Interview with Smurfpunx-collaborator Anmie (Non-Conform #3, 1988)

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Anmie Geeraerts (Non-Conform #3) aAnmie Geeraerts (Non-Conform #3) bHahahaaaaaaaa! Ik lach mij een breuk. 27 jaar later eet ik af en toe vlees (al ben ik al 2 keer ziek geweest na een BBQ, dus de degout van vlees is helemaal terug), vind ik oude disco best cool, luister ik niet meer naar hardcore maar is ‘SOAD’ één van mijn favoriete groepen, heb ik al mensen verloren aan akelige ziekten en hoop ik op grote medische ontwikkelingen ter genezing van ziekten zoals kanker; en snap ik dat er daarvoor wetenschappelijk onderzoek nodig is en ook op dieren testen moeten gedaan worden. Dierproeven in bv. de cosmetische industrie vind ik nog steeds verwerpelijk. Ik ben nog steeds socio-cultureel geëngageerd, (o.a. voorzitter van een gemeentelijke cultuurraad) waar ik nog kleine concertjes organiseer voor lokale muzikanten, zowel prog-rock, jazz, blues, folk, jazz-funk, klassiek, … Ook al zijn dat niet mijn favoriete genres, respect voor muzikanten die een podiumkans verdienen. Ik ben openminded maar heb een hekel aan azijnpisserij, zurigheid en roeptoeterij. En dat stuk dat Bruno mij ingefluisterd heeft, daar versta ik nu nog steeds geen bal van. ;-)

-translation will follow-


Mokka’s Smurfpunx recollections

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Teenage Kicks…??? Mokka interviewed…

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Mokka interviewed somewhere halfway the ‘00s by Wim Cottenier (Kortrijk) for High Heels Slut zine. The piece was entitled ‘TEENAGE KICKS’…


Geert Mokwinski, nickname Mokka. Beginning 1977 a friend who went to school in Ghent gave me a tape of the ‘Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks and I must say I was a chock for me! I had find a soundtrack for the teenage rebellion I felt  inside of me… I started buying records via mail-order; my first one being Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life. In 1978 I went to my first punk gig in a youth-club in Burst. ‘The Kids’ were playing that night and that gig made such an impression on me that I knew that some day I would be part of this thing, not as a member of the public but maybe as an organizer or a band-member – didn’t knew what but the fire was burnning…


