Smurfpunx

02/27/2012

87-10-11 (Netwerk) Lethal Gospel – No Pigs – Creep Insanity (extra photos)

Filed under: Netwerk, Aalst — Tags: , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 12:06

Action shots taken by Agna Van Rillaer & scanned by Gunter Vaes. Great work!

see also Netwerk, Aalst, 11 oct 87 (Lethal Gospel)

‘Lethal Gospel’ – Mattx Bergren (guitar & vocals), Dan Seelig (drums & vocals), Fred LaRose (bass):

‘No Pigs’ – Maarten Luijendijk (vocals), Guy Pinhas (bass), Nils Koning (guitar), Robert van der Meyden (drums):

‘Creep Insanity’ – Bart ‘Bassie’ Van Haele (bass), Peter De Zutter (guitar & vocals), Peter ‘Rabbit’ Ginneberge (drums) [Kris Fiers joined on vocals later…]:

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12/19/2011

The Terneuzen Connection

Please allow me to share a little bit of history on how things got off the ground in Terneuzen at the time. When we first started to organise gigs we were located in a little shitty place called Jamasj. It had been there for years and was run by various people before. I think it was meant to be some kind of youth-centre. When I started hanging out there I must have been 16 years old. It was a place were you could hang, listen to the music you liked (and your parents despised) and meet like-minded people. People were already organising gigs there. Mostly local speedmetal bands that drew a mixed audience of punks and metalheads.

As I got more and more into punk and hardcore I started looking for ways to expand my network. Terneuzen was never an exciting place to live in. There were no recordshops and we were pretty much disconnected from the rest of The Netherlands. I just started to correspond with people who were in bands or made their own fanzine. Brob -who was doing Tilt! fanzine at the time- was one of the first guys I wrote. I can’t recall how I got hold of his address. Probably through a flyer. He sent me his latest edition of his fanzine + a very nice letter that encouraged me to stay in touch. Which we did from that point. I joined Jamasj as a volunteer helping out with the bar. As my network grew we started thinking about organising punk gigs at this youth-centre ourselves. Brob had offered me to organise gigs on several ocassions. I can’t remember how we worked together in Jamasj but he played there with his own band once (‘Yuppies’ Death’). If my memory serves me well it was a benefit and ‘Profound’ (later ‘Man Lifting Banner’) played there as well. [Brob: The poster tells something different. I think ‘M.L.B.’ played on another occasion…]

In 1988 the city decided that we had to move out of the venue for safety reasons. The surrounding houses were mostly already torn down and there was a risk that our venue would collapse as well. Apart from that we were located in a neighbourhood which caused many problems with the people living there. Almost every gig we got a visit by the police, ordering us to adjust the volume. We negotiated with the city for a while to get a new place where we could continue our activities. They didn’t really care about us all that much. We were completely self-supporting and they had little interest in offering us an alternative. Eventually in 1990 we could move into an old building-complex that belonged to the military in WW II. It was literally called the “bomb-shelter”. Walls with a thickness of 1 meter. Just what we needed. Funny thing was that this place was located in the main area were all the regular bars and discos were. Often we would have people walking in there that were caught completely off-guard once they discovered it wasn’t your average disco. On the other hand lots of people kept coming back because we sold drinks at a much cheaper rate than the bars across the street. Unfortunately the city had other plans for this building so we were only allowed to use this place for about 1 year. I think it was a little longer eventually. Anyway, a lot of work had to be done to make this place suitable for gigs. We had to build a bar, toilets and a stage. There was no running water and poor electricity. A lot of work needed to be done before we could even think about having bands playing there. After a lot of hard work we were ready to open our doors again. We changed the name to Kalashnikov. It sounded nice and there was a link to the political things and benefits we organised.

Our opening gig on June 15th 1990 was a coop with Brob. He had asked us if we could set up a gig for two bands with former ‘Heresy’ and ‘Ripcord’ members. They were called ‘Can’t Decide’; ‘Force Fed’ toured with them. It was a close call as we weren’t completely ready to get started when we agreed to do the gig. I remember we were still busy fixing the electricity when the band arrived with their van. I remember it was a steamy and sensational gig. Because it was pretty hot that day we decided to open the backdoor of the venue to cool the place down a little bit. Not to the liking of the neighbours. Even one of the local politicians complained that he and his wife had a hard time getting some sleep although they lived about 1 km away. We got a warning from the police but we were able to fix this problem for future events.

