90-02-17 (Netwerk) Seein’Red – Force Fed – Kings Of Oblivion – Mental Disturbance

Filed under: Netwerk, Aalst — Tags: , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 08:57

Brob was our host when we played in Europe. He made us very welcome.

I don’t really remember precise details, although there are pockets and misty memories. I remember mostly personal stuff of course, things people said to me directly for example. Being ‘patted’ on the back by a friendly biker in Austria after a gig in Vienna for example, except he was huge and his pat on the back more or less knocked me for 6! That was a memorable comedy moment. I remember a very red-nosed guy in Germany, I think called Larsen (maybe)… [Brob: Could be Andy Larsen from Dortmund, who did Limited Edition recs.] drunk all the time. I got very drunk while staying in his flat, in a bar in the town, drinking red stuff I had never had before in England…ooooh my head!

At the time of those tours I was studying for my first degree (Social Science) in Nottingham, and had been a reader of socio-history, etc. for many years – in a way that period was one of observation for me. I do recall finding the punk-scene to be quite naive and a little tiresome at times; lots of middle-class rebels having a good time until it was time to grow up and get the good job they were always destined to have [Brob: Sure there were people like that but also very dedicated persons who acted what they said.]. I did use my experiences of that period in an academic paper. I wrote on whether or not punk was as radical as the folklore it portrayed. Of course, my conclusions were that it was not, at least for the most part. I do recall being impressed by some of the organisation, in particular the squatted area in either Düsseldorf [Brob: Kiefernstrasse was almost a no-police zone.]. Shops, crèches, etc.; a much more organised alternative ‘society’ to those in the UK I’d witnessed. However, overall I do believe I was slightly disappointed with punk in general. The tours were great, I had a good time and met some good people, Brob included. I definitely go the impression that some people wore the punk-skin but beneath were selfish, just like the societies they were professing to be in opposition to; i.e. they were hypocrites. I hasten to add here that I don’t mean you.

The music of that period I find very patchy too. I wanted to hear music that was experimental and radical in some ways, but most of it wasn’t. I tried, with ‘Kings of Oblivion’, to make music that had some differences (within the range of possibilities available) without being inaccessible. Maybe it succeeded, maybe it didn’t. Some bands were great but most were so-so run-of-the-mill off the peg fast and ordinary….

However, my personal memories are good, I had a great time and the experience was very positive. Its a shame we didn’t tour much more. Musically touring is great for honing ones’ musical skills, certainly in terms of performance and stamina. And of course it’s great to meet lots of new people (even if some of them are, inevitably, not that great). Reading this back it sounds very negative…!! It’s not the intention, believe it or not figuring out some of the things I mention was a very positive thing for me.

I have played in bands ever since of course. I have always been a musician, from a long time before ‘Kings of Oblivion’and still to this day. Not all punk of course. It’s interesting to hear Ed Ivy [Brob: ‘Rhythm Pigs’ ?] and similar people talk on their periods in punk – he says similar things to me, it was great while it lasted. I did have another punk band for a few years (with Clarky [Brob: Nick Clark], who was the guitarist in ‘Force Fed’) called ‘Fokkewolf’ – which you can hear at if you wish. I now do a band that’s half way between punk and blues (we call it ‘bluespunk’!) called ‘Maneatlikepig’ – also to be found on my space and for sale at (my little label). Anyway that’s enough self-promo!!

Darren ‘Daz’ Smith (‘Kings Of Oblivion’ singer/bassist)

I remember the bunker in Bielefeld [Brob: The AJZ in Bielefeld, Germany was an old bike-factory if I remember well…] and a few other shows. We weren’t doing it for fame or success, no one ever thought hardcore and extreme music would take off like it did. Great memories! Now I’m a freelance artist working for whoever. I’ve been building some stage-sets for big metal shows here in England, filming in Game Of Thrones  and all sorts of stuff.

Jamie Sims (‘Force Fed’ singer)

‘Kings Of Oblivion’ & ‘Force Fed’ (somewhere in Nl, 1990):

Upright: Nick Clark (FF guitarist) – Neil Humphries (KOO drummer) – Jamie Sims (FF singer) – Nige(l) Clark (FF drummer) – Jo(h)n Harris (KOO guitarist/singer) – Darren ‘Daz’ Smith (KOO bassist/singer) – ? – Kneeling: Kalv(in) Piper (FF bassist)

‘Kings Of Oblivion’ (pic by Philippe Anthonis)

250 people attended; sometimes we had a lot more, sometimes a lot less… Enough to cover expenses but I was always hoping more people would want to check out newer, less well-known bands…


Thank you for helping us in Europe and making us feel very welcome. We all enjoyed playing in Belgium & Holland so much we want to come back and do some more! [see: Brob’s tours]

Nick, ‘Force Fed’ guitarist (personal communication ’90)

I think ‘Force Fed’ during this period had real power and this was definitely our best line-up. I think our album Claustrophobia only proved that too well and just showed what we could do. We were always pleased with how the album was received and the reviews we had in various zines. However saying this and – Brob will agree, – It was always going to be a challenge to produce that kind of energy live – although on a good night I think we did.

