Posts Tagged ‘Vort’n Vis’

This was the second day of the grind/death Bulldozer fest, an “underground meeting with brutal death and bestial grind”, organised by Fred(eric) Driessens. The poster announces ‘Mastic Scum’, ‘Agathocles’, ‘Cornucopia’, ‘Suppository’, ‘Pleurisy’, ‘Judgement Day’, etc. The V.V. notes also mention ‘Mangled’ (Nl), ‘Necrophagist’ (Ger), ‘Disjunction’ (‘Disjunctor’) (Bel), but no ‘Agathocles’ or ‘Judgement Day’. ‘Cornucopia’ didn’t get to play because the cops shut down the concert.

[First day: Last Days Of Humanity (Nl), Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition (Fra), Catafalque (Nl), In-quest (Bel), Ectopia (Bel)]

‘Mastic Scum’ (from Vienna) was described as an “in-your-face” grindcore bands. The guys in the band: Harry Gandler (guitar), Man Gandler (drums), Steff Moser (bass) and Linga & Jesus (vocals; Will Schett joined later). The bands still exists (masticscum.com)… Thijs Van Der Spank from Katwijk-aan-Zee (The Netherlands) contacted me to arrange a gig for these Austrians. He was involved with Eurodusnie, a collective set up in 1997 (Koppenhinksteeg squat, Leiden) to organise protests against the Euro-summit in Amsterdam… The band didn’t wanna play the Hogepont-squat in Gent so I guess they ended up at the V.V. Thijs came along with them.

‘Mangled’ was a Dutch death-metal band (from Horst) with Erwin Hermsen (guitar), Floris de Jonge (drums), Harold Gielen (guitar), Loek Peeters (bass; also ‘Insult’) and Pepijn Houwen (vocals). Their album Ancient Times was recorded January 1997.

‘Necrophagist’ – a German technical death-metal band – consisted of (at that time) Muhammed Suiçmez (guitar/vocals), Daniel Silva (drums) and Jochen Bittmann on bass. They had 2 self-released tapes out.

‘Pleurisy’ (from Amersfoort, The Netherlands’) also played death-metal. They had a few tapes out and had released a split-12” (with the Germans of ‘Asgaia’) in ’96. Guitarist Alex Seegers had recorded the latter with bassist Bas van den Boogaard, drummer Edwin Nederkoorn, guitarist Axel Becker and “grunter” Mathieu van Hamersveld (or was it Johan Wesdijk mentioned in the guestbook?).

‘Suppository’ played the V.V. already half a year before this (97-05-31). They were a grindcore band from Dutch Limburg. Boris ‘Bastard’ Cornelissen (vocals), Max ‘Goulash’ Duys (bass), Rutger ‘Ragout’ Noij (drums; also ‘Catafalque’) and René (guitar) recorded their first efforts in March ‘97 (released on a split-7” with the Greek ‘Rakitis’ in ’98). The same year there was a CD with ‘Agathocles’ where Matty replaced René on guitar. More releases followed… They also did a German tour that year with ‘Cornucopia’.

‘Judgement Day’ was Dutch metal band with guitarist Theo van Eekelen. Don’t think they actually played here…

No idea who ‘Disjunction’/‘Disjunctor’ were…

In April 1998 ‘Agathocles’ recorded the tracks for the split-LP with the Brazilian ‘Deadmocracy’ in their rehearsalroom in Zichem, Belgium. During that session Vince(nt) Morre played bass, Burt Beyens hit the drums, Matías ‘Matty’ Dupont played guitar and Jan Frederickx growled. The recordings for the split-7” with ‘Abstain’ were done in September 1997 with the same line-up. If the band performed here, it must’ve been with them…

‘Cornucopia’ had already played the V.V. on 96-02-24 & 97-02-28

Brob

As far as I can remember: no ‘Agathocles’, ‘Cornucopia’ and ‘Judgement Day’, but definitely ‘Necrophagist’ and ‘Pleurisy’!

