Smurfpunx

10/09/2011

De Marbel closed down…

Filed under: Marbel, Tielt, NOT Smurfpunx — Tags: , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 17:10

As indicated earlier before joining the Smurfpunx-collective but I was involved in a series of gigs organised in my hometown’s venue ‘De Marbel’ (my band ‘Repulsives’, and others, rehearsed there for a while). For an overview click on the category Marbel, Tielt or search Concerts * NOT Smurfpunx: some were done by ourselves (‘Repulsives’, ‘No Numbers’ and/or ‘Dirty Scums’), some I did together with Smurfpunx (before I actually joined them) and some in cooperation with Hageland Hardcore…

On May 31st 1987, the local band ‘Dirty Scums’ organised their 5th Anniversary Gig there. This turned out to be an eventful day… As you can read below it all ended with the authorities closing the place. The local bands didn’t have too much trouble securing an new rehearsal-space but we couldn’t organise any more gigs there. Luc ‘Zak’ Vannieuwenhuyse had always been very supportive/helpful and made things ‘easy’ for us. Of course we weren’t too pleased…

Nevertheless, in hindsight, one wonders how history would’ve evolved. Perhaps I wouldn’t have joined Smurfpunx, wouldn’t have started organising tours, etc.? Would Smurfpunx have become what it became? No-one will know…

Brob

Here’s my thoughts on the events shortly after that day and the resulting situation, that I published in my ‘zine Tilt! #3:

The whole thing caused a lot of commotion in the Belgian hardcore/punk scene and some other zines published about it aswell…

>>May 31st, we could again experience how lax and excessive the power of the police is. Many among you know very well what I’m talking about but for the reader who has witnessed it: I’ld like to let you know about what ruined such a nice day. It was the day that the ‘Dirty Scums’ celebrated their 5th anniversay. All was set up at De Marbel in Tielt, where ‘Full Time Drinkers’, ‘Vortex’, ‘Black Vampire’, ‘Crisis-C’, ‘W.C.F.’, ‘Dirty Scums’ and ‘Ear Damage’ played. When the concert started around 2 p.m. with ‘Full Time Drinkers’, there were already a few with some alcohol in their heads… But things didn’t stay that innocent. A guy named Clochard from Antwerp went outside for a breath of air, so we were told, and blind-drunk he hit for the street where he pounded a dent here and there in the parked cars. Two police-vans immediately drove up, Clochard was arrested in a violent manner. Many punks didn’t accept that and started pounding/beating into the or smashing empty beer-bottles against the windows. The took off rapidly. The concert went on. About 2 hours later, by 7 p.m., reinforcements showed up: all entrees of De Marbel were blocked. A general identity check-up was conducted, where a metre long truncheons were used against anyone deemed acting somewhat ‘troublesome’; these all got a knock. Those who weren’t able to present their ID, were forcefully taken by the arm and dragged towards the vans as if they were criminals. There was a real chaos in the venue and on the street, that was barricaded by 2 police-vans and 3 gendarmerie-trucks. Nobody was able to get in or out of the street, and those in the venue who didn’t want to show ID, were not allowed to get out. A few got ‘lucky’ and were arrested and held in the 2 vans – Eddy, Dirk Verkain (Extra Punk Special) and another guy from Charleroi; they got out after about an hour. These vans were from the gendarmerie of Tielt, and they seemed reasonable. In the other they shoved 6 people (Victor of ‘W.C.F.’, Kris, Pascal, a girl from Lille and a few others. These cops came from Roeselare; they were lax, hypocritical and very violent. One of the lads was hand-cuffed and hard-handedly pushed into the van, the boy screamed in pain, his hand-cuffs were way to tight. After severe pains he was dragged from the van to loosen his hand-cuffs but they twisted his arms until he almost fell to his knees, the 4 gendarmes seemed to find great pleasure in this. When we tried to approach the van, they were waving their truncheons at us. We were totally powerless: it’s hard to imagine how you feel like when they treat your friends in such an underhand way! This whole scene lasted over 4 hours. Some missed their last train and about 8 were taken away by the gendermarie. I’m still angry for what happened yesterday. I didn’t get a good night’s sleep.[…] Totally incomprehensible all of this but what can you do…<< [Durty Skum #19 (Kim Deschacht)]

