zondag 8 juni 2014

Wir Bleiben Fahren Pogo Party 7-6-2014

Yesterday I went to Enschede, in the east of the Netherlands, to attend a reunion of Babylon Hengelo and the Chi Chi club in Winterswijk. Two famous venues back in the 80's that held a lot of festivals, had many classic bands play and organized stuff that was not just about music as well. I have seen many classic bands there and played both venues a few times with Lärm.
The festival contained 12 bands, some of them only re-uniting for this occassion only.
My main reason to go there was to see people I had not seen in about 25 years or more, as well as to watch Indigesti and Winterswijx Chaos Front, Murder Inc and Neuroot.
(Well Indigesti had to cancel, I already knew that).
I am glad I went. It was good to talk to all of these people I had not seen in a long while, some of them took some time recognising me, I am fortunate to have a good memory for names and faces. Sometimes when you encounter old friends it is mostly about 'things used to be a lot better back in the days' and so on, but not yesterday. Interesting talks about how we evolved from being a hardcore kid to the persons we are nowadays, looking back on all the dogmatism that occured in the hc scene back then and ofcourse sharing a lot of good memories. Best thing though was that some people thought I was Olav, if you know us both, you know we do not look alike at all and never did. Oh well. People travelled form Germany, Belgium and the north and east of the Netherlands. There were only a handfull of people from the west of the country, which proves again that they are too lazy to leave their cities and part of the country and also why I have always enjoyed festivals and concert in the northeast of the Netherlands more than I did in the major cities. It was weird though to arrive at this festival and not seeing a lot of cars from Germany with their doors wide open and stereos on full blast. No punks on the streets carrying their own crate of beer of bottle of wine. No people who came around to look at all the weirdos attending such a festival. No Lärm Straight Edgers who wanted to battle the drunk punks. I guess we have all turned a bit older, or maybe matured.

In the end I only saw a part of Murder Inc's set, which was really tight and the whole set of Winterswijx Chaos Front. Unfortunately I had to skip Neuroot, but at least I have a t-shirt!
Winterswijx Chaos Front played a rather chaotic set and I stood there with a huge smile on my face, singing along silently. Although they did not play perfect, it sounded great and their enthousiasm and the visible joy made up for all of it. So many good times we shared together. I am glad I went all the way to Enschede (well, 'all the way', 1.5 hours each way) to see them and talk to them. I am looking forward to hear the recordings of this set.
Thanks for organising it, it must have been a lot of hard work to do so.
For the people using facebook, here's a video of 'the crow flys'.
WCF live at ATAK Enschede 07-06-2014


I have uploaded two live sets: one recorded at the Chi Chi Club (this might be their farewell gig) and the other one recorded at Parkhof Alkmaar in 1987. The set at the Chi Chi Club features quite some talking and experimental music and it seems as if Harm forgot to bring his distortion pedal, because it sounds very clean. As a bonus I have added their ep.
WCF live Alkmaar 1987
WCF live @ Chi Chi Club Winterswijk
WCF - s/t ep

dinsdag 29 april 2014

the Trashbagz & Survival Squad




When pre-Lärm bands are mentioned, it is most of the times the bands that Paul, Olav and myself have been a part of. But let's not forget that Menno also used to be in a band before Lärm. He sang in a band called  Survival Squad and they hailed from the Hilversum area.
We got to know them through a Mutual friend (Rob) who either went to the same school as they did or at least knew people who did. I have no idea to be honest. All I know is that the Disturbers were meant to play together with these bands, but that gig got cancelled on the evening itself.
Rob started his own tape label (Chaotic Tapes) which was a thing a lot of punks used to do back in those days and his first release was a split tape by the Trashbagz and Survival Squad. I am not sure if there were other releases after this one. Rob went along to a lot of the Lärm gigs lateron and even sang for us when we were asked to play on a festival we attented and Menno was not there.
I do not know a lot about either of the bands, but if I am correct the Trashbagz were from Soest and as said before Survival Squad was from Hilversum. It is quite interesting to hear various styles mixed in both bands. Trashbagz play the mandatory ska song and Survival Squad try to speed up to hardcore punk at times but are very melodic on the other hand too.
Hopefully Menno can supply some additions to the bandhistories and maybe even some photos.
In the Survival Squad songs you'll find one track that made it to the Lärm set: 'Passive Punks' which is about punks not wanting to pogo. Hearing Menno's strong Cockney accent made me smile several times when I listened to this track. The only other band member I am sure of, is René, who went on singing for Echte Boter gvd. More on them later.
I won this tape on an Ebay auction last year. William from Funeral Oration was offering this tape and the proceeds went toward his son's pocketmoney (at least that is what he told me).
To be continued?


