23.11.03. Kriegstanz + Betercore + Shikari +
Cyness (GER) + Sayadinna (SWE) @ Platformtheater, Groningen NL
Platformtheater. Since 2001, several groups of people are organizing gigs
in the Platformtheater, resulting in a big variety of (hardcore) bands and
crowds. Best thing about this place is its location. It’s near the inner
city-centre, opposite of the Simplon youthcenter and has a very low
threshold opposed to ‘out-of-centre-places’ and squats. Lots of gigs have
visitors that just drop by to see what’s going on or just to check it out.
Good thing about the place is it’s atmosphere. The lighting is cosy and if
the bands are set up in front of the high stage, there’s usually a very
pleasant vibe. Also a good thing is the rent is not so high unless it is
booked for a weekend. So most gigs happen in weekdays. Still, you need a
big crowd to break even because the bar goes to the venue. And needless to
say, the barprices are high. A lot of people bring their own drinks. It
was never a problem until last couple of gigs the complaining started.
Anyway, it’s been about half year since we/SHIKARI played Groningen and at
least 2 years since this venue so it was time again. KRIEGSTANZ was added
to the bill so we had a total of 5 bands. At 18.00 we were the first to
arrive and were welcomed by organizer Jeroen and Jop/GILGAMOSH and friend.
KRIEGSTANZ dropped in soon and I exchanged some really cool records with
Jos. SPEEDTWINS LP and LULLABIES 7”. Great classic Dutch punk and
essential for my ambitious Dutch Punk Archive. After setting up the
backline and meeting with the other bands, we’re off for dinner just
across the street. They prepared the house Skandinavian style coz the
heater is overburning with temperatures above 30 degrees celcius. The
dinner is just excellent, very delicious spinachpie. By now we have a hard
time getting back to the place because of the heat and food. When we
eventually arrive, KRIEGSTANZ has started. A great wall of catchy noise.
They’re getting better with every gig I see. KRIEGSTANZ has been evolved
from ORWELL NATION, and is formed in april 2003. After some memberchanges,
they currently have SEEIN’RED (bass), CATHODE (guitar), THE BARNHOUSE
EFFECT (guitar and vocals) members. Style can be described as neocrust.
You know, mixing Skandinavian and modern Yankeesound with lowtuning and
disbeats. It seems they’re developing their own sound, which is quite
essential for this style coz most bands seem to merely clone their
favorites. This night they agreee to do their first release with
Unsociable from Bremen/Germoney (hello Stachel!). So apart from the fact
that Rogier and Jos fuck up one or more songs and one of the Platform
workers urge them to play softer, this is definitely a fruitful evening
for them. In the back near the bar is a big supermarket. Most stuff comes
from a Polish guy who sells some great shirts. I give away a bunch of
copies of my new bootleg CDr and help BETERCORE setting up the drumkit.
They slap through a short but raging set. Always fun to watch. By now the
room has filled. Some 150 people present including a lot of “outsiders”.
It’s 21.00 and we are doing our best to delay a bit coz it’s so fucking
early! Anyway, SHIKARI fuck up practically all songs although many people
fortunately don’t seem to notice it. After the set I feel like crawling
under a rock. Probably my worst and most embarrassing performance this
year so far. The only thing I feel good about is not giving in on the
annoying demands by the Platformtheater workers to turn down the volume.
CYNESS and SAYADDINA use their own backline so I start packing my drumkit
onstage. Some CYNESS members I already know coz they double in Y from
Berlin. When I heard them last year during the Para Raio festival, I was
very impressed. Deathmetalgrind with a brutal female vocalist. But what
happened? Here they play with a different vocalist and without bassplayer…
I read on their webpage their bassplayer died in an accident?! Anyway. the
drumming is relentless but I can’t help to be very disappointed when
comparing this with last year. Too bad. SAYADINNA from Sweden seems to
have quite a reputation coz I hear a lot of people raving about them. This
is probably also because they have NASUM and VICTIMS members, recorded in
the famous Sunlight studio and are on the American Relapse label. It sure
was fun to watch the guitarplayer doing this gimmick of spitting in the
air and catching it with his face. Or the bassplayer struggling with his
guitarstring. Musically it is rather boring, done a million times before.