>>Some find that speed-metal destroys punk because there are still many stereotypical (old-fashioned) heavy-metal-boys around. But there are certainly also stereotypical 77-punx (not all of course) who believe that punk is nothing more than getting drunk, blowing and following your dick. As long as they don’t bother anyone else in doing so, they have every right, but they don’t have a clue about what punk is about. One can also find machos, wanting to act tough and treat a woman solely as the sum of a cunt and 2 breasts, amongst punx. The very same that mostly lie on the floor, stoned & drunk, at an energetic concert. It seems as if a part of those 77-punx have turned into the new hippies, whose apathy they were supposed to rebel against. They’re the same who, year after year, walk around in their Sid Vicious & ‘Exploited’ T-shirt for lack of a personality. It’s exactly them, wearing that well-known ‘punks not dead’ T-shirt, who spoil the whole thing every time. Usually I tolerate them but now I’m extremely angry at them! Because it’s these – asking everyone for some spare changes (the 10-frank-punx), stealing from others at gigs and always making a lot of fuss, throwing cans and acting tough – who again succeeded to fuck up a whole concert. What could’ve been a fun party at De Marbel in Tielt; was spoiled by a small group of boozers. Everyone was the victim of that. Late in the afternoon a whole army of the gendarmerie burst into De Marbel in true Starsky&Hutch-style. All 80 to 100 people had to show her/his ID, one by one, and the whole street was blocked. The police had to show its muscles once again. But where were they when in Nijvel innocent people were slaughtered in a supermarket? Great opportunity to get a good reputation that was… But the truth has its rights too. What makes me even more furious, is that the provocation didn’t come from the cops this time, but from a few drunks who offered them the stick, that they had been looking for since a long time, to beat us. They had deemed it necessary to pester innocent passers-by and someone even thought it was funny to kick a few cars. If his friends had taken the trouble to calm him down a bit, then nothing would’ve happened. But only after quite some time someone gave him a knock to calm him down. By then it was too late because a few cops came to get him after a complaint was made. It could have stayed to this one person if his friends hadn’t attacked the vans, bombarding them with beer-glasses and kicking them full of dents. If you do something like that, you would have to have a good reason, for instance a squat being evicted – that’s about fundamental rights and not for some misguided solidarity with a quarrelsome boozer who had asked for it. But some just wanted to be macho. Well done, keep it up! Then you’ll have one place less to go see your favourite bands and you can get bored some more. Congratulations! I thought this kind of senile, old jerks were gradually dying out because there hadn’t been any fuss at alternative punk/hardcore-concerts for a long time. When there were troublemakers, they were thrown out by the audience itself, so that the police didn’t interfere. Unfortunately there still seems to be many of them around. Do we have to get bouncers like in a stupid disco!?. The modern speed-metal fans seem to have more principles than some 77-punx. So, please, stop that bullshit about speed-metal! If punk and speed-metal have to be kept seperated, it’s not just because speed-metal fans would destroy punk but because some 77-punx would better stay at home in their beds sleeping of their booze.<< [De Rattebeet #2 (Jan Claus)] [‘Ear Damage’ and ‘W.C.F’. didn’t get to play because the concert was ended.]

