We found David Andler and Greta. They did the first European tour with us, Greta broke her arm near the end of the tour. The 2nd European tour was with AJ, Ricky and Chris.

Shawn Stern; ‘Youth Brigade’, Better Youth Organization, ‘That’s It’

I was in the band for the winter tour but this one in May of 1992 I was not there. I don’t know who replaced me; on drums was my old friend Chris Lagerborg who I was later in ‘Joykiller’ and ‘Cheater’ with and he was in ‘Down By Law’ after me. He died in about 2002, he was a roadie for ‘Slayer’. I remember something about a guy named A.J. who was a big black guy with a mohawk (from Long Beach) that played bass but I don’t know if that’s the same guy. Ricky…I’m not sure at all.

Mark Phillips, ex ‘That’s It’ guitarist

‘M.D.C.’ was the main reason to be present. The head-liners that visited the Vort’n Vis in the period from ‘91 to ‘95 were more than the motivating factor to go see great touring foreign hardcore bands. I’d seen ‘M.D.C.’ already a few times in the 80s and each time they turned out to be a guarantee for an intense hardcore/punk party. And on top of that built by a band with brains and an absurd form of (self)irony. Here they brought along the fairly militant ladies of ‘Tribe 8’, who managed to reduce the machismo of many to realistic proportions – or to an non-existent level – with their ‘dyke’-core. ‘M.D.C.’ produced a spectacular show (this time in the ‘barn’ at the back of the ‘old V.V.’.. A place that proved to be the ideal setting for this kind of show: a high ‘squat-content’ with minimal, D.I.Y. accommodation. The ultimate image, to me, remains the circle-pit ‘pur sang’, lead by ‘M.D.C.’s frontman Dave Dictor: circling around a loose fluorescence-lamp that kept lightening the vortex in front of the stage with its last flashes. The ideal way to let a more then succesful show resonate.

Dirk ‘Bowy’ Bauwens

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 92-05-24 - (book A) Tribe 8

VV 92-05-24 - (book A) No More

VV 92-05-24 - (book A) That's ItVV 92-05-24 - (book A) That's It & Bettina

additions wellcome!…

1st day of the 1st Ieperfest

(2nd day: 92-09-06 Abolition – Nations On Fire – Strength Of The Will – Inner Circle – Agent 86 – Punishment Park)

‘Ironside’ were a vegan sXe metalcore outfit from Bradford. Nick Royles (drums; ex ‘Sore Throat’ & ‘No Way Out’ 90-08-25) was in the band; along with Andrew Wright (guitar; later in ‘Unborn’ & ‘Voorhees’; R.I.P.), Doug(las) Dalziel (bass), Tom Chapman (guitar; later in ‘Kito’, ‘Baby Harp Seal’, etc.) and Richard ‘Rich’ Armitage (vocals; later in ‘Voorhees’). They had just recorded for the Neutered Innocence tape that Nick released on his label, Sure Hand recs, and they were about to put out the Fragments Of The Last Judgement 7” (on Ian Simpson/ Helene Keller’s Subjugation recs; 1993). Rich Armitage (somewhere on the internet) wrote: “We played in Belgium in ‘92 and blew away all the ‘88 straight-edge kids there, which laid the foundation for the H8000 thing. No one was doing slow, chugging metal with deep vocals and no recognizable straight-edge lyrics at the time, except ‘Ironside’.”…

92-09-05 Ironside' (by Subjugation) 92-09-05 Ironside'' (by Subjugation)92-09-05 Ironside (by Subjugation)‘Ironside’ photos by Helene Keller (Subjugation recs)

Not really sure but I think ‘Strong Event’ (from Mulheim in the Ruhrpott area) was the band of drummer René Natzel (who was also in ‘Inner Circle’ and ‘Feeding The Fire’ – see 92-10-10 – and did Common Goal zine) before he started ‘Spawn’…

I think this was the 1st time ‘Shortsight’ performed with Saskia singing. Can ‘t recall if guitarist Françoise ‘Hazel’ Lepers was in the band then; the rest was David ‘Mong’ Dumont (guitar), Björn Lescouhier (drums) & Kurt Deprez (bass). There was an incident with smokers when they played… (Dutch-speaking people can read about it on the excerpt from Edward’s zine Dorst #1, below)

92-09-05 Shortsight (Dorst #1)92-09-05 Shortsight Saskia (Dorst cover)Saskia ‘Shortsight’ (on the cover of Dorst #1)

‘Shortsight’ (photo by Christophe Mora)

‘Blindfold’ had just come back from a tour with ‘Onward’ (see 92-08-09)… Their Sober Mind Meditation 7” was recorded right after this fest and was to be released on Warehouse recs (that Edward Verhaeghe did together with Jeroen Lauwers). The band had a steady line-up with Jan Maelfait on bass (meaning he had to perform twice that day)…

‘Blindfold’, photos by Jean-Paul Frijns

With ‘Spirit Of Youth’ playing aswell, there was a total of 4 (more or less) local SxE bands… The month after this, they recorded the 7” The Abyss (released by Crucial Response recs). The line-up (see also 92-08-09) that day was: Jan Maelfait (vocals), Dominiek Denolf (guitar), Frederik Denolf (drums) and Ignace Demeyer (bass).