Erik Minnen, ‘Cornucopia’ vocalist

I remember this show at the Vort’n Vis, as we played the night before in Vienna (we did a small tour called ‘Hang Over tour’ with some more gigs in Belgium and the Netherlands) and drove the whole night to Belgium. We arrived in Ieper in the afternoon and then played. It was aweseome but can ‘t recall anything more, hahaha! ‘Suppository’ from the Netherlands also played.

Harry Gandler, ‘Mastic Scum’ guitarist

Quite some alcohol-conumption that night… Playing there also got us a gig in France (organised by the singer of ‘Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition’)…

Harold Gielen, ‘Mangled’ guitarist

We played our first gig outside Germany in Belgium at the Vort‘n Vis. We were headlining the gig but when we were in as 3rd or 4th, the police ended our gig because of complaints from neighbours regarding the noise-level. Details are very fuzzy. The only two things I can recall were that 1) we had to sleep in one room with all the other bands and their members and that this room was not heated/very cold and 2) the room where we played was a former barn or slaughterhouse and that you still could smell the scent of animal-excrements.

the former ‘Necrophagist’ bassist

I believe I was there but I didn’t play for ‘Agathocles’ yet… I was their ‘roadie’ the years before. To long ago to remember anything about the gig but I think Wim De Leersnijder a.k.a. ‘Herrie Kederrie’ was there…

Vincent Morre

Don’t think I was there. Can’t remember….

Wim De Leersnijder

Too long ago to remember. In retrospect, it’s kinda cool that ‘Necrophagist’ played there and later became very big. One of my all-time favourite bands.

Edwin Nederkoorn, ‘Pleurisy’ drummer

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

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‘Life But How To Live It’, from Oslo (Norway), had done a gig that Smurfpunx organised (89-03-25; with their friends of ‘So Much Hate’) and played a show in Oostende – that I booked (90-10-27) so I was very glad to be able to meet ‘em again. I really liked their rocky tuneful HC and Katja’s f-great singing (and heartfelt lyrics). The band has always been Katja Benneche Osvold (vocals), Geir Petter ‘Dyret’ Jensen (drums), Roger Andreassen (guitar) & Tom Andreassen (bass) – the brothers had been in ‘Barn Av Regnbuen’ in the 80s; later they were in ‘Drunk’ and ‘Danger!Man’. Katja teamed up with some old school punx in the band ‘Castro’.

‘Life But How To Live It’ (photo by Karl Penando)

‘Dubmerge’ reggae/roots/dub/ska collective (travellers-circuit) from the Worcester (UK) area. Their music grew into a cross-over of dub, hiphop, funk, reggae and jungle. I read somewhere there were 8 people in the band but I can ‘t remember so many people being on the tiny V.V. stage… They’d just started out by then so maybe they weren’t all there yet: Paul Knight (drums), Mark ‘Lofty’ Loughman (bass), ‘Bhima’ Steve ‘Kin-1’ McArdle (vocals), Patrick McArdle (keyboards), Jez King (guitar), ‘Cut La Vis’ Dave Lavis (percussion), ‘Powerstepper’ Colin Consterdine (guest percussion), Molara (guest vocals). As a few others that played the V.V. in their starting-period, they now do some of Europe’s biggest festivals. I know of 2 CDs they did – Wake Up! (‘96) & Greed And Glamour (’99) – on their own label Bud Urge recs. Recordings of their show in La Zone (Liège, 93-06-20) are on the tape Flat Out In Skunkland.

‘Dubmerge’

Karl Penando told me this was the day he met his partner Agnes (who he’s till together with…).

Brob

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

The V.V. archive notes mention this was a “free show”… I have a vague recollection of having a hand in getting ‘Bedlam Hour’ this gig. It was probably a last-minute arrangement…

