Smurfpunx

01/11/2010

87-03-08 (De Marbel) Lärm – Heibel – Hate Crew

Filed under: Marbel, Tielt, NOT Smurfpunx — Tags: , , , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 17:57

I was 17 at the time and very ‘green’. I don’t remember running into trouble with the police at this time, this would only occur later, at a show at the Roxy in Dendermonde, or at anti-Vlaams Blok rallies in Bruges. In the pre-internet age, concert-news was spread by word of mouth or by flyers and every concert back then was definitely an exciting event, and as the small Belgian network grew and grew over the coming years, we would start seeing more familiar faces from all corners of Belgium, Holland and France at these concerts. We had a scene, we had a place to go see bands and connect with like-minded people.

‘Lärm’ was a phenomenon and for my band ‘Chronic Disease’, they were the first musical template of trashy hardcore/punk. Fast, manic, political, anarchic and fun. The flannel shirts and bandanas were ‘in vogue’, stage-diving and slamming a sport, the music fast and ferocious. Imagine transporting a Californian ‘skate’-band from 1983 to that hall in 1987, they wouldn’t have believed their eyes…

Don’t remember if I met you here Brob but I knew I had to come see more concerts. Something was alive.

Steve ‘Sling’ (‘Chronic Disease’)

This concert was also nót organised by the Smurfpunx-collective but it was one in the series that I organised in my hometown before I joined the collective to go on organising in Aalst and surroundings after the venue ‘De Marbel’ (also rehearsal-space for my band ‘Repulsives’) got shut down as I described before [Netwerk, Aalst, 27 jun 87 (Ripcord)]; so it could be seen as a prelude to the Smurfpunx-era (at least for me).

As you can read it was annoucned as a ‘Suicidal Party’… Nothing too morbid though: at that time we were all just very much into ‘Suicidal Tendencies’ that had gotten their 1st record out. Everyone was into the ‘bandana & flannel shirt’ fad… The font was also nicked from that.

Anyway, it was (again) a great night with older and new-found friends; and  with ‘ripping thrash’… It was most probably then and there that some of us decided to follow the ‘Lärm’ – ‘Heibel’ – ‘Heresy’ tour the following summer in the U.K. And that was the night where Theun K. gave me the ‘Raw Power’ T-shirt that I’m still wearing from time to time.

Brob

Here’s what I wrote in my ‘zine Tilt! about the event leading to the end of gigs in ‘De Marbel’:

Violence sucks

De Marbel is closed … De Marbel was closed. This pub plus concert-hall was closed down by the authorities on May 31st. [1987] Since a few months this hall was intensively used by hardcore-punx for organising gigs. The guy who runs the place is someone who keeps an open mind for all sorts of music. He was always ready to support and help people in the hardcore-scene. In that way Belgian and foreign punk/hardcore-bands would play there for only low entrance-fees. It’s a pity things got down on his head…

As with all concerts in every scene it’s difficult to handle a ‘big’ audience in the right way. I (as organiser of hardcore/punk-gigs) dare say that on our gigs there’s less violence than on so-called big concerts (e.g. Slayer; GBH – even people die there!). Me and everybody who organises hardcore/punk-gigs always try very hard to arrange things as good as possible. Hardcore-punx in general are not beasty troublemakers people tend to see in them. In fact upcoming aggression is always handled with care and controlled from the inside through discussion and if necessary intimidation. Also the straight-edge ideas that blew a positive wind through our scene, caused a lot of people to leave the nihilistic ‘77 mentality and to criticize society in a more constructve way. Many of us are not the boozers or the junkies moral majority wants to see in us. It’s only a pity that sometimes loners, who think that acting tough should be their one goal in life, are identified too late.

This was what happened in ‘De Marbel’ on May 31st. A drunk poseur thought it was necessary to damage a few cars. Such things are totally useless and that he was driven away for questioning only seemed logic. The forces of law being yelled at is also not abnormal. But as where in big cities such little things are left for what they are, the police in Tielt and their friends from the surroundings thought it necessary to show their strength. An hour after the facts, a police-force, out of proportion compared with what happened, blocked the street with several vans. People who were outside getting some air fled back into the hall to avoid the truncheon-swirling cops. It was evident that they, by acting so provocative (yelling, shouting, pointing and swirling their truncheons nervously, making stupid remarks, intolerance,…) could expect a reaction. A lot of people were held for hours in police-vans that were too small and over-heated, not aloud to say a word, without being able to go for a pee. Handcuffs were shut real tight, someone was kicked,… And all this for really stupid reasons (e.g. an identity-card that couldn’t be read). Nobody was searched for drugs! Nevertheless this is a reason, locals think, the hall is being closed. Nobody in the police-force could or would tell us the purpose of the action. Everybody was considered a potential criminal. To me it’s clear that this repressive action only had one goal (that had been decided for a long time but for which a reason was to be found): the closing of this concert-hall so that this subculture was depraved, withdrawn from it’s support and no longer could live there. Another example of the tolerance our little country is so well known for…

