Open Veins, Neuroot, Stresssysteem, gig review Leiden

Open Veins poster

Open Veins tour poster

Gig Review: Neuroot, Stresssysteem, Open Veins

Bands from Nieuwegein, Groningen, Seattle (USA) in Resistor, Leiden

(this review was originally intended for Punktuation)

The Resistor Leiden is a DIY space, including a small, intimate concert hall, in the Netherlands. Volunteers have used the coronavirus lockdown without gigs for refurbishing the place.

Open Veins poster Leiden

Open Veins, Stresssysteem, Neuroot poster Leiden

On 29 May 2022, three bands played there: Neuroot and Stresssysteem from the Netherlands. The headline band was Open Veins: crust from Seattle, USA. This concert was the last one of their Anti-War Tour in Europe this May.

Neuroot originally played from 1980-1988. After a hiatus, they restarted in 2012. Only the bass player is left from the original line-up, the guitarist and drummer are new.

Neuroot’s first song was Obuy and die!

Many songs by Neuroot were about the danger of fascism. Most are in English, some in German.

Bassist/vocalist Marcel announced their song American dream as: ‘It is rather a nightmare’.

As an encore, they played a cover of City Boy, originally by one of the first Dutch 1970s punk bands, the Flyin’ Spiderz. The audience applauded Neuroot.

Then came Stresssysteem, from Groningen.

All their songs are in Dutch. Singer Eva wrote them: recently, she said, the band is only a few months old; though Eva and other Stresssysteem people have been in other bands.

They started with Strijd zonder einde.

The audience reacted well, with boys and girls joining the moshpit near the stage. And also the back half of the hall moving, a bit more carefully.

The Stresssysteem music differs much from a band like Hägar the Womb, being more ‘hardcore’. Yet, Eva’s sense of humour even though her lyrics were about serious subjects, reminded me a bit of the Hägar singers Karen and Ruth whom I had seen last week in Leuven.

Their last song was Vrede die geen vrede is.

This video shows an earlier Stresssysteem concert, in Haarlem.

After a pause, the slam dancing restarted as Open Veins played.

The band consists of Brandy Rage – vocals. When she did not sing, she was behind the merch table. Rick and Pete – guitar. Dustin – bass, and Ryan – drums.

They opened with Death Dealer.

Stolen Sisters is about disappeared native American women.

Their last song, Cycle of Abuse, is about domestic abuse.

This video shows a 2021 Open Veins concert.

Brandy concluded the gig, and the Open Veins tour, by enthusiastically thanking the venue and the listeners.

The Resistor audience greatly liked the bands. A memorable night!

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UK Subs and Cheap ‘n’ Nasty together again

Alvin Gibbs, Terry, Charlie Harper, Herman

Alvin Gibbs, Terry, Charlie Harper, Herman

As I still write my report about the brilliant UK Subs gig in Utrecht, the Netherlands on 13 January, here is already a photo made after that concert.

Left to right: Alvin Gibbs, UK Subs bass and background vocals. Terry, Cheap ‘n’ Nasty bass and female lead vocals. Charlie Harper, UK Subs lead vocals. Yours truly, Cheap ‘n’ Nasty male lead vocals and toy saxophone.

In the background: Christian Strohsack and Anne Waffel guitar, and bass of Utrecht band Stachel.

These four people played on the same stages in Venlo and Eindhoven in 1980 and 1981. So good to meet each other again!

The photo was taken with Terry’s camera, by Christian Strohsack.

Lou’s EP, thank you Tollim Toto!

The Lou's Wild Fire EP

The Lou’s Wild Fire EP

Yesterday, a very special present was delivered to my place. The sender was Marie-Helène Millot, aka Tollim Toto, in 1977 co-founder and bassist of the Lou’s.

The Lou’s in 1977 were the first-ever all-female rock band in France, and one of the first punk bands of the European continent.

In 1977, the Lou’s were the only band to play on both days of the Mont-de-Marsan punk festival. A Dutch music paper slagged that festival off. Especially the Lou’s: they wrote that ‘slum girls’ like that should not be allowed to play on a stage.

That slag-off made me angry. Punk could never be as bad as that paper said. I decided to get to know more about punk. I found out that I should start a fanzine (Pin), and a band (first the Vipers, later Cheap ‘n’ Nasty).