‘Bedlam Hour’, from South Carolina, existed already since the early 80s. They did an LP (Rock The Cradle) on Kevin Seconds’ label Positive Force recs in 1987. At the time of this tour the band consisted of (I believe) Chuck Walker (started on guitar in the early 80s, later drums & vocals when drummer Scott Frey left), Adam Kolesar (bass/vocals; replaced the 1st bassplayer John Leroy) and Scott Kenneally (guitar). They played HC/punk with “catchy hooks and skillful guitar work”. I think it was Adam who contacted me to help out with a few shows when they toured… In the 90s they released Porcupine 7” (Family Fest And Friends recs, 1990), Corn Dances 7” (Manifest Soundworks, 1990) and a split-7” with ‘Stretch Arm Strong’ (Koogle recs, 1993): their song American Technology was recorded July ’93 with Derek ‘Derik’ Roddy on drums and Chuck singing. ‘Bedlam Hour’ was known for their wild live shows in which they sometimes fed the audience freshly-made snacks (made on stage with a small waffle-iron (by Adam the snack-master). Adam also often appeared on stage only wearing an adult-size diaper or dressed in a rubber chicken suit (a jacket with a bunch of rubber chickens attached to it); but in my (very vague) recollection there’s a cow-with-utter-suit…

pic taken from ‘Bedlam Hour’s Porcupine EP

‘Archbishop Kebab’, a Scottish (Edinburgh) collective playing avant-gardesque/ experimental punky stuff… “Their bass heavy sound has developed to embrace elements of dub, afro-beat and ska to their no wave frenetic post jazzcore”. They also held a “confrontational anarcho-punk perspective”. They’d formed in 1986 and did 3 albums: Yinferranodgie in ‘89, Beyond Ma Ken in ’93 and Heeliegoleerie And Scunnered (But Cheerie) in ’95 – the latter was recorded right before this tour but it was only available on tape then. This gig/tour was a while after the recording of the Beyond Ma Ken LP (March ‘92) that got out on Trottel recs (1993). I think the line-up at that time was Karen Jack (vocals/guitar/melodica/sax), Neil Bateman (guitar/mandolin/bass/vocals; also in ‘Badgewearer’), Duncan (drums), Bud (bass/guitar) & Angela (sax). There were various line-up changes; later e.g. a few people from ‘Dog Faced Hermans’ joined…

‘Archbishop Kebab’ – location/source unknown

Brob

I organised our tours. It was a long time ago though and I’ve forgotten various venues all over Europe… Neil Bateman might remember!

Karen Jack

Here’s what I remember from the Bedlam Hour European tour… As mentioned the tour was booked before the internet era; which meant a lot of overseas phone-calls. I had the ‘93 edition of Maximum Rock’n’Roll’s Book Your Own Fucking Life, which served as the template to establish a basic network to reach out across the pond. I was able to secure a couple of gigs directly through the contacts listed and then networked from there. The tour had to be relatively ‘compact’ in that we would tour for a couple of weeks given our efforts were un-supported and any door money modest at best. We focused on England, Scotland, Wales primarily as none of us speak a different language. We did venture to France (two gigs) and of course Belgium (Vort’n Vis). A couple of oddball details were the fact that we booked a tour not bringing any instruments. There were all sorts of horror-stories of bands being detained by English customs and shipped back to the USA on the next flight. I devised a plan for each band-member sitting in separate seats on the plane, even buddying up a couple of our less sophisticated travelers to withstand the customs agent’s scrutiny. I stuffed the tour itinerary in my pants as another protective measure. We reunited after we passed customs and immediately purchased guitar-strings and drum-sticks to exchange for use of instruments at each of our tour stops. I have to say our ‘sound’ was fairly variable given what instruments were available to us. There were a couple gigs where our guitarist sounded like he was playing a banjo.

The Vort’n Vis was a great, friendly gig. I certainly remember the other act given their unusual name ‘Archbishop Kebab’. Good turn out, and we were fed pretty great food. They also housed us for the night in their upstairs hostel. For breakfast: baguettes and Nutella (First time I ever had Nutella). My only regret was that I didn’t sample the famous Belgian Ales as I was pretty hardcore straight-edge at the time.

Adam Kolesar

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

‘Bedlam Hour’ – Frankenberry Mosh

unknown visiter…?