I remember during this period, the old energetic ‘scene’ that was evident back in the ‘Hersey’ days, was in decline and just like so many underground movements in a state of flux, some individuals were beginning to take themselves far too seriously. So we were never going to please the narrow minded straight-edge crowd, which to be fair, were very easy to wind up. Fortunately many that did follow us, knew exactly what we were about.

While on the tour I did get a little tired of the ex-‘Heresy’ tag which I felt just got in the way. However, Kalv played a big part in ‘Force Fed’ and his contribution to the overall sound was immense. We did do one tour later with Daz from ‘Kings Of Oblivion’, filling in on bass, but in retrospect I felt his bass playing was never going to have the ‘hard edge’ Kalv achieved in the earlier shows.. They were happy days though – fun to piss off a few and great to play to those who loved us.

Nick Clark

The concert was great (again). It went well. Made a few mistakes but that doesn’t matter. We are a punk band.

Olav, ‘Seein’Red’ drummer (personal communication ’90)

Jos & Paul; ‘Seein’Red’ (pic by Philippe Anthonis)

some extra ‘shots’ (probably by ‘Kockie’):

90-02-17 Seein'Red 190-02-17 Seein'Red 290-02-17 Seein'Red (Olav)90-02-17 Seein'Red (Paul)90-02-17 Seein'Red (Jos)

Gig-review from Pyrobolum #3:

90-02-17 (Pyrobolum #3)

A line-up with bands featuring ex-members of ‘Heresy’ and ‘Lärm’…can’t go wrong with that right? Right… ‘Seein’Red’ didn’t live up to my (admitted: high) expectations although it had it’s moments. On a side-note: I really do appreciate the stuff they made later on. ‘Force Fed’ with Kalv was flat out boring and as far as I remember I wasn’t the only one with that idea. The surprise of the day was ‘Kings Of Oblivion’, the only band I didn’t have any expectations of blew me away, funny how things can work out…

Tom Van Hauwaert



  1. The guy in Dortmund Darren writes about was Andy ‘Sticker-king’ L. for sure; he was always red-nosed and certainly had more than the occasional drink. He worked at a printing-plant and did the stickers for many UK HC/punk bands over the years. And gave my liver a hard training.