Of course the establishment thought all this served these “druggies”, “rebels”, etc. just right. Here’s what appeared in some of the local newspapers…

>>‘Punk pub closed’ – Sunday evening the Tielt police received a complaint about a punk damaging cars in the vicinity of café De Marbel. The gendarmerie of Ruiselede and Roeselare were called in as reinforcement to pick up the perpetrator from a group of about 40 punks. The drivers were able to indicate the person and he was put in a van for interrogation. Then the skirmishes started. Pints were thrown at the police-vans while some pounded and dented the vehicles. They retreated with the culprit, but not for long. Help was called in from Gent and a bit later some 15 gendarmes arrived at the scene. In the back of De Marbel there was a room with some 100 congeners. Everyone was subjected to an ID check-up while about 10 of them were detained. Around midnight, once the fury was over, some were released. Four punks had to stay overnight. Tuesday-morning the mayor of Tielt decided to close the pub for a year.<<

>>The inglorious end of café De Marbel – After the disturbances of Sunday evening the police of Tielt, ordered by mayor Vander Meulen, shut down the pub De Marbel for one year. Because of that the person running it, ends up without any livelihood and a group of youngsters looses its ‘mekka’. “Of course it’s a pit that we have to take away someone’s income”, mayor Vander Meulen tells our editorial office, “but what is for us of utmost importance, is that all goes well in Tielt and that the peace is not disturbed. For years residents have serious complaints about noise and certain forms of vandalism. After what happened Sunday evening, we thought ‘enough is enough’ and after consultation with the security-forces we decided to suspend the pub.” The fact that we’re using a rather rough brush and forbid entrance to the pub immediately for a whole year, is mostly inspired by similar interventions in pop- and rock-pubs in the surrounding communities such as Oostrozebeke and Roeselare. “Initially I didn’t think of suspending De Marbel for a whole year”, the mayor tells us, “but we were advised to do so by qualified authorities”. Moreover, the mayor added that this period is not so binding. After a possible negotiation it can be shortened if an agreement is reached. The mayor thought it was especially serious because the guy running the pub had shown no signs any goodwill. “He knew that his venue was disapproved by the fire-department and hence was prohibited, but he ignored all of that. Well, if one doesn’t want to listen, then we have to intervene.” Pub-owner Vannieuwenhuyse himself of course has a totally different view. He claims he hasn’t received an official notification of the fire-department about the fact that the venue was rejected. Furthermore he particularly regrets that his pub and his public became the victim of the irresponsible behaviour of a few ‘strangers’ who normally don’t have anything to do with De Marbel. These outsiders usually agree among themselves to ‘grace’ a certain concert and last Sunday they chose the one organised by the ‘Dirty Scums’ at De Marbel. “When the whole thing got out of hand, I closed my pub for a while myself, and when everything was over and my pub was open again, then came the showdown of the gendarmerie. They’re out to find me. I’ve learned to live with the fact that there’s a razzia from time to time but what has happened now, I find very serious. Agreed, things were loud sometimes but after repeated insistence of the neighbours I cut down the amount of rehearsals to reduce that nuisance to a minimum.” What he will do now, Vannieuwenhuyse doesn’t know yet. So far he hasn’t undertaken any steps towards the mayor or the security-forces. All posters have from the front-window to make place for one: the closing-order that the police put up. De Marbel, a name known far beyond the Tielt borders, is (temporarily ?) no longer.<<

Some pictures of the police-raid:

Brob: myself and Victor ‘W.C.F.’ were held for a while when I tried to negotiate letting him go (he didn’t have any ID on him)…

--- De Marbel closed (Rattebeet 2)Impression on what happened by Jan ‘Jangle Ratpoison’ Claus in his zine Rattebeet #2

Marbel einde (Durty Skum #19)Account on the hurly-burly by Kim De Schacht in her zine Durty Skum #19

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04/18/2010

Q104 concerts Leuven

People keep asking about other fests from this era that were not organised by our Smurfpunx collective… So let’s try to incorporate some of them here then. Counting on anyone for help/contributions again!