Vort’n Vis shitworkers Steph Q. & Jan C. complaining about bar-tender Steve W.

additions wellcome!…

 

Another show organised by Michael ‘Mike’ Maes…

‘Hellkrusher’ (anarcho-crust-punk from Newcastle) were touring again… They also played Belgian dates in Deurne (Antwerp), Leuven & Tessenderlo. They played a couple of times earlier (93-04-04 & 93-11-21) but the line-up had changed by then. In December ’96 they had recorded for the Doomsday Hour LP (Skuld releases/Profane Existence) with regulars ‘Scotty’ Ian Scott (guitar) & Alastair ‘Ali’ Lynn  (vocals), the old drummer Ian Curry, second guitarist ‘Scoot Gladok Von Stickleback’ (also in ‘Doom’/‘Extinction Of Mankind’) & Rob on bass.

‘Hellkrusher’ [1 = Scotty & Curry – 2 = Ali, Rob & Scoot – 3 = Ali & Rob – 4 = Rob] (source unkown)

‘Disbeer’, a crusty metal-punk band from Auch (France), were: Fred ‘Utopia’ Jourdan ‘the bomber’ (drums; ex ‘Enola Gay’ & ‘Vomit Yourself’), ‘the hammer’ (bass) and Michel Cebrian ‘the motherfucker’ (guitar/vocals; ex ‘Enola Gay’, also Reality Of War zine). Fred & Michel had been at the V.V. with ‘Enola Gay’ (95-11-05); ‘Vomit Yourself’ played on 95-02-11 an dthey would come back with ‘Disbeer’ once more (99-09-11). They had recorded for the Beer Drinkers & Hellraisers LP a few months before (March ‘97) that would come out on Panx recs…

‘Boycot’ & ‘Insane Youth’ released a split-7” in 1997…

‘Insane Youth’ were from the Sint-Niklaas area but hung out in Ghent a lot so they became mates. I liked what they were doing (musically and attitude-wise) so I did an interview for Profane Existence with them. It wasn’t their first time at the Vort’n Vis: 94-09-16 & 94-10-22 – in the original line-up: Steve ‘Stiv’ Descamps (vocals), Thomas ‘Tomaz’ Van Rumst (bass), Jan ‘Fons’ Wuytack and Tim De Baere (guitar) – and 95-09-16 & 96-05-19 with Stef De Leersnijder (ex ‘Corpus Christi’) on second guitar. They also played 98-02-13 and continued until about 1999. Steve & Stef did their first recordings with their new band ‘Visions Of War’ in December ’98.

‘Boycot’ from Alkmaar (The Netherlands) – Jeroen Maas (bass), Pim Bakker (vocals; ex ‘C.K.N.’), Lennaert Roomer (guitar), Billy Kuiper (vocals) & Taco Rietveld (drums) – had played here a couple of times already too (96-09-20 & 97-05-18)… They gained my repsect for speakin’ out against commerciality in the HC/punk scene (e.g. with the Only Stupid Bastards Help Epitaph 7” that they released through Axiome prods in 1995).

Brob

I think I remember ‘Disbeer’ actually… I have photos from this tour… We played in a cellar somewhere with ‘Chaos Bastard’. [Clockwork, in Leuven]. Someone from ‘Hiatus’ was there. At the V.V. we taught Stef the Newcastle dialect… Geordie…which he still uses whenever I meet him. My wife came with us on this tour and there are photos of myself/my wife/Stef and Annabel.

‘Scotty’ Scott

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

Another benefit for Kakak Asuh, the Indonesian education-project that Blindfold’s drummer Sacha Baelen introduced us to (see 93-02-21 & 94-04-23). Organised by Joeri Hoste (and Aaron Vyvial) who had this thing Earthwill? / Earthwell? going… Of course other shitworkers (like myself, and Kurt & David of ‘Shortsight’ e.g.) were helping out.

‘Blindfold’ had played here at the V.V. several times. Sep-Oct ‘94 they went into the studio for the World Of Fools 7” (released on Jeroen ‘Goofy’ Lauwers’ Machination recs in ’95). Also the recordings for the Astreroid 164 LP started then but that one was only mixed in ’95 to be released in ’96 (by SoberMind and GoodLife recs). My interest in the band had disappeared by then because of their distribution-deal with the commercial company GreenHell. Pity ‘cause Wim, Hans, Jan & ‘Chatn’ were mates. Mich Decruyenaere (guitar; later ‘Hitch’) played on the 1996 German tour but wasn’t on the LP; on 95-08-20 he played with his former band ‘Fungus’ at the V.V.

