88-08-13 (Netwerk) F.F.F. – Decadence Within – Upside – Vernon Walters

Filed under: Netwerk, Aalst — Tags: , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 14:43

Thanks a lot for the gig in Aalst, which we enjoyed immensely. My girlfriend, that was injured at the gig, is O.K.; although we spent some of the next day in hospital, having X-rays and shit like that. It has to be said that the gigs in the U.K. are NOT as good as the gigs in Europe: we loose more money playing in Birmingham than we do playing Belgium! It’s crazy…

Slug, ‘Decadence Within’ bassplayer (personal communication ’88)

I can’t remember too much about this gig in Aalst we did with ‘F.F.F.’ and ‘Upside’ but I seem to recall one of those bands having a violin [Brob: F.F.F’s singer Dolly played violin], which was kinda cool… We were always just so pleased to be in another country with like-minded people playing music and making friends, it was a magical time for me. Thanks for helping make it happen, Brob.


‘F.F.F.’ were different but that’s what I liked; I also interviewed them for my ‘zine. Very nice people too: drummer Dominik Schetting, guitarist (with Chilean roots) Vladi(miro), bassplayer Andi (Andreas Gohlke) and singer Dolly. The latter played her violin (black/red leopard-print, if I remember well) on most of the songs, which gave their music (‘electric violin thrash’ as they’d titled it on their LP) a special touch (sophisticated but still powerful). That summer they did this ‘Punkrock Tour 88 * Italohardcore meets electric violin thrash’ with their Italian mates of ‘Upside’ (great record ‘Tristi Orizzonti’ on TVOR)…

‘Upside’ got a first tape out in 1983 with Tritone on bass, Fonty on drums, Vanni on guitar and someone named Anguilla on vocals. A year later they released the 7” Nati Per Soffrire (Born To Suffer) with Mauro on vocals. Another tape followed in 1986. Their great LP Tristi Orizzonti would appear on TVOR On Vinyl a few years after this (in 1990). We’ld see those people back at a concert in Amsterdam’s Van Hall later that year…

We’d also invited my buddy Hans Engel’s band ‘Vernon Walters’. I’d seen them play (mostly together with ‘Indirekt’, both from Hoorn) quite often and my own band ‘Repulsives’ played some gigs with them in my hometown-area; plus: I liked their melodic hardcore-punk a lot. So it was an obvious choice to finally invite them over for a gig. I was helping Hans with the distribution of the material he released on his label (LMOOR) Lets Make Our Own recs (always very neat packages with decent graphics done by Hans himself, a professional printer) and we were mates. I’d gotten to know Niels (ex-‘Gepøpel’, -‘Indirekt’) also better through corresponding and distributing his various zines (Waakheer, Weekhaar, Weerhaak?,…) The ‘V.W.’ were: Hans Engel (vocals & guitar), Niels De Wit (guitar & vocals), Joost Warnik (bass) and Danny Schouten (drums). Niels, Danny & Joost teamed up again with Robert Bakker to form ‘Sack-O’-Woes’. Niels and Joost are also in ‘Uncontrollable Urgh’ (sort of a melodic ‘Buzzcocks’-punk revival).

After the concert, there was benefit-party in ‘De Gele Limonade’ (pub in the same street as Netwerk) in favour of the alternative free radio-station ‘Radio Katanga’.


Dominik: We organized the 1988 tour for ‘Upside’ and us by ourselves. It was our first big tour going to Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and through Germany. The show in Aalst was an exciting experience and our first time to play in Belgium.

Andi: I can remember just a few things of that show in Aalst. First of all the fact that the show started in the afternoon. It was really new to us having a punk-rock show in the afternoon (until the day). After our show at the ‘Weisshausstrasse squat’ in Cologne we had to get up way too early for the pretty long journey with our extremely lame van. Following us were a lot of people, as we toured together with ‘Upside’ and they had a lot of friends on the road with them. All in all we were 16 people, 8 of them playing in the 2 bands, 11 of them speaking barely a word of English or German. Needless to say that there was a bit of a confusion all the time. A new thing was the way people were dancing: they were all in a row running around in circles. Later we learned that was the ‘circle pit’. Another new experience was the food: I never ate that kind of vegan food (all vegetables were raw) [Brob: Of course: it was the middle of the summer! – smile] before and to tell you the truth,  that day it really sucked. The Italians, normally used to celebrate food (with meat) were the first to notice that and went of for a restaurant, but I didn’t have the money and ate some raw potatoes from a glass (there surely was better food than that but I have never been a friend of vegetables).

