Smurfpunx

08/01/2012

Hageland Hardcore, Sharphill, 15 nov ’87

Filed under: NOT Smurfpunx — Tags: , , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 15:45

‘Attitude’ & ‘Emils’ also played for Smurfpunx; see: De Vrede, Gooik, 11 dec 87 (Attitude)

There’s some more info about this on the introductionary page Hageland Hardcore concerts Scherpenheuvel

87-11-15 Sharphill - Attitude

photos by Fons Ceuppens (1+2), Agna Van Rillaer (3) & Kockie (4+5+6+7):

singer Andy Andersen addressing Bollie…?

bassist Rick Strahl

genuine rock-pose… ;-)

guitarist Chris Scaparro (Brob trying to avoid getting hit by Rick’s bass, Werner H. taking pics)

“long-haired scum” ;-)

the drummer that replaced Paul Birnbaum: Joey Devlin

Bollie diving over Edward V.

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‘Lärm’ (with Brob sporting his “world-famous” hoodie, ‘Ridi’ – singer of ‘Inhuman Conditions’ – having a coffee-break with ?) * source unknown (the first 2 pics probably from De Vergeten Jeugd fanzine)

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05/11/2012

87-10-31 (Netwerk) Ignition – Lärm – So Much Hate (extra photos)

Filed under: Netwerk, Aalst — Tags: , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 15:19

A series of extra photos, taken by Agna Van Rillaer & scanned by Gunter Vaes. Nice work!

see also Netwerk, Aalst, 31 oct 87 (Lärm, Ignition, So Much Hate)

‘Ignition’ (Alec MacKaye – vocals, Chris Bald – guitar, Dante Ferrando – drums & Chris Thomson – bass):

‘Lärm’ (Paul van den Berg – guitar, Olav van den Berg – drums, Menno van Gaalen – vocals & Jos Houtveen – bass):

‘So Much Hate’ rhythm-section (Finn-Erik Tangen – drums, Per-Arne Haugen – bass):

[The rest of ‘So Much Hate’ is on the page linked above…]

[More photos of ‘Ignition’ & ‘So Much Hate’: Hageland Hardcore, Sharphill, 1 nov ’87 ]

02/07/2011

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

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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:

12/27/2010

87-10-31 (Netwerk) Ignition – So Much Hate – Lärm – Violent Mosquitos

Filed under: Netwerk, Aalst — Tags: , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 17:13

A few months before ‘Lärm’ had played a gig in my hometown [see Non-Smurfpunx concert-list * Marbel, Tielt, 28 mar 87 (Lärm)]; “One of the best we ever did!”, Menno wrote then. They sure had left an impression! I interviewed them for my zine Tilt! (by mail, cause they were “too tired to talk” after their show in Tielt) and I wanted to ask ‘em over as soon as possible. The others of the collective were not all that keen for their “noise” anymore – even though they had played fot Smurfpunx before – but I knew there was so much more to ‘Lärm’ than just that so we did invite them again… Or was it someone else (Michel DC)? Anyway, the guys from Amersfoort had become good friends and Paul & me were running a very busy correspondence.

As one can see, there’s no mentioning of Smurfpunx on the flyer. It started more as a personal initiative of Michel DC (the later ‘dissident’) but of course some other Smurfpunx-volunteers helped out… It was set up as a ‘DoeWatDag’ (‘Do Something Day’), where thought-provoking activities (unfortunately not everyone got active) were offered alongside more-or-less political bands. There were info-stalls, the movie ‘Suburbia’ (about the ‘punk lifestyle’ and squatting) was shown, some performance/theatre,…

This was also the first time I got to meet ‘So Much Hate’ live. I think it was Armin (‘Skeezicks’ & X-Mist recs) who introduced me to them. Great people (guitarist Børre Løvik, drummer Finn-Erik Tangen, bassist Per-Arne Haugen and singer Gunnar Nuven, who still was with Ute at that time); Gunnar and me would start a correspondence and I’ld distribute records from his X-Port Plater label. The start also of a long-lasting cooperation with Norwegian bands and the Blitz-scene.

‘Violent Mosquitos’ were a trio from Aalst, the combo of our collaborator Frank ‘drank’ [Frank ‘booze’] who was almost single-handedly decimating the weekly supply of Safir pils [local brewery at that time]… Okay, I’m exaggerating…a bit.

‘Ignition’ was a Dischord band with Ian MacKaye’s brother Alec and Chris Bald (both formerly in ‘Faith’), Dante Ferrando (‘Gray Matter’) and Chris Thomson (‘Soulside’)… The next day they also played in Scherpenheuvel.