We’d already had ‘Peace Of Mind’ over some months before (94-11-05). The 7” on World Upside Down (Urte Böhm’s label) and Harmony recs (Ralf ‘Ballo’ Ballschmieter) was recorded in June ’96 and that was with Aga singing and Antje S. on bass. In the band here were Jobst Eggert (vocals and guitar), Berti (drums), Jörn Allert (guitar) and Claudia (bass). Jörn left somewhere in ’95 and then Arndt Buck (ex ‘Spit Acid’) played guitar.

‘Liar’ (Roeselare/Ieper area) rose from the ashes of ‘Wheel Of Progress’ (93-01-09 & 93-06-13) and did one of their 1st gigs of a long series at the V.V. (They’d been announced a couple of times but I think they had to cancel, and this might be the very first time?). They would become of the most ardent H8000 promoters. During these early days the band consisted of Hans Verbeke (vocals; also ‘Blindfold’s guitarist), Joost ‘Josh Fury’ Noyelle (guitar), Jan ‘UxJx’ Vandekerckhove (bass) and Raf (drums). They played socalled edge-metal (straight-edge metallic hardcore with non-compromising, hard-hitting lyrics). Raf (Raphael) left the band in ‘96 to do other things in life, he turned into a professional snowboarder and played in a punk band called ‘Red Lobster’, together with some ‘Spirit Of Youth’ members. From then on Bert Guillemont (ex ‘Sektor’) played the drums. The recordings (still with Raf) of their debut Falls Of Torment (released on GoodLife recs in ’96 and announced as “a mix of ‘Unbroken’ & ‘Morbid Angel’…”) happened after some 10 rehearsals and a few shows.

First appearance at the V.V. of ‘Regression’ (Menen/Roeselare) too. H8000 style, crunchy metallic (vegan) straight-edge HC: “Perhaps the most heaviest of all the ‘edge-metal’ bands: uncompromising death-metal mixed with straight-edge hardcore spirit”. They were Bjorn Lescouhier (drums, ex ‘Shortsight’; he replaced Raf -who was in ‘Liar’ too- around July 95), Kristof Taveirne (bass; nowadays in ‘Spoil Engine’), Niek Jacobsen (vocals) and ‘Stuutje’ David Decoutere (guitar). A bit later they took ‘Lookmulle’ (Davy Vanlokeren of ‘Deformity’) as second guitarist. Hans Verbeke wrote about them that they “created their own style of technical hardcore/metal with ‘Carcass’ and ‘Machinehead’ influences”; other people compared them with ‘Earth Crisis’. They recorded a demo in ’95, then did the x-Heartless-x CD on GoodLife recs (‘96) and a split-CD with ‘Breach’ from Sweden ‎followed (also GoodLife recs, ‘97).

Brob

Some info on Kakak Asuh:

from the Vort’n Vis zine Fifi #2

This gig – advertised as ‘Emo In Motion’ – was (probably) organised by Joeri Hoste. Also helping out (more or less) was Guilherme Chalmers (from Portugal) and Jurgen Desmet. Kathy Dejonghe (Genet recs, Pyrrhus store) prepared meals. ‘Symptom Of Isaac’ & ‘Churn’ were announced at one timepoint but aren’t mentioned in the Vort’n Vis notes so I reckon they cancelled.

‘Symptom Of Isaac’ was an emo band from Poitiers (with some members of ‘Milkus’): Alain Vidal (vocals; ex ‘Vanilla’ bassist), Gaël Nicolas (guitar), Fabien Decker (bass) and Antoine Demantké (drums). Weena Pauly did some vocals on a self-titled 7” (also known as Seek Me Out) that they put out on Olivier Lépine’s label Laissez-Nous Jouer (94). Later Alain Vidal formed ‘El Vidal Sonido’ with Yves Maisonneuve (drums, ex ‘Ivich’/’Vanilla’). There was also a split-tape (live ‘95) with ‘Ananda’…

‘Churn’ was also an emo band from Leuven & Limburg with Raf ‘Thrasher’ Gelenne (vocals), Peter Peumans (bass), Raf Gielen (guitar), Maarten Beckers (drums) and Jan Beckers (guitar). (The latter 3 went on as ‘Kindred’ with Walter Beckers and Eric Sefton). They had played at the Hardcore Festival already that year (95-08-20).