In 1980 I had a radio-show on a free/illegal radio-station, in the garage of a friend, every Wednesday, with new wave and punk music. We did this until the government confiscated our equipment in 1982 By that time I started my own tape label Smurfpunk tapes. I made my own compilation-tapes with demo songs I got from bands from all over Europe and later all over the world. My first one >24 Love Songs< was a small success selling over 300 copies over the years, I also distributed tapes and some records for bands I knew: ‘Political Asylum’, ‘Post Mortem’, etc. In that year I also sang a bit for ‘Statskirielja’ [played 2 gigs for Smurfpunx: 21 dec 85 & 10 may 86], the band of Ludde and his friends. The rehearsal-space was provided by Wim De Craene [Belgian mainstream musician]!!! But singing was nothing for me. I was more the organizer than the preformer. In 1983 we made the decision to organize a big gig. We had seen so many gigs in bad conditions (for bands and public) that we decided to set up a show in a good hall with a decent PA-system, a good stage, food and drinks for the bands…and we would pay the bands! But we had no money to pay all this. So we started our own savings-program every week we put 50 BeF [€ 1,25] or what we could spare in a box. After a few months we had enough money to organize a TD [dance-party]; there we let ‘Statskirielja’ play. A good evening, no problems, lots of fun and a little bit of profit. But the owner of the place where we did the TD told us that he would never let us rent a hall in Wetteren again because we didn’t respect the contract (by letting a band play). He also told Sabam [Belgian authors-rights organisation] that we had a cover-band that evening. We had to go to the police-station because we hadn’t asked for a permission from the city-council for the TD .After all that shit we didn’t want to set up anything in Wetteren anymore. It took us until December 21st 1985 before we could do our first real show. In the Roxy in Dendermonde – the bill was: ‘Censured’, ‘Statskirielja’, ‘Dirty Scums, ‘Gepöpel’, ‘Vortex’, ‘Koyaanisqatsi, and ‘Funeral Oration’. (Gepöpel split up a few days before the show and they offered us to have Lärm as a replacement; on the day itself 2 more bands showed up: ‘C.P.D.’ and ‘C.N.C.’ (‘Combat not conform’). So we had 9 bands on stage that night. It was a big success. 450 people showed up. No police harassment, a big punk party!!! We made 40.000 BeF [€ 1.000] profit that night so we had to go on. A few months later we had ‘Stalag 17’ & ‘Toxic Waste’ from Northern-Ireland and ‘Indirekt’ from the Netherlands. A drunk punk from Brussels emptied a fire-extinguisher, whith was not only expensive for us but we also had to look for a new venue. In Aalst we found the De Nieuwe Madelon and in September 1986 ‘Toxic Reasons’ (USA) played there .By that time Brob (Tilt! zine / ‘Repulsives’) and a few young punks joined our collective. Via via we came in touch with the people of the cultural centre Netwerk, an independent non-profit organisation. In December’86 ‘Ceresit’ (Ger) played there and from that moment on it went very fast with nearly every month a gig, sometimes 2 a month. Over the years this took his toll. For some people the band they played in became more important. For others, it became like a job. Some thought it was too political, etc. By 1990 the new Netwerk board had thrown us out. Brob started working for the Vort’n Vis in Ieper and in fact that was the end of the Smurfpunx collective.

In 1999 I started again with an organisation called Streetwise together with some friends. We organised in The Frontline in Ghent, the Negasonic club in Aalst, etc. Did a few gigs with bands I knew from the old days: ‘Coléra’ (Brazil) and ‘Spermbirds’ (Ger). But after a year it was just me and my wife Ann, doing all the shitwork. In 2004 we decided it was to much a hassle for the 2 of us. From then on I only do an occasional show for friends (‘Bickle’s Cab’ (UK) & the local ‘Sunpower’). Since the beginning of 2007 I’m in the organisation of the Loco Loco Festival in Merchtem, a local punk/rawk/HC/reggea festival…


Well the first years weren’t easy. I lived in a very small town Westrem. I was the only punk in town; you couldn’t even find a hard-rocker there. My parents and the school didn’t like the way I was dressed and all hoped it was only a phase I was going trough. When I was going out in Oordegem, I met 2 other punks. It was fun to find somebody to talk to who had the same interests and ideas as me. But the local motorcycle-gang didn’t like us and even talking to a girl could be enough to have your head kicked in… So we started to go to Wetteren where you had the New Age pub, a hang-out for all freaks and weirdos from miles around. There we had the same problems with rockers and other tough guys but at least we weren’t outnumbered anymore. It was there that I met people who later became the core of the Smurfpunx-collective (Ludwig ‘Ludde’ De Bock, the brothers Kris and Pascal Fiers, etc.). It was also there that I first heard ‘Crass’ and the ‘Dead Kennedys’. And I had to say that the anarchy and DIY message made a big impression on me and my friends. We talked a lot about politics, pacifism, animal rights, war… We started to go to gigs around the country, which meant we had to take the train for a few hours and after the gigs hangout in a city we didn’t knew, waiting for the first train that could take us back home. It became a bit better when I was 18, got a drivers-licence and I could borrow my dad’s car from time to time.


Young and uncertain, and angry and unemployed. But I was proud to be a punk, to be part of something bigger All my political ideas were formed back then. Punk has given me a sense of self-respect at a moment that everybody rejected me.


For a brief moment in the 80s I thought we could make a difference that we could change society. Utopia I know. But punk has always been more than just music or fashion for me. With the Smurfpunx shows we did a lot of benefits for animal rights groups, anti military action support for people who refused military service, etc.