Another gig worth mentioning was the ‘Sons Of Ishmael’ gig. Fabulous folks from Canada who were super nice. The gig was very well visited and we had lots of people from Belgium coming over. I think ‘Chronic Disease’ played that night as well (Hi Steve!).

Unfortunately over a little more than a year we had to leave this place. There were plans of squatting the place since it was so perfect for what we were doing but eventually the city decided to relocate us in a new to be build multifunctional centre but it just wasn’t the same atmosphere anymore. Many people who volunteered for Kalashnikov moved out of Terneuzen. We continued to organise gigs there but the spirit slowly died. A new generation slowly took over. I think one of the last dates we set up with Brob was a gig for ‘Green Day’ who weren’t known yet at the time. I think they were on Lookout recs. I think we must have had about 15 paying customers at the door…

I had such great times both organising gigs and visiting all the marvelous Smurfpunx dates. I have been to Aalst numerous times. Thanks Brob for the many times you gave me a ride there and let me use your couch. Good to see all these people share there memories here. Keep up the good work!

Mark Belaert

Some dates I remember…

22 apr ’88: Afflict (Nl) in Jamasj; Subterranean Kids (Spa) were announced but cancelled…

20 aug ’88: the first ever gig of my 2nd band Yuppies Death: with my Hoorner buddies Vernon Walters and Winterswijker mates W.C.F.…

19 nov ’88: Doom + Concrete Sox, with Chronic Disease (the poster mentions ‘Chaos UK’ and they actually played: here’s the recordings!); the Belgian band Doodt Illegaal also seemed to have played…

26 nov ’88: Heibel (with Peter singing) & Cry Of Terror (see below)…

17 dec ’88: The Ewings (Ger), Dr Rat (Ger)

25 mar ’89: Doom (UK), Concrete Sox (UK)

8 apr ’89: Vernon Walters (Nl), Antic Hay (Nl)

15 apr ’89: Profound (Nl), De Kift (Nl), Chronic Disease (Bel), Afflict (Nl)

19 aug ’89: Lethal Gospel (USA), 5Les (Bel)

16 jun ’90: Can’t Decide (UK), Force Fed (UK)

31 aug ’90: my Canadian friends Sons Of Ishmael with my ‘bloodbrothers’ Seein’Red (pictures donated by Jeroen L. below) and Nessun Dorma (UK)

20 apr ’91: Belgian crusties Hiatus & Private Jesus Detector

11 may ’91: I think Earth Citizens (from Switzerland) played [Brob’s tours]

28 jun ’91: Econochrist (USA), Chronic Disease (Bel)

8 dec ‘91: Green Day; indeed…

And there were a lot more bands that I saw there… ‘The Ex’, etc.

Brob

Jamasj… Great times! ‘Chronic Disease’ played twice there, first one was with ‘Chaos UK’. Second time with ‘Doom’ & ‘Concrete Sox’. I also remember seeing ‘De Kift’ there. We were all impressed by them. ‘Chronic Disease’ (or was it ‘Private Jesus Detector’?) played once in the Kalashnikov with ‘Hiatus’ and ‘Econochrist’. And then it all ended…

Leffe

‘Seein’Red’

Daragh Hayes & Tim Freeborn (‘Sons Of Ishmael’)

Brob, Hazel, Chris Black, Paul Morris (‘S.O.I.’), Ward,…

‘Cry Of Terror’

‘Private Jesus Detector’

89-03-25 Doom - Concrete Sox (Terneuzen)

9x-xx-xx Doom (Jamasj, Terneuzen)9x-xx-xx Doom' (Jamasj, Terneuzen)‘Doom’ in Jamasj

88-11-19 Chaos UK (Terneuzen)

91-06-28 Econochrist (Terneuzen)

89-04-08 Vernon Walters - Antic Hay (Terneuzen)

more later???…

11/03/2010

89-10-01 (Netwerk) Verbal Assault – Lethal Gospel – H.D.Q. – The Abs

Filed under: Netwerk, Aalst — Tags: , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 16:49

This concert was the end of the tour that Mokka and myself organised for ‘Lethal Gospel’. ‘Papa’ Cherry, their sax-player, drew the poster: drummer Dan, singer/guitarist Mattx and bassist Geoff walking zombified through a sinister, rainy landscape; on a flyer marked “our hosts” are the heads of Mokka & Brob…

Things started difficult with the tour because the van broke down in the South of France, someone had to come down there with another one. But we managed to keep everything going. The day of this last gig for them, I started working in Netwerk at 11 a.m. (building the stage, setting up the PA,…). I was already tired when the first people entered. I got stressy when ‘H.D.Q.’ phoned they had a flat tire: ‘The Abs’ came along with them and they were meant to start playing at 3 p.m. (they arrived at 5!). They both made that up with very good sets. Also ‘Verbal Assault’ were fantastic. Finally ‘L.G.’ hit the stage and they overwhelmed the crowd even though they were a bit affected by the tiredness.

