Smurfpunx

11/30/2009

88-10-16 (Democrazy) Fugazi – Loveslug – Yeastie Girlz

During all those years organising concerts and tours, I cooperated with a lot of people (promoters is such an ugly word); some of them took of in another direction (away from D.I.Y., more commercial) and that sometimes caused (quite) a bit of friction… We’d been offered a bunch of intersting bands by ‘Konkurrent’ (a label/tour-promoter in Amsterdam) so when they did the first European tour for “The new band with ‘Minor Threat’/Dischord’s Ian MacKaye.” (but we didn’t put that on the poster ), we wanted to try that (didn’t want to just hype them), even though I was already putting question-marks behind ‘Konkurrent’ and ‘Dischord’ (read the columns in my zine ‘Tilt!). They definitely sounded refreshing an innovative. The crowd liked it very much. The people in the band were also very friendly: no arrogance, really down-to-earth and intelligent.  It was an afternoon-show because they had a 2nd  show in A’dam later that day. I tried to have a conversation about the D.I.Y. thing with Ian after dinner but after sitting/talking on the stairs to the backstage for only a little while, he was already called away to leave for their second gig… I had the impression he didn’t really want to talk about this…

Since ‘Netwerk’ was not available (we had a lot of show-dates going and the people running the venue wanted to do other things from time to time), we thought of trying to make a deal with one of the ‘indie’ venues in Gent. At that time they were located in an old run-down cinema/theatre on the outskirts of town and we knew some people there. The flyer says ‘Smurfpunx & Democrazy present’ but we did the whole thing, they just let us use the venue. It was a wonderful concert buy sadly enough only about 130 people showed up. ‘Fugazi’ was not that well-known yet but still, if we could’ve done in ‘Netwerk’ I think there would’ve been 300-400… At that time ‘Fugazi’ were: Ian MacKaye (vocals, guitar), Guy Picciotto (vocals, guitar), Joe Lally (bass) & Brendan Canty (drums).

We had more friends in A’dam… A few years before, while still organising in my hometown, I’d set up a gig for ‘Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers’ from Italy. That’s how I got to know their enigmatic singer Syd Migx. Later he ended up in A’dam and ‘teamed up’ with the outgoing Canadian Lorelei. They also did tour-promotion and we worked with them regularly too. Syd also sang for ‘No Pigs’ a while… Maybe a combination of all this  is how we got to ask ‘Loveslug’ (“the new ‘B.G.K.’, also from A’dam”). [A promo for their debut-album announces them as “Veterans of the Amsterdam HC/punk-scene who were in ‘B.G.K.’, ‘Outrageous’ and ‘Funeral Oration’.”.] It’s also possible that Tony ‘Nitwit’ (Leeuwenburgh, ex-‘B.G.K.’, singer and lead-guitarist) had send me a copy of their then newly released ‘Slug ‘em All’ album that needed promotion… ‘Loveslug’ played kind of early 70s rock in the vein of ‘MC5′ and ‘Stooges’. Besides Tony, the band was: Mike De Veer (bass, ex-‘Funeral Oration’), Frank Sloos (drums, ex-‘Outrageous’) & Oekel Brenzev (guitar).

During the X-mas holidays that year, a bunch of us Smurfpunx stayed over at the ‘Van Hall’ squat where Syd & Lorelei resided. [see: Smurfpunx @ Van Hall, Amsterdam] At that time Joyce and Cammie from the ‘Yeastie Girlz’ were living there too. We got to see them perform again. (Later Mokka and myself visited them when we were in San Francisco.) I think we’d only just read about the ‘Yeastiez’ at the time we were asked to book a show for ‘Fugazi’. Probably the ‘Konkurrent’ people suggested that the ‘Y.G.’ (“feminist a capella rapping”) would perform aswell because a whole bunch of people from Amsterdam were coming over. We agreed and they were the ‘surprise act’! And they were to come back!!!

Brob

A very memorable show and my first visit to Democrazy. The ‘Fugazi’ show was emotional and intense. The ‘Yeastie Girlz certainly helped lighten the mood with tongue-in-cheek political lo-fi hiphop… My memory of ‘Fugazi’ was that they weren’t as approachable or friendly compared to other bands in those days… But it only strengthened their identity and added to their mystique. Musically they were on their own path, which I still respect.

