Posts Tagged ‘Thumbs Down’

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

‘Thumbs Down’ (from Antwerp) played “youth crew hardcore”. If I’m correct the band consisted of Roeland De Keulenaer (bass; later replaced by Andries Beckers of ‘Diablo Blvd’), Ken (drums; since ’99 Benjamin Buschgens – later ‘The Setup’), Raf(aël) Balrak (guitar; later ‘The Setup’) and Steven Tuffin (vocals). They were also signed to Genet recs (Going For Gold 7” – with bassplayer Roeland – in ’97, No Retreat No Surrender 7” and Crossroads LP in ’99).

Barricada #2: “I was baffled by ‘Thumbs Down’ because I thought they resembled ‘Battery’. There was also a black person in the band, reminding of ‘Battery’s Ken Olden (even the guitar was the same). An even bigger surprise was when they played that great old-school ‘Bold’ cover.”

‘Thumbs Down’ (photo by Sergi E. Costa)

‘ODK Crew’ played old-school HC influenced by ‘Judge’, ‘Rise Above’, etc. They were from Oostduinkerke (Belgian coast-town). That year Hans (of Sober Mind recs) released a 7” entitled Old School vs New School. These guys were members of ‘Vitality’ (guitarist Bob Van Lierde & bassist Marc Paccou) and ‘Congress’ (drummer Ilja De Ceuleneire, singer ‘Micha’ Michael Pintelon). They reformed halfway the noughties with Lil’ Wayne (ex roadie of ‘Vitality) on vocals…

Barricada #2: “Boring old fast metal in the vein of ‘One Life Crew’.”

Metroschifter’ – from Louisville, Kentucky – did a first tour of Europe (22 days) with the band ‘Omaha’ (from Toledo, Ohio; with Dirk Hemsath of Doghouse recs) Dec ’96 – Jan ‘97. Drummer Chris(topher) Reinstatler (a.k.a. ‘The Hört’; ex ‘Transcend’) had joined the band because Mario Rubalcaba left. Mark Ritcher filled in on bass as Pat(rick) McClimans (ex ‘Endpoint’) was unable to go on the trip. But it was Brendan Bogosian who played bass on ‘Metroschifter’s August 1997 Euro tour. In June ’97 they recorded the Metroschifter 4 LP – “loud, distorted, mathematical rock”; post-HC – (released on Doghouse recs) and then came over to Europe again. The line-up here was Scott Ritcher (guitar/vocals; Slamdek recs; writer and graphic designer – kcomposite.com), Pat and Chris. Dec ’98 they came to Europe for the 3rd time; and a 4th time Dec ’99 (with Curtis Mead on bass).

Scott Ritcher (photo by Sergi E Costa)

Here’s a few words by Scott (from the zine Love, Sweat & Tears) on this:

Barricada #2: “They cleaned our dark ears and cooled the air in the hall.”

‘Intensity’, from Malmö/Lund (Sweden) played “fast, intense old-school HC à la Minor Threat”: Jonas Nilsson (guitar; later Mathias Blixtberg & Andy Dahlström, both also ‘Satanic Surfers’; works for Bad Taste), Rodrigo Alfaro (vocals; also ‘Satanic Surfers’; founder of the Putrid Filth Conspiracy label), Kristoffer Lind (bass) and Simon Ricci (drums; later Tommas Svendsen). At that time they had 2 albums our on Bad Taste recs (where Jonas & Rordrigo helped out – Bought And Sold (1996) & Wash Off The Lies (1998), and a 7” – Battered Soul – on Rodrigo’s label Putrid Filth Conspiracy. The band came back to the V.V. on 99-06-27 (because Bruno Genet recs had re-released their Bought And Sold album as a 10”)

‘Intensity’ (photographed by Sergi E. Costa)

Barricada #2: “Old school with vocals reminiscent of ‘Ignite’ but the music sounds more punk.”

