Bunker OESO, Aswad, Grammes, Au Pairs, The Sound, Mathilde Santing, Bitch Band Nr. 1, Tasmanian Theatre, Modern Eon @ Sterren In Het Bos, Groningen 23 August 1981

Every year, since 1974 until 1983, there was a music festival in Groningen called “Sterren In Het Bos” (“Stars In The Forest”) and was held in a citypark about 5 minutes from my home. Every sunday in August had a big fest in the middle of the park with tons of bands. They usually had 2 locations, one in a cupola that was part of the park, and another one on a self-made stage. As my parents were very musicfonded (my father played in numerous bands as a guitarist/bassplayer, one of them was SUBWAY), they always went to them and usually took me along. I’ve seen bands like THE VIBRATORS, SCREWDRIVER, FLYIN’ SPIDERS in 1978, THE CURE (their first ever foreign concert), STIFF LITTLE FINGERS and NINA HAGEN in 1979 and DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS and THE SHIRTS in 1980. Too bad I can’t remember anything of the bands coz I was simply too young and not much interested. It was way more exciting to observe all those people doing sometimes crazy stuff and smoking alot. It was one big event with sometimes 3500 people swarming around. Just years later I actually realized what I saw (but missed)…
When I start secondary/highschool in 1980, I am heavily into ska with THE SPECIALS as my absolute favorites. There are a bunch of striking students in higher classes calling themselves punks and dressed the traditional way. Obviously I am intrigued by their appearance and start to check out the bands that are painted on the back of their jackets and their bags starting with THE DEAD KENNEDY’S, U.K. SUBS and THE CLASH. In july 1981 I buy my first punkrecord during an holiday in France: THE CLASH’s “London Calling”, also for the impressive sleeve. The last sunday in August 1981 I decide to go to the fest with another rudeboy instead of with my parents. It would become more or less a turningpoint in my life. When we hear there’s also a punkband playing we head straight for the “stage”, the music cupola in the middle of the park, where the band is already setting up their gear. We both sit on the right wall, in front of the band, and even more, in front of the crowd. We don’t know the band called BUNKER at all. We really don’t know what to expect. We are just some ignorant ska-kids checking out the scene. Well, in the meantime many punx are flocking to the stage. As soon as BUNKER starts playing, all hell breaks loose in the form of an impressive pogo-pit and we are sitting first-class! The band is making jokes and interacts alot with the crowd. It’s all quite adventureous to say the least. And there I see most of the punks that are in my school as well! I can’t remember much of BUNKER’s sound or how they played but I was immensely impressed by the whole ambiance and occurrence. Next day I was punk too.

Bunker OESO (© Jan Westerhof)

Bunker (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Aswad (London, UK)
Au Pairs (Birmingham, UK)
The Sound (UK)
Modern Eon (Liverpool, UK)
Mathilde Santing (The Netherlands)
Bitch Band Nr. 1 (Germany)
Tasmanian Theatre