‘Q 104’

85-11-29: Heibel (Bel), Koyaanisqatsi (Bel), X-Creta, (Bel), Dirty Scums (Bel)

86-03-01: Disrupters (UK), Capital Scum (Bel), No Debt (Bel), Vortex (Bel), C.P.D. (Bel)

86-03-21: Varukers (UK), Sloth (USA), Dirty Scums (Bel)

86-04-12: Dirty Scums (Bel), No Numbers (Bel) [Capital Scum (Bel) on flyer]

86-04-18: Disorder (UK), Indirekt (Nl), Ear Damage (Bel), Pigs In Blue Glue (Bel) [‘Ear Damage’s first gig]

86-05-17: Repulsives (Bel), C.P.D. (Bel), Anguish (Bel), O.I.L.L. (Bel)

87-03-07: Disorder (UK), Dehumanization (Nl), C.P.D. (Bel)

————————-

Between 1980 and 1992 I’ve worked myself through a pretty impressive list off concerts in Belgium and sometimes abroad (especially London). The concerts by Smurfpunx in ‘Netwerk’ were among the best I can remember (along with those in Scherpenheuvel), really! Splendid venue, good sound-system, great bands, excellent organisation… A genuine relief after other concerts that got cancelled or hadn’t started yet at midnight because the speakers didn’t make a sound. That was supposed to be the charm of punk but one should not be surprised that, after a while, people no longer show up – a bit of quality is in order.

Somewhere in 1985 the famous ‘Stel’ and I found it a bit odd that no punk-concerts were taking place in a ‘metropolis’ like Leuven, while we believed there certainly was an audience for. That made us decide to try it ourselves in a cheap (but a bit too small) place, named ‘Q104’. First we did a concert with a few Belgian bands, sometime late 1985 or early 1986, I can’t remember exactly who, because at the following concerts there were always a few Belgian bands ‘supporting’. But I believe that certainly ‘The Dirty Scums’, ‘No Debt’, ‘Capital Scum’, ‘Ear Damage’, ‘Anguish’ and a bunch of other bands played at ‘Q104’; it’s up to those ‘celebrities’ to confirm that. [Brob: Well, without claiming to be a celebrity: my band ‘Repulsives’ played the ‘big’ and ‘far away’ city of Leuven a few times; there was a memorable gig where we had to be escorted out of ‘Q104’ by Felix and his friends because skins were threatening to ‘lynch’ us. We were nicely accommodated at Felix’s place who even gladly drove us home the next Sunday-morning…]

I know for sure that the first gig was a major godsend in terms of turn-out, about 200 men, we hadn’t really expected that. We even made a little bit of profit that we invested neatly in the next one. It’s not that hard actually: make sure to come up with cheap flyers and word-of-mouth advertising at other concerts that the venue and sound-system are OK, don’t pay the bands a fortune but something respectable, make sure that there is enough booze, put a few valiant guys at the entrance (genre ‘Kockie’, ‘De Lange’ or ‘Den Bosse’) to ensure that not everyone gets in for free, and everything will be OK. The only problem was that from the first concert on, we had problems with the cops because of the noise at night; although the concerts were always over before midnight and nothing was ever demolished, but the neighbours were shocked of course by the many ‘dangerous’ punks on their square.

In any case, after the success of the first gig I gladly wanted to try a second one with a British group. I think ‘Stel’ then pulled out somewhat (he didn’t like that kind of bands much) but a lot of people from Leuven (Dirk [Ceustermans], Ludo [Vannoppen], sorry that I do not remember all the names) were helping out. I had written and invited some 15 English bands: ‘Conflict’, ‘Flux of Pink Indians’, ‘Chaos UK’, ‘Violators’, ‘Addicts’,… that genre. I recall that I offered them all together 15.000 BeF (and free accommodation) to come from England; nowadays that seems incredibly little: € 375. Yet there were three bands mad enough to come over: first ‘Disrupters’, then ‘Varukers’, after that ‘Disorder’. Each time that was at ‘Q104’, with some Belgian bands supporting and each time about 200 people turned up. I had the impression that they just came down because there was a punk-fest in Leuven, not because they loved that specific band. I know that all bands were very pleased afterwards because the atmosphere was great (and Belgian beer strong). I think ‘Varukers’ and ‘Disorder’ also played in Antwerp one day after Leuven.