woensdag 20 november 2013

Lärm - First gig april 8th 1983

Friday april 8th 1983 was the date Lärm played it's first live gig ever. We played at Tagrijn in Hilversum, a city quite close to Amersfoort and the venue was known for the weekly punk/new wave nights and also for putting on bands in this genre. If I am correct we played with Asperitys and I am not sure if Red Riot played or not, maybe it was just 2 bands.
I recall us being quite nervous, this being the first time for Lärm to play live on a stage with a PA system too. We arrived for soundcheck, plugged in and played two songs. The soundguy then asked us to stop fooling around and play a proper song. When we told him we just played two, he looked at us as if we were from another planet. He switched off his soundboard and left, shaking his head in disbelief. Obviously he did not care and if you listen carefully to the live recordings, you can hear reggae played through the PA while we played live. Maybe that is where my dislike of reggae comes from? Who knows.
After being introduced as 'LARM' (even Dutch people can't pronounce it right), we kicked off with a special version of 'Our Future'. Crass had a slogan 'Fight War - Not Wars', we had our own: 'Milk Cows - Not Bulls'. We even had a banner at some point with this slogan. We definately put effort into the image of being farmer punks, even though only Dorien and myself lived on a farm.
The crowd was not completely ready for us. Lärm was one of the first bands in Holland that took punk to another level: faster and louder than most other bands around back then and also completely clueless when it came to tune guitars. We knew how to use a distortion though!
On this recording you'll hear a few songs that were skipped before the split lp with Stanx. Sick Of You and Oh Beatrix were both Total Chaoz songs originally and if I am correct Dead Soldiers was a Sextons song even. Country Life was a song glorifying life on the farm and HCP (stands for Hardcore Punk) was changed into OSL later on. Wodka had a different intro back then and some songs are longer than the versions we recorded on vinyl.
For me this was a pleasant trip down memory lane and hopefully the Dutch speaking people can understand some of the in between song ranting.
I guess this is where the Campaign For Musical Destruction started.

Tracklist:
01 our future
02 nijpels face - ban the bomb
03 disorder - vader abraham
04 pigeon
05 nothing for us
06 too old
07 police threats
08 only reality - south africa
09 passive punks
10 revolting youth - oh beatrix
11 wodka
12 country life - dead soldiers - hcp



Lärm: first live gig ever

zaterdag 16 november 2013

Tröckener Kecks (demo)

Tröckener Kecks, it could stand for 'Dry Biscuits', but I am not even sure if it is written in an existing language.
I have been looking for their first lp 'Schliessbaum' for ages. It was one of those records I did not pick up when it was released, basically because I did not have enough money to buy all records released and choices had to be made. Paul and Olav taped it for me though and at that time, it did the job really well. I know someone in Amersfoort has a copy too, but despite all my trying and begging, he did not want to part with it.
You can imagine my joy when my friend Theun sent me a textmessage: 'Schliessbaum without lyricsheet in good condition, interested?' Ofcourse I was and for an ok price I am finally owning this record. Another one crossed of the list.
The Tröckener Kecks were part of the second wave of punk bands in Amsterdam. What makes them stand out of the rest, are the lyrics. Often poetic, but also critical and therefor interesting. Listening to them these days, they could be compared to the Undertones at some point. Musicwise that is.
They once played about 5 km from my house. I think I mentioned that gig in the post I did on the Nitwitz.

Tröckener Kecks were also featured on that mega-festival in the UK called 'Christmas On Earth' where they played among a lot of UK82 bands as well as Black Flag and Lama (!). Henry Rollins wrote about this festival in Get in the Van.
Personally I lost interest in the Tröckener Kecks after their second ep, that is when they moved on from punk to more rock. They actually became a quite succesfull band lateron, with different members than the Original line-up.
I have uploaded their 1980 demo, recorded at Oktopus Amsterdam. Most of these songs can be found on the Rik Ringers ep or the Schliessbaum lp. Sometimes in a different version that the ones on the records. There's also some unreleased songs (as far as I know).
In his book 'Johan was punk an dhe knows it' , Johan van Leeuwen wrote about the times he joined the Tröckener Kecks on the gigs they played. Being fanatic fans of Heineken, every time they passed the brewery on their way to a gig, the van stopped, everybody jumped out and kissed the walls of the brewery. Hence the song 'Heineken Beer', which is a non stop ode to this beer brand (and we all know it tastes like shit right?). Dutch punk band Outlawz wrote a song called 'Chocomel' (chocolate milk) as a reaction to the Tröckener Kecks ode.
I will upload the first ep and the Schliessbaum lp somewhere in the future.
Enjoy their demo



