Smurfpunx

03/19/2010

88-11-11 (Beukenhof) Rose Rose – Kings Of Oblivion – Chronic Disease – Mental Disturbance

‘Rose Rose’ is announced here as the “first Japanese HC band in Belgium”. They came together with Nottingham trio ‘Kings Of Oblivion’. Both were on the label In Your Face recs, ran by ‘Concrete Sox’/’Heresy’ bass-master Kalv. (I used to distribute a lot of his records…) The Japs played fast metallic HC, creating a lot of energy on stage – fabulous! The ‘kings’ played versatile HC (influenced by a variety of styles) not unlike ‘Rhythm Pigs’. They were not really ‘into’ HC but the right attitudes and nice people too. They would be back for another gig in Netwerk (17 feb 90) too…

After having had to cancel their first invitation (25 jun 88) for a Smurfpunx-gig, ‘Chronic Disease’ (Leffe, Sling, Vrokker & Meyer) -then a young promising crusty outfit- were able to show us their skills. Still wondering who the ‘surprise’ act was… Yeah right: this one took place in the youthcentre (Beukenhof) of Eeklo where one of our ‘free-lance’ collaborators (Rabbit of ‘Creep Insanity’) lived.

The evening (they stayed in the student-room of  Smurfpunx-collaborator Frank ‘Drank’ -i.e. booze- in Gent) and the whole day after the gig some of us spent time with the Orientals. Fun people to be with, even though they hardly spoke English. The communication-problems caused quite some commotion (smile) from time to time and it was also hard to really get to know them. Amazing how consumist these lads were: they wouldn’t have minded paying 1000 BeF [€ 50] for a T-shirt and shrugged their shoulders when I commented on that. They were also stopping at every store-window that displayed electronic gadgets (cameras, videos, computers) and couldn’t stop gazing… They took a picture almost every 30 seconds or so. Yep, all the stereotypes were there.

Brob

I wondered/hoped you might be able to help set up a few shows for them in Holland/Belgium? […] I think people should, on the whole, be really enthousiastic – or if not, then curious. I really hope you’ll be into helping anyway – the stuff you’ve done in the past for ‘Heresy’ (& ‘Ripcord’) has always been very well organised and it would be a weight off my mind knowing that you’ld be helping out.

Kalv (personal communication ’88)

What can I say about ‘Chronic Disease’? Belgium’s best kept secret? This was the 3rd or 4th time I saw them. This time supporting ‘Rose Rose’ from Japan (the first Japanese band I saw). I saw the guys probably 50 times between 1987 and 1993 and played in bands with some members between 1989 and 2001. Cool people and still friends of me. ‘C.D.’ from the early days had shorter and faster songs (They should have be releasing an EP in 1988, it would have been a real classic.). There’s recording of the show – there’s some people on it from Bruges who are dead now . After the gig me and my friends Koen Lerooy (a.k.a. Big Siesele or Slette ) and Bolleetje (from the punk-bands ‘Complex’ and ‘Tippercore’) wanted to have a few pints in the city but most pubs we were denied entrance because of our appearance.

I have the whole concert of ‘Chronic Disease’, ‘Mental Disturbance’ [Brob: Apparently they were the surprise-act I’d forgotten about…] & ‘Rose Rose’ on DVD (filmed by Phantom – manager of the Belgian grind/hardcore band ‘M.A.D.’). [Brob: Phantom was an older one-armed guy into metal/punk/thrash from the Charleroi area that visited our gigs in Flanders together with a bunch of younger kids…] Here’s ‘Chronic Disease’ live: part 1 & part 2

Koen ‘Siesele’ Lammens

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03/08/2010

89-05-04 (Netwerk) Detonators – Problem Children – The Ravings – Doodt Illegaal

Filed under: Netwerk, Aalst — Tags: , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 16:41

The announcement says: >>Smurfpunx ‘Ascension’ concert – Yeah dude, we’re gonna praise our lords… But this time with a solid portion of punkrock that won’t let you motionless for one moment; you’ll be tossed about back and forth… Who saw the ‘Detonators’ a few years ago, will know what to expect: uptempo sing-along HC/punk from the top shelf!!! This time they bring along a few mates from Canada: ‘Problem Children’. Their motto is ‘stay young’ and they propagate this with funny lyrics supported by fast punkrock-melodies. For a mere 200 BeF [€ 5] you also get you also get ‘The Ravings’ (this time no thrash from the ‘boot’) and the young Belgian HC-band ‘Doodt Illegaal’.<<

Indeed, this was the 2nd time (Marbel, Tielt, 3 apr 87 (Detonators)) we wellcomed Bruce (Hartnell) and his ‘Detonators’. No way we were gonna turn them down. This time they didn’t tour with a European band but brought the ‘Problem Children’ trio from the Ontario region (who’d released an album in Europe through Double A recs: Barney Rebel (Barney McMahon, bass), Gary Indiana (Gary Cozocar, drums) & Jamie Problem (Jamie Stowe, guitar & vocals).

