Smurfpunx

02/07/2011

86-05-03 (Roxy) Kikkerspuug – Laitz – B.T.D. – Loud Warning – [Lärm]

————————-

That day, myself and my ‘Repulsives’ definitely moved our arses to Dendermonde. I was present but wasn’t part of the organisation (yet). I’m still not sure if this was a Smurfpunx only thing: the flyer mentions Ack Ack, which was the tape-label of our mate Kurt Boelens (who also gave my band ‘Repulsives’ a lot of opportunities when we just started out). Since he wasn’t from anywhere near Dendermonde, I’m almost sure that Mokka (who also did a tape-label then) and pre-Smurfpunx helped him getting things sorted for this fest in the Roxy (where the group of people that was to become the Smurfpunx-collective had previously set up their first hardcore/punk night).

Not all the bands announced on the flyers actually played… That’s just the way things went at that time. ‘Lärm’ had played at the earlier show but the other Dutch bands did show up. If I remember well ‘Loud Warning’ (vocalists Eppe & Volkert, guitarist Paul, drummer Erik, bassist Gwynn) were from the same town as ‘Lärm’, Amersfoort; ‘Laitz’ (Ferko Bodnar – guitar, Joep van Liefland – bass, Joost Teunissen – drums & Ron Goris – vocals) & ‘Kikkerspuug’ (“frog-spit”; Rob van Aller – guitar, Jerry van der Valk – drums, Jos (Frank Roemer?) – bass, Thomas van Straten – vocals) from Utrecht; and ‘Behind The Dikes’…from somewhere (smile). Why ‘Attic 22’ (from the Belgian coast) and ‘Verdomde Idioten’ (from even closer by) didn’t show up…? ‘Naked Nuns’ were from Deinze.

Brob

86-05-03-crowd-roxycrowd-shot (courtesy of Kurt Boelens)

Casper (‘B.T.D.’ singer) and I (Marc, ‘B.T.D.’  bassplayer) had just finished our highschool-exams that friday. We didn’t know if we had failed or passed. Bart ”B.T.D.’ drummer) and Marco (‘B.T.D.’ guitarist) had already dropped out of school – after all this were the 80s – and couldn’t care  less. We started ‘B.T.D.’ in 1982/83 when we were 15 or 16 years old, and whenever we had a show, we either went their with our bicycles or took the train. The latter meant that we usuallly had to wait to catch the first train the next day to get back home somewhere around 7 or 8 a.m. Neither coming from a big town, nor being part of a strong scene, we usually teamed up with similar, befriended bands, like ‘Indirekt’ or ‘Gepöpel’, or got a lot of help from our friends ‘Lärm’. I don’t remember how we got in touch with ‘Laitz’ and ‘Kikkerspuug’, probably through writing and tape-trading. They both hailed from Utrecht, were there was a somewhat stronger scene, with squats like Punkenburg and bands like ‘E.H.B.O.’ and ‘Vacuum’. ‘Loud Warning’ used to be called ‘Resistance’ and they came from Amersfoort – the ‘Lärm’/Definite Choice/Grachtkerk-connection. After playing a couple of shows together, hanging out at other shows, meeting up at each other’s place, the four bands got the idea of putting out a compliation-record together (which later in 1986 would be released with the title ‘On Our Way To Fools Paradise’).

Looking at the two different versions of the flyer for this show, the only thing I can imagine is that our Belgian friends first asked ‘Lärm’ to come to play and that both ‘B.T.D.’ & ‘Loud Warning’ tagged along with them. I guess that for some reason – Menno was probably occupied with something outside hardcore/punkrock ;-) – ‘Lärm’ wasn’t able to play the show so we got ‘Kikkerspuug’ & ‘Laitz’ filling in the open position on the bill. I remember that I just got my driving-license, but getting four bands – 16 people – to Belgium was pushing it. So Ferko and Joep from ‘Laitz’ managed to rent two beat-up vans with drivers from this squat/hippy-‘organisation’ called De Hoeksteen (‘The Cornerstone’) from Utrecht. We sat in an old Peugeot van, without seatbelts and with sliding front doors. They had two or three seats in the front & the rear and most of the people were just put in the loading-compartiment, together with some matrasses. Since it was warm we drove all the way to Belgium (about 150 miles) with the doors slided backwards. When we got to Dendermonde we found everything very exiting. The people from Ack-Ack/Smurfpunx who put up the show gave us plenty of drink-tickets, we had a dressing-room and the venue was something like an old dancing-hall; pretty big, high ceilings. For diner we got white bread with raw, grinded meat [Brob: Hardly anyone in the punk-scene had heard about vegetarianism at that time.], that – I now dare to confess this, after being vegetarian for 23 years – we fed to the chickens in a yard behind the venue. Anyway, the bread tasted good.