‘Spirit Of Youth’ – Frederik & Ignace

‘No More’ had already played here (92-05-24). They were from Luxembourg (the country, not the Belgian province). A political HC band consisting of Claude ‘Pattex’ Werer (guitar), Fränz Laureys (bass), Steve ‘Diff’ Differding (vocals) & Mike ‘Schof’ (93) (drums). See also 93-03-28.

‘Feeding The Fire’: Not the first time, nor the last time they were here: 91-12-21, 92-04-18, 92-10-10, 93-05-22, 94-08-21 & 96-05-12. Emphasizing the strong connection between some people… Léon Kleikers (guitarist of ‘No Sense’) stood in on drums here. He also did that for the ‘F.T.F.’/’Man Lifting Banner’ tour…

Brob

‘Strong Event’ were: Frank Fürtjes (vocals), Corinna Pliska (guitar), Uwe Käufer (guitar), René Natzel (drums) and myself (bass). ‘InnerXCircle’ (later ‘Spawn’) started as an project of this band.

Holger Andt

That day I met most of the Bradford guys, like Nick [Royles] and Tom [Chapman], etc. for the first time. ‘Ironside’ were hard as fuck. Their singer looked like a psycho. Turned out to be a real nice guy. They made quite an impression. Heyday of the first generation H8000 scene.

Rob Franssen, ‘Feeding The Fire’ singer

I visited again [92-07-25 & 92-08-09] for the Ieperfest. (Wasn’t that the very first time that fest took place…?) At least for the Saturday: I had school on Monday and couldn’t stay for the Sunday. The feeling on the first day of school after that summer was incredible. I actually just started in fall 1992 with my English lessons and picked up so fast, but not because of the teacher or the lessons but because of what I’d learned reading in lyrics and fanzines, and writing letters. Brob and me kept a somewhat regular correspondence since then until the summer of 1995. We met again for the fest in the summer of 1996, but the atmosphere at the fest was different and I was aswell; that was my last visit to the V.V. I visited the place (which was a pub) in early spring 2008 and early summer 2009 during field-trips with students of the University of Essen & the University of Siegen, respectively. I never saw the new V.V.

Jörg Jacoby, visitor from Saarbrücken

A couple of quick facts… ‘Ironside’ were never explicitly “vegan straight-edge” and certainly not metalcore. ‘Ironside’ was a straight-edge band. I really enjoyed that trip to Ieper, as I knew I was gonna be living in Lille in France in the near future. I was really keen on the whole Euro music scene and so for me it was great to meet people from ‘Nations On Fire’, ‘Spirit Of Youth’, ‘Feeding The Fire’, Jean-Paul [Frijns] from Value of Strength zine, some of the Lille people, etc. The scene was so much bigger than in the UK it seemed although in the UK the straight-edge scene was much smaller and less insular. We had a great time, going to the swimming-pool, watching a lot of bands that weekend…

In 1992 I lived in Lille, France for one year as part of my studies. I spent a lot of time travelling to Belgium, staying with the ‘Spirit Of Youth’ guys, hanging out with Ed, Bruno, Jeroen, UJ, Hans, etc. Also some of the Lille/ Roubaix/ Mouscron guys like Pierre ‘Six Feet Over’, etc.

As I commented [see link on top] I am sure there were plenty of people there whose intentions were misguided – whether it was just to make as much money, or young kids who were full on straight-edge vegan one weekend and turned back to a conservative lifestyle the next, and obviously didn’t look beyond the surface of what was going on…

Tom Chapman, ‘Ironside’ guitarist

>> With my twenty-first birthday looming in September 1992, I was where I always had been: restless and skint, devoid of potential fellow voyagers and lacking the guts and information to go it alone. But then there was Belgium – how hard could it be to travel there, to go to the first hardcore festival in Ieper? Was I just going to give in to my mates who didn’t want to go to it, or in fact go anywhere beyond their crap summer-jobs. So Belgium wasn’t Bolivia but it was a start, and it was a music festival and how cool would it be that I had been while other guys hung about the UK that summer? So I bit the bullet and got in touch with a guy called Jase [‘Step One’ Fox] from Manchester who was going too and together we headed over to Belgium. He had sorted staying with friends in Ieper so I managed to blag myself on to that ticket and got to stay with some lovely people in Belgium who were part of the beating heart of the hardcore scene there.