Brob

We left Amsterdam for Belgium after our show at Labyrinth, which was a club in a squatted anatomy college. First we had to drop off the van we drove down from Oslo because it had a cracked water-jacket and was barely running. We left it with a guy who was squatting an entire shipyard outside Amsterdam who offered/agreed to rebuild the engine. All ten of us (‘So Much Hate’ and ‘Ignition’, plus Ute, the tour mastermind and Bret the surprise roadie) piled into the De Konkurrent van. It was a rough drive.

We arrived in Aalst at 8:30 a.m. and found the hall, a community-centre [actually an independent centre for ‘alternative culture’] called Centrum Netwerk. The people were incredibly nice. We got fed and did brief radio interviews [Radio Katanga]. The show was amazing. Four bands – us, ‘So Much Hate’, ‘Lärm’ from Amsterdam [actually Amersfoort] and ‘Violent Mosquitos’ played to about four-hundred people. There was an alternative bazaar, of sorts, with records and other stuff for sale, as well as some poets and a screening of Penelope Spheeris’ movie ‘Suburbia’. It was strange to see all those kids sit down and seemingly soak in the movie as if it was reality – when it was pretty corny Hollywood fantasy…

People came by train from all over, sort of taking over the town-centre. There were a couple of guys from Venice Beach, California that we met before the show when one of them said to me: “Oh you speak American – that’s cool”. They turned out to be pretty embarrassing examples of American youth abroad when the show got underway. I think they were jacked up by seeing that fictional movie. The show ended early, so people could catch trains home.

We drove to Scherpenheuvel, about an hour away, to stay at Werner’s grandmother’s house. When we arrived, she looked a little unhappy and her house seemed small and tidy, so I thought for sure she was going to kick us out and/or call the police. Instead she smiled and patted us on our heads and made sure we all had comfortable sleeping arrangements. We woke up to fresh strong coffee and delicious bread.

Alec MacKaye (‘Ignition’ vocalist)

‘Ignition’ @ Netwerk: Alec MacKaye (vocals) & Chris Bald (guitar), under the attention of Kockie & Kris Fiers (pic by Onno H.)

extra photos (Lärm, Ignition, So Much Hate)

This was a great event, as usual we took the train from Bruges and arrived in the afternoon, just in time to catch the film ‘Suburbia’ and all the bands… Since we always travelled by train, we had to get the last train home, so sometimes we missed the last band (missing ‘Napalm Death’ was a big disappointment back in those days) but this time we caught all bands… ‘Violent Mosquitos’ did a good warm up but we really got excited to see ‘Lärm’ again, we already caught them in Tielt with ‘Heibel’ (that show in Tielt was my first punk/HC show I attended or was it ‘Government Issue’ in Scherpenheuvel?… I was 16-17 at the time… Anyway ‘Lärm’ blew our heads off with their high-octane, super-fast noise-core. ‘Ignition’ seemed quite dark and distant compared to other bands but I was really into it… Alec MacKaye seemed hypnotised (or stoned?) but I remember him leaping offstage and hitting me headfirst in my stomach… ‘So Much Hate’ were a great band. All in all a great day, with lots of little info-stalls, veggie food…

Steve ‘Sling’ (‘Chronic Disease’)

Kim in her ‘zine Durty Skum #21: >>Aalst is becoming a weekly meeting-spot for me. This time I went over there for the ‘DoeWatDag’; mainly to see the movie ‘Suburbia’ and ‘So Much Hate’. The whole thing started at 1 p.m. with the movie. The first band was ‘Violent Mosquitos’ – they had to interrupt their set 3 times because there were some riots in the venue with a few nazipunx from Brussels. The crowd managed to get them out. ‘V.M.’ sound good musically, there also not afraid to move – unlike many other bands. However, I thought they went too far by putting a flame to a big piece of paper with ‘No Debt’ on it and shouting that they were a bunch of fascists! That’s totally wrong: why would they take a coloured drummer!? Oh well, anyone gets it wrong from time to time… In-between bands there were all kinds of stalls with info to visit. Then there was ‘Lärm’ who still sound as fast as ever and have a lot of influence on the audience. After them came ‘So Much Hate’ from Norway; their singer who splashed me twice with his sweaty hair. A drawback was that the vocals could hardly be heard. Still, there was a lot of dancing going on. The last band was from America. Their singer seemed drunk and asmathic: he fell over every 5 minutes; so I didn’t dare to ask for an interview. Instead I joined the Vikings upstairs…<<

review in Jan Claus’ zine Rattebeet #4

Here’s ‘Lärm’ on stage (spot the frantic Kockie); courtesy of Nathalie Guyot, photographed by Bart Van Mulders:

‘So Much Hate’  (courtesy of Agna & Gunter Vaes):

‘So Much Hate’  (courtesy of Mike Du Bois):

05/05/2010

Paradox concerts Antwerp

‘Disorder’ was replaced by ‘Insane’ (UK) [did ‘Action Pact’ & ‘Newtown Neurotics’ also play?]