I spent the night in our ‘Gele’ pub where ‘The Abs’ and ‘H.D.Q.’ slept. It was rather late when we hit the sack: there was a lot to talk about (nice blokes!). The next morning I went to wave ‘L.G.’ goodbye at the airport, drove home and collapsed… We didn’t loose any money; the crowd was big enough even though 50 km away ‘Bad Brains’ and ‘Hard-Ons’ were playing.

‘The Abs’ had a mini-Lp out entitled Mentalenema. ‘Fatty Ashtray’ Jon Simpson played the bass on that. The others were Barrie ‘Baz’/‘Boggs’ Oldfield (guitar & vocals) and his brother John (a.k.a. ‘The Rev’, ‘The Reverend’, ‘Rev John D’; drums.). ‘B. Funnunyon’ Bryn Jones played guitar.

Mokka and me put a lot of our own money in that tour. It got more and more difficult to get it done in our alternative/independent way with all these agency-vultures around. To deprave those from any prey we wanted to create a network of independent organisers which do things in a real-alternative way. We kept nagging and writing about it, tried to get rid of the business-parasites, to keep HC/punk underground… But it became more and more difficult, started looking ridiculous… Nevertheless there were heaps of people where we got positive energy from and bands/activists who really care. When I read ‘Fucked in the Head #2’ by ‘Dead Silence’, I knew we were not the only ones to have doubts but we tried to keep going…

Brob

‘Lethal Gospel’ (Dan, Mattx, Geoff) pictured by NN (kindly donated by Geoff)

Read here what ‘Papa’ Cherry remembers: Netwerk, Aalst, 11 oct 87 (Lethal Gospel)

The summer before the ‘L.G.’ tour Mokka & me visited the band in San Francisco. Of course we visited/met lots of HC-related places/people (e.g. Gilman Street, MRR House, Blacklist, Mordam, the ‘Yeastie Girlz’, Dave MDC, Daisy Anarchy, ‘Libido Boyz’, ‘Moral Crux’, Martin Sprouse, Murray Bowles, Tim Yo,  ‘Swiz ‘, etc. etc.) and gigs (other bands we saw: ‘Toxic Reasons’, ‘American Standard’, ‘Jawbreaker’, etc.). One of them was in a squat where ‘Verbal Assault’, ‘Neurosis’ and ‘Econochrist’ played (and where I met Kent McClard), so I already knew what a superb band ‘V.A.’ was…  The guys were a bit introvert  but they said they’d played one of their best concerts and appreciated the reactions from the audience very much.

Brob

Some photos of ‘Verbal Assault’ shot by ‘Kockie’:

the band in De Ridderstraat, Aalst (street of Netwerk & Gele Limonade at that time)

the band in action

Pete Chramiec

Christopher Jones

Doug Ernest

Dylan Roy Darren Mock

Sad to say, I don’t really remember that show…but hey, it’s been 20+ years! Anyway, we always had a great time in Europe; and ‘H.D.Q.’ was a cool band, so I’m sure it was a good gig… The picture of our bass-player is actually Darren Mock, not Dylan Roy. Darren was in ‘V.A.’ for both European tours – Dylan played on the majority of our recordings. I believe we hooked up with Konkurrent (and Hetty, who was basically running it) because they/she worked with Dolf Hermanstädter from Trust fanzine. This show here, in Belgium, happened, if I remember correctly, near the end of our first tour, after we got back from the UK (where we hooked up with ‘H.D.Q.’).

Christopher Jones (‘V.A.’ vocalist)

Chris is more senile than even I am. This concert was near the beginning of our second European Tour. It was a little bit similar to our only show in Belgium the year before as we rushed in and out and barely got much time to hang out. If my memory is correct, we were pretty late in arriving to this show and had to leave very quickly for another show. Of all the countries we played shows in, we probably spent the least amount of time in Belgium (due to having to travel). I remember being blown away by all the old architecture and regretting not ever having time to walk around.

From reading your post I remember ‘H.D.Q.’s flat tire followed by some general chaos as the show was pushed back later and later. Did we (‘V.A.’) end up playing first while someone went to rescue ‘H.D.Q.’? Whenever ‘H.D.Q.’ showed up, I recall them pretty much walking right on stage and completely rocking. They were really good dudes. I can’t exactly recall how we (‘V.A.’) did. Good, I hope. Thanks for having us 20+ years ago!