Tröckener Kecks demo

zaterdag 2 november 2013

Utreg Punx compilation ep

I have mentioned it before that Utrecht was a city that influenced us a lot in our earliest punk days. It was close to Amersfoort and had quite a vibrant punk scene, with loads of bands, zines and record stores. Needless to say that we went there quite often. The punks from Utrecht called themselves Utreg Punx and at that time most punks named themselves after the city or area they came from. Mokum Punks were from Amsterdam (Mokum is a nickname for Amsterdam), punks from Groningen called themselves Grunn Punx, punks from the eastern part of the Netherlands were called Boer'n Punx (Farmer Punks) and so on. Jet$et once wrote a song about this, condemning all the punks who weree eager to label themselves after the city/area they were from. But that is a different story. The punks in Utrecht were very DIY and also not too keen on a lot of bands from the UK who they labelled as rock stars (for example Stiff Little Fingers, because they left the stage when punks did not stop throwing beer at them, UK Subs for appearing on BBC television). They organised concerts in various venues and later on in squats. I remember going to place like Rasa, NV Huis and SSR and many (temporary) squats. They also had their own record label called Rock Against. The most well known output must be the Utreg Punx compilation ep which features the only vinyl output (so far, but more on that in a few months time) of the (in)famous Noxious. Their song 'Sunday Fools' is a short violent blast of 'we don't give a fuck' punk. The version recorded on the ep is basically the try out version to test the levels and turned out to be the best version. On these recordings they had a stand-in bass player (Buffel, who played bass in the Bizon Kids). Rakketax still had the female singer at this point. It is also the vinyl debut of the Nixe, one of the first all female punk bands from the Netherlands, known for their very simple songs, but who ever said that punk rock needed complex song structures eh? Lullabies records a song that was a lot noisier and rawer than the one released on the U-Tracks compilation lp and it was also one of the first outputs by the Ex. Who were not really from Utrecht, but who cares? At that time, two members of the Ex lived in Utrecht. (thanks for the correction GW Sok)
This ep is a fine example of what happened musically at that time and as far as I am concerned the Noxious song is one of the best songs ever from a Dutch punk band. It might even be one of the first hardcoresongs ever recorded in the Netherlands.
 opefully after the release of the Lullabies discography, the unreleased Noxious recordings will be available as an ep. I will keep you posted on that ofcourse.
Seein Red covered two songs on this ep on our anniversary ep: The Lullabies song and (ofcourse) the one by Noxious.
Utreg Punx ep

zondag 27 oktober 2013

This is names don't matter comp tape

Back in the 80's there were  a lot of people releasing compilation tapes. It was something not too hard to do and also did not cost a lot of money. Most of the tapelabels were run by just one person or a small group of friends. Tape comps were the cheapest way for bands to get known and have their music released to a wide audience, because tape-dubbing was something we ALL did at that time.
There were a lot of classic compilations released over the years, the Bad Compilation tapes is just one example and I think the Holland Hardcore series deserve to be mentioned too. Thanks to compilation tapes like XCentric and the likes, we got to know bands such as Huvudtvätt and other classic bands from the eighties, too many to mention.
The tape that I have uploaded is done by 'My smile is a mask' tapes which was linked to a zine called 'Names don't matter'. This comp was done in 1985.
First off we have S.C.A. from Amsterdam. They started as Staphorster Chaoten Alliantie but changed their name to Strong Concentration of Anger after that. Released a 12" and a few tracks on the 'Beware of the wolf in sheep's clothing' 12". I think the stuff on this compilation is all previously released, but I am not 100% sure. Since the guitarplayer's daughter is on the school I run, I will ask Rob if he remembers this tape.
Murder Inc. III hails from Heerenveen and has been featured in this blog previously. Also not sure if their songs on this tape have been released previously. They have just created a facebook page too where you can see a lot of photos and flyers as well as videos of very recent pratices. Are they re-uniting? Murder inc facebook page
Fishtown HC is a band from Germany (as far as I am told) and that is about all the info I can give you on them.
Jack in the Box is a one-man project done bij Sjak van Brussel, he is also responsible for some compilation tapes himself. Sjak also runs Antenna record store in Tilburg and still plays in Lewd (the Dutch one that is). I would describe Jack in the Box as a young Big Black.
Images provided by Sjak.

names don't matter

maandag 21 oktober 2013

Hollands Glorie

Hollands Glorie was a band formed by two ex-members of BVD and Ketchup. Hailing from The Hague, Hollands Glorie was another band that sang in Dutch and added some more melody to their sound. There is a hint of Oi! to be found, as well as rock and roll, very catchy indeed. I think they were together for 3 years or something like that. Two of the bandmembers joined a band called World War Rockers afterwards. Uploaded are their demo and ep.
Demo
Harde Feiten ep