Tollim Toto sent me her band’s recent 12-inch Wild Fire EP, on Cameleon Records. Thank you!!!! And you wrote such a nice message on it:

‘Pour Herman, bien amicalement. Tollim Toto.’ With her drawing of a bass guitar neck and headstock.

There are four songs on this record.

Back In The Street.

Written by their recently deceased lead vocals/lead guitar Odile Paulhac aka Pamela Popo, and their drummer Sacha (aka Saskia aka Syama) de Jong. Sacha, like me, is from Leiden city. She was the only non-Cheap ‘n’ Nasty member present in the studio when we recorded our Covergirl EP.

The second song, Take A Ride, is by Pamela Popo.

The third song is a cover of the Seeds‘ song No Escape, played live.

The fourth song, Wild Fire, was written by Pamela Popo again.

Some Lou’s songs were written by their rhythm guitarist. the late Raphaële Devins, later Cheap ‘n’ Nasty saxophonist. They are not on the EP. Some songs by Raphaële were played since 1981 by Sacha’s later bands, the Miami Beach Girls and Lovecramps.

The Lou’s song by Raphaële, Delight, came out in 1981, played by the Miami Beach Girls.

Heleen, the bassist in both Cheap ‘n’ Nasty and the Miami Beach Girls in 1981-1982, recently rediscovered an audio cassette of a 1982 Miami Beach Girls gig, including Lou’s songs.

Cheap ‘n’ Nasty article in 1981 Dutch fanzine

Cliché fanzine logo

Cliché fanzine logo

After a long time, I managed to get hold of Cliché fanzine from Castricum, the Netherlands, issue #6.

Marloes Vermeulen and others made this fanzine.

After many detours, issue #6 is on bacteria.nl now.

It has an article and discussion about Cheap ‘n’ Nasty on page 7.

Interview with the Alkmaar girls de Wanda’s, and Wanda’s lyrics.Interview with Utrecht boys Lullabies.

Concert reports of Dutch bands the Ex, the Nixe, Bizkids, Workmates, Svätsox, the Nitwitz and more.

Concert report of UK band The Au Pairs, and interview with them.

And yet more stuff, like record reviews.

Rebellion 2022, Maid Of Ace, Ruts DC, SLF report

Rebellion Blackpool 2022

Rebellion Blackpool 2022

This is my final report on the 2022 Rebellion festival in Blackpool, England, about 7 August, the last day: after my earlier post about the Alvin Gibbs (UK Subs) interview that day. It is my eighth post about Rebellion 2022, the Alvin Gibbs interview was my seventh post. This series of reports is more extensive than my report on Punktuation.

After the Alvin Gibbs interview, I expected to see him again, playing with his band. But outside the Empress Ballroom, there was a queue from the chock-full hall all the way to Tokyo. So, no UK Subs concert for me.

So, I went to the smaller Pavilion, filled maximally with an audience of 900, to see the Drowns from the USA.

They played the title song of their 2022 EP, Lunatics.

And an anti-nazi song, Them Rats.

Their final song was a cover of Ballroom Blitz by the Sweet.

Then, to Maid of Ace.

When I walked on a Blackpool street, a man approached me because of my Maid Of Ace hoodie. ‘They are a great band!’ he said.

Like I had done at earlier concerts of this Rebellion, I went to centre front of the hall. Usually a good place to see and hear bands, less danger of ear damage as amps are often on the far left or the far right. And at Rebellion halls, the front row was a bit higher than the other rows. So, if dancers behind you danced very enthusiastically, there was not much chance that they would overthrow the front row people, because of the height difference.

However, it turned out that as Maid of Ace audiences are much more enthusiastic than average, the height difference was no problem for them. So, a security man dragged me over the fence to bring me to a safer place.

Maid of Ace started their set with Stay Away. Immediately, the hall became a frantic mass, going up and down.

They played Disaster Of Noise.

Later, the Terror, then Nostalgia.

Live Fast or Die was included.

So was Hollywood Rain.

Dee, singer of Dee Skusting and the Rodents, joined them in some of the vocals.

Their last song was Made in England.

I did not want to miss Ruts DC in the Empress Ballroom, like I had missed UK Subs earlier.

So, I went early, to see the band for which we had opened in 1981, and which had been at the 1979 origin of our band. As Stiff Little Fingers were scheduled after Ruts DC at the Empress Ballroom, that was also a way for me not to miss SLF: by staying in the Empress Ballroom during the pause after the Ruts DC set.

This is Ruts DC’s Staring At The Rude Boys.