In that timeframe there were some gigs at the ‘Kaaien’ in Antwerp (‘Conflict’, ‘Insane’) that I thought I helped organise together with Marc (‘Zyklome A’). Here’s some of the posters for these. On those posters it says “responsible editor: Punk Etc.”. I really didn’t remember that. I don’t recall to what extent Dirk [Punk Etc.] was active in organising these. As contact-persons are mentioned: Dirk & Marc (‘Conflict’ gig) Marc, Stel & Bart (‘Disorder’ gig) and Dirk, Bart & Marc (‘Lärm’ gig). It could be that I wasn’t actually involved in the organisation with the first 2. I’m really not sure. What I ám certain of is: when ‘Disorder’ fell through, I did help find the replacement band. Because I dó still remember the troubles looking for a substitution.  ‘Insane’ did that job very well. I’m also not sure if I was at the ‘Lärm’ concert in the ‘Paradox’. No idea. I definitely was at the ‘Conflict’ gig. And I do also know that after one of these concerts we slept on the stairs of the ‘Palace of Fine Arts’ until we could take the train home in the morning. The guy Bart that is mentioned, is Bart Steens who helped doing ‘Het Schandaal’ [fanzine; ‘The Scandal’] and later was in ‘Koyaanisquatsi’. He seems to have disappeared from the globe.

Stel

As you can see enterance-fees (200 BeF, i.e. € 5) for these concerts were very reasonable considering the amount of bands! Nevertheless, it was a lot for a young lad, like myself, who was doing his civil service and get to get by with 80 BeF (€ 2) per day… Didn’t have a car and the train-ticket all the way to Antwerp was quite expensive. Of those 3 concerts I only managed to attend the one with ‘Conflict’. Quite an impressive event! Like Stel, I spent the night with a bunch of punx in a bus-shelter near the central station, waiting for the first train. I remember some of them strolling of at first daylight and returning with sandwiches and rolls, they had mysteriously ‘found’ somewhere and started to hand out…

Brob

I believe I was at the ‘Conflict’ show: Weren’t there fight with local skinheads in the back?

Marcel ‘Ko’ Kok, ‘Indirekt’ sound-engineer

We made a song about that: No More Fights (“Paradox 1984…No more fights no!!!” (which is on Punk Etc’s compilation d – Alle 24 Goed!)

‘Fab’ Deneve, ‘War Risk 3’ (WR3) guitarist

84-11-02 XPozez - Zyklome-A - No Numbers - WR3 - PIBG (Paradox)

01/11/2010

87-03-08 (De Marbel) Lärm – Heibel – Hate Crew

Filed under: Marbel, Tielt, NOT Smurfpunx — Tags: , , , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 17:57

I was 17 at the time and very ‘green’. I don’t remember running into trouble with the police at this time, this would only occur later, at a show at the Roxy in Dendermonde, or at anti-Vlaams Blok rallies in Bruges. In the pre-internet age, concert-news was spread by word of mouth or by flyers and every concert back then was definitely an exciting event, and as the small Belgian network grew and grew over the coming years, we would start seeing more familiar faces from all corners of Belgium, Holland and France at these concerts. We had a scene, we had a place to go see bands and connect with like-minded people.

‘Lärm’ was a phenomenon and for my band ‘Chronic Disease’, they were the first musical template of trashy hardcore/punk. Fast, manic, political, anarchic and fun. The flannel shirts and bandanas were ‘in vogue’, stage-diving and slamming a sport, the music fast and ferocious. Imagine transporting a Californian ‘skate’-band from 1983 to that hall in 1987, they wouldn’t have believed their eyes…

Don’t remember if I met you here Brob but I knew I had to come see more concerts. Something was alive.

Steve ‘Sling’ (‘Chronic Disease’)

This concert was also nót organised by the Smurfpunx-collective but it was one in the series that I organised in my hometown before I joined the collective to go on organising in Aalst and surroundings after the venue ‘De Marbel’ (also rehearsal-space for my band ‘Repulsives’) got shut down as I described before [Netwerk, Aalst, 27 jun 87 (Ripcord)]; so it could be seen as a prelude to the Smurfpunx-era (at least for me).

As you can read it was annoucned as a ‘Suicidal Party’… Nothing too morbid though: at that time we were all just very much into ‘Suicidal Tendencies’ that had gotten their 1st record out. Everyone was into the ‘bandana & flannel shirt’ fad… The font was also nicked from that.

