Smurfpunx

05/19/2011

91-05-04 (Peanuts) Flag Of Democracy – The Big Thing – Majority Of One – Barf

This was going to turn out the last ever Smurfpunx concert. That night we went ‘bankrupt’ by losing  € 750,00. The reasons? What was going the last months: the increasing business-mentality in the HC/punk-scene, the consumerism, the desinterest for bands/people working in a true D.I.Y. manner, the lack of real support for what we wanted to do and the alternative we wanted to promote, leading to less people coming to the concerts… [read also: Peanuts, Lede, 23 mar 91 (N.O.F.)] The result was that we had to cancel the next one. I felt very bad for not being able to meet the commitment/ to fulfill the promise I’d already made (the 1st time ever) to the people who were doing the tour for ‘Assassins Of God’ (Zündi & Ute from Berlin) and having to let down my friends of ‘Decadence Within’. (In the end they didn’t come over ’cause Stefan Joosten couldn’t get them enough gigs.) At first we wanted to evaluate the situation and see whether it was worthwhile to go on and how. Finding a smaller place where no P.A. was needed? Joining/cooperating with other people? But after a while it faded… For me it meant I couldn’t organise bigger tours anymore. I went on to collaborate with the Vort’n Vis people and I did my things at a ‘lower’ level…

The show was very good atmosphere-wise (even with only 120 people). There was a core of people that endorsed us but unfortunately not enough to be able to survive.

Unexpectedly ‘Majority Of One’ showed up and they played aswell. Their tour (organised by the rather commercial First Strike recs) was a mess so we tried to help ’em out a bit. We even gave them some of the food and money we reserved for the other bands. I doubt it this would’ve been the case if they did that in a mainstream venue… Todd Swangstu, bassplayer of ‘M.O.O.’ quit the band because he did not want to go on that tour. Ali Moazed played guitar, Eric Lemle the drums. Vocalist was Dirk Hemsath (owner of Doghouse recs in New York City).

‘F.O.D.’, a long-lasting trio from Philadelphia, were (are) Jim McMonagle (guitar, lead vocals), Dave Rochon (bass, backing vocals) & Robert ‘Bob’ Walker (drums) playing great melodic up-tempo and fast, thrashy HC/punk. They were touring with ‘The Big Thing’, another Philly punkrock-band.

Brob

‘Barf’ [local band] were myself, Jenne, Vincent, Nic. I can’t tell much more about it…

Ludde, Smurfpunx dude (now singer for ‘Muckrakers’)

I can remember the show…haha… ‘Majority Of One’ were kind of clean-cut hardcore guys and we were all crazy older guys. There was a local band on the bill to right? Kind of grindy?… I had their sticker for years on my guitar-case but I’m spacing out on their name… They gave me a vegetarian sticker as well with a big cow-head on it! That was when all that scum-fuck judges and cops were fucking with little kids back in ‘91…

Jim, ‘F.O.D.’ guitarist

This would end up being the last Smurfpunx show, bit of a bummer I think, not a farewell party [Brob: There was another concert planned but that got cancelled in the end…], more a show that dragged on and with people being there checking their watches to get out as soon as possible. ‘Flag Of Democracy’ was a great band from the mid 80s, touring way after their heyday to promote some re-issue of the 1st classic lp and totally unwanted new album on Bitzcore. Their show was great because they didn’t give a fuck, I think they were drunk and it was sloppy as hell, every song sounded the same, it was nice. ‘The Big Thing’ was some Bitzcore support that I totally forgot about and ‘Majority Of One’ was clean straight-edge sounding by the numbers, with Dirk who would later take over Lumberjack and Mordam, and tear them to pieces. So why bother to go? Because you always ended up meeting new people… Driving for ‘M.O.O.’ was Whitey who played with ‘Electro Hippies’ in the end and was a really nice funny guy, he ended up touring with us on the ‘N.O.F.’ tour in 1993 and we spent a lot of time together. Sadly lost touch with each other afterwards but meeting people like him was what made going to shows and hanging around in the HC-scene great. In retrospect a lot of the music and bands were crap and fake but meeting a small number of people that were in the same mind-space was great.