In my memory the show wasn’t sold out but there was a decent crowd. I don’t remember too much of playing the actual show, besides that I have some pretty speeded-up tape-recordings of it [Leffe posted them here: http://systemsabotagechaos.blogspot.com/2011/02/btd-live-03-05-86-roxy-dendermonde.html], so it sounds really tight and fast but also pitched too high, like the ‘Bad Brains’ on ‘Rock For Light’. What I really remember was the aftermath: a big fight between the punks (us, amongst others) and the local yokels, that weren’t really attracted the the whole concept of punkrock and hardcore. Folkert, the singer of ‘Loud Warning’, was sitting outside the venue by himself right after the show. He was approached by 3 or 4 local rednecks and before he knew it he got some blows to head. Right behind him, he felt a lose brick on the pavement that he – in pure self-defence – threw into the face of one of his attackers. When he ran back into the venue he was bleeding too. When we ran out to see what was going on, I guess some guys from the local redneck pack had thought the same thing. I also vaguely remember a wooden, temporarely placed bridge, that we used to prepare ourselves for the upcoming battle. In the early stages of what could have become an all out local war, the Belgian police arrived at the scene. Which is a different kind of police then what we – hailing from Holland – were used too (after all, the Dutch police likes to ‘talk’ first). So somewhere in all of this, I think Marco, Bart and myself ended up face down on the curb, handcuffed. Which was a serious problem, besides just being uncomfortable.

Let me explain: in Holland, back in those days, we had a general draft for all 18 year boys for the army. Which was not that hard to get out of, for social or medical (‘insanity’) reasons, in which BTD, Marco and myself all managed. But Bart even refused to go the physical/medical examination; he was what was called a ‘totaalweigeraar’ (‘war resister’), for which he was sought by the Dutch government (and served jailtime for it, 8 months, in 1989/90). So Bart travelled without passport,and being arrested by the Belgian police could lead to him being jailed immediately. Anyway, back to Dendermonde, being face down on the street. I managed to get my passport – which was in my backpocket of my pants – in my cuffed hands, I walked over to one of the officers and said “Look, I am a Dutch civilian, we are with 20 people from the Netherlands here, we have absolutely nothing to do with this, so if you remove our handscuffs, we will pack up our stuff and leave quietly.”. Somehow they believed us and took of the cuffs, and we could pack up and leave.

I still feel sorry for Folkert but all in all it was a great punkrock night, with a good show, nice people and a (small) fight and encountering foreign police. When we got home, somewhere around 4 p.m. or so, we all had this great feeling of satisfaction, we really accomplished a small milestone in our little punkrock universe. Thank you Ack Ack and Smurfpunx people!

Marc H. (bass for ‘Behind The Dikes’)

Here’s some ‘B.T.D.’ photographs (kindly donated by Marc):

‘Behind The Dikes’ on stage * watchdog Kockie with his ‘Uniform Choice’ T-shirt

some more ‘B.T.D’ action * spot Werner H. dreaming away…

‘B.T.D. & the crowd

Heavy riot that night, indeed! (started when our singer was harassed by some blokes from outside, a brick in someone’s face out self-defense)… Anyway, I was 14 then… We were part of the ‘Kippenhok’-crew [Grachtkerk, punk meeting/concert-place in Amersfoort], did16 or so shows, (including 10 with ‘Lärm’ ;-)…

The rest of Loud Warning’ was Eppe (female singer, was living in the U.K. in a -sort of- hippy commune), Folkert (male singer, haven’t heard of him for more than 10 years either), Erik (drums, used to hang out with his hooligan friends), Paul (guitar, at one time psychobilly and drug-dealer)…

Gwynn Ten Boske (‘Loud Warning’ bassplayer; later ‘N.R.A.’)