Pete Chramiec (‘V.A.’ guitarist)

I left ‘H.D.Q.’ in the summer of 1989. Terry Phipps played bass here…

Rob Bewick

Gig-review in Pyrobolum #2

Another gig with -to me- fairly unknown bands but that was all part of the amazing discovery-journey, knowing that even if the bands weren’t my cup of tea there would be plenty people to hang out with. Speaking of not being my cup of tea, this was one of those gigs… ‘The Abs’ and ‘H.D.Q.’ played very melodic kinda punk-rock and ‘hardcore’ from the U.K. (whereas the U.K. to me was all about whirlwind hardcore haha)… There was a nice crowd though. I have to be honest: can’t remember a single thing about ‘Lethal Gospel’… Then ‘Verbal Assault’ (also a new band to discover for this kid): nothing of the short-fast-and-loud I was into (and still am actually) but brought with so much passion and energy it really struck me…

Tom Van Hauwaert

02/13/2010

88-09-03 (Netwerk) Ripcord – Lethal Gospel – Political Asylum – Yuppies’Death

I remember this gig very well. That was my first ‘hardcore’ show. I was into German trashmetal at that point! A friend of mine told me that ‘Ripcord’ was ‘the thing’ so I went to check them out. They soundchecked for about 10 minutes and the big drummer looked tired without any ‘power’ (‘Defiance of Power’ ?!?). The bassplayer looked like a drunk crusty (a bit like the bassplayer on the ‘Scum’ album by ‘Napalm Death’). I was wondering how that band was going to kick some ass but as soon as they started, it was a fuckin’ blast! I became a fan instantaneously! There was a huge moshpit and people became crazy as they played ‘Furder’ (2 times, if I remember well). That was my first step in the ‘scene’. 2 years late I joined ‘Hiatus’…

Azill

‘All killer, no filler’ here…although 4 bands with different styles and appealing seperate crowds. Most important: all friends of us. ‘Ripcord’ on another short tour I helped out with. Same for ‘Lethal Gospel’ and ‘Political Asylum’. The surprise-act mentioned was ‘Yuppies’ Death’: after ‘Repulsives’ had split up (not long after our 2nd reincarnation as a trio), I started this with ‘Lompie’ (‘No Numbers’) on drums and Hans on bass (his first time in a band – he would later join such bands as ‘Rise Above’, ‘Nations On Fire’, ‘Blindfold’, ‘Liar’). Y.D. played a less punky brand of H.C. with rap-bits and funky parts à la R.H.C.P. We didn’t sound that brilliant then: I had been setting up the stage, moving about with amps and stuff so I was already tired… Still, I think people enjoyed it.

I first got to know P.A. through Mokka’s tape-compilations and soon fell for their melodic HC/punk style. Because of Ramsey’s erudition and love of books (He was the founder of ‘publishing company’ AK Press and now runs PM Press in California.) – amongst other things – we started to correspond and became friends. One summer I spent a sunny holiday of reading (actually slept in a room full of books) and soccer with him in Edinburgh. Anyway, after ‘Ripcord’s full-speed-ahead (which blew us all away…Wow!) accompanied by the slamming and diving of the audience, it wasn’t easy for them to capture people’s attention with their wonderfully tuneful stuff and intelligent words. There was some polite applause at first but enthusiasm grew. They even did a parody on grindcore (of which not everyone got the irony – smile – ergo the jumping and bawling)…

Mokka had set up another tour for ‘Lethal Gospel’ (together with ‘Political Asylum’). This was their 2nd passage in Aalst. This tour was with Keith Chatham of the band ‘Condemned’ on bass. I saw them a few times and everytime ‘Mad Tex’ (Mattx) kept shouting “Hey Duvel!” (referring to the strongest beer in Belgium, that he tasted quite a few times the year before) at everyone. Weird guy!… Their music isn’t really typical super-fast hardcore (they’re more like a garage/blues/punk-band from and supporting the San Francisco underground scene: independent and a-commercial) but lots of people liked them, there was always a great atmosphere at their concerts, with everyone shouting along with ‘Cherokee Nation’ e.g.

Brob

‘Political Asylum’ are Scotland’s best band. They always do a song where they turn into their alter-egos (Suicidal Asylum?), put on baseball-caps, roll up their trousers, wear bandanas, etc. Then they do a song that is slow with some fast ‘mosh’ parts. Really funny to watch them making fun of US clones we have in the UK.

