This week someone (Peter Verzijl) posted old photos of punk bands performing at Paradiso in Amsterdam. Amongst the photos were a couple of the Vopo's, who were from Zwolle and delivered a classic 4 track ep and a great lp. I must have mentioned them in the thread about the Vultures, because they often played together.
I remember we went to see them at the Oktopus in Amsterdam where they played together with the Outlawz (if I remember right). The venue was packed with punks, from Amsterdam, but also quite a lot from other places. And yes there were some skinheads too, most of them were cool but a couple of them seemed to be out for a fight, but did not dare to, because they were easily outnumbered by all the punks.
Both bands delivered a really good set and especially the Vopo's made quite an impact. When the last band finished, the punks went outside and soaked in sweat we made our way to the railway station. The were more punks on the road and also that group of skins were on their way to catch a train. At the platform the skins started to harass a couple of punks but they did not know that there were friends of the punks already on the train. All of a sudden, the platform was full of punks kicking the skinheads and teaching them a lesson (or two). We witnessed this all from our train that was on another platform and thought it was a really hilarious situation, untill the skinheads entered our train.... There were just four of us and at least ten skinheads, so all of a sudden the situation had changed drastically. They asked us why we had not helped them and before we even could come up with an answer, one of us was hit over the head with a stick and they started to punch us. The condoctur of the train saved our asses by letting us in the 1st class department and then locking the doors. We had no idea where these assholes were from and I remember we were really relieved when they left the train in Baarn, a small city on the west side of Amersfoort. Years later, when I was at college I had a classmate who turned out to be the sister of one of these Baarn Skins. When I told her about this encounter she could do nothing more agree on the fact that they were complete assholes.
Back to the Vopo's and their ep. They did deliver 4 really good punk songs on that piece of vinyl and we even covered 'Menten' with the Sextons. I have seen them three times in total and the last time I saw them, was in Hilversum, where they played at Tagrijn (the venue where Lärm did it's very first gig). This was when they had changed vocalists and I think they had just released the 'Conquer' lp. That lp was quite a dissapointment, but nevertheless we went to see them, hoping they would do some old songs as well. When their new singer entered the stage it was not a good sign. Studded wristbands all the way to his elbows and looking as mean as possible (which turned out to be looking like a clown basically). The atmosphere at this gig was not right and I remember there was a lot of rivalry between various cities and areas in Holland. I have mentioned that before if I am right.
Apparently something had happened between some punks from Utrecht and punks from the Zwolle area. Eitherway, the Utrecht punks were there to settle the score, but we never witnessed that, because the Vopo's did not play old songs anymore. For us there was no reason to watch them so we left. Our friends from Hilversum stayed and they told us the horror stories of the fights that broke out during the Vopo's set.
Years and years later Slapshot would do a song 'So ends our night (into another fight)', which sort of glorifies violence at shows. Let me assure you there was not much fun at these violent gigs, you'd get your head kicked in for having the wrong pins or band logo's. Violence already sucked back then and it still does.
In the file you'll find the Vopo's ep. It got re-released and the Vopo's are back together, but I have not seen them since the reunion they did in Steenwijk amongst reunions of Zmiv, Stanx, Glorious Death and Lärm. I did not really like them to be honest, but the ep and lp are classics and they stood the test of time perfectly.
Right now they describe themselves as speed metal band and the brothers Frans and Theo de Grebber are the only original members. Check their site at vopo's