The only thing that comes to mind (I was extremely drunk and stoned then) is that the audience was pogo-ing on stage and someone touched me with his pinkie: and because I was always singing at the top of my lungs, that little touch made me fall into the drum-kit…. Our drummer Joost couldn’t appreciate that really…

Ron Goris (singer ‘Laitz’)

Rob, guitarist of ‘Kikkerspuug’, here… Strangely enough I can remember very little of the concert, but a few minor things.

We drove to Belgium in two vans together with ‘Laitz’. I recall that when loading so many supporters and interested people got that the drummer and myself were almost left behind in the rehearsal-space and we could barely be crammed in. We were sitting in the back on the ground of the cargo-space between drums and amps. Everything was rattling and the road was long. I remember the moment we finally arrived in Dendermonde and got out, we were accosted by a Belgian punk: if we “had a spoon” with us, because he was just getting to eat from a newly opened tin can without any cutlery. I suspect it was beans.

Nothing comes to me about setting up the gear and the sound-check, but indeed about the white bread with – oh horror – raw minced meat. Maybe this is a Belgian delicatesse [Brob: Not really; guess none of the Smurfpunx knew how to cook at that time. The food-quality changed drastically in a positive way later…], but we had never seen that before. In my mind, I still see this big hunk of minced meat on a soup-plate, uncooled, in the middle of a rickety table; but time of course influences the memory… Perhaps it was fresh and well-cooled filet americain on a brand-new table. Who knows. We fed the chickens who were walking around with some of the white bread and went into town looking for some French fries.

About the gigs of the bands, including my own, I can’t remember anything. Just that at the end of the evening a Belgian stormed in, shouting that people were “scuffling with the snobs”, an act that came across as mysterious to us. Shortly afterwards we heard that there had been a fight with – as we understood – the local disco-crowd and the venue was swept clean by the gendarmerie. So we quickly packed and left quitely.

Rob van Aller (kikkerspuug.nl)

stickers that came with 4-way split ‘On Our Way to Fools Paradise:

Advertisements

11/19/2010

90-09-14 (Roxy) M.D.C. – Spermbirds – Hell’s Kitchen

Filed under: Roxy, Dendermonde — Tags: , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 17:36

It was back to the roots for this one – the Roxy , where things had started out for Smurfpunx – because Netwerk was not available. The Roxy is a bigger venue but slightly less cozy. But perhaps it was safer to use a bigger place this time: 700 people showed up for this bill (biggest crowd we ever had) – a scaring amount, even by our standards (and ‘controlling’ such a crowd is hard work: one ‘sparkle’ and the whole thing can ‘explode’; we never used ‘bouncers’, always tried to resolve things in an amicable way – but that’s more difficult when there’s a lot of people who usually don’t come to the shows). I can’t remember much of the gig either, probably didn’t enjoy it as much as I should with all those things to arrange, running around and stuff… It was to be expected: ‘M.D.C.’ was b.i.g. (hence expensive – but there was room for negotiation about their ‘fee’; their -Belgian- roadie knew about our situation) and had gotten themselves a reputation (but they weren’t the rockstars some people claimed they were) over the years so a 1st gig for Smurfpunx sounded promising. The entrance (€ 7,50) was a bit more than usual because the rent of the venue was more expensive. We had met Dave Dictor in San Francisco and he had told us to contact Dave Pollack (Destiny recs; singer of ‘No Allegiance’) who organised this tour. About a year before they were already planned but that tour got cancelled (drummer in prison?)…

‘Spermbirds’ (almost family at that time) played for our collective for the 3rd time and the metalheads were pleased to see those Americans named after New York City’s neighbourhood ‘Hell’s Kicthen’ (actually they’re from California) back for the 2nd time that year…

The majority of the collective saw this as an opportunity to pay our debts and hopefully build up some financial reserve (even though the admission was € 5 as usual) but I had started to move away from the hypes and the bands flirting with commercial attitudes (not necessarily these here), wanted to really go back to the grass-roots and was already booking smaller bands (e.g. ‘Can’t Decide’, ‘Alians’, ‘Juggling Jugulars’, etc.) in other venues. My connection with the Vort’n Vis (Ieper’s autonomous youthcentre) was growing tighter… But I also continued with Smurfpunx. For others in the collective (Mokka e.g., who was thinking about giving it all up) this one was a motivation to go on…

Brob

‘Spermbirds’ tourposter

Some pictures by Philippe Anthonis:

Lee, the big maestro, had to conduct the orchestra sitting on a chair because he busted his knee…

Isn’t he a master at playing the public…

Markus seemed hurt too…

Some more action!

