A few months before ‘Lärm’ had played a gig in my hometown [see Non-Smurfpunx concert-list * Marbel, Tielt, 28 mar 87 (Lärm)]; “One of the best we ever did!”, Menno wrote then. They sure had left an impression! I interviewed them for my zine Tilt! (by mail, cause they were “too tired to talk” after their show in Tielt) and I wanted to ask ‘em over as soon as possible. The others of the collective were not all that keen for their “noise” anymore – even though they had played fot Smurfpunx before – but I knew there was so much more to ‘Lärm’ than just that so we did invite them again… Or was it someone else (Michel DC)? Anyway, the guys from Amersfoort had become good friends and Paul & me were running a very busy correspondence.
As one can see, there’s no mentioning of Smurfpunx on the flyer. It started more as a personal initiative of Michel DC (the later ‘dissident’) but of course some other Smurfpunx-volunteers helped out… It was set up as a ‘DoeWatDag’ (‘Do Something Day’), where thought-provoking activities (unfortunately not everyone got active) were offered alongside more-or-less political bands. There were info-stalls, the movie ‘Suburbia’ (about the ‘punk lifestyle’ and squatting) was shown, some performance/theatre,…
This was also the first time I got to meet ‘So Much Hate’ live. I think it was Armin (‘Skeezicks’ & X-Mist recs) who introduced me to them. Great people (guitarist Børre Løvik, drummer Finn-Erik Tangen, bassist Per-Arne Haugen and singer Gunnar Nuven, who still was with Ute at that time); Gunnar and me would start a correspondence and I’ld distribute records from his X-Port Plater label. The start also of a long-lasting cooperation with Norwegian bands and the Blitz-scene.
‘Violent Mosquitos’ were a trio from Aalst, the combo of our collaborator Frank ‘drank’ [Frank ‘booze’] who was almost single-handedly decimating the weekly supply of Safir pils [local brewery at that time]… Okay, I’m exaggerating…a bit.
‘Ignition’ was a Dischord band with Ian MacKaye’s brother Alec and Chris Bald (both formerly in ‘Faith’), Dante Ferrando (‘Gray Matter’) and Chris Thomson (‘Soulside’)… The next day they also played in Scherpenheuvel.
We left Amsterdam for Belgium after our show at Labyrinth, which was a club in a squatted anatomy college. First we had to drop off the van we drove down from Oslo because it had a cracked water-jacket and was barely running. We left it with a guy who was squatting an entire shipyard outside Amsterdam who offered/agreed to rebuild the engine. All ten of us (‘So Much Hate’ and ‘Ignition’, plus Ute, the tour mastermind and Bret the surprise roadie) piled into the De Konkurrent van. It was a rough drive.
We arrived in Aalst at 8:30 a.m. and found the hall, a community-centre [actually an independent centre for ‘alternative culture’] called Centrum Netwerk. The people were incredibly nice. We got fed and did brief radio interviews [Radio Katanga]. The show was amazing. Four bands – us, ‘So Much Hate’, ‘Lärm’ from Amsterdam [actually Amersfoort] and ‘Violent Mosquitos’ played to about four-hundred people. There was an alternative bazaar, of sorts, with records and other stuff for sale, as well as some poets and a screening of Penelope Spheeris’ movie ‘Suburbia’. It was strange to see all those kids sit down and seemingly soak in the movie as if it was reality – when it was pretty corny Hollywood fantasy…
People came by train from all over, sort of taking over the town-centre. There were a couple of guys from Venice Beach, California that we met before the show when one of them said to me: “Oh you speak American – that’s cool”. They turned out to be pretty embarrassing examples of American youth abroad when the show got underway. I think they were jacked up by seeing that fictional movie. The show ended early, so people could catch trains home.
We drove to Scherpenheuvel, about an hour away, to stay at Werner’s grandmother’s house. When we arrived, she looked a little unhappy and her house seemed small and tidy, so I thought for sure she was going to kick us out and/or call the police. Instead she smiled and patted us on our heads and made sure we all had comfortable sleeping arrangements. We woke up to fresh strong coffee and delicious bread.
Alec MacKaye (‘Ignition’ vocalist)
This was a great event, as usual we took the train from Bruges and arrived in the afternoon, just in time to catch the film ‘Suburbia’ and all the bands… Since we always travelled by train, we had to get the last train home, so sometimes we missed the last band (missing ‘Napalm Death’ was a big disappointment back in those days) but this time we caught all bands… ‘Violent Mosquitos’ did a good warm up but we really got excited to see ‘Lärm’ again, we already caught them in Tielt with ‘Heibel’ (that show in Tielt was my first punk/HC show I attended or was it ‘Government Issue’ in Scherpenheuvel?… I was 16-17 at the time… Anyway ‘Lärm’ blew our heads off with their high-octane, super-fast noise-core. ‘Ignition’ seemed quite dark and distant compared to other bands but I was really into it… Alec MacKaye seemed hypnotised (or stoned?) but I remember him leaping offstage and hitting me headfirst in my stomach… ‘So Much Hate’ were a great band. All in all a great day, with lots of little info-stalls, veggie food…
Steve ‘Sling’ (‘Chronic Disease’)
Kim in her ‘zine Durty Skum #21: >>Aalst is becoming a weekly meeting-spot for me. This time I went over there for the ‘DoeWatDag’; mainly to see the movie ‘Suburbia’ and ‘So Much Hate’. The whole thing started at 1 p.m. with the movie. The first band was ‘Violent Mosquitos’ – they had to interrupt their set 3 times because there were some riots in the venue with a few nazipunx from Brussels. The crowd managed to get them out. ‘V.M.’ sound good musically, there also not afraid to move – unlike many other bands. However, I thought they went too far by putting a flame to a big piece of paper with ‘No Debt’ on it and shouting that they were a bunch of fascists! That’s totally wrong: why would they take a coloured drummer!? Oh well, anyone gets it wrong from time to time… In-between bands there were all kinds of stalls with info to visit. Then there was ‘Lärm’ who still sound as fast as ever and have a lot of influence on the audience. After them came ‘So Much Hate’ from Norway; their singer who splashed me twice with his sweaty hair. A drawback was that the vocals could hardly be heard. Still, there was a lot of dancing going on. The last band was from America. Their singer seemed drunk and asmathic: he fell over every 5 minutes; so I didn’t dare to ask for an interview. Instead I joined the Vikings upstairs…<<
Here’s ‘Lärm’ on stage (spot the frantic Kockie); courtesy of Nathalie Guyot, photographed by Bart Van Mulders:
‘So Much Hate’ (courtesy of Agna & Gunter Vaes):
‘So Much Hate’ (courtesy of Mike Du Bois):