Smurfpunx

10/12/2009

88-06-25 (Netwerk) R.K.L. – Squandered Message – Atavistic – [Chronic Disease] – Belgian Asociality

Smurfpunx (Aalst 88, RKL) bis

I definitely remember the fantastic show of R.K.L., where I lost a sole of one of my shoes while pogoing: it just got ripped off… Haha: I had to spend the rest of the evening on a beer-soaked sock…

Dirk C.

I found ‘R.K.L.’ not bad but at that time more some sort of fad-of-the month band for the kind of kids who are a bit into HardCore for a year or so before getting into yuppie-dom. ‘Squandered Message’ from Berlin were good. I can’t remember ‘Atavistic’s performance that evening while ‘Chronic Disease’ was just another crossover-clone. This was the very last Smurfpunx-gig that I helped to organise. It was quite a mess on the day itself because ‘R.K.L.’ had blown their guitar-amps on a gig in Germany the night before and we had to find other adequate ones on the last moment.

That evening, in the small meeting-room on the second floor, long held-back frustrations within Smurfpunx exploded as well.

Duco

Yes, I remember ‘Rich Kids on LSD’ as being cocky (no not ‘Kockie ‘- smile) very good musicians, but just a ‘fun’ band. Superb music! About 500 people (a swirling crowd) showed up to witness ‘R.K.L.’s wild rock’n’core. At first this day was planned for Homburg (Ger) in their tour-schedule but the youth-centre there burned down… And their gig in Leuven (then with touring support ‘No Allegiance’ – from Berlin; the tour was organised by David Pollack) was stopped after 3 songs (the owner of the venue shut down the electricity as demanded by the cops), that’s probably why so many people turned up. Nice guys without any pretensions. We managed to get things started at 4 pm and the ‘Rich Kids’ left the stage around 10.30 pm; too soon for the cops to bust in… The band, at that time, was (I think): vocalist Jason Sears (R.I.P.), bassist Joe Raposo, guitarists Barry Ward & Chris Rest, and the funny and hyper-active Richard Anthony ‘Bomer’ Manzullo (R.I.P.) on drums (who I think was wearing the cap of the cartoon-character featured in the booklet of their ‘Rock’n’Roll Nightmare’ album).

‘Squandered Message’ (also from Berlin; supported them at that part of the tour) was our good pal Flo’s band. ‘Atavastic’? I would have to listen back to their vinyl but if I remember well kinda anarcho-crusty. ‘Chronic Disease’ crossover? No way! Grind/crust, I would say, with a definite political message. They played another Smurfpunx-concert: they had to cancel this one because of exams. Their drummer Sling went on to play in many other bands and is now in ‘Soulwax’…

In stead of ‘C.D.’ the fun-core act ‘Belgian Asociality’ played… At that time, singer Mark tells me (see below), the band consisted of Tom Lumbeeck (bass), Chris Raffo (drums) & ‘Vlie’ (a.k.a. Patrick Van Looy) (guitar).

The frustrations Duco mentions were there. For some more or earlier than others. I went on a while longer but would quit later aswell…

Part of the profits of this one was going to the reconstruction of the local hangout/pub for youngsters that housed various leftist organisations, ‘Koerke’, that was set on fire (probably by an extreme right group)…

Brob

Actually we (‘Chronic Disease’) didn’t play that day. We were replaced by ‘Belgian Asociality’! The only gig C.D. played in ‘Netwerk’ was with ‘Spermbirds’.

Leffe

‘R.K.L.’, pictures by Kockie:

For more pics: Netwerk, Aalst, 25 jun 88 (R.K.L., Squandered Message, Atavistic) photos

RKL (Kokie) 1x

RKL (Kokie) 2x

RKL (Kokie) 3x

RKL (Kokie) 4x

RKL (Kokie) 5x

It was a really good gig for us and probably our biggest crowd ever, although they weren’t there to see us, of course. We also really enjoyed the atmosphere and the set-up there, and ‘R.K.L.’ were superb, as I recall. I constantly sang the praises of the Belgium scene and Aalst in particular for many years afterwards, as the organisation was excellent – very ‘professional’ and a great venue.

I don’t think we were very well received – I do remember some of the folk in the front rows asking us to tell them the names of the songs and what they were about as we didn’t ever speak between songs or introduce them. I have a few photos of us that someone took and very kindly forwarded… Our tour of Belgium only consisted of 3 gigs in the end. We did plan a couple more but ran out of money, our car was playing up and we had nowhere to sleep for 3 nights. The last gig was in a tiny venue, actually quite a good set for us but a very strange one (seemed to be very isolated and not many people around to sustain it). Steve ? was the local organiser who booked the shows for us – a great guy, and we did let him down a bit by missing the last couple of gigs, although I do have to plead that we were struggling to get by, and no food and nowhere to stay was difficult for us. This was during the earlier part of our existence and we continued for another couple of years after this – probably 20 more gigs and an album before we ended up all moving away from each other (I now live north of Edinburgh), with Patrick (McKernan; bass) in Brighton and John (Brenchley; drums, R.I.P.) living in London.