They also included Jah War, and In A Rut.

After a pause, the hall was very crowded. If I would have left, then I would have been unable to go back in to see Stiff Litle Fingers.

SLF took over on the stage.

This video is Stiff Little Fingers, Wasted Life, live at Rebellion 2022.

Stiff Litle Fingers Alternative Ulster live at Rebellion is here.

Barbed Wire Love was played as well.

The SLF song Tin Soldiers was the last one of their set. And the last one I heard at Rebellion 2022.

After travelling back to London with Rabies Babies, I continued back to the Netherlands.

I will be back at Rebellion 2023! I already know that Zounds and hundreds of other bands and a 15,000 audience will be there.

Cheap ‘n’ Nasty 1981-1982 line-up together again

Cheap 'n' Nasty 1982 line-up

Cheap ‘n’ Nasty 1982 line-up at a Leiden wall

On 17 December 2022, the 1981-1982 line-up of Cheap ‘n’ Nasty met for the first time in decades Marco, Pim, Heleen, me.

We decided to keep in touch. When in spring it would become warmer, we decided to then make a photo together like our 1982 photos.

Bassist Heleen said she should still have unpublished photos. She told me she had been at the 1980 Crass/Poison Girls/Cheap ‘n’ Nasty 1980 concert in Voorschoten which I didn’t know yet.

For the first time ever, she heard the cassette recording of her singing the chorus in our song I Am A Photo Model in ‘t Beest venue in Goes.

Steve Ignorant plays Crass songs, Amsterdam 17 October 2023

Steve Ignorant and Herman de Tollenaere, Melkweg, 17 October 2022

Steve Ignorant and Herman de Tollenaere, Melkweg, 17 October 2022

This photo is from the Melkweg venue in Amsterdam. On the left on the photo, Steve Ignorant, vocals and co-founder of Crass in the outskirts of London, in 1977, in a Crass shirt. On the right, Herman de Tollenaere, vocals, co-founder of Cheap ‘n’ Nasty in Amsterdam in 1979, in an X-ray Spex T-shirt. The maker of the photo (and of the other photos), Terry, bass and female vocals, is another Cheap ‘n’ Nasty founder.

What do the people on the photo and its maker have in common? All three of them were on the stage of the Lindehoeve youth club in Voorschoten, the Netherlands, on 25 March 1980.

Lindehoeve-Voorschoten--Crass poster

Lindehoeve, Voorschoten, Crass, other bands, 25 March 1980

That Voorschoten concert was part of the only European continent tour by Crass. Recently, Gee Vaucher said that Crass never came back because of police violence at a gig in Germany.

However, in October 2022, the 1970s-1980s Crass songs did come back to the European continent. Sung by Steve Ignorant with new instrumentalists. And with singer/keyboardist Carol Hodge.

Steve Ignorant 2022 European tour

Steve Ignorant 2022 European tour

In the book The Story of Crass, Steve had expressed disappointment that Crass played to 90% male audiences in the UK. That had already been different at the Voorschoten gig, as the photos show. ‘No, it is not anymore like that 90% in the UK’, Steve told me before the Melkweg gig.

In the Melkweg, it was more like fifty-fifty men and women. An audience of yes, veteran Crass fans since the 1970s, but also many young people, packed the hall.

First on stage, like on Steve’s other European continent gigs, were ‘folk-punk’ band Headsticks, from Stoke-on-Trent in England.

Singer Andrew Tranter said that Amsterdam was the ‘greatest city in the world … well, if you are from Stoke, then everywhere else seems great’.

Like all videos in this post, this one is by Henny Goedemans.

The audience reacted enthusiastically to the Headsticks’ set, people dancing. Andrew praised ‘the punk family, the greatest family in the world!’

After a pause, Steve Ignorant’s band started playing Crass songs.

Here, they played Banned From the Roxy.

The part of the hall between the stage and the sound-mixing table became a seething mass of pogoing and stage-diving people. Behind the table, people danced as well, though in a bit less risky way.

Steve Ignorant at the Melkweg, drummer Jay Bagnall, left

Steve Ignorant at the Melkweg, drummer Jay Bagnall, left

Here, Steve and the audience sang Fight war, not wars.

This is So What, which inspired the title of our 1981 fanzine.

This is Bloody Revolutions. Written by Crass as a critical comment on people with authoritarian ideas claiming to be revolutionaries.