My first real punk gig in 1978. ‘The Kids’ playing the songs of their 1st album. The first time I really danced on punk music. I remember the sweat, the energy, I felt electrified…maybe it was just the fact of meeting other punks; it was the first time I saw more the 3 punks together!!! The other one being ‘Moral Demolition’, ‘Zyklome-A’ and ‘More Action’ in a pub in Wolvertem somewhere in 1982. The first time I heard hardcore-punk and it kicked my ass. This hard-edged music with its political and social message had it all for me. It was like punk had got an extra boost…


There was a great atmosphere. Every punk was a friend or at least some one with the same ideas. What I remember of those days is that we shared everything with people we just met, we shared our beer, our cigarettes and even sometimes our money (to get in at gigs). You don’t see that any more…


I still listen to  most of these bands: ‘Clash’, ‘Sex Pistols’, ‘Zyklome-A’, ‘Spermbirds’, etc.


It used to be one big scene. People liked lots of styles of music. I remember a gig with ‘Ripcord’ who played UK thrash music, ‘Political Asylum’ playing melodic punk, ‘Lethal Gospel’ (USA) playing a mix of punk, blues & rock ‘n roll and the ‘Violent Mosquitos’ playing hardcore punk at the same evening; and people liked it. Nowadays people would only go see bands they; like it’s as if they are not so curious anymore, as if they do’’t wanna discover new bands anymore…


Yes it is. I always say you have to know your roots. 77 punk is the beginning of all these sub-genres: hardcore-punk, hardcore, emo, grunge; straight edge. I always listened to all these genres of punk and the only thing I don’t like anymore is that ‘metal hardcore’ and H8000. Or is it me becoming an old grouch.


The first gig we did in Netwerk Aalst, we had ‘Ceresit’ from Berlin [19 dec 86]. To come over to the gig they had rented a coach so they could bring all their gear but they also brought 50 friends. They never told us that. In stead up sleeping places for 5 we had to find a place for all of them. The only solution was that me and the bartender stayed up all night in bar with all those guys. It was a very drunk night, kind of a German beer-fest, at 7 in the morning we sold the last beer…and than we got some rest…


Interview with Smurfpunx (Swompy #1, 1988)

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Interview with Smurfpunx’

Brob, Mokka, Anmie & Frank, Kris, Guy & Natasja D., Natasja H. and Snake

in the Belgian fanzine Swompy #1 (1988)


Hate Crew tour 1988

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 17:01

This is a piece I wrote about the tour I did for/with ‘Hate Crew’ (see: Brob’s tours). It was intended for my zine Tilt! but somehow never made it to that… Some of them were mates/ members of the Smurfpunx-collctive so it was only obvious that I helped them out, ‘specially since my own band ‘Repulsives’ had split up. Duco had left the band just before the tour. Along for the ‘ride’, besides the band-members (Kris, Guy, Mone & Guido) and myself, were Smurfpunx Mokka & Snake and Mone’s girlfriend Caro…


Here’s the info-sheet that was written for the tour:

And here are some of the flyers of the tour:

88-07-09 Hate Crew (Hamburg)88-07-10 Hate Crew (Düsseldorf)88-07-15 Hate Crew (Bielefeld)88-07-16 Hate Crew (Frankfurt)88-07-14 Hate Crew (Nindorf)————————-

René Harx in WajlemacOur mate René Harx (from Eindhoven) visited the show in Hamburg


A bit of a schisma… (summer of ’89)