Dominik: Since we were ashamed of not eating more than a few bites of the packed plates, we tried to make Earny, our roadie eat our meals. But there was no chance…

Andreas: But I can still remember that show as a one for people who really cared. Everybody was happy and in a good mood, was enjoying the music. For example you, Brob: You were very friendly, interested more in the people you came in contact with than in the name of their bands. I still have to apologize because in the case of another show you organized for ‘F.F.F.’ I once told you that you looked like a ‘Belgian Fried Potato’ (Fritte) when I was drunk, which is the typical term for a Belgian by Germans. We had to leave straight after the show because our next show was the following day in Hamburg, Störtebecker. I remember rather well that we stayed for more than two hours at the border with Germany. The German customs checked us and were sure of busting us. In the beginning it was quiet funny because we were sure they wouldn’t find anything. After a while it got really boring. It was late at night and we still had a lot of road to go…. The customs-official told us that we would have to go to the hospital in order to get our asses checked but it all ended with the officials needing a hand with German-Italian translation. They were sure of getting one of the Italian guys who showed up in their computer due to a positive drug-control. But in the end we could leave without any bigger problems.

Dominik: As for the organisation, the other bands, the people we met; I recall that at least some members of ‘Decadence Within’ surprisingly showed up in a car with their family (dad, mom and sister) as we believed, coming straight from a beach-holiday (sorry if I get that wrong). Later I accused the guys to have spilled his drink onto our guitar-amp but later I found out that it was my band-mate Andreas. The sound and organisation of the show was great and we all had a lot of fun playing, with the dancing audience and the Smurfpunx-crew. It was one of the biggest venues we ever played. We knew Brob from his Tilt! fanzine and were happy he could set up a show for us in Belgium where we were almost unknown at that time.

Andi: Vladi returned to Chile (where he was born) in 1996 and is living there. He married and has a daughter but is not playing any music any more. It is very hard to get in contact with him as he is very lazy in writing. I went to visit him there twice but it is a very long and expensive journey (the flight alone takes 15-20 hours).

Dominik: Dolly is living in Italy (in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere), together with her boyfriend Gamba, drummer of ‘Upside’, since 2009. As we go to Italy regularly, we still meet. Most of the ‘Upside’ people have children and they don’t have contact anymore.

Andreas & Dominik (bassist & drummer of ‘F.F.F.’)

During a visit (2013) to Dolly (Enzenberger of ‘F.F.F.’) & Gamba (the later drummer) of ‘Upside’ – who got married, Dominik of ‘F.F.F.’ had a chat with the ‘Upside’ guys in Italy… Tritone (bassist) said that they did the show in Aalst with a drummer called Massimo… “After the show we had to get to Hamburg and we had trouble at the border.” Vanni (guitarist) remembers that the stage in Aalst was very big and that he saw a circle-pit for the first time. The band refers to this show as being in “La Palestra” – the gym – the circle-pit was something they had never seen and which was very impressive. Mauro (singer) remembers that he did not like the food, as it was all vegetarian, raw, from cans: “We all spent a lot of the money we got on food – vegetarianism was in vogue at venues at that time – but we were not at all vegetarian. We went to eat to another place.” Tritone remembers that after this show the authorities stopped them at the German/Belgium border. They were all searched because he was registered in a computer-database. “The border-patrol searched one van (8 people) – threatening us that we all had to go to a hospital in Aachen to get our arse checked for drugs. A girl in another car that did not get searched at all but forgot her bag at the gas-station right just past the border. She only noticed it about 100 kilometres further and the car that went back with her ran out of fuel on that way…” He has some pictures of this gig… The British band used their equipment…. It was a very positive experience to visit other countries and get to know people from Belgium, none of us had been there before. The people at the show were rather young, compared to other countries.

gig-review in Kwalpol #6:

>>Looking for the answer on the question “Would Brob be running up and down the venue so nervously at every Smurfpunx-concert?”, I decided to give that a closer check. The answer is, indeed… What a person doesn’t have to invent to come up with an original opening-line. This aside… Endless adoration and gushing with a band comes across as boring at long last; I’m fully aware of that. I get –pardon me- a big dick when Bert starts talking about ‘Public Enemy’ but when ‘Vernon Walters’ are performing in Aalst, I really can’t help it. Songs like ‘Fit In’ and ‘Welcome to Our World’ do creep into your head and stay there until an unspecified date. ‘Decadence Within’ played it safe with a kind of metal-core or whatever one can call it. People who know the correct name of this kinda music: write me; ‘cause it’s important to know.. No, let’s take ‘F.F.F.’ then. Fast but melodic hardcore, wit a female singer and a violin!!!§)°. 3 kisses for who came up with that. ‘Upside’, from Italy, also sounded like that. A bit like ‘Wretched’ from earlier days, no?<< [;-) Sorry for non dutch-speaking people but it’s really hard to capture Bart’s irony and play on words.]



  1. For an interview with ‘Decadence Within’, go to Decadence Within (interview Tilt! #6)

    Comment by Brob Tilt! — 08/27/2011 @ 15:05

  2. For an interview with ‘F.F.F.’, go to F.F.F. (interview Tilt! #6)

    Comment by Brob Tilt! — 09/12/2011 @ 14:12

  3. ‘F.F.F.’ Zerschlagt die Diktaturen; live in Limburg, Kakadu 1988

    Comment by Dominik Schetting — 03/28/2013 @ 15:33

  4. For an interview with ‘Vernon Walters’, go to Vernon Walters (Zelfkrant #8)

    Comment by Brob Tilt! — 10/22/2014 @ 15:08

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