Steve ‘Sling’

I do have fond memories of the years spent in Amsterdam and with the ‘Yeastie Girlz’. Specific shows [e.g. Gele Limonade, Aalst, 21 jan 89 (Yeastie Girlz)] are difficult to pin-point out of the memory-banks as most of them were spent intoxicated as liquid courage was a necessity for me to get in front of a bunch of men that were quickly insulted or pissed off by our lyrics.

My fondest of memories has to be whenever a group of girls would come to the shows and show us moral and other support for what we wanted to express. Although very funny we obviously were verbalizing problems and issues that most of us young girls at that time & even now would otherwise not express or admit to. Being able to have them relate to our songs and some of these serious problems we ‘rapped’ about and also identify with them also helped us personally realize that we had comrades in our personal and social battles, we were not alone. If we were able to help and/or open up the eyes of just a few of our sisters and brothers out there to our feminine woes, this would definitely be the fondest of all memories.

Joyce J. (‘Yeastie Girlz’)

‘Yeastie Girlz’ Cammie, Kate & Joyce

Interesting to read about those shows. I was travelling by myself in Sept-Oct 1988: hitchhiking through Amsterdam, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway. I didn’t stay too long in any one place: a great week in Oslo (staying at the house of Katja, who was just starting ‘Life But How to Live It’, and participating in a march to save Blitz, the autonomous community-centre, where ‘Stengte Dører’ played on a truck throughout the march) and maybe a week in Lübeck and 4-5 days each in Göttingen, München & Berlin (including a memorable visit to East Berlin on the subway). I didn’t meet any squatters in Amsterdam or attend any shows, I was hanging out there only for a couple of days with a Dutch medical student friend who I met in Mexico. I did not meet up with Cammie, Joyce or Kate during my travels. A few times I arrived somewhere soon after they had left but we never crossed paths and weren’t in touch while in Europe. This was before the days when everyone had e-mail, of course. I had been in Nicaragua January-April 1988 and was really in a different place in my life at that point. I was fine with the Yeasties continuing without me, I didn’t really feel a part of it at that moment. I was also not much into drinking and partying which seems to have been a big component of the scene for a lot of people. In the summer of 1989 I moved to NYC.

Jane G.

[Brob: When Jane went off to Central-America for a few months (1988), Kate joined the ‘Y.G.’. Joyce & Cammie took off to Europe where Jane was travelling. When the latter returned to the Bay Area, Cammie, Kate & Jane recorded the 7″ for Lookout records. Joyce was living in the Netherlands and Cammie went to Europe and met up with her there, and Cammie & Joyce toured Europe as the ‘Yeastie Girlz’, opening for ‘Loveslug’. When Cammie “couldn’t possibly eat any more patat friet”, she went back to San Francisco and Kate took her place in Amsterdam, touring with Joyce and the boys of ‘Loveslug’. Soon afterwards the Yeasties carried on their separate lives, until around 1992 when ‘Consolidated’ asked to record a Yeastie song with the girlz. Cammie and Kate were still in the Bay Area at that point and adopted Wendy-O Matik to round out the vocals on the track, ‘You Suck’. Jane lives in NYC, where she played/s in ‘Growing Up Skipper’, ‘Profits of Misery’, ‘Joda’, ‘Huasipungo’.]

Some ‘Fugazi’-shots by ‘Kockie’:

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11/15/2009

89-06-03 (Netwerk) Napalm Death – S.O.B. – Agathocles

Filed under: NOT Smurfpunx — Tags: , , , — smurfpunx @ 17:59

Definitely NOT a Smurfpunx concert!

People might think it was because it was in ‘Netwerk’ but it wasn’t… After their first passage with ‘Ripcord’ in ’87, N.D. took a more commercial course  (They refused 2 dates through independent people that I offered them and decided to work with a booking-agency.) and most of the Smurfpunx-crew didn’t want to get involved with them anymore. (There were also stories about sexual harrassment from some of the women in Smurfpunx; rumours about gay-bashing & homophobia from people in the UK.) There was some kind of a schisma and Michel De Cock went on to do his own shows (mostly death-metal oriented) seperately from Smurfpunx. Because he is from Aalst, he tried to continue working with ‘Netwerk’ too… This N.D. gig was with ‘S.O.B.’ from Japan.