‘Merel’ was another emo band from New Jersey, with David A. (Dave) Leto (bass; here replaced by ‘Iconoclast’s Kevin K.; see below) and Gregg Leto (drums) – both later in ‘Rye Coalition’, Jon Ariz (guitar), Mike Solski (guitar) & José Juan Ruiz (vocals). They did a split-7” with Iconoclast on Old Glory and a 7” & LP on Charles Maggio’s label Gern Blandsten.

‘Bob Tilton’, emo-rockers (some said they played “twisted post-hardcore”) from Nottinghman, were Al(l)an Gainey (drums; ex ‘Downfall’), Chay Lawrence (guitar; also ‘Tribute’), Mark Simms (bass; also ‘Baby Harp Seal’), Neil Johnson (guitar) and Si(mon) Feirn (vocals; ex ‘Downfall’). Nick Royles announced them in his newsletter (How We Rock #6) as “similar to ‘Born Against’ & ‘Heroin’…”. The music on their Crescent LP was compared to ‘Promise Ring’ and the ‘Get Up Kids’. Around that time they had the following out, on Subjugation recs: Wake Me When It’s Springtime Again 7” (‘94), Songs Of Penknife And Pocket Watch 7” (‘95). Later there would be the Crescent LP (’96) a split-12” with ‘Reiziger (on Genet recs) and an LP on Southern recs.

‘Bob Tilton’ (pictured by Vique ‘Simba’ Martin)

I had already invited ‘Malva’ to Vort’n Vis before (94-11-05) and they’d played about half a year before this one here too (95-07-02), when they toured with ‘Policy Of 3’. I also planned to interview them for Tilt!… They had recorded the tracks for their 7” (Das Leben Ist Kein Picknick; released on Equality recs) earlier that year (April ‘95). This emo-core band (from Leverkusen) consisted of Christian Schneider (guitar), Alex(ander) Bokelmann (drums), Flo(rian) Reiss (guitar), Martino Palazzo (vocals) and Alex(ander) Jahn (bass).

It wasn’t the first time I could welcome my Parisian friends of ‘Undone’ (drummer Christophe Mora, guitarist Stéphane ‘Scholl’ Brochier, bassist Stéphane ‘Stu’ Joly and singer Sullivan ‘Sully’ Chédanne) at the V.V. either. Steph & Chris released the band’s LP Dark Future (recorded April ‘95) on their respective labels (Kleines Mädchen & Stonehenge recs) that year.

‘Rood Arch’ had played here a couple of times already aswell (94-04-23 & 94-11-19) The guys were from Lille/Dunkerque (just accross the border, in France): Pierre Anne (drums/vocals; ex ‘6 Feet Over’), ‘Tomoy’ (bass; ‘Scraps’, later also in ‘Unhinged’) & Fred (also bass; ex ‘6 Feet Over’). It’s a pity there’s no recordings of them. I only have a vague idea of them sounding emo-ish…

‘Kosjer D’, emo from Limburg, played by Arne Van Petegem (guitar/vocals), Geert Plessers (guitar/vocals), Stijn Persoons (drums; ex ‘Dawn Of Liberty’) and Kristien Hendrix (bass; had replaced Werner by then I believe). They’d performed at the V.V. a couple of times already. Having a female bassplayer in the band, they jokingly said, they could be the Belgian ‘Jawbox’… They had a 7” (True?) and LP out on Genet recs that year. In ‘96 there was the split-7” with ‘Baby Harp Seal’…

A lot of my correspondents came over… E.g. Jeffrey Kroesen visited together with a bunch of mates from the north of The Netherlands (read below). Also Mikaël ‘Mike’ Ramounet (singer of ‘Peu-Être’, and later ‘Alcatraz’) from Poitiers was there. (Don’t remember if his partner Stéphanie Courret – Opale distro – was there also.) Etc.