‘Spirit Of Youth’ (Roeselare/Poperinge area; heart of the H8000 area) had played in there new line-up (their “second phase”, more new-school metal-HC) at the V.V. already (97-06-27). Dominiek ‘Dompi’ Denolf (guitar) & Frederik ‘Fré’ Denolf (drums), bassist Kris Casier of ‘Solid’ (who played on Source, recorded in May) was replaced by Sim Meersseman (of Strike One zine; later ‘Kingpin’) here, guitarist Vincent ‘Vince’ Theeten (a.k.a. ‘Tweet’, also Strike One zine) and Vincent ‘Marvel’ Merveillie (vocals; also ‘Resist In Pain’, ‘Lifecycle’). They would do 3 LPs: Source on Sober Mind recs (1998), a split with ‘One King Down’ ‎on GoodLife recs (1998) & Colors That Bleed on GoodLife recs (1998).

‘Spirit Of Youth’ (pic courtesy of Sergi E. Costa)

‘S.O.Y.’s ‘Marvel’ (+ ‘Lifecycle’s Sofie) (pic kindly donated by Jan Beckers)

Barricada #2: “A mix of metal and old-school. Their new album on SoberMind sounds quite good.”

‘Serene’ (from Gävle, Sweden) – Olle ‘Hård’ Johansson (drums), Petter Karlsson (bass), Fredrik Nygren (guitar), Klas Joakim Eriksson (guitar; later ‘Leiah’) and Anders Nähslund (vocals) – had been at the V.V. earler that year (97-03-30). ‘They did a split-7” with ‘Separation’ on Genet recs that year. Their LP Inward Flowering was released on the same label in ’98. “Melody-driven hardcore and screamo punk.”

Barricada #2: “The surprise of the evening. After some small technical problems, they got started… So we could fly off. A brutal emo band lead by a teenage singer who made considerable effort. Only a shame that the band didn’t talk that much.”

The band with silliest nick-names: ‘Lenny LadyLover’ Wouter Cael (bass), Bert ‘BabyNipples’ Guillemont (drums; also in ‘Liar’), Piet ‘Pete’ Cardoen (a.k.a. ‘Mousti’ or ‘Tripple Nipple’; guitar), Vadim ‘KarateKip’ Vandekerckhove (guitar) and Jeroen Therry (a.k.a. ‘KungFu Mike’ or ‘Morbid Mike’; vocals). Since they were from from “Beseloare”; Beselare, a village close to Ieper, they’d played the Vort’n Vis sevral times already (96-05-12, 96-08-17, 96-09-22). 1997 was the year Hans SoberMind released their 12”/CD Human Spots of Rust.

Barricada #2: “One of the spiritual fathers of the H8000 crew. [Oh irony!] Ultra-fast brutal metal with some aggressive dancing [see video], so we preferred staying outside where we felt safer (but it wasn’t that terrible).”

‘Blindfold’ did NOT play their last ever gig here at the ‘97 V.V. Fest. (see intro) Their set was recorded an released as Live At The Vort’n Vis on SoberMind recs. Mich Decruyenaere (ex ‘Fungus’, later ‘Hitch’) had started as 2nd guitarist; he’d already played on the band’s 1996 German tour. Most in the band were V.V. ‘shitworkers’ and practically the ‘house-band’ so they played their umpteenth set…

Wim ‘Blindfold’ (pic by JanCoert Toerse)

‘Blindfold’ (photo-shoot by Sergi E. Costa)

Barricada #2: “When hell passed away, we quickly returned inside since ‘Blindfold’, pioneers [???] of the hardcore in Belgium, started to play. The atmosphere was excellent: they played their most famous songs; music on the border of melodic HC and metal. Their performance was [NOT just yet] the last of the band’s six-year existence.”