Jeroen Lauwers

12/16/2009

91-03-23 (Peanuts) Nations On Fire – Hiatus – Triptych – Zero Positives – Xinix

Filed under: Peanuts, Lede — Tags: , , , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 10:28

Mokka called this the final Smurfpunx concert… Actually, there were some more later on under that name but it was probably the last one where the ‘main’ group of collaborators were involved. Things had been crumbling down those last months, ideas were drifting apart, the spirit faded. I was more and more reluctant to do shows for bands with HardCore-punk roots but who were just about the music and not the ideology/politics anymore; quite a few of these were touring with commercial promoters or releasing stuff on ditto labels and the D.I.Y. idea was far away.

As you can see on the flyer, I posed the question “Is there still a HardCore-scene in Belgium!??”. And that was because of the above. So I persuaded the others to do show with five Belgian bands playing different styles, from different regions and backgrounds; trying to ‘re-unite’ the Belgian punk-scene. All of them mates and/or people I was friendly with. ‘Hiatus’, the ‘crusty’ punx from Liège (french-speaking part of Belgium) replaced the originally booked ‘Vortex’ (don’t know anymore why these couldn’t make it). The ‘straight edge’ band ‘Nations On Fire’ (just came back from a UK tour, Hazel had left – see 91-02-08). ‘Triptych’, the band of the ‘Heibel’-bros (Jo, Herwin, Pé); Dirk Scum’s noise-combo ‘Zero Positives’ and the punky ‘Xinix’ (Bart Van Malderen & his mates). The idea was also to get a bigger crowd together again ’cause the turn-outs hadn’t been that fabulous. The ‘audience’ had become more and more jaded (only interested in ‘big’, well-known US or UK outfits) and divided.

Another problem we had to deal with was the fact that the people running the ‘alternative cultural centre’ (‘Netwerk’) in Aalst that had been so wellcoming all those years, became more and more reluctant to make the venue available for us. They wanted to do more and other activities (exhibitions, theatre, etc.) so we regularly had to look for another venue; which was not so easy: renting a place costs money, the location was not optimal. ‘Peanuts’ was more like an old local parish-hall in a ‘dead’ province-town (Lede) but this is what we could get and afford. We soon had to admit the place didn’t excite people too much…

I think the turn-out was still OK but it could’ve been better; especially with all these promising bands. Oh well, I guess the ‘buzz’ was more or less gone and it was time for something new. Myself, I would soon start to collaborate with the Vort’n Vis in Ieper…

The ‘Nations On Fire’ show was video-taped and appeared on on the anti-fascist benefit for the SCALP (Section Carrément Anti Le Pen, from Lille, France). This was the work of A.T.C. (Above The Crowd; i.e. Wim & Chat’n of the band ‘Blindfold’).

Brob

Well, at this point it was fairly clear that Smurfpunx were going to end, Vort’n Vis and it’s younger crowd had taking over by then, you just knew the old Smurfpunx crew was burning out and ‘growing up’, it was a new generation taking over. This show had some of the leading Belgian bands of the moment but it’s honest to say that ‘Hiatus’ and ‘N.O.F.’ were the two bands on this bill that had ambition to go somewhere. ‘Zero positives’ and ‘Xinix’ were nice people but you just knew that it would never go somewhere and ‘Triptych’ was a post-‘Heibel’ band that you knew were already going somewhere else that wasn’t hardcore.

Jeroen Lauwers

This was probably one of my first ones in ‘Hiatus’. A good souvenir.

Willy, ‘Hiatus’

Spatje (‘P.J.D.’) joining in on vocals with ‘Hiatus’ (pic provided by Spatje)

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