Brob

I was a member of ‘Tribute’, and ‘Bob Tilton’ (for about 5 years – everything apart from the first 7” and last LP), I wasn’t really in ‘Unborn’ (I only went to one or two practices) although the www seems to think I was. Don’t really have anything to share from that event other than cloudy memories. I do remember a bunch of bands played though and it might have been with ‘Merel’ or ‘Iconoclast’ who we played a bunch of shows with around the UK? Anyway, I do remember it being a good show with a large crowd.

Chay Lawrence

‘Kosjer D’ and ‘Malva’ were playing also that night. Excellent gig in very good company. I remember I was dead-tired on the way back and had to stop because I almost fell asleep behind the wheel. Couldn’t trust on the others in helping me stay awake since they were all sound asleep even before we got to Antwerp. Bastards! This was a fantastic line-up… Also the first drive with my mom’s car all the way from Friesland [North of the Netherlands] to Ieper, with a stop in Hoogeveen to pick up some people from Groningen. Because of the distance I didn’t come to Ieper often, maybe like 10 times (including 4 Ieperfests when they were still at the Vort’n Vis was) in the 90s. The first time I stayed over for the night, it was ice-cold. We kept our clothes on in our sleeping-bags.

Alex Oost

I recall that I was very impressed by ‘Bob Tilton’ and ‘Merel’. Also that it took the 5 of us a very long drive all the way from Groningen….

Mark Hoogvliet, ‘Shikari’ vocalist & Graanrepubliek recs

After the ‘Merel’ show in Ieper, I drove with them to Jaak [‘N.O.F.’ drummer] ‘s vegan store, where they slept…

Martin Schwendemann (personal communication, spring ’96)

We corresponded in the past, Brob! I had a little distro which carried your zine Tilt!. We met a few times. The ‘Bob Tilton’ / ‘Undone’ / ‘Merel’ gig was one occasion…

Jeffrey ‘Jigs Wolfsbane’ Kroesen

Because of the big strike in France, there were no trains and I couldn’t make it over…

Olivier Lacoste, ‘Öpstand’ singer, Chill Out zine (personal communication, January ’96)

I played bass on ‘Merel’s European tour because the original guy, Dave Leto, quit at the last minute to stay with ‘Rye’, later called ‘Rye Coaltion’. I have great memories of the time and I also have to thank that time for my romantic situation now because I met Lluvia in a squat in Madrid where the punks put on a ‘Merel’ show; she was involved in the organization. We became friends back then but we lost touch until 2010 – I was in NYC playing drums or bass in rock-bands but several broke up, I’d gotten fired from my job and then met up with Lluvia and figured I should take a chance. Now I’m the bass-player for ‘No Band’; Lluvia is the singer.

Kevin Kajetzke, ‘Iconoclast’ drummer

I was still in school and had to stay home…

Dave Leto, ‘Merel’s bassist

I can tell you you it was one of my personal favorites to play. I remained friends with ‘Kosjer D’s drummers Stijn and his wife Diane for a couple of years but lost touch…

Jon Ariz, ‘Merel’ guitarist

I don’t have any memories of the show as the tour was a bit of a whirlwind for us. For some reason my most vivid memory of Belgium was taking a walk and encountering people ice-skating around a Christmas-tree while it was snowing. I often think about that.

Gregg Leto, ‘Merel’s drummer

I feel my most interesting V.V. memories are of my first visits – I traveled with ‘Bob Tilton’ that played a gig there. I was (am) good friends with Nick Royles, and Ian [Simpson] and Helene [Keller] of Subjugation – we all travelled to the show.

David Allen (later ‘Voorhees’ drummer)

‘Merel’ had a woman named Lee Quick on the tour as roadie. José’s girlfriend at the time I believe. José lives in Australia nowadays…

Charles Maggio, ‘Rorschach vocalist’ & Gern Blandsten

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

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

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

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

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

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

Brob

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

Gianni Pantaloni

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

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

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

Paolo Petralia

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

Hans Verbeke

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…