‘M.D.C.’ was touring with the former bassplayer of ‘Operation Ivy’ (Matt Freeman) in 1990…

Smurfpunx’ Ludde listening carefully to what Dave Dictor has to say…

‘Spermbirds’: Lee Hollis (vocals) – Markus Weilemann (bass) – Matthias ‘Beppo’ Götte (drums) – Roger Ingenthron (guitar) – Frank Rahm (guitar) (photos by ‘Kockie’; Brob in the background…):

90-09-14 Spermbirds guitar crowdsurfing (Roxy) by Kockie

90-09-14 Spermbirds Beppo (Roxy) by Kockie

90-09-14 Spermbirds bass (Roxy) by Kockie

90-09-14 Spermbirds Roger (Roxy) by Kockie

We were back 5 months after the first tour [see: Netwerk, Aalst, 3 mar 90 (Hell’s Kitchen)] and played with ‘Spermbirds’, they were great guys. This show was big fun for us. I was nursing a bad knee from a mid-air collision with Troy @ Gilman street earlier that year, I was totting around that knee-brace on the first European tour, so when Lee hurt his knee at this show I broke out that brace but Lee chose the chair for support over trusting my brace. ‘Knee Brace the 7 Deadly Sin’. Hahahaha! It’s in one of the songs on ‘Fistful of Chicken’, the line was “Embrace the 7 deadly sins, somebody loses somebody wins”. I t was a running joke within the band. Yeah, I still wore that thing on stage as a reminder.

Ghert was the driver and booked this second tour for us. We we were informed [2011] he died of a heart-attack. His wife got in touch with me through Facebook and told me they played a few ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ songs at his funeral: “Hurry up and Die & Bang your head until your dead, those were his favorite H.K. songs”, she said, “I hope you don’t mind if we used those songs.”, we loved him I told her and wished we could have been there to lend support and play them live for him one last time… R I P. G-MAN…

Weird System was the record-label that put out Fistful Of Chicken.

P.S. Matt and Mike (our drummer) joined forces with Lint (Tim Armstrong, ‘Rancid’) to form a cool band called ‘Generator’. They lasted for about 8 months before Matt and Tim started ‘Rancid’ I Think Mike might have a four-track recording of some of it…

Jimi ‘Haze’ Hayes, singer for ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

‘Hell’s Kitchen’ tourposter

Gosh…a 1990 gig with the ‘Spermbirds’ in Belgium… The tour was booked by Doug Karin (an American with an Italian girlfriend) who is currently missing in action as far as I can tell. It was booked starting and ending in Rome on our tour ‘All Roads Lead To Rome’. Fitzjoy (I believe a Belgian guy) was the roadie and van-driver and we piled into his older classic euro van for a 30 day tour. The ‘M.D.C.’ line-up was with Matt Freeman of ‘Operation Ivy’/’Rancid’ [bass] fame, with Bill Collins [guitar] of the East Bay California scene and with Al Shvitz on drums and me on vocals. I remember very little of the show except that it happened. Belgium, in the 1980s and early 1990s, was sadly always a mystery to me… It wasn’t ‘til the 2000s tours that I really focused on Belgium, realized there was a Gent and that there was a Lintfabriek. I do remember that the Belgium gigs were always friendly as were the accommodations.