It’s not bad or something, just nothing special or exciting. Nevertheless
it was a nice night for most of us, with good organization, friendly
bands/people and an impressive KRIEGSTANZ! ©
13.11.03. Asschapel (USA) + The Last Mile @ De Brouwerij, Hengelo NL
One month ago I was here with Shikari/Makiladoras/Ekkaia and that was a
definite blast (read all about it in #2). Great (but rather painful) place and atmosphere so we were
hoping for the best! After a too long drive we arrived around 20.00 which
seems to be still early for Brouwerij standards. Got some nice food and met a
bunch of friends. Not too many people present though. It looks as they're
overbooked coz when see their schedule, they do gigs almost every
week! People get selective and obviously some gigs will suffer from this.
About 40 people witness THE LAST MILE playing a blasting set. Usually
their sound suffers because of too low tuned guitar, resulting in a blurr.
But today was just perfect. All melodies and dynamics could be ondergone!
Great!! In between bands, checked the UPS distro and Richard's
preparations for his long Brasil trip. Also he brought me a B I G box
filled with Dutch punk/hc records, cd's and tapes from his own collection.
Mostly end-of-the-80's and 90's stuff AND a definite help for completing
my mission to collect all Dutch releases. Also bought a bunch of Dutch
records. Usually I don't buy much records but today was a good day to
spend some money. Never knew KRUSH already released a bunch of 7" ers back
in the late 90's. There's too much to get this completed..... H E L P !
ASSCHAPEL is ready to start. I've heard some stories about them being a
pisstake on metal and such so, I'm expecting some sort of HELL'S KITCHEN
who did this thing perfectly back in the 80's. Well, after the first
ASSCHAPEL song, I didn't know what to think. After the second and third
song, the shirts came off and the guitars, fingers and hair was waving but
no way could you tell this was a pisstake. It looked rather like a very
poor HERESY wanna-be clone. Communication was at a minimum and
musically... it was even worse. Very high speed but sloppy metalcore. The
guitar sounded so thin and crappy, I couldn't believe it. And
because of the intense posing, it sounded even worse. Oh well.
GOODBYE 2003, HELLO 2004
Generally, 2003 was a rather quiet year with almost no tours. It was also
the first new years eve that we spent in Holland. February had some
memorable moments such as the SHIKARI concert in a local squatbar where
the complete band was covered in beer, sweat and bruises. A true classic.
The MAKILADORAS/MIHOEN! tour was an adventure as well with a great
surprise in G18 in Bremen: DEAN DIRGE. We expected a generic emoband but
got simple yet straightforward and catchy punkrock. Fuckin' A! After 3
days Arno, singer of MIHOEN! got sick and couldn't make the gig in Bochum
while MIHOEN! decided to do an instrumental set. Same story 2 days later
in Gent. Paris was fullhouse with a very thrashy and moving slampit. We
met many friends there and I never forget the paranoid squatters that
constantly locked us in and out of certain rooms. MAKILADORAS continued
the tour through Germoney with a great gig in Berlin which was more or
less a hole in the ground.
8th February was the day I heard the shocking news that Johan Van Leeuwen
had died the day before. Johan was the editor of Holland's longest running
zine De Nieuwe Koekrand. He wrote a couple of books and despite his
illness, he continued with great enthusiasm as long as possible. He was a
great inspiration and is sorely missed...
February was also memorable because of our discovery that the SHIKARI
master was too long to be pressed properly on 7" format. It took 2
testpressings and a fucked up (and thankfully only 500) US pressing to
detect. Nightmarish to say the least. Fortunately the thing got
re-released on CDEP in september! March started off with a weekend in
Madrid where Eva was invited to join Sin Dios on 2 concerts for a DVD.
During this time we were in the middle of the anti-war manifestations. We
went to a demonstration with over 1 million people. It was most
impressive. Actually, that whole anti-war debate lived quite alot in Spain
since there were banners and flyers hanging outside /on windows in almost
every street. Too bad we had to stay so short but it was worth it. I was
very happy to meet all my friends again and see people from Benidorm and
Galicia. Hopefully the DVD will be out this year. SIN DIOS more or less
split up again so question is if they're gonna continue with a new
bassplayer or not...