Scott; Paisley, Scotland (personal communication ’89)

Mokka was the one that the set up our gigs in Belgium. What a man! We corresponded for many years. We thought Belgium was amazing. The organization, the shows, the hospitality. Lightyears ahead of the UK… I’m not really in contact with any of the old P.A. chaps, though they are still around. Both of the guitarists (Stephen and Stevie) are still making music.

Ramsey Kanaan (‘Political Asylum’)

We went on tour with ‘5Les’ in August 1988 and played with them all over Europe. The band-members at that time were Ramsey Kanaan (vocals and being annoying), Keith Burns (drums), Ewan Hunt (bass-guitar) & me (lead and rythmn guitar). ‘5Les’ had this funny guitar-player called Onno. He was a bit weird. I suppose we all were…  We toured about two months with them, spanning Italy, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium… I liked their cover of ‘Descendants’ song ‘Wendy’. ‘Lethal Gospel’ were touring with Keith from ‘Condemned’ on bass that year. We had played with them in Jette the week before (on a sunny sunday-afternoon, with ‘Negazione’). [see: Concerts * NOT Smurfpunx; there’s a picture in the ‘comments’]

Later I came to the Smurfpunx gigs with ‘Victims Family’ and ‘No Means No’. My former girlfriend and myself drove down from Rotterdam to the gigs and stayed with Mokka, I think.

Steve Dewar (‘Political Asylum’)

I remember being very nervous that day, the place was pretty crowded and I believe this was our [Yuppies’ Death] very first gig (we only did a few) and playing with ‘Ripcord’ was awesome. I was and I’m still a fan of the band. Great times, definitely great times… I’m still doing my thing in ‘Liar’ right now and have played half of the globe with this and former bands…crashing on people’s floors is still a going thing from time to time. :-)

Hans Verbeke

It was great to see you and the rest of the ‘Smurfpunx’ again and a big thank you to everyone who put on the show for us. The rest of the tour was pretty much a success and most of the shows were great. We played with ‘So Much Hate’ 3 times, which was great. Brilliant musicians and very friendly people too.

John Millier (‘Ripcord’) (personal communication ’88)

info-flyer spring ’88

“Drunk crusty”…ha ha, I’ve been called worse (smile). Being in my mid-40s now I’m happy to disclose that I shower at regular intervals and am cognitive of the virtues of personal hygiene. Somehow all of us still find the time and relative enthusiasm to re-enact our protracted youthful shortcomings by playing in various crappy bands as we have ever since the halcyon days of yore.  [Jim explains: ‘Halcyon’ almost almost literally means the “calm before the storm” but can also be used to signify joy, tranquility, etc. ‘Yore’: Obsolete. of old; long ago.]

Jim Whiteley (bass for ‘Ripcord’ in 2nd line-up)

‘Ripcord’ (John-drums, Steve-vocals, Jim-bass, Baz-guitar) photos by Nathalie Guyot (1-2-5), Phil Anthonis (3) & Mike Du Bois (4):

That day I had an excellent time. The atmosphere was very good again, even though things were kind of rough in the ‘pit’ from time to time. I can imagine it’s very annoying having to deal with characters standing on monitors, tripping over cables, etc. I also saw a couple of drunk people laying in the street… The bands were good, I had decent conversations (that’s also important!) and I couldn’t keep from watching the Belgian girls (SMILE). To cut things short: a successful weekend. I was a bit surprised you liked ‘Lethal Gospel’ that much. In my opinion, they don’t have anything to do with HC. They were behaving like machos, had sturdy guitar-solos, making the audience clap their hands, throwing stickers in the crowd, shaking hands, etc. That’s plain rock’n’roll. [Brob: perhaps that’s irony?…] That’s why I though that people wouldn’t like them. Don’t get me wrong: I also enjoyed their concert but that ‘rock attitude’ was nothing for me. But maybe one just has to see through this…

René Harx (personal communication ’88)

I had a great time in Aalst. Everything seemed so well organised and everyone was friendly.  Keep it up – you’re doing a great job.