Dave Dictor

10/25/2009

86-05-10 (Roxy) Indirekt – Stalag 17 – Vortex – X-Creta – Deviant Gedrag – Hate Crew – Statskirielja

>>‘Kankerkommando’ started the evening. It was OK but it was clear the band still needed a bit of work. The same goes for ‘Deviant Gedrag’ although I did like them. Slow punk; every song reminded me of something well-known. ‘Hate Crew’ ensured the fun for the local trashers. Simple, fast songs and above all good vocals. Then we were ready for ‘Indirekt’. Terrific! You just can ‘t keep quiet with a band like this. When I got away from the stage for a moment, there was murmur about a 75°C performance or something like that and the beer-bottles were passed around. […] Later we also got to see ‘Stalag 17’. Everyone had gotten tired and sluggish, which wasn’t to the liking of the drummer (“Has someone died or what?”). Their music wasn’t bad but the whole was messed up by terribly weak singing.<<

‘D.R.O.L.’ #10 (’86; Belgian fanzine)

Drol #10 over Dendermonde 10mei86 x

Apparently the ‘bill’ changed a bit the evening itself…

We’ve always felt very appreciated and very welcome in Belgium. I just remember the great atmosphere in the ‘Roxy’ at that time. Here’s a picture I found from that night. Looking at the chord my fingers are forming, I think it was shot during our song ‘Nacht und Nebel’…

Ruud Sweering (www.myspace.com/indirekt)

Indirekt x‘Indirekt’ (Nl): Guitarist Ruud Sweering & vocalist Anneke Knip …and a Smurf-punk on the bass-drum ;-) (pic kindly donated by Ruud)

A couple of months before I’d seen ‘Indirekt’ live for the 1st time (at the ‘De Waag’ in Antwerp)… That evening I got infected with their Dutch-spoken singalong punkrock for life. There was a huge pile-up on stage that night during their songs ‘Klitten’ & ‘Faust’ (ending up in their version of children’s rhyme ‘deze vuist op deze vuist’)… And, even today, I still feel as militant as in those days when I hear them burst out in ‘H.E.L.’ (‘onder de blauwe hemel’…). It speaks for itself I was very pleased to meet them here again. ‘Indirekt’ were Ruud Sweering (guitar), Anneke Knip (vocals), Rick Blom (bass) and Jeroen Hennis (drums). Niels De Wit was probably their stand-in drummer here.

Brob

No, not ‘Indirekt’ but the – at that time – snotty punx (smile) of  ‘Statskirielja’: guitarist Dirk ‘Torre’ Tondeleir – drummer Koen Schepens – singer Martine – bassist Ludwig ‘Ludde’ De Bock (see also 1st Smurfpunx-fest) (thanx to Ludde for the pic)

Some photos by Serge Harvent:

‘Hate Crew’ (1st incarnation); L=>R: Guido, Mone, Kris & Guy (Scalle in the corner)

‘X-Creta’: Erwin Vanmol (guitar), Erik Steppe (drums), Marc Maes (vocals), Peter Reynaert (bass)

‘Deviant Gedrag’: Izzy (guitar), Dirk Jans (drums), Danny (vocals), Jo ? (bass)

‘Indirekt’: Ruud (guitar), Niels (drums), Anneke (vocals), Rick (bass)

‘Vortex’: Marco (guitar), Vincent ‘Fax’ (drums), Steve (vocals), JP (bass)

‘Stalag 17′: Brian McCann (guitar), Joe Carey (vocals), Petesy Burns (drums), ‘Big’ Jim Gilmore (guitar)

Well, we arrived on the European continent as a completely changed band line-up and kicked off our tour at the Roxy in Dendermonde, but that was the Smurfpunx part of the story, a paint-brush sweep of the picture that was ‘Stalag 17’. So, let’s paint a bigger picture….

Belfast was dead, the Harp Bar had closed and all the local punk heroes had gone to London to ride the New Wave. Rumours of punk dying were very exaggerated though… It was just waking up, in it’s real form and the crowds at the early gigs had ideas of doing their own thing. ‘Stalag 17’ were still plugging away, covering punk favourites, while building up a set of their own material, implacably anti-establishment, playing where they could get gigs, probably the important one being in the Belfast Anarchy Centre, supporting other anarcho-punk bands ‘Crass’, ‘Annie Anxiety’ and ‘Poison Girls’. From this platform, ‘Stalag 17’ forged ties with like-minded Belfast anarchists in Just Books Anarchist Bookshop. They faced a great deal of hostility, wherever they played.