Because of my criticism towards N.D. (e.g. writing “Commercialism Sucks” on their posters), these were not too happy, to say the least. That same night, I was attending the bar at ‘De Gele Limonade’ (pub in the same street as ‘Netwerk’, where we bands playing our shows could sleep; in return the Smurfpunx-crew attended the bar from time to time). After their concert, some of the N.D. guys, who were informed I was there, came to pay a ‘visit’… They started to intimidate me but when they noticed I wasn’t going to change my opinions, they hit me in the face and took of again…

Brob

Talking about ‘Napalm Death’, remember that suprise show they did in that tiny village Wakken. ‘Hate Crew’ was also on the bill and there was big fight with Kockie and some drunk punks. I remember Kockie tearing a studded jacket in half and punching a drunk redneck with a cowboy-hat.

Hans

I wasn’t involved with Smurfpunx anymore in 1989 and I didn’t attend that ‘Napalm Death’ gig either. But it wàs indeed clear that a while before my departure  in June of 1988 there was a malaise amongst Smurfpunx and that ‘certain elements’ were central to that or at least actively tried to poison the climate.

There was criticism on Smurfpunx from their side and a lot of twitter in the pseudo-ideological vein (“Smurfpunx is ‘undemocratic’, ‘sexist’, etc. etc.”) but it wasn’t always clear to me what those people (definitely more than one person) actually wanted. What díd become clear in the end was that it was a nicely concealed aswell as a neurotic ego-battle, provincialism and bed-politics. Overall: the petty and darker sides of human nature, I presume?

Mind you: there were also others – in my opnion clearly ‘manipulated’ – who, at a certain moment, started to organise their own concerts seperately from Smurfpunx.

Concerning the accusations of  sexual harrassment: that happened more often with bands. Obviously there will have been such incidents in intoxicated situations, in other instances it was just settlements and defamation. That always scored. On the other hand we might remember that some were notorious known for flirting with band-members.

Duco

More like ‘Napalm Duff’… They were on a national TV-programme called ‘Snub’ saying they’re trying to spread their message to more people. That’s a load of bullshit ’cause on TV and in the music-papers they didn’t talk about much else than how fast they can play. Also… Don’t believe the crap about hem being anti-sexist: my friend (who’s gay) toured with them and he said Mickey (drummer) was really sexist and very homophobic too. Rich Militia (vocalist of ‘Sore Throat’) was beaten up by them ’cause he tore down some of their flyers for a gig…

Alan Johnston (personal communication ’89)

A German guy who’d set up something for them said they were zeros; especially Mickey (drummer) and Shane (bassplayer) were out to exploit their band commercially. Lee (singer) sees that too and wants to leave the band.

Anonymous (personal communication ’89)

It’s incredible how stupid people are  – but obviously they have the same mentality as their audience! Ignorance Breeds Ignorance!

Armin Hoffmann, X-Mist (personal communication ’89)

N.D. are playing Nottingham [Nov. ’89] with ‘Morbid Angel’, ‘Carcass’ & ‘Bolthrower’ – the ‘Grindcrusher’ tour as hyped up by Dig (Earache – Cashrake). It’s at a big club (whose management have National Front connections) and tickets are £ 6 [ca. € 11, a lot at that time]. It’ll be packed full of mindless, young metal dicks. Sad how all these bands have turned into such career-motivated, egotistical arseholes. Given the choice I’ld gladly poor petrol over them all and set them alight.

Kalv; bass for ‘Heresy’, ‘Force Fed’, ‘Meatfly’ (personal communication ’89)

11/02/2009

87-04-17 (Netwerk) Cólera – Artless – Visions Of Change – Heibel

Filed under: Netwerk, Aalst — Tags: , , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 17:20

Smurfpunx (Aalst 87, Colera) bis

Again, a memorable evening… ‘Cólera’, the first Brazilian HC/punk-band to tour the European continent (thanx to Werner E.). Don’t know anymore how long they were here but they played loads of shows everywhere. This was the 2nd one in Aalst [1st: Netwerk, Aalst, 15 mar 87 (Cólera)]. Excellent punkrock, catchy anthems. I can still hum the melody of ‘Pela Paz’. They also recorded some tracks, in a studio around here, that were meant to be released as a split-lp by ‘Hageland recs’ with my own band ‘Repulsives’ but for some reason that never happened…