March was also particulary exciting because of a PCP mini-tour with RAW
POWER from Italy. My scepsis of old bands exploiting their old fame and
status was once again affirmed. This was a rather embarrassing event. All
old songs were raped and slaughtered (reminded me quite a bit of that MDC
disaster) and almost no people took the effort to check them out. Result
was that the organisers lost A L O T of money coz they asked rather high
(and fixed!) guarantees. Still PCP had a real good time, meeting mucho new
people, places and friends. The Frossay gig was the first one for me to
wear sunglasses during the entire set coz of the ultrabright theaterspot
(thanks Eric). France is a great country to play (excluding
the traffic cops and customs officers!) and we discovered the westcoast
has more cool places than you can ever imagine! From June til September I
was busy promoting and booking a 2 week French/Spanish tour for dutch band
COCKROACH. Unfortunately 2 days into their tour, I received a confusing
yet disturbing phonecall from COCKROACH informing me they were going to
cancel the rest of the tour due to personal problems. Eventually they were
alright, but my motivation to continue with this kind of help was dropped
considerably. In 2000 I had a somewhat simular experience with EL CORAZON
DEL SAPO from Spain but this happened at the end of the tour and was
because of a leg injury of their singer. He even tried to continue and did
2 more gigs with it but it was just too painful so they canceled the last
2 gigs. Back in Spain they went straight to an hospital to discover his
ankle was broken...
June and July had some
local Platformtheater concerts where the Dutch bands blew away the yankee
"headliners". 2003 was also the year of the Trash Fests in Hoogeveen
and the overkill of gigs in the new squat Co-9 in Zwolle. Last year had 4
Trashfests with an average of about 10 bands each night! August even had 2
Trashfests, one in Hoogeveen and the next day in Zwolle. About 25 bands
within 2 days.... An enormous effort from Marteun and co.! September PCP played a fest in Stemwede, I discovered we played
together with the masters of doomcore ZEROID. However, it was their final
concert. The first and last time I saw them. Happiness & sadness at once.
I was actually very glad to see that 2003 didn't continue this
questionable trend of adding exotic instruments to hardcorepunk (with the
violin at number one). However, I can conclude that 2003 was the musical
year of overrated emo and bad Tragedy clones. But... it wasn't all that bad. I
still could find 10 excellent records and 8 fabulous gigs so here's for my yearlist:
BEST RECORD (in no particular order!)
1. Cursed - One CD
I am a big fan of THE SWARM, and this one can more or less be seen as a
continuation of that band. Excellent production, songs and writing makes
this a winner)
2. Tragedy - Vengeance CD
An almost unmatched heavy hardcorepunk production. Japanese hardcore meets
Skandi-disbeats meets No Fun At All/Bad Religion formula. Nobody does this
as well as TRAGEDY.
3. Various - Bloodsucking Freaks 2003 CD
The Padlock and Soul Craft songs make this perfect.
4. Padlock - Struggle In Red CD
Fast, catchy, over-the-top, guitarwanking Japanese hardcore....
5. Ação Direta - Revolta Repudio Confronto Resistencia CD
Already going for more than 15 years, and no sign of weariness. Intense,
fast, simple yet furious hardcorepunk.
6. Conclusion - Conclusion 7"
Have this been playing alot of times. Very original sound with some sticky
7. Protess - Positiveness 7"
First had to get into this one, but immensely grew on me and now the tunes
are in my head forever. Recently d/l a video of them, and I can say
they're as good live as they're on record!
8. Vicious Five - Electric Chants Of The Disenchanted CD
Portugese punkrock. I usually don't listen this syle much. Could be maybe
even labeled as emo... Very minimal but very haunting and infectious.
9. Maniatica - Maniatica 2003 CD
I always loved this spanish anarchopunkband. They did a lot of releases
and for this CD they re-recorded old songs coz the band was already split
since alot years (some members went on with BANDA JACHIS). Anyway, this is
an excellent selection of their old work with my absolute favorite songs:
Poder and Color De Corazon.