It is difficult to convey now how boundary-breaking it felt to travel abroad on my own – well at least emotionally on my own, not knowing my travelling companion very well. It all seems a bit silly now what with books and internet resources so readily available, but at the time I didn’t know that things like the Lonely Planet guides existed, which would tell how you how to get to a place and find somewhere cheap to stay. As far as I was concerned you had to buy a ticket for somewhere and hope for the best that you could figure it all out when you got there in your best pigeon version of the local language. All that to me – and to others where I came from – seemed a bit scary in the early nineties. I guess some of us just weren’t destined to be the world’s greatest (budget) explorers! At the time of my little jaunt to Belgium, it was quite a talking-point for the neighbours back home that I had just swanned off to the ‘continent’ on my own when most of us didn’t go much further than Bournemouth or if we did, it was just a touch of Spain on a package!

The Ieperfest was fab. The sun shone, there were loads of new people, bands, distros from right across Europe and of course many records to absorb and vegan food to devour – spaghetti I recall. There we go again, I can remember what I ate nineteen years ago but I’ll struggle to remember which bands played. ‘Shortsight’, ‘Feeding the Fire’, ‘Blindfold’, ‘Ironside’, ‘Spirit Of Youth’, that’s the best I can do! I don’t know if it was in part a consequence of the sun shining, compared to a dour and sour Yorkshire, and there being lots of people from around Europe having lots of super friendly conversations, but the whole event and the community gathered there seemed to simply ooze positivity.

Maybe it was just because it was all new to me but things seemed definitely different to back in the UK. For one thing – and this really stood out for me – there was a mini manifesto on the gig-flyer [perhaps this: Fast music doesn’t mean violent dancing] about violence and violent dancing not being tolerated, and this was something that the guys there really held fast on. I had never been to a gig like this where was so much good natured dancing going on, where everyone felt safe and looked out for with zero posturing. A couple of hundred people were crammed into the café, watching the bands and there was lots of fun stage-diving going on and people hoisting others into the air to surf the crowd. Secondly, the pleasure and openness with which people met each other for the first time, and the thirst for conversation, information-sharing and political discourse. It felt like everyone was bursting with ideas and political perspectives they wanted to share. I met some really brilliant people there, from which I took much inspiration home with me. Also just as exciting was the recurring references by the bands to the tediousness of sexism in life but also closer to home in the scene. But best of all was seeing some of the coolest girls rock out in the bands, and even better was to come in that I would eventually have the privilege of releasing some of their work on the next Subjugation record.

But back to 1992. It was a bit scary being there on my own, a kind of strange British waif and stray amongst large groups of friends who rubbed along with an easy and gentle bonhomie. I am not very good at being the kind of creature who finds it easy to impose themselves upon someone and their circle of friends. I really didn’t know Jase, who I travelled over with, very well and was keen not to be a social burden to him. At this time I didn’t really know the guys from ‘Ironside’ and they always looked a bit scary to me so I was way too shy to barge my way into their gang and they didn’t exactly rush my way either to save me from being the lonesome British girl there! So I just had to get on with it, trying to look nonchalantly cool and OK about being totally on my own, reading zines and killing loads of time between bands while being completely out of my social depth!!

Zines being sold at gigs…to me that was one of the best things ever and probably not for the reasons you think. They saved my social dignity on many occasions! In the early days there weren’t too many girls at gigs and I think most of us felt pretty awkward being a minority – an alien being on the landscape, often finding ourselves behaving like wall-flowers on the periphery of the gathering – even if this was contrary to our ‘normal’ personalities. We often failed to reach out to each other while an easy bonhomie flourished between the boys, powered it seemed to me by talk of record-collecting and being in bands! The boys didn’t seem to want to engage with us very much at gigs. On a lot of occasions the most I could get out of them was a “Hello, how are you…”, without much enthusiasm for any further follow-up and inclusion! My favourite scenario was when I used to go up to a group of guys who weren’t complete strangers to me and say the usual “Hello, how’s it going?…” hoping to join in and hang out and they would all go quiet and look awkward… I can laugh about it now but at the time it was terrible. It was like always being the new kid at school that people are polite to but you can’t be arsed to try with and let into your gang! It meant that there was often a lot of time to be killed on your own and so you needed strategies to help you stop you looking like a total pariah. This is where zines came in and saved me! So three cheers for zine-writers – the unsung heroes and heroines of the socially excluded at gigs!! On several occasions over the years I have tried to fathom why I wasn’t allowed to hang out with the same ease as those guys who were new to our local scene or visiting. The answers generally fell into two categories. Firstly I was someone’s girlfriend and that made people feel weird about approaching and including me. The second category is that they were frightened of me. This was nicely summed up some years ago by one member of ‘Bob Tilton’, confessing that he only had the guts to speak to me freely when he was drunk. There is a possible third category – that is I am tedious, but my friends promise me that I am not and just maybe they are right, as they have at least stuck with me for a decade or two.