With the impetus built from the Anarchy Centre, punks got established venues in and around Belfast, who didn’t want us, but they needed us, as Belfast was so polarised, few people went into the city, ‘Stalag 17’ playing alongside local bands such as ‘Asylum’ and ‘Toxic Waste’, encouraging stalwarts of the anarcho-punk scene to play Belfast. Bands such as ‘Conflict’, ‘Subhumans’ and ‘Dirt’ travelled over to a thriving scene. ‘Conflict’ offered ‘Stalag 17’ a place on their label Mortarhate’s compilation >We Don’t Want Your Fucking War< and the interest created by that compilation led to a split 12” with ‘Toxic Waste’, >The Truth Will Be Heard<.

The band toured Scotland and England and Wales, over the next few years with varying success, releasing a demo >From Belfast with Love<. During the rest of 1985 the band recorded a track for the Words of Warning label’s first release >You Are Not Alone< alongside ‘Oi Polloi’, then going on to a three-week tour in Europe, in 1986. This busy year also saw the band recording tracks for the >We Will be Free< album, featuring Toxic Waste and Asylum. All through this time the band were working with others to set up an autonomous centre in Belfast. Read about it here: http://www.warzonecollective.com [There’s some videos in the comments.]

Oh yes, Dendermonde! The first gig of a tour where we had to completely rebuild the band, having lost a drummer and guitarist. Locals Werner [Exelmans, Hageland Hardcore] (tour-manager) and Gunter [Wiebel] (beer-adviser) were great fun. On the day of the gig, Gunter brought us to some local bars and introduced us to Duvel beer. Unable to resist a challenge we got much drunker than we intended and turned up to a gig where 3 Irish bands were listed. We lost ‘Asylum’ in England and ‘Wee Joe and the Slithers’ never existed. It was a joking reference to our new line-up – someone, somewhere took it seriously!

The Smurfpunx gave us more beer and we watched the other bands, watching with great interest, the reaction of the crowd. The forming of crowd-circles was surreal and still the most unusual thing I’ve ever seen at a gig. It was fantastic to watch. I still wonder sometimes if Gunter had put something in the beer and we imagined it all! It was a long and very hot night, so maybe they were saving energy? Unfortunately for us, the fashion in European punk was speed and thrash, so some of our energy was drained by people shouting for us to “play faster!”. The sound was a bit odd too. Fortunately for us, we met up with people after the gig, who appreciated where we were coming from. I remember being disappointed in the D.R.O.L. review but I also remember some real positives from the gig. The people were fantastic and the daisy-chain dancing…wonderful! It set us up for a real fun tour, as it gave us so much on a positive side.

The band recorded two more demos (>And All the Birdies Sang Fuck This for a Lark< and >Erection 87< [Below, Julia provided a link where it can be downloaded…]). In late 1987 the band folded. The demo >17 from 17< was released after the bands break-up. As life turned full-circle, Petesy, Joe and Mickey reformed the band to play with Steve Ignorant on the Belfast part of his Last Supper tour and as his guest at the Incubate Festival in Tilburg. A bit more notice and we may have met up with some old friends and maybe have done a last ever gig in Dendermonde?

Joe Carey

08/28/2009

85-12-21 (Roxy) Combat Not Conform – Lärm – Funeral Oration – Dirty Scums – Vortex – C.P.D. – Statskirielja

+eerste Smurfpunx (Roxy 85)

Me and my ‘Repulsives’ buddies went over to attend what was the first ever Smurfpunx-gig. Although I thought the group of people that organised it, didn’t call themselves like that yet; the flyer does state ‘Smurfpunx’ festival… And if I remember correctly: people were tossing about a Smurf-doll. My personal involvement would start a year or so later.

It happened every now and then that the flyer mentions other bands (especially in the early days): some cancelled, some were added later on… ‘Combat Not Confirm’ were probably added last minute…

It was a memorable night where we discovered quite a few new great bands and founded the basis of what would become intensive and long-lasting friendships. Remember: hardly any bands had vinyl out (CD’s didn’t exist yet) and we had to wait weeks to get a tape in the mail (no email yet either)…

‘C.N.C.’ were a great band from Kreuzberg (Berlin, Germany). They sounded very impressive. Not in the least because the strong female vocals by Yvonne Ducksworth. The rest of the band (bassist Matze, guitarist Ilja Schellschmidt and drummer ‘General’ a.k.a. ‘der Franz’) delivered a powerful rocking sound. The sticker I got from them that night is still prominent on my guitar until today. They released an album called ‘Love’ (on Destiny recs) that, even nowadays, is still a milestone for the international HC-scene. ‘Combat not Conform’ is described as skatecore-band by some but it doesn’t serve them right to restrict it to just that… In the review of their lp I wrote for the 1st issue of my zine Tilt!, you can read: “One of the best gig I’ve ever seen.”. Yvonne soon went on to sing for ‘Manson Youth’ and later for ‘Jingo De Lunch’ (still existing).