10. Vader - Blood mCD
I have a weakness for this band! Litany is still their best release but
ever since their concert on 30th April in De Buze/Steenwijk, I have alot
of sympathy for this great band.
1. Zeroid - Krustenhof, Stemwede Germoney 06.09.03
Stunning even though they had some technical difficulties.
2. The Now-Denial - Het Podium, Hoogeveen 27.09.03
Knew the people already for a long time but never heard their band until
now. I was rooted to the spot in amazement. Together with ZEROID, these
are for me the best
bands of 2003!
3. Tragedy - Het Podium, Hoogeveen 27.09.03
Combination of a first rate backline and excellent musical performance.
4. Mörser - Het Podium, Hoogeveen 27.09.03
Even without their 2nd guitarplayer, still terrifying good!
5. Twisted System - Krustenhof, Stemwede Germoney 06.09.03
Belgium poweroutfit. I expected bad hardrock but we got once again
exciting punkrock with ex-UNHINGED singer!
6. Inner Terrestials - Pakhuis Afrika, Amsterdam 26.09.03
I'd already played with them in France a couple times so I knew what to
expect. Great musicianship, excellent crowdcontrol and also after all
those hard, fast and loud bands, this was quite refreshing.
7. Dean Dirge - G18, Bremen Germoney 08.02.03
As i said earlier, we expected bad emorock, but got exciting punkrock!
8. Radio Bikini - Het Podium, Hoogeveen 23.08.03
Refreshing, and Dutch as well!
(there was actually quite alot of them but here's my top 10 nonetheless)
1. Unnamed Emoband - Baracke, Munster Germoney
Three bands, two touring (MAKILADORAS and MIHOEN!) and one local. There
were probably 15 paying visitors. They all came to see the local band. The
local band played first... It was horrendous. They couldn't handle their
instruments and the sound was awful but.... the small crowd went for it. When the 2nd band,
MIHOEN, started, only the "organisation" and 2 touring bands were
left. It became an unforgettable nite anyways but you get the point. That
unnamed band probably get real big this year, so sorry for not reminding
2. Driller Killer - Het Podium, Hoogeveen 27.09.03
Expected alot, received a bucket full of shit. Their cd's rule, their live
performance suck terribly. They come NOWHERE near the records. They owned
up. Very humiliating. To top that, their attitude was even worse. Please,
deport this to the mainstream. Thank you!
3. Raw Power - Stade de Municipal, Frossay France 21.03.03
This was very hard to digest. Not even a shade of what it was. One of the
best hardcore concerts I saw was RAW POWER in the ChiChiClub/Winterswijk
19.05.1986 This was very embarrasing to see how they try to keep up their
"status" with a very distored line-up. Sad but true.
4. Sika - Co9, Zwolle 24.08.03
This was real bad. But somehow sympathetic as well coz the players did
their stinking best.
5. Anargeeks - Rijzenburcht, Elst 05.09.03
This was even worse than SIKA but the same can be said about their
enthousiasm and dedication. Punk = shock. Well, you got me there!
6. Calling Gina Clark - Het Podium, Hoogeveen 19.07.03
How'd you call this? Chaosemo? Holy shit, this is just getting ridiculous.
7. Omega Cinco - Co9, Zwolle 20.07.03
I'm sure they want me dead coz this was unbearable. Keyboards that
feedback, completely non-playing. How much more can I take. I tried 5
songs and received an acute headache. Wow.
8. Ma'arakate & Off Minor - Platformtheater, Groningen 01.06.03
I'm getting quite allergic for this kind of driveling "hardcore".
9. Yaphet Kotto - Platformtheater, Groningen 10.07.03
I'm getting very tired of this kind of driveling "hardcore". To top that,
I expected at least one meaningful remark, since they are considered to be
a political band but they had nothing to say at all. Quite pretentious
bullshit if you ask me.
10. Sin Dios - Pakhuis Africa, Amsterdam 26.09.03
I know how good this band CAN BE. This nite they were terrible. Real
awful. Almost nothing worked and the sound was shit as well. I felt very
sorry for them. It was good to hear the other gig in Den Haag the next day