‘Kindred’ was an SxE outfit from Limburg (metallic style of HC, often compared with ‘Unbroken’) with Jan Beckers (guitar) and Maarten Beckers (drums) – Jan was in ‘Acoustic Grinder’ (see: 93-02-27) & both in ‘Strength Of The Will’ (92-09-06 & 93-09-19) and ‘Churn’ (95-08-20); later ‘Enemy Of The Sun’, ‘Kabul Golf Club’) – Eric Sefton (vocals) & Walter Beckers (bass). Their earlier sets here (96-05-12 & 96-08-17) were with Raf Gielen playing 2nd guitar. The recordings for the LP on GoodLife recs (File 01) were done in October ’96 without Raf. The band was touring with the Americans of ‘Culture’ so there was a split out (on GoodLife recs) with tracks from ‘Kindred’s recording-session of March that year. (ad)

Barricada #2: “There were more people on stage than just the band: Belgian fans stood everywhere in-between the band-members. I couldn’t breathe so I went to out to gains some strength for ‘Liar’.”

‘Liar’ (UxJx – bass, Josh – guitar, Bert- drums & Hans – vocals) had recorded the Invictus album in Feb/March at Midas studios. There was also the split-EP with ‘Family Of Dog’ (a freebie with H8Z fanzine #5)…

Barricada #2: “Contrary to last year – when ‘Liar’ seemed to be very intolerant towards people – their performance had changed a lot and there was a new ‘Liar’ in front of us. Even the singer (‘Blindfold’s guitarist) seemed very sympathetic to me. An excellent clear sound and new songs gave the concert dynamics. The hymn Blade was sung along by perhaps all Belgians. I was so excited, the dancing was not so brutal and the band was visible from the back of the hall.”

‘Culture’ was a vegan straight-edge band from Gainesville, Florida that was active from 1992-1998. The line-up changed a number of times over the years. Stephen ‘Steve’ Looker wrote me he was the guitarist of ‘Culture’ when they were on tour with ‘Kindred’ in 1997. The CD entitled Heteronome (“chugga chugga HC”) and the Oath 7” that GoodLife recs marketed in ’97 was recorded with Steve (also ‘Morning Again’), Jason Dooley (drums), Gordon Tarpley (bass; also in ‘As Friends Rust’), Rich Thurston (guitar) and Damien Moyal (vocals; also ‘Shai Halud’, ‘Morning Again’, ‘As Friends Rust’) – the guys who were on this tour.

Damien ‘Culture’ (pic by JanCoert Toerse)

commodification…

Barricada #2: “They started with songs from Born Of You [1995 album on Conquer The World recs], followed by tracks from the split with ‘Kindred’. Towards the end, it got too hot on the stage: dozens of people packed together on a few square meters. They also played new things from the last mCD [Heteronome; which GoodLife released right before the fest] and when the microphone broke (it was astonishing that it lasted so long), they played the last song on this tour (They ended their summer-tour with ‘Kindred’ here in Ieper.): the older song Deforestation – the whole crowd sang and the vocalist could do nothing else than climb the iron girders that supported the roof, and watch the hell below him. Highlight of this Saturday night.”

Brob

I remember playing the Vort’n Vis in 1997 with ‘Culture’ on tour with ‘Kindred’.

Stephen ‘Steve’ Looker, ‘Culture’ guitarist

I didn’t do the first euro tours… I started the band but left shortly after we recorded the ‘Kindred’ split but currently I’m in ‘Culture’ again… Jason Dooley was on the 97/98 tours.

Joshua Williams, ‘Culture’

I played the Vort’n Vis twice with ‘Culture’ in both 1997 and 1998, and it was everything a hardcore punk show should be: sweaty, intense, crowded. I remember the stage being over-run with people singing along, and there was barely room to play. The height of the stage was perfect, the setting was perfect, the era was thriving. I’ll never forget those shows.

Damien Moyal

I remember I had to work and regretted I couldn’t stay. I do recall being very impressed by ‘Abhinanda’ [the day before]. It might be the day when ‘Vinnie’ said someone lost their clock and he’d found it: it was one of those giant clocks hanging on the wall… Vincent wore his giant nerdy specs. At the end of our set, I sang this song… Together In The Sand…? By ‘NoFX’…? No sure if it was then? We did so many gigs. And of course I a lot of had fun… Ah, and I assume there were loads of people sleeping at our house. My mom sometimes couldn’t open the door because our living-room was full of people.

