Smurfpunx

12/19/2011

The Terneuzen Connection

Please allow me to share a little bit of history on how things got off the ground in Terneuzen at the time. When we first started to organise gigs we were located in a little shitty place called Jamasj. It had been there for years and was run by various people before. I think it was meant to be some kind of youth-centre. When I started hanging out there I must have been 16 years old. It was a place were you could hang, listen to the music you liked (and your parents despised) and meet like-minded people. People were already organising gigs there. Mostly local speedmetal bands that drew a mixed audience of punks and metalheads.

As I got more and more into punk and hardcore I started looking for ways to expand my network. Terneuzen was never an exciting place to live in. There were no recordshops and we were pretty much disconnected from the rest of The Netherlands. I just started to correspond with people who were in bands or made their own fanzine. Brob -who was doing Tilt! fanzine at the time- was one of the first guys I wrote. I can’t recall how I got hold of his address. Probably through a flyer. He sent me his latest edition of his fanzine + a very nice letter that encouraged me to stay in touch. Which we did from that point. I joined Jamasj as a volunteer helping out with the bar. As my network grew we started thinking about organising punk gigs at this youth-centre ourselves. Brob had offered me to organise gigs on several ocassions. I can’t remember how we worked together in Jamasj but he played there with his own band once (‘Yuppies’ Death’). If my memory serves me well it was a benefit and ‘Profound’ (later ‘Man Lifting Banner’) played there as well. [Brob: The poster tells something different. I think ‘M.L.B.’ played on another occasion…]

In 1988 the city decided that we had to move out of the venue for safety reasons. The surrounding houses were mostly already torn down and there was a risk that our venue would collapse as well. Apart from that we were located in a neighbourhood which caused many problems with the people living there. Almost every gig we got a visit by the police, ordering us to adjust the volume. We negotiated with the city for a while to get a new place where we could continue our activities. They didn’t really care about us all that much. We were completely self-supporting and they had little interest in offering us an alternative. Eventually in 1990 we could move into an old building-complex that belonged to the military in WW II. It was literally called the “bomb-shelter”. Walls with a thickness of 1 meter. Just what we needed. Funny thing was that this place was located in the main area were all the regular bars and discos were. Often we would have people walking in there that were caught completely off-guard once they discovered it wasn’t your average disco. On the other hand lots of people kept coming back because we sold drinks at a much cheaper rate than the bars across the street. Unfortunately the city had other plans for this building so we were only allowed to use this place for about 1 year. I think it was a little longer eventually. Anyway, a lot of work had to be done to make this place suitable for gigs. We had to build a bar, toilets and a stage. There was no running water and poor electricity. A lot of work needed to be done before we could even think about having bands playing there. After a lot of hard work we were ready to open our doors again. We changed the name to Kalashnikov. It sounded nice and there was a link to the political things and benefits we organised.

Our opening gig on June 15th 1990 was a coop with Brob. He had asked us if we could set up a gig for two bands with former ‘Heresy’ and ‘Ripcord’ members. They were called ‘Can’t Decide’; ‘Force Fed’ toured with them. It was a close call as we weren’t completely ready to get started when we agreed to do the gig. I remember we were still busy fixing the electricity when the band arrived with their van. I remember it was a steamy and sensational gig. Because it was pretty hot that day we decided to open the backdoor of the venue to cool the place down a little bit. Not to the liking of the neighbours. Even one of the local politicians complained that he and his wife had a hard time getting some sleep although they lived about 1 km away. We got a warning from the police but we were able to fix this problem for future events.

Another gig worth mentioning was the ‘Sons Of Ishmael’ gig. Fabulous folks from Canada who were super nice. The gig was very well visited and we had lots of people from Belgium coming over. I think ‘Chronic Disease’ played that night as well (Hi Steve!).

Unfortunately over a little more than a year we had to leave this place. There were plans of squatting the place since it was so perfect for what we were doing but eventually the city decided to relocate us in a new to be build multifunctional centre but it just wasn’t the same atmosphere anymore. Many people who volunteered for Kalashnikov moved out of Terneuzen. We continued to organise gigs there but the spirit slowly died. A new generation slowly took over. I think one of the last dates we set up with Brob was a gig for ‘Green Day’ who weren’t known yet at the time. I think they were on Lookout recs. I think we must have had about 15 paying customers at the door…

I had such great times both organising gigs and visiting all the marvelous Smurfpunx dates. I have been to Aalst numerous times. Thanks Brob for the many times you gave me a ride there and let me use your couch. Good to see all these people share there memories here. Keep up the good work!

Mark Belaert

Some dates I remember…

22 apr ’88: Afflict (Nl) in Jamasj; Subterranean Kids (Spa) were announced but cancelled…

20 aug ’88: the first ever gig of my 2nd band Yuppies Death: with my Hoorner buddies Vernon Walters and Winterswijker mates W.C.F.…

19 nov ’88: Doom + Concrete Sox, with Chronic Disease (the poster mentions ‘Chaos UK’ and they actually played: here’s the recordings!)

26 nov ’88: Heibel (with Peter singing) & Cry Of Terror (see below)…

17 dec ’88: The Ewings (Ger), Dr Rat (Ger)

25 mar ’89: Doom (UK), Concrete Sox (UK)

8 apr ’89: Vernon Walters (Nl), Antic Hay (Nl)

19 aug ’89: Lethal Gospel (USA), 5Les (Bel)

16 jun ’90: Can’t Decide (UK), Force Fed (UK)

31 aug ’90: my Canadian friends Sons Of Ishmael with my ‘bloodbrothers’ Seein’Red (pictures donated by Jeroen L. below) and Nessun Dorma (UK)

20 apr ’91: Belgian crusties Hiatus & Private Jesus Detector

11 may ’91: I think Earth Citizens (from Switzerland) played [Brob’s tours]

28 jun ’91: Econochrist (USA), Chronic Disease (Bel)

8 dec ‘91: Green Day; indeed…

And there were a lot more bands that I saw there… ‘The Ex’, etc.

Brob

Jamasj… Great times! ‘Chronic Disease’ played twice there, first one was with ‘Chaos UK’. Second time with ‘Doom’ & ‘Concrete Sox’. I also remember seeing ‘De Kift’ there. We were all impressed by them. ‘Chronic Disease’ (or was it ‘Private Jesus Detector’?) played once in the Kalashnikov with ‘Hiatus’ and ‘Econochrist’. And then it all ended…

Leffe

‘Seein’Red’

Daragh Hayes & Tim Freeborn (‘Sons Of Ishmael’)

Brob, Hazel, Jeroen, Paul Morris (‘S.O.I.’), Ward,…

‘Cry Of Terror’

‘Private Jesus Detector’

89-03-25 Doom - Concrete Sox (Terneuzen)

9x-xx-xx Doom (Jamasj, Terneuzen)9x-xx-xx Doom' (Jamasj, Terneuzen)‘Doom’ in Jamasj

88-11-19 Chaos UK (Terneuzen)

91-06-28 Econochrist (Terneuzen)

89-04-08 Vernon Walters - Antic Hay (Terneuzen)

more later???…

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2 Comments »

  1. Thanks for including this Brob! Good to see the flyer again after so many years!

    Comment by Mark Belaert — 12/19/2011 @ 17:17

  2. I have more flyers and pictures from the ‘Econchrist’ gig… Will post soon…

    Comment by Steve 'Sling' — 01/15/2012 @ 10:51


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