After spending a day and a night with these Americans and Canadians, I had energy for a month… Even though they were run-down themselves! Nevertheless: ‘Problem Children’ got everyone dancing (not evident on this hot day). The no-bullshit, anti idiot/asshole ‘rock’n’roll attitude’ we got to see from the ‘Detonators’ 2 years before, was still there: real down-to-earth guys!

‘The Ravings’ was a band from Pisa in which the brother of Syd Migx (‘Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers’/‘No Pigs’) played drums. His name was Stefano (‘Tetano’). The others were Gigi Corsi (vocals), Angelo Mendolia (bass) and the twin-brothers Tim & Tom (guitar). They had record out (Anti-Nature Will) that contained a cover of ‘The Stooges’. Their second LP (1991) contained live recordings of this tour (engineered by Guy Pinhas of ‘No Pigs’).

Brob

The ‘Detonators’ have even improved a lot since they toured with the ‘Instigators’. The band touring with them will be ‘Problem Children’. You can see, there’s a straight line: the bands play a mix of various styles and are melodic but still powerful. Also none of these bands have ‘star’ attitudes; they run their own business, putting out their records on their own. They don’t sell out! That’s an important aspect.

Reiner Mettner (tour-promoter, Double A recs) (personal communication ’89)

I knew we were going to like Belgium after our first show in Holland when they gave us some Belgian beer with a ridiculously high alcohol content. I remember singing outside the show really loud and someone came up to me and said we sounded like American soldiers on leave so we stopped. I also remember someone from a record-distribution in Belgium giving me a letter sent to them from my wife. [Brob: I remember something about that vaguely but don’t know if it was me…?] It was great to get a letter from her. She was 7 months pregnant. I know that was one of my favourite shows but I don’t actually remember playing it. It wasn’t because I was drunk. I played hundreds of shows over 18 years in ‘Problem Children’ and I actually don’t remember playing too many of them. I don’t know if I get into it too much or lose touch with reality but I usually only remember the bad ones.

We played almost every night for nearly 4 weeks so It got to be a bit of a blur but a good blur. Reiner did a great job organizing the tour and we all became good friends. The only problem was that we had so much fun hanging out with each other, we didn’t get to see enough of Europe and meet more people. It was so different as far as the scene goes. In Canada we sometimes had to drive 10 to 15 hours between shows and there might only be 50 people there. You were often getting ripped off by promoters, especially in the U.S. and a lot of shows would get cancelled. You would never get fed and sometimes It was hard to find a place to sleep. I was really influenced by my experience on tour and It changed the way I managed the band, the record-label and the shows my wife and I promoted.

I remember the Smurfpunx collective because all the collectives in Europe completely changed the way I looked at my band and the scene. I felt that you had a scene and in North America it was a bunch of bands, labels, promoters, zines, etc. but it wasn’t always working together and we were sometimes in it more for ourselves than the scene. I thought the collective concept was the most ‘punk’ way to having a good scene. I also thought that touring bands should get food and a place to stay.

I haven’t played since 2000, but last year I started a small collective to put all ages shows on in my home town of Hamilton, Ontario. I’m using a lot of the ideas I got from people like you and it’s working pretty well. Not everyone ‘gets’ it but it’s different. The good thing is, when one of us can’t help out for awhile, there is always more people to keep things going. We are doing an all-ages show on the last Sunday of each month called ‘Sundayslamfest’. It’s mostly for newer, local bands and we have a 12” comp. coming out (July 2012). So you and the other collectives that helped us out in ‘89 have changed the way I look at punk rock!

Reiner was supposed to put out another album by us that was recorded later that year but I never heard from him again.

Have you checked out my blog. There’s a bio of the band from 1982-2000 and some stuff about what I’m doing now.

Jamie ‘Problem’ Stowe

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