At this concert with ‘Disorder’ I had established contact but didn’t have much to do with the organising of the concert itself anymore. Afterwards I also completely stopped because a whole generation of young people from Leuven was full of enthusiasm to organise gigs themselves. With that my intention had actually become successful: I certainly didn’t wanna become a big organiser but just trigger something that then could stand on its own feet. In addition, ‘Q104’ no longer wanted us because of the problems with the cops. Frankly: at one point there were just too many concerts in Leuven, sometimes poorly organised or announced too late, so the turn-out dropped dramatically and quickly bled to death a bit. A familiar story, unfortunately.

I kept attending a lot of gigs and occasionally wrote something for fanzines, until I moved to Mexico City mid 1992. [Brob: Felix was a free-lance journalist for Belgian newspapers.] I went to a lot to punk-concerts there too; they were running some 15 years behind and it was all really still in its early stages: rather a bunch of zombies with all those glue-sniffers – but good bands and lots of atmosphere. In 1996 I moved to Lima (Peru), where I also attended quite a bunch of punk-gigs the first years: a little more professional and better than in Mexico, with great bands from Argentina coming over. Names that no-one here would have heard about.

Since 2004 I live back in Brussels but I do not go to concerts that often anymore because, to be honest, I can’t keep up with all these new names. I think one or two concerts per year, big bands like ‘Smashing Pumpkins’ or ‘Bad Brains’ (not really punk). But I keep listening  to punk at home, on my old East-German record-player – my old LP’s have survived, I will transfer them onto CD now. I really start to feel like grandpa punk (and an -unwanted- skinhead) nowadays.

To be honest, I’ve always loved listening to punk-music (and still am) but I was always interested in heaps of other things, like football, movies, foreign politics, journalism, NGO-work, travelling,… Because I never was in the punk-movement a 100%, I also never fully got out of it because I was tired of it. I still see myself listening to punk at the age of 85. [Brob: If I make it that long, I’ll join you!]

Felix De Witte

Felix! A legend! I still get sick thinking of the bottle of ‘Mandarine Napoleon’ we had at his place!!!…

The “LOT of people from Leuven” refers to the D.R.O.L. collective who helped out on the gigs and helped funding through the legendary D.R.O.L. parties ran down at the Q104. Here’s a few names: Chris, Gert ‘Gette’ Hambrouck, Murielle [Celis], Ludo, Bart [Willemsen]; gee my memory does not serve me well here…

A few more Belgian bands that made it to the ‘Q104’ were ‘Heibel’, ‘X-Creta’, ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ (I refuse to spell it like it was mis-spelled on the ‘Alle 24’ LP), ‘Pigs in Blue Glue’, etc. etc. The first 3 were on a same bill (in 1985) and it can be considered a legendary gig as these bands at that time played some sort of crossover punk/metal that was probably the first time it happened in Belgium.

Dirk C. (D.R.O.L. zine, ‘Koyaanisqatsi’, ‘Ear Damage’)

DROL hard at work'D.R.O.L. crew in action (pic courtesy of Dirk C.)

Q104 (DROL #10)Dirk in D.R.O.L. zine #10

Here are some pictures of ‘Anguish’ playing in Leuven, around June 1986. You will probably recognise some of the faces in the audience. The guy in the white shirt is, if I remember well, Chris, who had just started D.R.O.L. zine (in his cellar, together with his brother). That had a lot of potential. There was even talk of building a wind-mill… (one of the less risky ideas) but, as with many things, these were good initiatives but the know-how wasn’t present, and the kick-in-the ares was lacking. ‘Anguish’ and Dirk (at that time Heidi’s partner…who was still in ‘Koyaanisquatsi’ if I remember correctly) got together there on a regular basis. It was a lot more difficult to find info in these days…

Murielle (‘Anguish’ vocalist)

Crowd-shot (Leuven ’86) with a prominent Felix ‘in ecstasy’… surrounded by his ‘disciples’ Chris & Dirk D.R.O.L., Ludo (kindly donated by Murielle Celis)

86-06-xx Anguish crowd (met Felix)

pics taken 86-06, ‘t Stuk – Leuven (by ‘Gette’?)

