2014: the year nothing changed and everything was different.

Hey guys! Sorry for the absolute lack of updates. Here's what happened since WTFest 6, which is the last thing I wrote about.
- Summer In October fest: absolute blast, like every year. Good bands, good friends, dangerous cocktails.
- Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor 2: if the Beach Boys wrote a song about this it'd be called "(Fun Fun Fun)10". Toys That Kill killed it.
- The Fest 13: tiring but the best time ever. frands and bands!
- interfestivum: looking for a job and going to shows.
- accidental tour with The Helltons: two week trip through Germany, Italy, France and Spain with my favourite Parisians/Bordeauxans
- Monster Zero Mash 2014: mental. dang mental.
- ????

So here is my end of the year list:

The Sugar Stems - We Only Come Out At Night
Absolute favourite of the year. PERFECT. The only record I'll ever need.
Martha - Courting Strong
Durham pop music with members of ONSIND. Incredible.
The Priceduifkes - Why Not
Hitmachine. Their best work yet.
The Windowsill - Showboating
They done did it again, pop punk songs like you've heard before, played like you've never heard before.
The Kimberly Steaks - To Live And Die In West Central Scotland
Jawbreaker and Simpsons references played by the Scottish version of Osker. Can't go wrong
The Copyrights - Report & Hospital Job - The Believer
I take these together because of reasons. Both incredibly catchy and some of their best songs yet.
The Helltons - Dead Wrong
Best dudes, best EP. It's better live but the recordings sound really gritty and fun!
Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again
This sound like the band I fell in love with. Incredible. Out of their comfort zone. No stagediving material.
Great Cynics/Muncie Girls split
Two of Britain's best pop/indie punks each write three amazing tunes.
Rational Anthem - Emotionally Unavailable
When you're not tired of catchy pop punk yet, there's always Rational Anthem. Tighttttt.
Outline - Noose
Angry. Pissed. Awesome.
High Dive - Europe EP
The best band return with some new songs and blow my mind once again.
...and a buncha other albums

House Boat (Crossbonefest)
Toys That Kill (Pre-Fest 2)
Arms Aloft (Fest 12)
The Dutch Rudders (Leuven)
Lipstick Homicide e.a. (Dilbeek)
At The Gates (Antwerpen)
Joyce Manor e.a. (Antwerpen)
Murderburgers (every show)
Priceduifkes (every show)

2014 was cool.
I'm working on a new zine (sporadically). Let's say it'll be out before Crossbonefest.
Please come to Crossbonefest.
Maybe I'll restart writing the blog in 2015.
Have a nice day.


What The Fest?!

Seeing as I write everything way overdue these days, let's recap my WTFest 6 experience 2 weekends ago.

After travelling to Southampton, South England, UK, and arriving at my friend Andy's place, I was pretty stoked on a weekend of punk music, booze and friends old and new.

After a couple drinks in a short amount of time, including a chilli vodka which was the first vodka I actually liked, we went to Unit Club for the Thursday night show. More of an alternative/ska line-up so I wasn't particularly stoked.
My slight chance of enthusiasm was put into the deep ends of the universe when The Bitter Town Hounds played. A very, very awful mix of punkrock powerchord riffage, melodic nu-metal-ish guitar melodies and a rhythm section that did anything but pull it together. Oh well.
Up next were Arid Wave, a young band of Nirvana lovers. I don't know what's the deal, but apparently everyone thinks grunge is cool again? Cool band, definitely, but grunge for me stops at Nirvana and maybe Soundgarden, cause every other grunge band sounds like either one of those two (or, as I will point out later, Hole). So, enjoyable but boring.
Skipped Ghouls in favor of pizza. I don't know if it started then and there, but me and my good friend Joe started a running gag that kept on during the weekend about all things "pop punk". We'd try to be tru pop punk by wearing tie dyes, backwards caps, cat/pizza prints, being posi, eating pizza, being pumped/stoked and the likes. It was ectremely entertaining, although it probably doesn't sound like it was.
Back to the venue to see a bit of Tyrannosaurus Alan, realise there's trombones playing and have a beer in the smoking area. Not in the mood for ska.
Afterparty at The Hobbit with some Germans we accidently met. I love punk.