Fred Denolf, ‘S.O.Y.’

Our show here is partly on the H8000 DVD. The venue was packed and loads of people were diving and singing along. The best time we ever played there. The video shows everyone from the scene standing around us really, all colleague’s bands. It’s shot from the rear of the stage, in the direction of the crowd…

Dominiek Denolf, ‘S.O.Y.’

97-08-16 was the first time we met the overly tattooed guys from ‘Endstand’. Great guys! We also hung out with the ‘Serene’ guys. I think we played another gig with them two days later at some small club. Awesome band! I think we were well taken care of at the festival but I don’t remember any details. I do recall that there was a disturbing number of pro-violence vegans everywhere. Guys with tank-tops, lots of muscles and a really bad attitude. And lots of Milk Is Murder shirts. It would surprise me greatly if any of them is still vegan today. They were just bullies looking for a fight, people who could just as easily have been nazi-skins or gay-bashers if they had grown up in a different environment. During our gig there was an extremely violent mosh-pit, where lots of people who had travelled a long way to see us couldn’t get near the stage. It was, of course, the well-muscled guys with shaved heads and tank-tops that were violent. I’m all for a little craziness in the pit but these guys were just nasty. Like entering the pit with a fly kick, hard. Idiots. Rodrigo, our singer, told them to calm down, or we would leave the stage. Anyway, macho assholes aside, the place was cool and I had a good time.

Simon Ricci, ‘Intensity’

That show is etched in my memory as the most intense show ever. The response and the commitment grabbed me by the throat. I still know that I looked at Vadim who was going berserk. Our sets weren’t ever quite long but I always gave myself completely. That time it was as if I could keep going, purely on adrenalin. I will never forget this! Thanks to the Vort’n Vis and everyone that was there that day.

Jeroen Therry, ‘Sektor’

That ‘Triple Nipple’ thing in the guestbook doesn’t ring a bell but it could be about me…

Piet Cardoen, ‘Sektor’

I remember the HC fest quite well; it was still in the ‘barn’. There’s a live LP from our show there. The shack was packed to the top of the roof, 35 degrees, people piled together and on top of these more people :-) Good times. I recall being mega-psyched about the fact that ‘Metroschifter’ was playing; I was already a big fan of that band.

Mich Decruyenaere, ‘Blindfold’

It was really super-hot that day, my lower lip was slightly lacerated because someone from the audience accidentally jumped against my mic. It was really wild in front and on stage. After the show I immediately got of the stage ‘cause I felt like passing out. Dead tired! It was also the lasts show of the ‘Culture’/’Kindred’ tour.

Eric Sefton, ‘Kindred’ vocalist

August ’97 was the only time I went out with ‘Metroschifter’; 5 weeks: Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic and England (but the dates in England got cancelled so we just hung out). The bassist at the time (I don’t recall who it was; Pat maybe?) had a family-emergency and could not go on that tour. I was friends with Chris (‘The Hört’) and he asked me a few weeks before they were leaving if I would like to jump on bass! I had to learn a bunch of songs real quick, and rush to get a passport!

Brendan Bogosian

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

 

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‘Hundred Years Of Forgetting’ was a project of Vincent ‘Pit’ Maes with a few people from Deinze. They only did a few shows. [Brob: They are in the guestbook but not really sure if they played. ‘Pit’ was the singer of ‘Instinct’. ‘Hundred Years Of Forgetting’ also played at the 1999 Ieperfest and their music was described as “rocking slomo emo HC”…]

Pedro Tallieu, ‘Instinct’

According to the V.V. notes this gig was again arranged by ‘xSchmitterSx’ (Stijn Desmyter from Oostnieuwkerke)…

‘Thumbs Down’ had played already on 97-08-17 (The Next Generation festival). They were from Antwerp and played “youth crew hardcore”. I believe in the band at that time were Roeland (bass; later replaced by Andries Beckers of ‘Diablo Blvd’), Ken (drums; since ’99 Benjamin Buschgens – later ‘The Setup’), Raf(aël) Balrak (guitar; later ‘The Setup’) and Steven Tuffin (vocals). They were also signed to Genet recs (Going For Gold 7” – with bassplayer Roeland – in ’97, No Retreat No Surrender 7” and Crossroads LP in ’99). They also performed at the ’98 & ’99 fests….

