Smurfpunx

06/19/2010

88-05-13 (Netwerk) Culture Shock – Stengte Dører – Bad Influence – Youth Crew

Filed under: Netwerk, Aalst — Tags: , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 09:49

We received a visit by the cops at this one… They wanted to make us stop the concert (during ‘Culture Shock’s performance) because there was “too much noise”. I think we slid down the control of the mixing-desk for a minute and turned the volume up again when they were gone; but had to finish it anyway when they came back. This caused a lot of complaints from the audience: “Is that anarchy? You give the pigs what they want!” and more of that kind of ranting. But what could we do… We didn’t want to risk giving them a reason to close things down definitely. (I already had that happen to me once before in my hometown, in the venue ‘De Marbel’ where we set up shows.) They were obviously looking for a scapegoat: they were even complaining about graffiti… It would’ve been very sad to see something end that we’d put so much time and energy in. A few days later the men-in-blue came to look for us again, they warned us to keep things quiet or “something might happen”…

‘Culture Shock’ were an anarcho-punk / reggae-dub-ska band with Dick Lucas (vocals; formerly ‘Subhumans’ and later ‘Citizen Fish’; Bluurg recs), Paul (bass), Bill (drums) and Nige(l) Johnston (guitar). Very danceable tunes but socio-political lyrics aswell.

Who else than ‘Bad Influence’, the (in?)famous Antwerp pagan-punx, could support them. Over the years we’ve seen them progress from seminal anarcho-punk to a more metal/goth sound (think of ‘Antisect’, ‘Amebix’, ‘Zygote’,…) Original members Bart and Chris had left the band, drummer Joris was the only one left form the early days. By then, singer ‘Hell-win’ (or ‘Holy’ Herwin) fronted the band and they had surrounded themselves with a new bassist (Danny of ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’, I think) and guitarist (?)…

Reiner Mettner of Double A recs introduced us to the Norwegians of ‘Stengte Dører’. These played powerful melodic hardcore and shared the guitarist of ‘So Much Hate’ (that we already knew) so we didn’t hesitate to invite them over. They had their 1st record (Sangen Om Vår Vidunderlige Verden, recorded in the summer of ’87) out by then. The band consisted of Jo Raknes (bass / sailor-suit), Hasse Jørgensen (vocals), Harald Tredal (drums / deer-hunter with crossbow) & Børre Løvik (guitar-wizard; yeah the one and only!). Another great exponent of the Blitz-scene in Oslo.

‘Youth Crew’ were a crusty/noise combo from the Aalst region (Liedekerke) with Bart Demey (also did the ‘Sex Gang Noise’ tape-label) behind the drum-kit. The rest of the crew was Gerry Van Der Heyden (vocals), Kurt ‘Kassie’ Rampelbergh (guitar) and Mario Eylenbosch (bass).

Brob

From my diary: >>…met a French guy who’d written to me years ago for a zine-interview – talking half in French, half in English – nice bloke. Beer and joints sat by the side of the stage. Onstage it was a really huge space place, lots of lights, people danced loads too after a couple of tracks! The atmosphere was just wild! I leapt around with all the room to move it was brilliant! Too many people asking for ‘Subhumans’ tracks. Brilliant set-vibes, really good probably the best this tour – or it would have been but for the police turning up and the owner guy asking us to play 2 more songs. “We can do more than that.”, I said And Paul went “We can only do TWO!, Yes boss!”. Across the stage Nige said “Only one! Whaaat?” The guy then came up and said “none” (or ‘NUN’ if he was a short-sighted priest) (IF) but I said at least one so we did ‘Stonehenge’ and it was fantastic to see a pit formed with people running around in circles going wild! It made the fact we’d only played 8 songs even worse. To cries of “Play more!”, we left the stage, Pete [the roadie] telling the PA-people to stop dismantling the mics in case we played any more. Paul backstage said “The whole tour everyone’s talking about anarchy and then THIS happens! I’m really pissed off!” – I think we should’ve played on but there again the guy in charge seemed really unhappy and desperate – ideally we should’ve just started again once the cops had gone.<<

If I’d not kept a diary…some gigs are really hard to recall and this seems to be one of them!