Once again, back to 1992….so I probably did a lot of zine-reading at the Ieper festival but I could couldn’t hide away forever. I now ran a record-label and responsibilities to face up to, like shifting the 500 ‘Strength Alone’ records sat in Ian’s house in Darlington and more immediately the ones I had with me. I had to be brave and bold, and try and trade or sell them to the distros at the festival. I dread to think what they thought of this timid little thing trying to thrust my meagre offering on them. I also remember sitting there on my own with my little box of records, next to the big distros trying to sell them… Ah bless me. I totally thought the guys from ‘Ironside’ must be so laughing at me. I felt very small but nothing ventured nothing gained…for me the fight back against the under-valued and minority-status of women in hardcore-punk had to begin with trying to sell 50 ‘Strength Alone’ 7”s! And you know what…I did it, I got rid of them and came back with contacts for the major distributors in Europe. If first base is pressing a record, then second base is working with European distributors and I was on my way.

The Ieper festival was an opportunity to see ‘Shortsight’ and ‘Feeding the Fire’ play, both of which had female members in the band – Saskia, the vocalist in ‘Shortsight’ and Ilona, the bass-player [guitar actually] in ‘Feeding the Fire’. They seemed like warrior-queens, leaders of a tribe that were out numbered twenty to one, shouting “bring it fucking on”. I was in awe, not only of them but the friends they had that had the where with all to help them take their place centre stage. Being in Ieper was also an opportunity to meet Hazel, who was way ahead of the rest of us in breaking the mould, having played bass in the Belgian straight-edge band ‘Nations On Fire’. I also met up with a really cool woman over from Canada called Mel [Melanie Gauthier, from Toronto] who wrote a straight-edge fanzine [Seen Not Heard]. It was pretty exciting to be, for the first time, around other women who were trying to make their presence felt in the straight-edge/hardcore scene and start to share experiences and find common cause. It is very liberating to come to the realisation that what you considered to be personal deficiencies are in fact systemic: you are not totally crap, the environment you are in skews your chances significantly in favour of being perceived as crap! The rush of oxygen to the brain when you finally work this out is quite something. It doesn’t make walking up to a group of guys to try and trade records any less daunting but at least you haven’t beat your self up too much before you try!!

With Jase I was staying at Hans’ house, who was the guitarist in ‘Blindfold’ and ran P.M.A. recs. For those of you that like your band-member facts, he eventually went on to be in ‘Liar’. Also staying over at the house was the ‘Feeding the Fire’ crew (Rob the singer went on to be in ‘Born From Pain’). I remember hanging out with them after the night ‘Ironside’ had played the festival, laughing at the impressions we were all doing of Arm’s, (the singer of ‘Ironside’), slightly scary stage-persona.

I was also probably trying to impress them with my world-domination plans for Subjugation, which frankly boiled down to trying to put together an Animal Rights benefit compilation 7”. We had been in touch with various bands over the summer and it was pretty much coming together. Signed up were ‘Feeding the Fire’ from Holland, ‘Shortsight’ from Belgium and ‘Struggle’ from San Diego, who had just released the most amazing 7” on Ebullition recs, and a track on the compilation 12” Give Me Back which was a benefit for Women’s support-groups. To get them on board was totally brilliant. Again for those of you who like band-member facts, ‘Struggle’ included Justin Pearson who went on to be in ‘Swing Kids’ and ‘The Locust’. […]