Anyway, it was (again) a great night with older and new-found friends; and  with ‘ripping thrash’… It was most probably then and there that some of us decided to follow the ‘Lärm’ – ‘Heibel’ – ‘Heresy’ tour the following summer in the U.K. And that was the night where Theun K. gave me the ‘Raw Power’ T-shirt that I’m still wearing from time to time.

Brob

Here’s what I wrote in my ‘zine Tilt! about the event leading to the end of gigs in ‘De Marbel’:

Violence sucks

De Marbel is closed … De Marbel was closed. This pub plus concert-hall was closed down by the authorities on May 31st. [1987] Since a few months this hall was intensively used by hardcore-punx for organising gigs. The guy who runs the place is someone who keeps an open mind for all sorts of music. He was always ready to support and help people in the hardcore-scene. In that way Belgian and foreign punk/hardcore-bands would play there for only low entrance-fees. It’s a pity things got down on his head…

As with all concerts in every scene it’s difficult to handle a ‘big’ audience in the right way. I (as organiser of hardcore/punk-gigs) dare say that on our gigs there’s less violence than on so-called big concerts (e.g. Slayer; GBH – even people die there!). Me and everybody who organises hardcore/punk-gigs always try very hard to arrange things as good as possible. Hardcore-punx in general are not beasty troublemakers people tend to see in them. In fact upcoming aggression is always handled with care and controlled from the inside through discussion and if necessary intimidation. Also the straight-edge ideas that blew a positive wind through our scene, caused a lot of people to leave the nihilistic ‘77 mentality and to criticize society in a more constructve way. Many of us are not the boozers or the junkies moral majority wants to see in us. It’s only a pity that sometimes loners, who think that acting tough should be their one goal in life, are identified too late.

This was what happened in ‘De Marbel’ on May 31st. A drunk poseur thought it was necessary to damage a few cars. Such things are totally useless and that he was driven away for questioning only seemed logic. The forces of law being yelled at is also not abnormal. But as where in big cities such little things are left for what they are, the police in Tielt and their friends from the surroundings thought it necessary to show their strength. An hour after the facts, a police-force, out of proportion compared with what happened, blocked the street with several vans. People who were outside getting some air fled back into the hall to avoid the truncheon-swirling cops. It was evident that they, by acting so provocative (yelling, shouting, pointing and swirling their truncheons nervously, making stupid remarks, intolerance,…) could expect a reaction. A lot of people were held for hours in police-vans that were too small and over-heated, not aloud to say a word, without being able to go for a pee. Handcuffs were shut real tight, someone was kicked,… And all this for really stupid reasons (e.g. an identity-card that couldn’t be read). Nobody was searched for drugs! Nevertheless this is a reason, locals think, the hall is being closed. Nobody in the police-force could or would tell us the purpose of the action. Everybody was considered a potential criminal. To me it’s clear that this repressive action only had one goal (that had been decided for a long time but for which a reason was to be found): the closing of this concert-hall so that this subculture was depraved, withdrawn from it’s support and no longer could live there. Another example of the tolerance our little country is so well known for…

Why am I telling you all this ? It’s obvious isn’t it ? To prevent that things like this happen again! The pub was reopened after a month … luckily, but the hall is to stay closed. There are some (very) good halls in our scene. Let’s try to keep them. Organisers, try as hard as you can to keep violence out of your halls. Take care the authorities don’t find any reason to take actions against your hall or your audience. We gotta stigmatize everyone that’s out to make trouble and if problems occur, we gotta solve them all together … Bands/fanzines condemn every form of violence! Violence sucks! Unity’s the key!

The above may sound a bit negative but our Belgian scene is still one of the best. I had the opportunity to visit some other European countries during my holidays and I sometimes found a much more violent attitude than over here. For instance a lot of people in the UK scene still seem to think violence is a must … Ridiculous how skateboard-showing psychobilly’s wearing baseball-caps and ‘Sisters of Mercy’ on their jackets, hit everything that comes within their range. Repulsive how two ‘sisters of evil’ mindlessly wondering in a nihilistic ‘77-atmosphere kick and hit ordinary trashers just ‘for fun’. Mötley Crue-loving headbangers posing on stage for a quarter of an hour before diving – haha, jumping is what I’d call it – from the stage. Poor, poor London … But what do you expect, putting rockstars on stage … eh, stupids?

Tilt! #3 – oct 87 [also: De Marbel closed down…]

‘Lärm’, photo courtesy of Stephane Bruyaux

Jos & Menno (‘Lärm’) photographed by Kockie) [spot the scenesters in the background… ;-)]]

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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