Carol Hodge not only played keyboards. With seven fingers, as this photo shows.

Carol Hodge in the Melkweg, 17 October 2022

Carol Hodge in the Melkweg, 17 October 2022

She also sang brilliantly. She sang comparatively more than Eve Libertine and Joy de Vivre did in Crass in 1980.

Here, Carol sings Berkertex Bride.

Here, she sings Darling.

Steve was dog-tired from touring. Still, he sang the final song Do they owe us a living, sharing the singing with the audience.

Thank you so much Steve, all musicians on stage, Steve’s partner Jona and all others who made this possible, for a brilliant punky night!

Cheap ‘n’ Nasty, other Dutch, Swiss bands on US radio

Cheap 'n' Nasty Covergirl EP lyric

Cheap ‘n’ Nasty Covergirl EP lyric

Commie Francis has played Cheap ‘n’ Nasty and other bands on her Uneasy Listening show at WFMU radio in the USA.

You can hear that show here.

At 10:47 in the show, Commie Francis plays the title track of the Cheap ‘n’ Nasty Covergirl EP and tells how that song was played for the first time in the Melkweg in Amsterdam.

The theme of the show is 1981 songs by early punk bands including women from European continent countries.

Other Dutch bands in it: Bizon Kidz from Utrecht, Götterflies from Amsterdam.

Also bands from other countries, like Östro 430 from Germany. And Unit 4 from Belgium, with whom Cheap ‘n’ Nasty played in Antwerp in November 1981.

I know all 3 Swiss bands in the show. I interviewed Kleenex, by then called LiLiPUT. I photographed Mother’s Ruin at a concert in Winterthur. TNT played with Cheap ‘n’ Nasty and other bands in November 1980 in Berlin.

Sara of TNT and Klaudia of Kleenex/LiLiPUT have a new band now, called OneTwoThree.

UK Sub Alvin Gibbs, Rebellion 2022

In this 26 March 2022 video, Mikayla Beyer from the USA interviews Alvin Gibbs, best known as bass player in the UK Subs; since 1980, with some interruptions, like playing with Iggy Pop.

At the 2022 Rebellion festival in Blackpool, England, on 7 August, Alvin Gibbs was interviewed again with UK Subs singer Charlie Harper on the front row of the audience. This blog post is about that interview. It is my seventh post about Rebellion 2022, the sequel to my earlier, sixth, post about 7 August at Rebellion.

I first met Alvin in 1980 in Venlo in the Netherlands. There, we opened for the UK Subs. Promoters Bureau Pinkpop did not want to pay our travel costs. So, Charlie Harper paid the petrol for the small car of our bassist/female vocalist Terry so we could travel to Venlo. Only one Venlo person knew that we would play, but we had to play an encore. Charlie said afterwards: ‘Come back to play with us any time’!

The next time we played with the UK Subs was in 1981 in Eindhoven.

UK Subs and Cheap 'n' Nasty in Eindhoven

UK Subs and Cheap ‘n’ Nasty in Eindhoven, poster

Alvin asked for the first copy of the Cheap ‘n’ Nasty Covergirl EP. When it came out, Terry sent it to Alvin in England.

Cheap 'n' Nasty Covergirl EP cover

Cheap ‘n’ Nasty Covergirl EP cover

Our Cheap ‘n’ Nasty should not be confused with a band of almost the same name, Cheap And Nasty, founded nine years later. Including, then, Alvin Gibbs.

Alvin said Cheap And Nasty were commercially not really successful. ‘As we were not like Guns ‘N Roses, or like grunge, which both were on the rise then’.

Their singer, Jan-Markus Stenfors, had the stage name Nasty Suicide, hence the name of the band. Alvin had been briefly in Nasty Suicide’s earlier band, Hanoi Rocks. They had opened for the UK Subs in Scandinavia. Alvin had then liked Hanoi Rocks more than Subs audiences did.

When Nasty Suicide left the band, Alvin said at Rebellion, it became useless to continue Cheap And Nasty, as Nasty had left.

Alvin talked about his autobiography, the third volume would be published soon.

After the interview, Alvin told me: ‘See you at the UK Subs show tonight in the Empress Ballroom!’ Then, however, there was a queue from the overcrowded Empress Ballroom entrance to Tokyo. So, I missed that Subs concert.

Stay tuned for my eighth, last post about Rebellion: about the Drowns, Ruts DC, Maid of Ace, and Stiff Little Fingers!