‘Clouded’, a metal-core band from Antwerp (Kontich), were: Björn Van Loy (bass), Jeroen Verelst (vocals), Serge ‘Serch’ Carriere (drums) and Wout Bosschaert (guitar; replaced Kurt). Their 7” Inheritance was released by Genet recs in 1998. They also played at the ’97, ’98 & ’99 fests…

‘Rain’ (from Antwerpen/Edegem) played post-rock, emo metalcore, with sluggish guitar-riffs and manic vocals: Mark Kram (vocals), Joris Van Haute (bass), Sven Leys (guitar) & Jeroen Taeymans (drums). They had self-released their album Redeem The Monsters ‎(1997) under the name Redeem The Monsters And Kill The Beast recs…

Locals ‘Lifecycle’ had been on the V.V. stage a bunch of times before and it wouldn’t be their last. In a letter from May ’98, Sofie (‘Lifecycle’s vocalist) mentions that their bassist Jurgen Degryse had quit the band. His last show was May ’98. He was replaced by Maarten Kinet (who later played for ‘AmenRa’)… When he left Peter Leuwers joined… And later there was Céline Delqueux and then Jelle Dobbelaere…

‘Sorehead’ (from Ieper) had already played the V.V. several times. They were Laurent ‘Lorre’ Peene (vocals; R.I.P.), Dries Verclyte (bass), Pieter Derycke (drums), Jan Lazeure (guitar; he’s not in the guestbook and might’ve quit for half a year [According to Dries he’s always been in the band…]) and Pieter Desmyter (guitar). Steve Noyelle describes their music as resembling ‘Sektor’. The music on their demo sounded metal-influenced and the vocals were raw & aggressive.

‘Symbiont’ and ‘Mindfist’ were Belgian bands but I’ve got no recollections of them…

Brob

I’ve also played at the V.V. with ‘Before Machine’ (with Serge ‘Serch’ Carriere of ‘Clouded’ / ‘The Setup’ / ‘Bear’)… The excerpt in the guestbook was done by our singer Mark. Our CD was released on the 1997 Ieperfest. [Brob: It was still called HardCore – The Next Generation festival; no trace of ‘Rain playing there…]

‘Mindfist’ was with singer Kevin Heynen, who’s in ‘Shirley’s Locker’ nowadays…

Sven Leys, ‘Rain’ guitarist

I joined ‘Thumbs Down’ in ‘99! I replaced Roeland De Keulenaer.

Andries Beckers

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

vv-98-05-10-book-c-rain

vv-98-05-10-book-c-lifecycle

vv-98-05-10-book-c-sorehead

vv-98-05-10-book-c-symbiont

vv-98-05-10-book-c-hundred-years-of-forgetting

additions wellcome!…

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

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

Brob

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

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

Sven Leys, ‘Rain’s guitarist

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

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

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

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

Here’s a few random memories:

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

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

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

Christian Mix-Linzer (Outlet recs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

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

‘Roman vegan sXe legion’

militant… or hardline…?

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

additions wellcome!…

 

98-08 HC - Next Generation (intro)

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

Brob

98-08 Vortn Vis Fest

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

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

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

Philipp Smeh (Austria), personal communication Nov ‘98

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

Stig Koppen

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

2001 Stack Propganda flyer VV

This was the first time I went to this Fest!

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

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

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

additions wellcome!…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brob

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vincent de Roguin, Genève

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

Michael Kopijn, Groningen

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

Peter Hoeren, Crucial Response recs

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

Photos courtesy of Vincent de Roguin:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rafael Brazuna

additions wellcome!…

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

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

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

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