Feeling buoyed up and a bit giddy by what I achieved at the Ieperfest I made my way back to the UK. ‘Ironside’ were on the same ferry crossing as me. I said “Hello” without sounding too squeaky and secretly hoped that they would kind of indicate that it was cool for me to hang out with them for the four hour crossing, but sadly they didn’t, so I did my best impression of cool independence and sauntered off to get coffee, hiding my disappointment that I wasn’t getting the chance to hang out with the über-cool Nick Royles, the drummer of ‘Ironside’. Ian Leck (the singer of ‘Steadfast’/’Voorhees’) did find me later in the café and joined me for some chit-chat, which was a welcomed charitable act that I have clearly remembered for the last twenty years! The initial tepid relations between myself and Bradford boys was later in part explained by the unearthing of a snake in our midst’s! Someone was peddling tales and creating general mistrust been the Leeds and Bradford posses. In the following months the perpetrator was unmasked and confronted and the outcome of this was to be some cool collaborations between us all on gigs and record releases, general good times and an enduring friendship between Nick and I. It is shame that the petty power-games of this one individual prevented the cool stuff happening all the sooner, but I guess such games are all part of the rich pageant that is human relationships… <<

Helene Keller, Subjugation recs (subjugationrecords.wordpress.com)

92-09-05 Helene, Hazel and Saskia outside the V.V.the sisterhood (Helene, Hazel & Saskia)

92-09-05&06 gig-review in HolyHardcore #2 (a)92-09-05&06 gig-review in HolyHardcore #2 (b)review in Tom De Pauw’s zine HolyHardcore #2

92-09 Hardcore 92 review (-)review in Wim Vandekerckhove’s zine Reminder #2

additions wellcome!…

93-03-28 Sofa Head promo pic93-03-28 Sofa Head promo

Bruno, who was the main promoter for the ‘Pissed’ tour (which kinda ‘blew up’, see 93-02-27), decided to invite ‘Alians’ (my mate Rafał ‘Kazi’ Kasprzak & his friends from Poland – they’d been at the V.V. before (see 91-09-21) – to do a part of the tour with the Americans. One day, I got a call from Diff (of the Luxembourg band ‘No More’) – who was driving them – that the Polish got busted at the Swiss border for carrying ‘shit’ (or was some of their ‘mates’ who travelled with them?). They were fined and found themselves unable to continue. Bruno was in Spain (with ‘Doom’) at the moment so it was up to me to try and persuade them but I was unable too…

‘Sofa Head’, from Darlington, played tuneful hardcore-punk with great vocal harmonies by times. Their lyrics were insightful/personal-political but not weaned of some humour. They were: singer Claire Sykes (Chapman nowadays; she married Tom), bassist Ian Armstrong, guitarist ‘Wal’ James Wallis and drummer ‘Woody’ (Matt Woodward – also in ‘Kito’; not Andrew Laing who played on the records). Wal & Ian had been in ‘Dan’ before, Andrew was also in ‘H.D.Q.’ & ‘Leatherface’. Ian Armstrong ran an excellent label called Meantime recs (mostly melodic punk-rock bands) at that time and now runs Hidden Talent Booking (hiddentalentbooking.com) and manages a band called ‘Random Hand’. Nice people (I think I’d already met them in Diksmuide when ‘Inside Out’ played or was it just Ian?) – I also interviewed them for my zine Tilt!)…

‘Sofa Head’; photo courtesy of Benoit Hanssens

‘No More’, from Luxembourg (the country, not the Belgian province) were a political HC band: Claude ‘Pattex’ Werer (guitar), Fränz Laureys (bass), Steve ‘Diff’ Differding (vocals) & Mike ‘Schof’ (93) (drums). This gig was around the time of the How Much Is Enough? 7” on PeaCy recs (ran by Diff and Simone Winandy). Their 3rd time here (after 92-05-24 & 92-09-05) because they were good mates…

Brob

We had a blast in Europe!

Claire Sykes/Chapman

The line-up on the European dates was Claire, myself, Wal and Woody (Matthew Woodward) on drums, he was in the band for around 2 years but I don’t think we ever recorded with him.

Ian Armstrong

I remember playing at Vort’n Vis with both ‘Sofa Head’ and ‘Kito’ [94-07-10]. I have to admit that I can’t really remember much other than that…

Funny that Ian says I didn’t record with ‘Sofa Head’ because we recorded a live LP at The Square in Harlow, Essex, that came out on vinyl as a US only release. Weird that he forgot that!

Matt Woodward

93-10-02 Sofa Head' (Brugge) Joeri H (-)Claire (‘Sofa Head’) in Brugge (later that year: 2 oct ’93 @ ‘De Kelk’; with ‘Four Walls Falling’, ‘Blindfold’, ‘Feeding The Fire’, ‘Nations On Fire’ & ‘Glue’) – picture by Joeri Hoste

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 93-03-28 - (book A) Sofa Head

VV 93-03-28 - (book A) No More

additions wellcome!…