    Comment by Bernd Backhaus — 09/11/2010 @ 16:49

  2. For a band-presentation of ‘Mental Disturbance’, go to Mental Disturbance (band-presentation Tilt! #4)

    Comment by smurfpunx — 11/14/2012 @ 08:44

  3. Force Fed, boring?! Na
    [Brob: I don’t think so either…]

    Comment by Nigel Clark — 04/04/2013 @ 19:48

  4. ‘Force Fed’ and Straight Edge grief
    So we were in Germany somewhere I think. Or could’ve been Belgium. Anyway wherever it was, they didn’t speak much English, I remember that. This was the ‘Force Fed’ original line-up. Myself, Kalv; Nick, Nige.
    Now, just before we came out to do these gigs, one of Brobs tours, Kalv had put an EP out by ‘Poison Idea’. [Brob: I helped distribute it.] The cover of this not only got banned in the UK but also pissed quite a few people off globally. Henry Rollins being supposedly one of them. If you don’t know the EP its called Ian MacKaye. It was indeed aimed squarely at the ‘Fugazi’ man formerly of ‘Minor Threat’ whose song Straight Edge had triggered the straight-edge movement. Whatever you think of that movement, it went pretty much up its own arse as the punks who picked it up as a mantra became more and more militant. There were reports of ‘Straight Edgers’ attacking smokers, drug-users and meat-eaters filtering thru. And the whole thing became polemic. Now guys were turning up to shows in what became like a uniform. X’s tattooed on the backs of hands and slogans such as “Awake Alert and Ready” on their hoodies. Then the flag-burning incident happened, in DC I think it was. And the straight-edgers attacked the anarchists. The full swing into militancy, almost nationalist militancy now became apparent. [Brob: Indeed! Even though I could’ve been named SxE myself -with my It’s OK Not To Drink shirt- I could never grasp this nationalist tendency of some SxE.] And that’s why ‘Poison Idea’ decided to call their EP after the guy who started the straight-edge thing off. This isn’t making much sense yet is it? That’s because I haven’t described the cover. For the cover the band’s bassist bent over, pulled down his pants and bared his hole by pulling his arse cheeks apart. Onto this wonderful picture the band stuck a plastic meatfly and the words Ian Mackaye. So the message was quite clear, especially as there wasn’t a song about Ian or the movement on the record. They were announcing to the world just what they thought of Mr MacKaye. That he was an asshole. This was at a time when the guy had almost become like a mythical messiah of hardcore.
    So back to the ‘Force Fed’ gig. There were a lot of ‘Edgers’ present at this show. And they knew all this, and were making their feelings all too clear. It took me a little while to realise what was going on onstage. All their anger was directed at Kalv but the band caught it by extension also. To Kalv’s credit, he met it face on and apart from ill feeling it didn’t develop into any thing more ‘real’. Afterwards as it sunk in I regretted not being more confrontational about it. Here was a scene that was supposed to be opposed to censorship. Exerting its own pressure about album art they didn’t agree with… Hypocrisy? It’s fucking everywhere. Even amongst those who hold their beliefs and political correctness like a banner.
    As a footnote; I had experienced Kalv taking flak onstage before: at the Marcus Garvey centre Notting ham supporting ‘NoMeansNo’ and ‘Snuff’, if I remember right. There was a large contingent of crust-punks at that time. They had beef with Mr Piper also. Kalv’s never been one to doctor his opinion or compromise in that respect, and this is probably why. Anyway mid set he came up to me (me being the one with the mic) and asked me to tell this pretty large part of the audience that if they had a problem with him to “fucking get up here now..!”. For hardcore, it was a big gig (5-700 I’d say)…anyway, I thought then and there it was pretty up front but he’d asked me to do it, so I did, Not one person obliged.
    Jamie Sims
    P.S. If you ever see the Ian MacKaye cover [Brob: I still own a copy…], Kalv was forced to cover the offending hole with a black. And add the ‘Banned in th UK’ title…

    The Bunker at Bielefeld
    [Brob: Was Bielefeld included on that tour…?]
    ‘Force Fed’ and ‘Kings Of Oblivion’, same little tour… After the show we were taken up to a long concrete room with mattresses all over the floor to sleep all of us. Some mattresses were double so it was a race to grab a single. This added to the fact that the venue had given us a tonne of beer and smoke, stopped us from noticing the walls till everyone was on a mattress. It was a long room and the entire length of one side had a washing-line. Upon this line, hanging upside down, were about six massive bushes. In between each was a bin-liner full of good green produce. We were all absolutely shit-faced + drunk already and it was the end of the night, the venue had been so good to us we weren’t about to try and take any more. Anyway we had a border to cross the next day and the ethic of what all this hardcore stuff was about was so fuckin’ far from ripping folk off. We just laughed, drank the rest of what we had and crashed.
    Next morning, everyone’s being woke for breakfast, well fucked and hangin’. And Kalv’s just vanished… He’d ended up sharing a double with Daz from ‘Kings’ and wasn’t there. Gone… Anyway a few folks had gone down and a few of us still getting up, and there’s a howl of disgust and disbelief from Daz. He’s woken now and turned over, only to be confronted by a massive fat brown shit right by his head! We all fell the fuck about pissing ourselves with laughter, except Daz. So nearly everyone’s gone downstairs now and there’s a little like storage-room with just piled mattresses up to the ceiling in it , out of which comes a completely grey and ghosted Kalv looking like his soul had been dragged out of his spine thru his ass. Turns out he’d deposited the night soil neatly on his own pillow at sometime in the small hours then made his way into the mattress-room, crawled beneath the pile and gone to sleep. Then pissed himself for good measure. We laughed a lot that day.
    Sounds more Motley fuck’n Crue than hardcore. I don’t think the straight-edge would have approved. I do wonder who had to clear it up after we left though…
    Any way those are my memories of that night. Oh, the gig was really good b.t.w. , ‘Kings’ went down better than us I think if I’m honest…

    Comment by Jamie Sims — 04/30/2013 @ 20:27

  5. Great post Jamie. It’s all coming back to me now.
    Remember some disturbance! Didn’t mean that pun but think it looks good. Wonder if Tom Van agreed with the anti-Kalv crowd? Hence bad review of a gig which I seem to remember we played well. [Brob: Don’t think the Anti-Kalv thing was in Aalst.] Can remember a few coming up to us afterwards with positive comments. Reckon we were best suited to small sweaty gigs but still fun to take on a few hundred!

    Comment by Nigel Clark — 04/30/2013 @ 22:00

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