‘Artless’ (USA) were a bit of a controversial outfit – thanks to Mykel Board, their singer/performer. I can’t remember exactly what weird things he did then but the words ‘blood, faeces, mutilation’ pop up in my head (or am I confusing him with GG Allin?). I think everyone was afraid to get near the stage…

‘Visions of Change’ (UK) were a melodic band from Leamington Spa who just renamed themselves (formerly ‘Depraved’). This gig was before they recorded their debut-album so the line-up must’ve been the same as ‘Depraved’: singer Ian Murphy & his brother Lee on guitar, drummer Paul ‘Gigs’ McGivern and Spencer on bass. Their concert in ’88 was with the new line-up…

And ‘Heibel’? The ‘hermanos sympaticos’ (Erwin, Pé, Jo), guitar-wizard Steven and the wacko baker-aid Bollie from Limburg. One of the best Belgian hardcore-bands ever. This must’ve been the last show of Bollie on Belgian soil: that summer they toured the U.K. (with ‘Heresy’ & ‘Lärm’) and after that he was replaced by Peter Daniëls.

Brob

Mykel Board was a Maximum Rock’n’Roll columnist and controversial, always defying the lefty punks.

Leffe

Mykel Board actually did drink a full bottle of vodka during that concert and became more and more drunk. At the end of the concert they had to carry him upstairs to the backstage. I had an interview-appointment with him after the show so I was preparing to not having an interview after all. It turned out it was all acted. The vodka was actually water.

Stel

I recall this as one of the most fantastic evenings in Netwerk, Aalst: ‘Coléra’. It was a super-sunny spring-day. After a day’s hard labour, I jumped into my jeans and in Wetteren (my boss had to pick up some things there…) on the train to the ‘big city’ Aalst; all on my own, after a quick visit at Sport Nollet (?) to get me some new Santa Cruz bullet-wheels under my Hosoi-Hammerhead… Aalst bathed in the sun… Conversations with pen-palls (We corresponded by letter but only got to know each other there – yep, that was really the pre-SMS, -GSM, -mail, etc. era. Each time pleased when there was mail in the box from acquaintances or strangers.) ‘cause this was when we got to meet people like Bollie or Kockie or the ‘Taartje Aardbei’-dudes or who-ever…under the sun, buying a zine from Stel or Brob; it wasn’t much more than that but it was ‘ours’… And then really enjoyed ‘Coléra’. Afterwards I had to leave way too early to get to the Kortrijk railway-station, to be picked up by my older brother (who díd have a driving-license). I still think of all this each time when I drive past the Aalst-sign on the E40 highway…

Joost Goeminne (visitor and later ‘Yuppies’ Death’ vocalist)

‘Artless’ was (top photo, L to R): Michael Evans (drums), Dale Ashmun (roadie, pal, sometimes guitar), Mykel Board (vocalist and sometimes asshole), Otto Kentrol (bass) & Gavin McNett (guitar). I remember there was some toothless junkie in Belgium who was a great guy. He was an expert on Middle Eastern music. He had a ton of cassettes. Otto and I split ‘em. I still have some of them. It was my introduction to (non-Hebrew) Middle Eastern music…and I have a Belgian junkie to thank for it.

Mykel Board

concert-review from the Belgian zine Rattebeet #3

Cólera’: Pierre (drums) – Redson (guitar/vocals) – Val (bass) * photographed by Jenny Plaits

87-04-17 Cólera Pierre (by Jenny Plaits)87-04-17 Cólera Redson (by Jenny Plaits)87-04-17 Cólera Redson' (by Jenny Plaits)87-04-17 Cólera Val (by Jenny Plaits)

‘Artless’, pictures by Kockie

Michael Evans, (Dale Ashmun), Mykel Board, Bill Ylitalo ‘Otto Kentrol’ & Gavin McNett

Artless 0

Artless 1

extra photos of ‘Artless’: 87-04-17 (Netwerk) Artless (extra photos)

‘Heibel’ pictures, kindly donated by Jo Reynders:

Bollie & Pé

Heibel (17apr87) ErwinErwin

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