86-06-xx Anguish trio met Ludo (Stuc Leuven) (by Gette q)‘Anguish’: Bart – Juul (on the shoulders of a giant – Ludo) – Kris

86-06-xx Anguish Steve' (Stuc Leuven)Steve (‘Anguish’)

86-06-xx Anguish trio (Stuc Leuven)Bart (‘Anguish’)

86-06-xx Anguish Mumu & Kris (Stuc Leuven)Murielle & Kris (‘Anguish’)

Ludo Vannoppen (by Dirk C)Ludo Vannoppen (pic courtesy of Dirk Ceustermans)

09/05/2009

89-06-10 (Netwerk) False Prophets – Victims Family – Snuff – Dirty Scums

Filed under: Netwerk, Aalst — Tags: , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 14:39

Smurfpunx (Aalst 89, False Prophets) PRESS

cf.: Netwerk, Aalst, 6 oct 90 (False Prophets)

Smurfpunx have a very good name as organisers of punk- and hardcore-concerts but it was ages ago when they asked us, ‘The Dirty Scums’, again for a gig . As usual it took place in ‘Netwerk’ in Aalst and the organisation was great, again, at last. Is it so difficult for people to organise a concert? Just make clear agreements with the bands, take care of a decent P.A. and some light, make some publicity in advance, and off you go. A pity it doesn’t happen more. As a band who’s played a respectable number of gigs, it starts to become difficult to find the necessary energy when it turns out an organiser has messed up. But we’re wandering off: this time there wàs a good organisation, and also great bands. The average hardcore-crowd does however tend to become lazy though…

Pik

I can’t tell much about the concerts of ‘False Prophets’ in Belgium because I was in the original ‘False Prophets’, which broke up in 1987. The re-formed version that did this show [tour] contained only one original member – lead-singer Stephan Ielpi – and none of the musicians who wrote songs like ‘Taxidermist’, ‘Scorched Earth’, ‘Blind Obedience’ and ‘Faith’.

So in effect, people were getting something like the version of the ‘Clash’ without Mick Jones and Topper Headon. If you liked it, you should hear what the original band sounded like. Check out the ‘Blind Roaches and Fat Vultures’ album on ‘Alternative Tentacles’. It contains the first ‘False Prophets’ album, the early singles and several unreleased songs.

A revived ‘False Prophets’ has done several shows in New York over the last three years; with Stephan on vocals, Nick Marden from the ‘Stimulators’ on bass, original bassist Steve Wishnia switching to guitar and Eric Blitz on drums.

If you want to ask about my other experiences, I’ve got a million stories and philosophies, been a musician and writer and radical journalist since I was a teenager and I’m 54 now. Yeah, a lot of great things came out of punk but people got too obsessed with the purity of the uniform. I’m not into hipster subcultures and there’s a big difference between the theatrics you can do in art and the practical things you need to deal with in political organizing. (Both are necessary.)

Steve Wishnia

‘False Prophets’ were fantastic. Very unusual for the HC/punk-scene: violin and synths (6 people on stage) – but all very well integrated in the rest of their music; no ‘doom’. The vocalist is a real mass-manipulator (in a positive sense): he was constantly talking to the audience, said very intelligent things, changed costume all the time and used all kinds of props (from a big suitcase) to illustrate the songs. A real spectacle, a look-and-listen-show. One of the more intelligent, honest and sincere bands from NYC.