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Somewhere in the summer of ’89 Michel De Cock (with the help of some others) started organising concerts in Netwerk on his own. Bands that we didn’t want to host (mainly because they were working with agencies, like Roadrunner e.g.): ‘Vandals’, etc. We kind of ‘kicked’ him out of the collective, ‘fired’ him because he wanted to do things in a more commercial, non-alternative way. I guess it started with the concert of the ‘Napalm Death’/’S.O.B.’ tour (Netwerk, Aalst, 3 jun 89 (Napalm Death))… Leen & Natasja H. followed him. We knew it was going to be more difficult ’cause there were less people to get things done, the audience had more concerts to go to (not everyone in our audience said categorically ‘no’ to the big bands, touring through commercial agencies, that we didn’t want to book) and it turned out more difficult to be able to use Netwerk as our venue. Also: Michel and his friends were getting full financial support from Netwerk. Something we never got. After having grown ‘big’ and a time over ‘over-exposure’ (and doing maybe a bit too many concerts), we’d also had some where the crowd wasn’t thát big (and we lost money)… People were perhaps ‘saturated’, jaded…

People started to see HC/punk more and more as just a musical style, something to sell; in stead of a way of thinking, something intrinsically subversive. For a while it seemed to me that superficially people were pretending to do things but in fact it was often only blah-blah. When things really needed to be done (a minor thing or a boycot-action), they started to crawl back.

Around that time there were also some problems with ‘our’ pub (Gele Limonade – see ‘Smurfpunx @ Gele Limonade’). We re-decorated it (investing quite some money) and worked our arses off trying to ‘keep it going’. Especially Natsja D. & Guy invested a lot of time in it. Things had grown bigger and bigger (more people working at the pub, hence longer opening-hours), we had to ask other people for help and make compromises with people who had different ideologies than ours; it was changing into something we’d never wanted. That sometimes made the collaboration difficult… When Mokka & me returned from California, things had escalated somewhat and there was a moment when we asked ourselves if we should continue to keep putting time and effort into it but we did… Apparently the advantages were more important than the disadvantages at that time. Some of the Smurfpunx kept coorporating more than others: Mokka and me were concentrating more on organising. In the long run we just used the pub as a sleeping-place for bands and Mokka did a punk radio-show at Radio Katanga for a while.

The pamphlet I wrote about ‘N.D.’, the resulting brawl and the initial lack of support with all that, disillusioned me. But gradually came the letters of support (also for the collective; Paul ‘Seein’Red’: “Smurfpunx stand for something!”). In San Francisco, I noticed the grass wasn’t always greener on the other side, that there’s areseholes and people who care everywhere… It encouraged me to try to go on the way we were doing things. Also the remainig Smurfpunx assured me they would work even harder so we decided to go on. We ‘retreated’ a bit to be able to gain strength and ‘strike’ again… That did mean we couldn’t help all those wonderful bands that we díd want to support. Maybe if that wouldn’t have happened, we would’ve been able to help Reiner Mettner get ‘Dissent’ over here or I would’ve been in the position to invite ‘Moral Crux’ for a tour or ‘Agent 86’ would’ve been able to come over earlier… Who will tell…


The group that seperated from Smurfpunx was called ‘Something to Believe in’…

Yes, that was some sort of turning-point. The beginning of the end, in sorts. Already, the scene was indeed into a phase of decadence well before mid-1989. But it was not so much about the question of engaging commercial outfits or not, I think. Already in 1988, the three people who you mention often complained that they no longer felt at home with the Smurfpunx that “had become an arrogant bunch” and was “led in a non-democratic and sexist way”. (smile)

It’s true that some members of ‘Hate Crew’ who were active members of Smurfpunx too, and their girlfriends, had gotten some sort of ‘attitude’ by then. On the other hand, they were good workers and took good initiatives, which for me counts more than ‘being pleasant’.

In terms of Smurfpunx’ leadership, one criticism was that basically everything was decided by ‘the Roman Triumvirate’, exclusively consisting of (oh horror, pull out your crucifixes and garlic!) men: Mokka, Brob and yours truly. Yes, that was the case, and this is the way it had to be. First, we took the initiatives and the risks: it was a meritocracy. And second, you can simply not run a thing like Smurfpunx on the bases of mothballed ‘consensus democracy’ where the slightest fart is subject to endless meetings in which you are obliged to reckon with people who talk and criticise a lot, but who do little or don’t propose anything realistic.