Digger from Liverpool, driver & T-shirt sales for ‘Ripcord’ (personal communication ’88)

[Brob: Keith from the band ‘Condemned’ played bass on the 2nd ‘Lethal Gospel’ European tour.] I remember meeting a young lady named Rosa Lia and playing and hanging with ‘Political Asylum’, we became good friends with Ramsey the singer. I may have a tape from the show. That was a whirl-wind trip: 7 countries in 21 days, Trondheim down to Torino. [Brob: The 3rd tour we did was even more of a ‘tornado’… – see Brob’s tours] We played Pisa at an outdoor show…

Keith ‘Condemned’ Chatham

Smurfpunx 88-09-03 in Kwalpol 6

gig-review in Kwalpol #6 (Bart Schoofs):

>>‘Ripcord’ was better than I expected (‘Napalm Death’ situations and stuff), particularly in the slower songs. Or was it still early and do I cope better with this kind of music then? Connaisseurs already thought they’d noticed: Brob was sprinting around more nervously than usual. The announced band turned out to be ‘Yuppies’ Death’, his own band. Meanwhile already almost ingloriously perished of weird talk, so I can go and demolish them nicely by now. Keep it up guys! Some bits held quite a lot of promise. A band that that doesn’t have to prove anything is ‘Political Asylum’. Absolute class, and meanwhile on about every compilation-tape in the world. It could have been a beautiful day, if I hadn’t been beaten 9-11, a couple of hours later. I’m talking about table-football here.<< [;-) Sorry for non dutch-speaking people but it’s really hard to capture Bart’s irony and play on words.]

88-09-03 gig-review Genocide #6

gig-review in Genocide #6 (Bert Gysemans):

>>Despite the somewhat unstable sound, ‘Ripcord’ gave us another great performance with again an audience going crazy. They might not have been in the mood themselves – problems with the sound? Being the first band? Or a bit shy? Like the drummer (with who I talked before the gig) who – when I responded to his observation that there were a lot of people by saying that most came for them – who timidly answered “Yeah? For real?”. (Many will remember the gig from last Januray: one of the best of the year.) As I said: they were great and there was a enormous reponse to their brutal, simple and fast HC. ‘Polytical Asylum’ were, no doubt, also great. It is different Music than ‘Ripcord’ e.g.: a lot more quiet and everyone was taking a breath, listening to their varied songs and the messages they sent into the world. As a surprise Brob hit the stage with ‘Yuppies’Death!’. Sadly enough they split up by now and so this was their last gig. It was a very likeable set that they had put together. The response of the crowd was accordingly. We didn’t get to see/hear a lot of ‘Lethal Gospel’ because we had to leave. As far as we could tell, they resembled ‘T.S.O.L.’. In any case, we could face the World again for the time being.<<

09/12/2009

87-10-11 (Netwerk) Lethal Gospel – No Pigs – Creep Insanity – SixtyNine

Filed under: Netwerk, Aalst — Tags: , , , , , , — smurfpunx @ 08:41

Smurfpunx (Aalst 87, Lethal Gospel) bis

Kockie gave me (Brob) some pictures of ‘No Pigs’. My own band ‘Repulsives’ had played with them in ’86, near Antwerp, and they had impressed me for sure; especially the bassplayer was manic. That’s also the feeling I get when I see these shots back. The line-up at that time was: vocalist Maarten Luijendijk, bassist Guy Pinhas, guitarist Nils Koning & drummer Robert van der Meyden. Here’s the action…

for extras: Netwerk, Aalst, 11 oct 87 (Lethal Gospel, No Pigs, Creep Insanity) photos

[more photos below…]

One band that I fondly remember is ‘Lethal Gospel’ (LG) from San Francisco. Mokka and Brob went to visit them over there [Brob: after their 3rd tour; which we organised]. Smurfpunx organised three concerts in ‘Netwerk’ for them: one in October 1987 and another in September 1988 [Duco forget to mention the 3rd in 1989; the flyer features a drawing by Mattx that shows Mokka & Brob.]. Although I did help to organise the second one, I never attended it because I quit the scene rather abruptly in June 1988. ‘Lethal Gospel’ brought a refreshing repertoire of hardcore-punk and blues. They first sent a demo-tape to Mokka and we decided to give it a try. And rightly so, because it was definitely a hit among the audience and one of the better and more memorable gigs. After that, if I’m not mistaken, they had other Belgian gigs in Leuven or (and) Jette.

The LG blokes stayed at my parents’ house, then in a large orchard a bit outside of Aalst, for four days during a pause in their European tour which was great fun for both my folks and myself. Before their first gig, I went to pick them up with my dad at ‘De Gele Limonade’ one rainy and foggy evening. They were interesting company. The laconic drummer – whose name I don’t remember – seemed like the one who managed the tour and was more a Jewish university liberal type. The bass-player – whose name I don’t recall either – was more of a slick Midwest fitness and sports type and a quite silent lad. And then – tatataaa – there was the band’s front man with his steely blue eyes: singer-lead guitarist Mattx Bergren, then looking, all in leather as he was, like a mixture of Lemmy and Viggo Mortensen in his role of Aragorn.

