(Tilburg/Rotterdam, 1980 – 1985)

Meaning Bandname: The local driving school owner Kantelberg finds it necessary to pour a bucket of Formalin on a boy of one of his squatted buildings. He is admitted to hospital with permanent eye and lung damage. The small Tilburg (pronounced Tilwurg) squat and punk scene is shocked. The name Formalin Ka is born.

Bio: At the end of 1979, Frank came into contact with Dickie in Tilburg. Dickie plays bass guitar and knows Job. Job is a drummer who is not yet 13. They practiced in the Kijkhuis, the illustrious hippie drug place in Tilburg where punk bands regularly played. A bunch of concerts are given in this line-up, including in the party hall of Bladel as support act for Social Security.

Skoeter, who goes to the same school as Frank, joins the band at the end of 1980. With Skoeter, a very memorable concert is given in Dickie’s street, the Mariastraat in Tilburg. Formaline Ka’s version of ‘house of the rising sun’ is disappointing for many hippies, but that is considered a compliment.

In 1981, in a desperate attempt to postpone military service in Belgium, Frank moved to Rotterdam. Skoeter soon follows. They have both been tired of Tilburg for some time, as evidenced by the song ‘I want to leave’. In Rotterdam, Skoeter and Knarf soon come into contact with Kareltje Dops and Mario Strörmann and Formaline Ka is continued on more fertile soil. Kareltje and Strör appear to be a fantastic rhythm section that has already made its mark in the Rotterdam punk scene. The largely squatted Raephorststraat in the Oude Noorden formed the backdrop to a musical punk scene at that time. Almost every Raephorststraat resident makes music and often plays in several bands at the same time. Concert soon followed on a regular basis. The Rotterdam punk scene takes some getting used to because in addition to the competing scenes around Debiele Eenheid and Kotx, Formaline Ka is now also appearing on the scene. Their agitated and aggressive sound is well received. Songs are invariably announced by Skoeter, the charismatic punk version of Frank Sinatra. The popular band Discharge is honored with the song ‘Decontrol’. But of course in an even faster version than the original.

After an earlier break of six months between the end of 1982 and May 1983, Frank finally left the band in early 1984. The new musical collaboration with the Jazzbunker brass section players Rob and Jola does not appeal to him. He is succeeded by Joop Dops, Kareltje’s big brother. Around 1985 the curtain finally fell for – now – Formaline. The Ka had been lost along the way.

Skoeter –  vocals (1980-1985)
Mario Strörmann aka Snowball Johnny † – bass (1981-1985)
Karel Dops – drums (1981-1985)
Rob – trompet (1983-1985)
Jola – trompet (1983-1985)
Joop Dops – guitar (1984-1985)

Frank Stroobants aka Knarf – guitar & vocals (1980-1984)
Dickie – bass (1980-1981)
Job – drums (1980-1981)

Other bands:
Frank Stroobants – Average Power, Adrenalina, Ondergeniepig, Bunker, Mortal Virtue, Endlösung, NOATH, Wanda’s, Gore, Bob Spaak, GoddoG
Mario Strörmann – UBF, Snowball Johnny And His Hotshots, Debiele Eenheid, Strör, Electric Suicide, Sole Survivor, No-Men, Snowball Johnny
Karel Dop – Debiele Eenheid

Interviews & Articles:
1980 – De Sloop 2

Concerts: (selected)
1980 Straatfeest, Tilburg

1981.01.24 Kijkhuis, Hilversum (+ Cheap ‘n’ Nasty, Prime Ministers, Schopenhauer Smiles, Split Brain Effects)
1981.10.03 KWJ, Breda (+ Pregnant Popes, Die Udo’s, The Nitwitz, De Groeten, The Studs) (Anti Fascisme Manifestatie)

Tilburg lineup
Tilburg lineup
@ Tilburg
@ Rotterdam
@ Rotterdam
Tilburg lineup
Tilburg lineup
@ Beursplein, Rotterdam
@ Rotterdam