Hageland Hardcore, for instance, was basically run by one couple (and later by one bloke) who decided everything themselves and delegated tasks to friends and sympathisers. This is no negative criticism, this was a proper way of management for the circumstances they had to work in. The weakness of more ‘individualised’ ways of management is, though, that when the boss is not around for one reason or another, little happens. So I think our ‘Roman Triumvirate’ was a good compromise between both.

In short, the whole ‘schisma’ Brob talks about was much less about lofty democratic principles than about infantile egos, petty clique politics and, indeed, snapping a proper slice of a scene which had by then become a big cake (the petty sides of human nature, in sorts).

The main instigator was a smart fellow with a strong ego and a keen master of intrigue at that. He simply manipulated the two others, who I found a bit, well, ‘unstable’ at that time. Personally, I also had the impression that certain individuals of the ‘old alternative scene’ in Aalst, set around the ‘Cactus’, de ‘Gele Limonade’, ‘Radio Katanga’ and indeed some in ‘Netwerk’ itself, never quite ‘digested’ the appearance of Smurfpunx on their home-turf after 1986. They were, of course, delighted by the situation and gave their support.

Now that we’re at it: there was a first ‘schisma attempt’ in early 1988, when two of them tried to set up a gig with ‘Fear of God’ and ‘Neuroot’ – see Netwerk, Aalst, 13 mar 88 (Neuroot). [Brob: Not sure about that but it did happen more: Netwerk, Aalst, 14 jan 89 (Profound) …] When it became clear that they couldn’t handle it, they asked for our help (speaking of pride… ) so this is why it eventually took place as a Smurfpunx event. We also made it a benefit-gig.

In ’89, about one year after I’d left Smurfpunx and the scene in general, the main instigator once sounded out my interest, with a lot of joviality and flattering and all, to join their new collective. Something I contemptuously turned down at once.


The concerts of ‘Scream’, ‘The Vandals’, ‘Bad Religion’ (through Ute [M.A.D. agency, Berlin] or Doug Carron, Revelation recs) and Negazione (Foundation) were organised in Netwerk by us. The socalled ‘group’ Something to Believe in, were just myself and Natasja H. Maybe we left around the same time as Michel but he did his own thing. We never worked together with/got money from Netwerk and lost our OWN money on some of those shows…

Heleen Valk


Smurfpunx @ Van Hall, Amsterdam

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During the X-mas holidays 1988 some of us Smurfpunx  (Mokka, Natasja H., Anmie, Frank, Brob & Fitzjoy – Natasja D. & Guy had to call it off  last minute because his grandma died) drove to the Van Hall squat in Amsterdam in a rented mini-bus to stay there a couple of days and spend some time with Lorelei & Syd (who invited us). I had set up a small tour for my German friends in ‘F.F.F.’ and their mates ‘Upside’ (Italy) and they were also playing there one night. We were able to witness how everything was working there: a bit shocking was how little support L & S got from anyone to set up their shows (Van Hall at that time being the only independent independent concert-place but the A’dam scene seemed to be on the brink of apathy about this…). So we lended a hand while we were there: I remember driving our mini-bus through the little streets/ alleys and on the narrow bridges over  the Amsterdam canals to go pick up the P.A. We also experienced how people lived there and got to know the Italo-Canadian couple a bit better. It was a damn big place (an old bike-factory) where you could get lost easily and where all the people living there (mostly Italians, a South-African girl,…) had more than enough space. One thing though: it was incredibly cold! But most of the nights we could spread our sleeping-bags around the stove (the only one in the whole buidling) in Lorelei & Syd’s bedroom, who were telling us bedtime- and other stories lying in their big canopy bed… We talked a lot and had quite some fun. I remember Syd showing pictures from a book with tattoos and piercings, and some of the younger girls discovering that a ‘Prince Albert’ was something more than just a member of the royal family…  (smile) We also met more interesting people. Two of the three ‘Yeastie Girlz’ were living there (Joyce & Cammie, Jane had gone back to California already). They also performed the same night as the previously mentioned bands… Another person who we were to meet again later was Semolina, a talented dancer from Spain who was taking courses in A’dam and lived in Van Hall. She was friends with Boliche & the lads of ‘Subterranean Kids’ who we would meet later on. At the gig I met Frank ‘Kaboem’ (a very decent zine) whom I’d already talked in Zoetermeer’s ‘Mevrouw Latenstaan’ earlier.