Brob

Let me start to tell that this little piece of history is my personal view and memories of that time-period, I might have forgotten some things and facts, other people may have another view on things.

In 1977 I was 15 years old and I was living in a very small and very dull farm-village Westrem, near Wetteren. The biggest event was the annual ‘Bal van de Burgemeester’ [Mayor’s Ball]… A friend who went to school in Gent gave me a tape of the ‘Sex Pistols’ lp ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ and I knew this was it !!! No more ‘Abba’, ‘Bay City Rollers’, ‘Boney M’ and all that crap. To make a long story short: by 1980 I had a punk radio-show on a free/illegal radio in the garage of a friend in Oordegem; we did this until the government confiscated our equipment in 1982. By that time I started going out in Wetteren, where we had the ‘New Age’ pub – a hang-out for all freaks and weirdos from miles around. And it was a place where you could meet other punks without getting into trouble for looking different. It was there that I met the people who later became the founding core of the Smurfpunx-collective: Ludwig ‘Ludde’ De Bock, the brothers Kris and Pascal Fiers, Guy Temmerman, etc.

We had a lot of problems with rockers and other tough guys but we stood our ground. The police was a bigger problem: they were on our backs all the time. I remember being stopped because I was wearing a ‘Nazi-punks fuck off’ patch (‘Dead Kennedys’) – you know: the one with the prohibition-sign with the swastika in it. I had to go to the police-station because I was wearing a nazi-symbol in public!?!?!? It took an hour before I could find a cop who understood I was anti-nazi…

We started to go to gigs all over Belgium: Antwerp, Aarschot, Gent, Wolvertem, etc. We had to take the train witch meant that after those gigs we had to hang out in a city we didn’t know waiting for the first train home. It became better when I got my drivers-license and I could borrow my dad’s car from time to time.

At these gigs we learned about the DIY-principle and by the end of 1983 we took the decision we would set up one big show. Why only once? Well we were convinced that we would only could do this once in Wetteren. After one show nobody would rent us a venue anymore…

But we didn’t have any money, so we started our own savings-program: every week we put 50 BeFs [€ 1,25] or what we could miss in a box and after a few months we had enough money to rent a place. But after a fight we had with some rockers at a dance-party at the annual fair we couldn’t rent a hall in Wetteren: nobody trusted us… So we had to look elsewhere .We went to a ‘Claw Boys Claw’ gig in the ‘Roxy’ in Dendermonde and the same night we asked the owner if we could do a festival over there and he said yes!!! That’s why we ended up Dendermonde.

This was the start of endless discussions of which bands we should ask to play. Because I was doing a tape-label ‘Smurf Punk Tapes’ (mostly international compilation-tapes) at that time, I was the one who had the most contact with bands. That’s why I asked ‘Funeral Oration’, ‘Gepöpel’, ‘The Dirty Scums’ and ‘Vortex’. ‘Censured’ and ‘Stadskierielja’ were local, and we also asked ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ but I can’t recall why they didn’t play that night. After ‘Gepöpel’ broke up, they asked if ‘Lärm’ could take their place. Which was no problem for us.

On the day itself around noon we got 2 phone-calls: one from Werner Exelmans [‘Extreme Noise’ fanzine, concert-promotor from Scherpenheuvel/Zichem and ‘Hageland Records’] who asked if this German band ‘Combat Not Conform’ could play and somebody of a band called ‘C.P.D.’ begged (joke!) us if they could play. We said yes ‘cause the night before we had decided that ‘Censured’ couldn’t play because they were not only in a band but they were also a part of Smurfpunx and they all had enough work that night (doors, bar, stage, backstage, etc.) Being our first fest we were all quit nervous…

‘Mokka’