Back in the car, after he had seen Mattx, my bemused dad hissed between his teeth: “If they puke all over the living-room and throw the TV set through the window, you’re out as well!”. :-) Once home, I remember my mother saying: “You’re most welcome, lads, but you smell bad. It must have been a long road. The shower and towels are upstairs.” During their stay they were great company. I won’t forget the sight of leather-clad Mattx with his heavy metal bullet belt helping my mother washing the dishes and the creaky king-size bed that once belonged to my great-grandmother that they had to share, with a bulky mattress where you rolled off. My dad took them to visit Gent as well. Usually, bands that came from further away stayed overnight in sleeping-bags either in ‘Netwerk’ or ‘De Gele Limonade’, or were put up at private homes or flats like we did with LG. Putting up bands in hotels was somewhat ‘not done’, associated as this was with rock-stars (which today sounds stupid to me… ) and too expensive (which was true given our low-budget DIY standards… ).

By the way, I had a hoot when I saw that the first things that comes out when I did a Google search for ‘Lethal Gospel’, is an article by a theology professor about ‘Islamic terrorism’. Mattx and the other blokes would have loved the irony I guess.

I think on the first ‘Lethal Gospel’ gig, ‘No Pigs’ did show up. The other acts on the second LG gig (1988), ‘Ripcord’ [see earlier gig] and ‘Political Asylum’ [singer Ramsey was a good friend of Mokka & Brob], were both good be it musically quite different bands that we already knew and nice blokes too. [Brob’s second band ‘Yuppies’ Death’ also played.] Brob, myself and the bass-player (a cousin of Brob) of ‘Repulsives’ visited ‘Ripcord’ in Weston-Super-Mare in 1987, and I had seen ‘Political Asylum’ in Lübeck once. But why the heck we agreed to put on rubbish like ‘Sixty-Nine’ (the name speaks volumes…), a moronic metal-band from Brussels made up of types with ‘German-football-player-haircuts’, as a support act on LG’s first gig in 1987 is still beyond my understanding.

Well, there is something to say about that. I remember that there was a constant tension and discussion within Smurfpunx about how to deal with that metal and crossover thing that came up at the time. There were people who were into that and wanted more metal and crossover on the programme. I will not name and blame, and I do not go scot-free either for giving in thinking to please. Personally, I liked ‘Motörhead’ and ‘Gore’ (an instrumental metal band from Venlo) and wanted to give it a try. But once we got involved with the likes of ‘Sixty-Nine’, ‘Cyclone’ and similar bands, it soon became obvious that it was a recipe for disaster. OK, they did their thing, we did ours and should have kept the metal out. For one, our audience changed and not for the better. It also contributed to a wider malaise that eventually resulted in my departure.

Duco

Nowadays Mattx runs his own company ‘Reliable Distribution Inc’: “a free magazine and promotional materials distributor with locations in California, Nevada and on The West Coast”. He’s also a family-man as you can see…

LG - Daddy Mattx

The other day I googled ‘Lethal Gospel’ just for shits and grins, and came across this article. It’s great to hear such fond memories. I played alto-saxophone for LG from 1984 through 1991. For various (and regrettable) reasons I was unable to come along on our 1987 and 1988 European tours but finally made it in 1989. I’m mighty glad I did because it remains one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. I also remember Brob and Mokka coming to visit California – that would be the spring of 1989 [Brob: summer of ’89; right before the 3rd tour that I organised for the biggest part], if memory serves.

Those are excellent descriptions of everybody, especially of Mattx and the Lemmy/Viggo resemblance. Right on the money, I’d say! The “laconic drummer” you mentioned would be Dan Seelig – haven’t heard from him for years; I assume he’s still out there drumming someplace. As for the bass-player, there was a different one on each tour but the one you described is most likely Fred LaRose – again, I’ve lost touch with him.

Ironically, IMHO the band reached its musical pinnacle in the years following those tours. After numerous personnel-changes we reoganized with a new rhythm section consisting of John Munger on bass and Rob Sham on percussion, both superb musicians, especially Rob, who could pick up practically any instrument and master it in short order.  I believe he’s now with a band called ‘Pie Rats’. We recorded a wealth of great material which, to the best of my knowledge, sadly remains unreleased.

