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’).


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



  1. Both Bruce (‘Detonators’) and Jamie (‘Problem Children’) wore a ‘Dead Silence’ T-shirt and kept telling how good they were…

    Comment by Brob — 08/01/2010 @ 18:40

  2. I was on tour with the ‘Detonators’ and ‘Problem Children’. I remember seeing an Italian and a Belgian band there.

    Comment by Julia S. — 02/04/2011 @ 18:13

  3. ‘Doodt Illegaal’ / ‘Youth Crew’ – Split Tape

    Comment by smurfpunx — 03/11/2012 @ 21:10

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