<<[…] Seven bands for only 200 BeF (€ 5). No complaints about attendance… but the venue was enormous so it was difficult to create a good atmosphere. First there was ‘C.P.D.’ (‘Complete Political Disorder’) and they sounded very reasonable. […] The second band was ‘Statskirielja’ and there show was not so good. They’ll know that for themselves … but what do you want if you can’t or aren’t “allowed” to rehearse? The ‘Dirty Scums’ are drawing a lot of attention with their lp out, which is ‘to be expected’ in this little country. […] There isn’t a great deal to write about their live music. A question of taste. The chaps in the ‘Dirty Scums’ sure are funny guys. Next band was ‘Combat Not Conform’… They were probably the best of the evening. A German band with a Canadian female singer. […] She sometimes sang ‘D.R.I.’ tunes and it sounded good. Apart from that they played as fast as them. Excellent. ‘Vortex’ sounded, as has been the case before, not so good. It wasn’t bad but it could’ve been better. Their drummer was, as always, good. Next was the straight-edge band ‘Lärm’. Speed-maniacs from the Netherlands, you could call them. How many songs would they have played? Numerous. It all sounded fantastic. […] Last up was ‘Funeral Oration’ from Amsterdam. Sounded melodic…and great. […] A pity their set was rather short. Eh oh yeah: thanks to the person who emptied that fire-extinguisher in the venue. If it was meant to be a joke: he did not succeed…>>

‘De Vergeten Jeugd’ #3 (’86; Belgian fanzine)

I already questioned whether ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ played then. ‘Mokka’ wrote – quote: “We also asked ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ but I can’t recall why they didn’t play that night.” – unquote. Since this gig was on 21 dec 85, I would assume ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ was no longer; I went on to form ‘Ear Damage’ (must have started up around that time) with which we did a first concert in ‘Q104’ (Leuven) in april 1986.

Dirk Ceustermans

Recently [2010] Natasja & me moved house and I decided to throw the Smurfpunx-smurf [picture: Roxy, Dendermonde, 10 may 86 (Indirekt)] away, after all this time. I regret it already but we can’t hang on to everything, can we?

Guy Temmerman (cook-smurf, amongst other things)

Dendermonde was the first gig I did with ‘Funeral Oration’. I remember we only did 10 songs because that was all I could play at that moment… We had practiced twice with a guitar of inferior quality that had to be tuned after each song. Can ’t remember more. Did think it was cool; playing ‘abroad’ immediately. ;-)

Hayo Buunk, guitarist ‘Funeral Oration’

I didn’t keep track of all places and dates we played but I would’ve been there ‘cause I was in the band from the beginning to the end! ;-) Ferry Fidom was the drummer on the first tapes and the first 2 records (Communion & Shadowland). When we went to the Basque Country in 1985, he quit. From then on Erik Jansen drummed for ‘Gepöpel’ & ‘F.O.’. He kept doing that for years. After ‘Gepöpel’, he played for ‘Yawp!’. [Erik died in 2008 after a tragic accident.]

Willi Steinhäuser, bassplayer ‘Funeral Oration’

85-12-21 Combat Not Conform' (Smurfpunx)‘Combat Not Conform’ (photo by Kurt Boelens)

‘Lärm’; Menno – Jos – Olav – Paul (pic by Kockie)

‘Lärm’s Paul & Menno [Marcel Janssens (L) on stage]; pic by Hugo ‘C.P.D.’

Some scans from ‘De Vergeten Jeugd’ #3 (’86; Belgian fanzine):

‘Combat Not Conform’

‘Funeral Oration’

‘Lärm’

‘Vortex’

‘C.P.D.’: Hugo (bass & vocals) – Jaak (drums) – Bart (guitar) [the 1st line-up was without Rudy]

‘Statskirielja’: Koen Schepens (drums), Dirk Tondeleir (guitar), Martine Moreels (vocals), Ludwig De Bock (bass)

Photos of ‘Funeral Oration’ (by Annick Clerick & Kockie):

85-12-21 Funeral Oration' (by Skina)Hayo Buunk – Peter Zirschky

85-12-21 Funeral Oration (drum = Erik Janssen)Ferry Fidom

85-12-21 Funeral Oration (bass) +OlavWilli Steinhäuser

Photo of ‘Dirty Scums’ (by Kurt Boelens):

85-12-21 Dirty Scums (Smurfpunx)

Blog at WordPress.com.