As I was rather ‘butt-swamped’ with work and school, I left the band in 1991 and barely picked up the horn again for 10 years. In 2001 I joined another group, this time on tenor-sax. Since then I’ve played with several other bands in the Bay Area and in Reno, NV, where I now live. LG, meanwhile, continued to do some short tours and play local gigs, but eventually everyone went their separate ways.

It was heartwarming to read your article after all these years. 20 years ago it wouldn’t, of course, have been possible to see something like this, and it gives me a renewed appreciation of the effort you guys had to go through to organize a tour in those days – all the letters, postcards and costly phone-calls at odd hours over sometimes tenuous connections. How did we ever get along without email, ‘Skype’ and ‘Facebook’?

In any case, thanks again for posting. [Brob: that was Duco]

Dave ‘Papa’ Cherry (www.pighead.org)

[Here’s a bit from the first letter I got from the drummer of ‘Lethal Gospel’  that gives an idea of how things went then. It’s written on stationery of their ‘Salmon Eye Records’ label (San Francisco); the beginning of years of collaboration:]

My band ‘Lethal Gospel’ is touring Europe in sep/oct to promote the release of our 3rd album. We have some shows booked but at this point, none of them are in Belgium. We would really like to play there so I was hoping you might be able to do something for us. Describing our music, I would have to say it’s hardcore, roxy music, not thrash but most enjoyable. I’m sure you would like it alot. We are touring the usual way, not asking for a lot of money, not bringing much equipment. So maybe you can help with rental/borrowing eh? Write us or call collect after midnight US West Coast Time.

Dan Seelig (personal communication, spring ’87)

Can’t remember much of the concert in Netwerk… I dó know that there was some commotion about ‘SixtyNine’, because of their more metal oriented attitude. ‘Creep Insanity’ did want to build a bridge between metal and hardcore (trash ?), but I think that by the time we really had a set together, the scene was somewhat down-and-out. We didn’t get to do a lot of shows….

Kris joined us later, when ‘Hate Crew’ had split up. Peter De Zutter [guitarist] still plays (solid rock). Don’t think Bart (Bassie) [bassplayer] does… Myself, I got into jazz later and went to study music: first in Antwerp (‘Jazz Studio’) and after that the Conservatory in Gent. When I was about 25 I got a form of pneumothorax that was recurring (I had about 8 and got surgery for it) so I had to stop playing music (dragging about drum-kits was no longer an option). I dug into developing websites and later started programming (Flash/Flex/Actionscript) and teaching, etc.

Peter G. (a.k.a. Rabbit)

<<Everything started at 2 p.m. First of was ‘Sixty Nine’. A bit nervous but all of them first-class musicians as would turn out. [Brob: Some of them were in ‘Channel Zero’ later on.] They played very fast trash with alternating rhythms. The audience was immediately enthusiastic, and halfway their set the singer couldn’t restrain and dived into the crowd himself. After 2 or 3 encores, it was ‘Creep Insanity’s turn. We were quite twitchy because it was our first big gig. The guitar was out of tune and after the initial song the drummer already got a nervous breakdown (joke) [Brob: That’s Rabbit himself.]. The audience was so excited that they fell asleep, and so did the bass-player. Not a very successful performance although some were content. The stage was cleared for the 3rd band: ‘No Pigs’, from the Netherlands. To me they sounded chaotic but the crowd seemed to like ‘em. Most people weren’t quite awake ‘cause there wasn’t a lot of stagedivin’ and so going on. Next up was the American band ‘Lethal Gospel’. They played punk-rock with a bit of hardcore from time to time. They were far from bad, on the contrary. The guitarist/singer was the rough type (unshaven), the bassist looked more like Rambo and the drummer had a fantastic time until his snare and the pedal of the kick-drum went broken. While replacing the latter, the guitarist played a tune on his own (about a joint he couldn’t roll). A very successful concert; also the crowd kept shouting for encores. After that, all went their own ways to prepare for school or whatever, the next day…>>

‘W.O.M.’ #2 (’87; Belgian ‘Trash-Hardcore zine’)

‘Creep Insanity’ [must be ’88]: Kris (ex ‘Hate Crew’, vocals), Peter ‘Rabbit’ Ginneberge (drums), Peter De Zutter (guitar), Bart ‘Bassie’ Van Haele (bass)

Nils

Robert

87-10-11 No Pigs (Guy) @ NetwerkGuy

[photographed by Kockie]

No Pigs (vox) (87 question)Maarten

No Pigs (bass) (87 question) cutGuy

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