Why am I telling you all this ? It’s obvious isn’t it ? To prevent that things like this happen again! The pub was reopened after a month … luckily, but the hall is to stay closed. There are some (very) good halls in our scene. Let’s try to keep them. Organisers, try as hard as you can to keep violence out of your halls. Take care the authorities don’t find any reason to take actions against your hall or your audience. We gotta stigmatize everyone that’s out to make trouble and if problems occur, we gotta solve them all together … Bands/fanzines condemn every form of violence! Violence sucks! Unity’s the key!

The above may sound a bit negative but our Belgian scene is still one of the best. I had the opportunity to visit some other European countries during my holidays and I sometimes found a much more violent attitude than over here. For instance a lot of people in the UK scene still seem to think violence is a must … Ridiculous how skateboard-showing psychobilly’s wearing baseball-caps and ‘Sisters of Mercy’ on their jackets, hit everything that comes within their range. Repulsive how two ‘sisters of evil’ mindlessly wondering in a nihilistic ‘77-atmosphere kick and hit ordinary trashers just ‘for fun’. Mötley Crue-loving headbangers posing on stage for a quarter of an hour before diving – haha, jumping is what I’d call it – from the stage. Poor, poor London … But what do you expect, putting rockstars on stage … eh, stupids?

Tilt! #3 – oct 87 [also: De Marbel closed down…]

‘Lärm’, photo courtesy of Stephane Bruyaux

Jos & Menno (‘Lärm’) photographed by Kockie) [spot the scenesters in the background… ;-)]]

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6 Comments »

  1. I got arrested that day as well for not having my I.D on me… I remember Victor [W.C.F. singer] getting into a frenzy with the cops ’cause they took his medicine (I think it was a bloodsugar-thing) away… He got handcuffed and got the rough cop approach. [Brob: I had to negotiate to get him free.] My mom had to get me out that same night… I was 17 then… Pretty impressive and this because of some idiotic drunk poseur (well stated Brob) that threw a bottle at a car.

    Comment by Hans Verbeke — 02/20/2010 @ 13:21

  2. I recall that Brob brought Victor and myself back to my room in Gent after that last concert in Tielt, after he got arrested together with so many others…

    Comment by Murielle C. (Anguish) — 03/12/2011 @ 16:21

  3. For an interview with ‘Lärm’ (1987), go to Lärm (interview Tilt! #3)

    Comment by smurfpunx — 04/29/2011 @ 19:50

  4. I found a live recording of ‘Lärm’ at the Marbel in Tielt…

    Comment by Leffe — 03/21/2012 @ 12:17

  5. No real recollections to this one… I do remember a scene in Ternat [Jan 11th 1986] (Jos told me it was Ternat): I imitated Kevin Seconds and said: “This fucking magic man and we are all part of this together.”, and everyone responded “Woohoohoohoo!”, just like the audience did with ‘7 Seconds’. That made us laugh but on the other hand it underscored a bit the fact that we were becoming some sort of rockstars; something I noticed particularly in Belgium. People would come to our van asking to carry my bag and things like that. That was no longer a situation where people were in a band, and everyone knew each other an interacted on a basis of equality. I also wanna respond to the phrasing that we were a “phenomenon”… We never experienced things that way and didn’t want to. We were not! According to me history is violated when people think that ‘Lärm’ was a big name back then [Brob: That’s not what I meant; to me you were friends in the first place!] that performed for packed venues. That was only once in a while in Belgium I think, but that was because the gigs were very well oragnised there. In the Netherlands we often played for a mere 10 people (an empty place).

    Comment by Menno 'Lärm' — 03/22/2012 @ 17:36

  6. I must admit Menno is spot on in his comment!

    Comment by Paul Vandenberg — 03/22/2012 @ 21:07


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