Dick Lucas

I played for ‘Bad Influence’ from 1985 to 1989. Should’ve still been there in ‘88. We were good mates with ‘Culture Shock’ and played a few concerts together but can’t remember where. When I left the band to play for ‘Vais’, Patrick Delabie (‘Scoundrels’ guitarist/vocalist) took over the bass from me and after him came Dirk of ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’. The guitarist was Thomas Noppe.

Danny Van Honsté, bassplayer for ‘Bad Influence’

Our concert was short. It lasted approximately 4 minutes and then a fight arose between Kockie (our ‘suicidal driver’) and ‘the indian’ (as we called him), a bloke from Brussels or Wallony that came to almost every concert. The other members of ‘Youth Crew’ got involved in the skirmish. I got up from behind my drum-kit and went for a drink. That was it…

Bart Demey

Yes yes, ‘the Indian’… A bloke in the entourage of ‘Cyclone’ and, indeed, he resembled the Native American sheriff from the film ‘Thunderheart’ a lot… As for the ‘Youth Crew’ concert, excuse me Bart but that was complete puberal chaos. After the incident there was also a fight between the band on the one side, and Mokka and myself on the other because we refused to pay for such blatant underperformance.

Brob is correct. There were always people yelling about ‘anarchy’, yet living on allowances provided by the state and society which they loved to curse and despise; they could not understand: that we did *not* wanted a second ‘De Marbel’ [definite closure] after all the effort we invested in it. We were especially pissed off by the noise-complaints because the week before, the mayor’s ball (which had taken place in a venue not far from where we were) was at least as noisy until four in the morning. Needless to say they did not get any police-controls.

Which reminds me of Marta. Do people remember Marta? She was a quite gaga pensioner living in a small decrepit house right next to Netwerk and, as such, ‘part of the furniture’ as we say… She must be dead for ages now. Marta rather coped well with the noise – at least, as far as I know, she never complained about it- probably because she was half-deaf. (smile) But then, one day, she came up with an obsession that we were encircling her to snatch her pension away. Which is why she called the police ever more often.

Duco

We were on tour with ‘Culture Shock’ true Belgium and Holland. Madder then mad those days were…happy times in grey days though… The whole lot: exploding engines, potato-chips, apple breakfast in Amsterdam; acid-swallowing in Brasschaat, near suffocation in Zutphen, rehearsals in my flat and bodies all over the hallway into the bedrooms while the landlord pays a visit; getting lost in Gent, driving on the highway and losing control of the steering-wheel, getting across the border lying in the back of in a pick-up, meanwhile the plastic cover catches fire (yep the right time and place to skin up) – too much of everything all the time none of the time – a gig in ‘the mortuary’ in Holland with ‘Skunk’ and ‘C.S.’ while my brother gets a heart-fit – memories enough indeed and then their was Aalst.

‘Bad Influence’ were very thrilled we could play Netwerk in Aalst and looking forward to this one. The place was big compared to the squats and halls we played on this tour. The P.A-system and -crew knew what they were doing and what a sound-man they had… Jan & Karel – great team. Best in those days – our path crossed many times in the 80s and early 90s; and the Smufpunx collective had their shit together with organizing gigs.