John’s death (he got killed in 1999 by a drunk driver in London) was a very tragic and terrible time for all of us and I couldn’t really ever seriously consider using the ‘Atavistic’ name again. I don’t think that Patrick would be interested either – and he is a very long way away (500 miles+) so unlikely that this would ever occur. There was a CD to accompany Ian Glasper’s book, which contains a previously unreleased ‘Atavistic’ track which we demo-ed but never used (and which sat in my attic on an old C60 cassette for over 15 years), so a real sense of closing the circle off. I have to admit that it has got me seriously thinking about bands again and I have been peeling off crusty riffs on my guitar for months, probably have enough to put some decent songs together if I could find some folk to play with, some local crusties of reasonable musical competence looking to form something. Not sure if the name ‘Atavistic’ would ever come back to life but in spirit and in sound it would roll back 20 years, and produce the spiritual follow-up to the first album! It’s probably a bit sad that a 45 year old would be starting bands and making a racket again…

As for me, I’m still HC, still veggie and sXe but have ‘slipped’ into family-life. Musical tastes are very similar, consisting of super-fast hardcore and metal with a political edge, but as you would expect, with a rural community and no scene here to speak of I am a bit isolated!

Jeremy ‘Jez’ Upcroft, guitar/vocals for ‘Atavistic’

insert of ‘Atavistic’s 7″ ‘Equilibrium’

This is definitely a gig I remember; Chris, our drummer has recollections of it as well. It was our 4th performance, actually the first concert we played without ‘Ear Damage’; before that they had they had taken us on tow in order to allow us a piece of the cake. I recall there was quite a lot of people at the venue and that suddenly the lights went dead during our set. But that didn’t bother us and we kept on doing our thing in the pitch-dark; when the lights went on again after a minute or so, the whole audience had turned into an enormous whirlpool of people pogo-ing, a stampede and a pell-mell of people. We were watching it with open mouths: “What the hell is!? Heavy!”. I can still remember that image vividly. It was also the evening that we ran into Dirk of Punk etc. and gave him our demo-tape to have a listen to. A few weeks later we were in Heist-op-den-Berg, in the Swan-studio recording our first lp.

Mark Vosté (‘Belgian Asociality’ vocalist)

What Mark describes, that was awesome. For a moment the light was gone, a lot of clamor and we didn’t know what was going on. When the lights went back on there was one hell of a mosh-pit, enough to get a hard-on. Another thing I recall was that ‘R.K.L.’s bassist or guitarist was allergic to his own sweat: his body was full of red patches. Pretty impressive for the young bloke I was then… ;-)

Tom Lumbeeck (‘Belgian Asociality’ bassplayer)

88-06-26 gig-review Genocide #6gig-review in Genocide #6 (Bert Gysemans):

>>First on were ‘Belgian Asociality’, one of the better and definitely funnier bands from what’s on offer regarding Belgian HC, an offer that certainly is not inferior to that of foreign countries, to be a tad chauvinist. They played all their hits in a row and that was catching on, even being the first band. Pity of the few misunderstandings regarding the stage-lights. ‘Atavistic’, a British band, produced decent HC with a firm dash of grindcore (Bert was ready to take up his censorship-pen). Most of the songs were lasting a bit too long though and for such a genre that gets boring easily. ‘Squandred Message’, from the West-side of the Berlin wall, brought us a hip guitar-sound, seemingly borrowed from the S.S.T.-corral. Sometimes interspersed with a bit too experimental piecs but for the rest more than OK. The ‘Rich Kids On LSD’ (‘R.K.L.’) were tripping for more than an hour, they made up for their hangover-blunder at the Leuven gig. There’s hardly anything bad to mention, it was an excellent gig. We’ll reamin silent about their noble HC and punk ideals. The audience was going out of their mind, the temperature was rising and the oxygen-level went down. Joe (bassist) was deservedly called back for a few encores. I was (again) glad that there’s carpet at Netwerk; ideal for HC gigs.<<

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7 Comments »

  1. Oh well, I’m probably confusing ‘Chronic Disease’ with another band. What do you want: so many bands and gigs and after 20 years… :-)

    Comment by Duco — 10/19/2009 @ 20:25

  2. A friend of mine went to some kind of old-style punk extravaganza in Blackpool recently and really enjoyed it, and I see why he goes and what this does for him. I’ve never really liked a lot of old Brit punk and was amazed that so many of these bands are still going, with members well into their 50s. I’ve no idea if there’s any new material being produced here but it does seem to be a popular festival and has been running for a few years, so good luck to them, I guess.

    Comment by Jeremy Upcroft — 10/02/2011 @ 14:23

  3. Saw some great bands in Netwerk back then. Was very impressed by ‘R.K.L.’, especially the bass-player’s performance was ‘in your face’
    Never thought of seeing pics again from those days. Thanx

    Comment by Zouf — 05/29/2012 @ 14:55

  4. ‘Atavistic’ were always great. I saw them loads of times in East Kent, England; not really crusty but total HC. E.K.H.C. (East Kent HardCore)
    R.I.P. John Brenchley

    Comment by John Yardley — 08/04/2012 @ 15:52

  5. ‘Squandered Message’ interview (1988)

    Comment by smurfpunx — 02/26/2016 @ 17:01


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