‘Victims Family’ was marvellous (to cut things short)! This 1989 tour (two months) was their 1st time in Europe; it was set up by Konkurrent (the Amsterdam record-label). Their drummer Devon VrMeer had left the band so Eric Strand came along to fill in (on some of the songs roadie Tim(othy) ‘Bucky’ Solyan jumped in, after this tour he would replace Eric). ‘Snuff’ from London was supporting them. (see: victimsfamily.com). Larry Boothroyd (bass-player) and Eric brought their girlfriends, and then there was Tim and Ralph Spight (guitar & vocals). The driver/roadie was Gigs (drummer for ‘Visions Of Change’ / ‘Joyce McKinney Experience’).

‘Snuff’ played very melodic HC and were really good.

Brob

Anthony Sepulveda replaced Steve W. [who quit in 1988 and didn’t do the European tours] and was the ‘False Prophets’ bassist in Belgium, etc. There’s a good history of the band on the YouTube channel (youtube.com/falseprophetslive) that Anthony and I created. Stephan Ielpi is out in San Francisco now and guitarist Steve Taylor, who also played on all the European tours, has written a book called ‘False Prophet: Field Notes from the Punk Rock Underground’. If anyone has a video of our show with ‘Victims Family’ (one of my favorite bands!): we will post it on the ‘False Prophets’ Youtube channel.

Debra Adele (‘False Prophets’ guitarist)

One of the best concerts I ever went to in my whole life. Stephan was a real showman (‘bête de scène’, we say in French), the audience was hypnotised by his performance (I certainly was) and the musicians were excellent. I had the occasion to discuss with Debra and him after the concert: these mere few minutes also showed me the human quality of those people. That’s also a memory that I have from those years and the people that were near to me: the human quality! A lot of simple and honest people, capable of putting their own problems aside and try the best they can (‘se couper en 4’) to help one or more mates with their needs. I think that those things haven’t really changed from that point of view; in any case: the few active people today in Lille tend to work in harmony – even if the scene has become a bit smaller, there is always some solidarity that stays – that’s what punk is about.

Steph Ll.

I remember the gig. It was on our first ever tour of Europe with the original 3 piece. The tour was organised by the Konkurrent.

Duncan (drummer/singer for ‘Snuff’)

‘Snuff’ (Simon – Duncan – Andy); picture by Sned

‘Victims Family’ were touring with ‘Snuff’ and we (Karen, my girlfriend at the time and myself) knew Giggs the driver (who played in ‘Bad Beach’, ‘Visions Of Change’, ‘Joyce McKinney Experience’) so we blagged along for the ride, after visiting our friend Frank in Leiden. Saw them in Eindhoven, Groningen, Nijmegen,…and stayed in Amsterdam every night with Marcel (from ‘B.G.K.’, Konkurrent label, etc.). The Aalst gig was the last of the tour that we were at, I think we’d have then gone to Liège but I am guessing now… It was ‘Snuff’s first tour abroad and they were so excited and a great laugh. I saw Simon [Brob: the orginal guitarist/vocalist] the other month actually [2010] with his band ‘Southport’, great guy, hasn’t changed a bit either.

Sned

One of the unforgettables! I had seen the ‘False Prophets’ in W’wijk (ChiChiClub) but here they had a big stage and this is a band that needed this space. Fantastic spectacle!

Victor ‘W.C.F.’

First Smurfpunx show I ever attended, unaware of their awesome previous gigs but more than happy to finally mix in with a crowd that shared my thoughts, beliefs and most importantly musical preferences. The only band I actually heard music from at that time (I was 15 and had been chewing on metal for a number of years) was ‘Dirty Scums’ being a local band. Can’t remember much about the rest but being able to buy tapes, zines, LPs, etc. and talking about it with people I just met, was a big change…

Tom Van Hauwaert

‘Victims Family’ live at Netwerk & out on the town in Aalst (pics by Sned)

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)

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