Smurfpunx

11/30/2009

88-10-16 (Democrazy) Fugazi – Loveslug – Yeastie Girlz

During all those years organising concerts and tours, I cooperated with a lot of people (promoters is such an ugly word); some of them took of in another direction (away from D.I.Y., more commercial) and that sometimes caused (quite) a bit of friction… We’d been offered a bunch of intersting bands by ‘Konkurrent’ (a label/tour-promoter in Amsterdam) so when they did the first European tour for “The new band with ‘Minor Threat’/Dischord’s Ian MacKaye.” (but we didn’t put that on the poster ), we wanted to try that (didn’t want to just hype them), even though I was already putting question-marks behind ‘Konkurrent’ and ‘Dischord’ (read the columns in my zine ‘Tilt!). They definitely sounded refreshing an innovative. The crowd liked it very much. The people in the band were also very friendly: no arrogance, really down-to-earth and intelligent.  It was an afternoon-show because they had a 2nd  show in A’dam later that day. I tried to have a conversation about the D.I.Y. thing with Ian after dinner but after sitting/talking on the stairs to the backstage for only a little while, he was already called away to leave for their second gig… I had the impression he didn’t really want to talk about this…

Since ‘Netwerk’ was not available (we had a lot of show-dates going and the people running the venue wanted to do other things from time to time), we thought of trying to make a deal with one of the ‘indie’ venues in Gent. At that time they were located in an old run-down cinema/theatre on the outskirts of town and we knew some people there. The flyer says ‘Smurfpunx & Democrazy present’ but we did the whole thing, they just let us use the venue. It was a wonderful concert buy sadly enough only about 130 people showed up. ‘Fugazi’ was not that well-known yet but still, if we could’ve done in ‘Netwerk’ I think there would’ve been 300-400… At that time ‘Fugazi’ were: Ian MacKaye (vocals, guitar), Guy Picciotto (vocals, guitar), Joe Lally (bass) & Brendan Canty (drums).

We had more friends in A’dam… A few years before, while still organising in my hometown, I’d set up a gig for ‘Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers’ from Italy. That’s how I got to know their enigmatic singer Syd Migx. Later he ended up in A’dam and ‘teamed up’ with the outgoing Canadian Lorelei. They also did tour-promotion and we worked with them regularly too. Syd also sang for ‘No Pigs’ a while… Maybe a combination of all this  is how we got to ask ‘Loveslug’ (“the new ‘B.G.K.’, also from A’dam”). [A promo for their debut-album announces them as “Veterans of the Amsterdam HC/punk-scene who were in ‘B.G.K.’, ‘Outrageous’ and ‘Funeral Oration’.”.] It’s also possible that Tony ‘Nitwit’ (Leeuwenburgh, ex-‘B.G.K.’, singer and lead-guitarist) had send me a copy of their then newly released ‘Slug ‘em All’ album that needed promotion… ‘Loveslug’ played kind of early 70s rock in the vein of ‘MC5′ and ‘Stooges’. Besides Tony, the band was: Mike De Veer (bass, ex-‘Funeral Oration’), Frank Sloos (drums, ex-‘Outrageous’) & Oekel Brenzev (guitar).

During the X-mas holidays that year, a bunch of us Smurfpunx stayed over at the ‘Van Hall’ squat where Syd & Lorelei resided. [see: Smurfpunx @ Van Hall, Amsterdam] At that time Joyce and Cammie from the ‘Yeastie Girlz’ were living there too. We got to see them perform again. (Later Mokka and myself visited them when we were in San Francisco.) I think we’d only just read about the ‘Yeastiez’ at the time we were asked to book a show for ‘Fugazi’. Probably the ‘Konkurrent’ people suggested that the ‘Y.G.’ (“feminist a capella rapping”) would perform aswell because a whole bunch of people from Amsterdam were coming over. We agreed and they were the ‘surprise act’! And they were to come back!!!

Brob

A very memorable show and my first visit to Democrazy. The ‘Fugazi’ show was emotional and intense. The ‘Yeastie Girlz certainly helped lighten the mood with tongue-in-cheek political lo-fi hiphop… My memory of ‘Fugazi’ was that they weren’t as approachable or friendly compared to other bands in those days… But it only strengthened their identity and added to their mystique. Musically they were on their own path, which I still respect.

Steve ‘Sling’

I do have fond memories of the years spent in Amsterdam and with the ‘Yeastie Girlz’. Specific shows [e.g. Gele Limonade, Aalst, 21 jan 89 (Yeastie Girlz)] are difficult to pin-point out of the memory-banks as most of them were spent intoxicated as liquid courage was a necessity for me to get in front of a bunch of men that were quickly insulted or pissed off by our lyrics.

My fondest of memories has to be whenever a group of girls would come to the shows and show us moral and other support for what we wanted to express. Although very funny we obviously were verbalizing problems and issues that most of us young girls at that time & even now would otherwise not express or admit to. Being able to have them relate to our songs and some of these serious problems we ‘rapped’ about and also identify with them also helped us personally realize that we had comrades in our personal and social battles, we were not alone. If we were able to help and/or open up the eyes of just a few of our sisters and brothers out there to our feminine woes, this would definitely be the fondest of all memories.

Joyce J. (‘Yeastie Girlz’)

‘Yeastie Girlz’ Cammie, Kate & Joyce

Interesting to read about those shows. I was travelling by myself in Sept-Oct 1988: hitchhiking through Amsterdam, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway. I didn’t stay too long in any one place: a great week in Oslo (staying at the house of Katja, who was just starting ‘Life But How to Live It’, and participating in a march to save Blitz, the autonomous community-centre, where ‘Stengte Dører’ played on a truck throughout the march) and maybe a week in Lübeck and 4-5 days each in Göttingen, München & Berlin (including a memorable visit to East Berlin on the subway). I didn’t meet any squatters in Amsterdam or attend any shows, I was hanging out there only for a couple of days with a Dutch medical student friend who I met in Mexico. I did not meet up with Cammie, Joyce or Kate during my travels. A few times I arrived somewhere soon after they had left but we never crossed paths and weren’t in touch while in Europe. This was before the days when everyone had e-mail, of course. I had been in Nicaragua January-April 1988 and was really in a different place in my life at that point. I was fine with the Yeasties continuing without me, I didn’t really feel a part of it at that moment. I was also not much into drinking and partying which seems to have been a big component of the scene for a lot of people. In the summer of 1989 I moved to NYC.

Jane G.

[Brob: When Jane went off to Central-America for a few months (1988), Kate joined the ‘Y.G.’. Joyce & Cammie took off to Europe where Jane was travelling. When the latter returned to the Bay Area, Cammie, Kate & Jane recorded the 7″ for Lookout records. Joyce was living in the Netherlands and Cammie went to Europe and met up with her there, and Cammie & Joyce toured Europe as the ‘Yeastie Girlz’, opening for ‘Loveslug’. When Cammie “couldn’t possibly eat any more patat friet”, she went back to San Francisco and Kate took her place in Amsterdam, touring with Joyce and the boys of ‘Loveslug’. Soon afterwards the Yeasties carried on their separate lives, until around 1992 when ‘Consolidated’ asked to record a Yeastie song with the girlz. Cammie and Kate were still in the Bay Area at that point and adopted Wendy-O Matik to round out the vocals on the track, ‘You Suck’. Jane lives in NYC, where she played/s in ‘Growing Up Skipper’, ‘Profits of Misery’, ‘Joda’, ‘Huasipungo’.]

Some ‘Fugazi’-shots by ‘Kockie’:

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