Our massive 80s anarcho noises sounded…fat & noisy as we like it… I also remember we’d just written a song a few days before – ‘The Unacceptable’, our epos about the fur-trade’ – and were thrilled to play it live for the first time that night… Of course we fucked it up somewhere along the line…but it was the 80s and no-one cared – or didn’t hear it anyway. If I remember well we were still a 6-piece in those days, sharing vocals with Chris. Sadly some songs never got documented in this line-up. It was great having the female-male vocal in some of the baddies anthems (Bart – guitar, Joris – drums, Dany – bass, Thomas – guitar, Chris & me – vox). The set must have been filled with loads of goodies from our first (released 1985) demo ‘Together we are stronger then they think’, which is absolutely a classic; I can say so because it hasn’t got my shouts all over it. As far as I can remember we went down well that night – with a good reaction from the crowd and an overall great atmosphere. Of course the night gets remembered because the cops entered the place during the ‘Culture Shock’ set, so the party ended way too early. Still got it live on tape, with Dick ranting that the police is outside etc. but they went still into ‘Stonehenge’ to end it off for that evening. A typical 80s night I would almost say, sadly untrue as little gigs in DIY places and bars still today, in 2011, get ended way to soon by police for complaints about the noise. Antwerp multi-cultural open-minded city my ass!

But what sticks most to my mind from that evening in Aalst is meeting up with Axl, the young uber-energetic kid of almost my age I guess, then full of hope and dreams of what we all stood for and things we would try to change and achieve with this movement, based on things we picked up from here and their mostly from songs or lyric-sheets of bands, etc. based on a thirty minute fueled injection of a live gig. The buzz was absolutely there… I had a great talk with him and Bart (our guitar-‘farmer’ got of course high on the same dreams Axl had, as he was a bit the dreamer and positive note of us baddies). To us, it was all about meeting people in those days: hooking up with other ideas that were out there. [Brob: Sounds very familiar!] It was a way of life for some of us. The discussions were mostly highly fueled with alcohol and more substances in those days. I always looked beyond that or tried to not – always an easy task. I was into people as individuals; so were the baddies and still are a mix of different people. I kept an on-and-off contact with Axl over the years. And then out of the blue… – as he and we went true changes and he got of track more then ones: last time I saw Axl a year ago or so when we played with ‘Amebix’ in Antwerp – he was happy and feeling good that night – that’s a memory of him I hold in mind. Many people died all too soon and many wondered off into the grey masses of existence. I hope they have a good state of mind and are happy. Life is life, and I cherish it.

Thinking about it now writing this down… The gig itself was the usual 80s stuff; there was a fight – another one for the lost kingdom probably; ‘Culture Shock’ played way to short and getting all wound up about this cop-thing as they were well into it. A wild and great dancing crowd that night and of course we wanted to go on and on and on. But someone down the line made a reasonable decision to pull plug on the gig. Otherwise it would have ended in typical eighties havoc style – us against them. But we had a great party as ever till early hours the Wessex/Antwerp posse were quite good at this…

Hellwin, ‘Bad Influence’ December 2011

I remember that I had the worst tooth-ache ever so they had to get hold of the dentist on a Sunday to pull out the tooth. I also recall that the gig was really early because of some strange rules in Belgium. We played with ‘Culture Shock’, I think The people in Aalst were really friendly. The Smurfpunx always helped us out. I think we did a good gig and people enjoyed it.

Harald Tredal, drummer of ‘Stengte Dører’

I remember the gig that day. Was it our first first tour abroad? I don’t recall. But we had been driving all night from Fredrikshavn, Denmark, all the way to Aalst: 11 hours drive. Fridtjof, the only guy with a drivers-license had hallucinations of cows crossing the road. We arrived early morning and met up with Katja (from ‘Life But…’) [Brob: I believe that was the 2nd time ‘S.D.’ was here.] and sent Harald of to the dentist. A couple of hours sleep in the van and off to soundcheck. The idea of a concert at early mid-day intrigued us. There were quarrels in the audience over wether we were straight-edge or not seens Hasse had a cross on his hand and didn’t drink beer they told us later. Weird shit. But the slamdancing in a great circle was amazing and the feeling of the wind from the circling group of 2-300 hundred people in high speed was great. I also remember ‘Culture Shock’ playing, great gig but it was also a culture-shock to watch armed police walking around in the concert-hall for a while before they stopped the concert due to noise. Weird stuff!

Jo Raknes, ‘Stengte Dører’ bassist

Some shots of ‘Culture Shock’ (by ‘Kockie’):

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