I was 16 years old and I really wanted to go to Van Hall with Mokka, Frank, etc. But what did I have to tell my parents? “Mum, dad, I’m going to stay at a squat in Amsterdam with a bunch of punx…”. I don’t think so! But I also didn’t want to lie. So I told them that I had a very difficult test (sociology) coming – which was true – and asked if I could stay over at a girlfriend’s house for the weekend if I could get a 8/10. You have to know: I was sitting next to Duco for sociology, and he was very good for that class, so he would always let me crib. Off course I got good grades! I let my parents sign for the test and they agreed to let me sleep over for the weekend. My dad drove me to my girlfriend’s house where I got picked up by the rest of the Smurfpunx to leave for Amsterdam a bit later.

We were well recieved at Van Hall by Syd and Lorelei, and I looked around astonishedly. The big factory was filled with junk, there were quite some extravagant people walking around, and Syd and Lorelei’s room was also decorated in a rather special way, to say the least. It was full with X-mas lights and these stayed on even at night. Because I could only sleep in complete darkness, I asked Lorelei why the light couldn’t be turned off. She told me the lights definitely had to stay on because there were ghosts wandering around at Van Hall. There were many but their ‘house-spirit’ was an old woman that kept walking around chattering the whole time and to keep the ‘ghost’ out of their room, the light had to be kept on. I thought she was kidding me but in fact she was dead-serious; and Syd went along with the whole story. As a kid I had watched ‘The Exorcist’ all by myself and then I’d stayed downstairs the whole night because I didn’t dare to go to bed anymore. That had left such an impression that I’m (still am) afraid to watch movies that deal with ghosts or paranormal things. Lorelei also told me that if I had to go pee that night, I would see the ghost in the big space. Of course I didn’t get any sleep and at 3 p.m. I had to go to the toilet. Frank [Brob: Anmie’s boyfriend at the time.] came with me and even though it was creepy, luckily we didn’t see anything. But at 5 p.m. I had to go again, probably because of nerves, and since I was a tough girl, I went alone this time. And for sure: somewhere at the back I saw a twattling old woman walking in the moonlight. I don’t know if it was a lost vagrant or a drunk but I was scared to death. When I told Lorelei about it later, she said “Oh yeah, that is her allright!”. Looking back it was probably a joke but for some reason this is my sharpest memory of that weekend at Van Hall.

Thanks to Syd’s tattoo-book I also learned what a ‘prince Albert’ is. Frankly, at that time I found the idea of a pierced willy to be shocking. After he described how having such a piercing was done in practice, I didn’t want any nose- or other piercings later. Now that I design jewelry as a hobby, I would’ve liked to have a few punctures here and there; but I’m afraid. I got a double trauma at Van Hall, haha.

The performance by the ‘Yeastie Girlz’ was super. The women stood in front of the stage, a few tough blokes more at the back shouting comments. Hurt egos when hearing the lyrics? Haha, I sure thought it was funny.

When my dad came to pick me up at my friend’s after the weekend, he asked if it had been fun in the Netherlands. Apparently he had seen that the guilders in my room before leaving. I’m still grateful that my father trusted me enough to let me go, even though he knew I had plans to go to A’dam in stead of to my friend’s in Aalst. I told him I went to concerts and stayed with friends. He didn’t need to know that it was in a squat. Luckily my dad didn’t say anything to my mom: I would have been grounded for a 100 years, guaranteed!


Syd & Lorelei (pic by ?)

Van Hall (Rise & Fall #2) aVan Hall (Rise & Fall #2) b



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