I awoke on Friday at 8am with Joe's hand grasping my chest. It was adorable. We went to the store to buy pancake ingredients and Lambrini wine, the worst wine ever made. Needless to say I started drinking at 9am and didn't really stop. Oops. I hung out with Joe all day and we got to the venue when Happy Accidents where supposed to play. They were running late apparently so Milk Teeth started off the night. Remember that thing about grunge I said earlier? Well, Milk Teeth is probably one of the few bands that are inspired by both Hole and Nirvana. They started off strong, especially loud, but at one point they played a quieter song and everything just kinda fell apart. They were really good and tight on the loud, screechy songs, but not as much when things took a mellower turn.
I'm not sure if Bleach Blood or Happy Accidents played next, but I am sure I have no idea if I saw Bleach Blood. I have no memory of it. Happy Accidents I sorta remember, they were really quirky and fun, so obviously I'm into that.
New supercombo Creeper, with members of Our Time Down Here (aka the English Alkaline Trio) and Hang The Bastard, took stage and drew such and extensive (local?) crowd that I couldn't get a good spot in the venue so I just went drinking by the bar. The venue, by the way, was The Joiners this time, which is a lovely L-shaped, small and cozy room.
I drank enough so I was super excited to see Great Cynics again. Danciest pop/punk/rock-trio ever. I danced mùy butt off and even partook in one of those classic UK human pyramids. So fun. It's so weird that it's such an Island folk thing to do, out here on the continent it doesn't happen that often, right? But it's a real fun time. Great Cynics were great as always (what's in a name?) and you know me, I can be cynical (what's in a -- oh, the joke's over). So yeah, good show. Scarier Area is one of my favourite songs in the world.
I stood outside for most of Moose Blood's set. Didn't really drag me in either. Good band, and according to Gregory they have a good song about a sweater, but yeah. Not my cup of blood.
Apologies, I Have None killed it. Good show as always. I have so little left to say about this band. This was the first show I saw them play without the scarf-wearing bass player. Good show though. I don't know who was on bass. It was a good show.

Friday night killed Saturday fun. I was sick more than once Saturday morning, including gagging reflexes and the whole shebang. I crawled out of bed at half past 1. Feeling a bit like something only Blake Schwarzenbach could describe, I went back to Joiners. Doe were just starting out as I arrived. No drinks for me though, I was still feeling bad. Doe were great fun though/doe. No bass player, kinda weird but it worked out and wasn't really noticeable unless you paid attention top the instruments (which is something people probably pay attention to at shows).
Pale Angels were the second bands that was part of the Specialist Subject Tour, and dang did they rule. Super groovy, nasty, fast and melodic punk rock with a hint of Husker Du. I think Mike Yannich usually plays in this band, but I reckon he had another band to tour with so they had a line-up variety. The Swedish god-like dude from The Arteries apparently plays in this band as well, really cool to see him on stage again.
Bangers were up next. Great fun. Surprisingly, at least I think so, this might have been the first time I've seen Bangers. Then again that seems like such a weird thing so it might not be. I have no idea. Anyway, great set, lotsa bangers and also some mash (stupid UK joke, sorry). They concluded the Specialist Subject Tour and went along to London with Doe and Pale Angels for another show in London apparently.
Harker played next. Never heard of them, pleasantly surprised. Powor pop/punk tunes with a great edge to the songs. Fun set, definitely enjoyed it.
Last show for the matinee, before the snack and beers break, was by my friends, hosts and all-round lovely people Misgivings. It was funny seeing them play last at this show, but I guess it made sense because the first three bands had another show and stuff. I literally told them they're not as good as those bands, and they even agreed, haha. Anyway, they did play a fun show, their former drummer watched them and sang along to all the songs, I sang along a bit and danced a bit and watched all of them being pretty anxious and hungover from anight of sleeping outside in the parking lot (but that's a different story). Fun band, great friends, I hope they get some cool support slots or whatever so people can get into them.

My first plan to get a bite was something greasy, like fried chicken or fish and chips. However, I stepped into the fish & chips store and got nauseous, went back to the venue bathroom and puked like hell. It did good though, my stomach was empty and I didn't feel as bloated and "about to throw up" anymore, caus I threw up. I decided to get a small meal at the pub and went for tomato soup and a grilled cheese, and that sort of hit the spot. I didn't really drink for the rest of the night though, just out of precaution. I'm becoming a responsible adult. Tee hee.

Back at the show I caught half of Dear Everyone, an acoustic duo with lovely voices and lovely songs but not enough P0NX to keep me interested. I'm v. punk. Muncie Girls was up next and seeing as they're probably my favourite band in the world I was most excited to see them play. They did really good and as per usual I loved the show. They play Crossbonefest this year as well, that's gonna be fun!
Onsind came up after that. I'd heard some songs and a lot of praise but yeah this was something else. Very good, extremely good. Also I didn't know these guys played in Martha as well. Great set, full house as well so I guess they're really liked. Amazing vocal melodies and harmonies
Next to Muncie Girls I was probably mostly stoked (what a pop punk thing to say!) to see Caves. Their Betterment LP is amazing, the other releases are great as well, and upon writing they've had a new record called Leaving since a week or 2. As for the show, lotsa fun. Lots of crowd reaction, singalongs and the likes. It started off pretty quiet, but Jens decided it was time to turn up the noise and pushed me into the "pit zone" was I Don't Care, I Don't Care kicked in. Amazing show start to finish, loved it. Not perfect, but really on-it and just pretty punk.
Andrew Jackson Jihad closed the night. I decided to watch from the back. They played for like an hour so after 20 minutes I got side-tracked to bar hangouts and drinks. It was fun to see/hear though. They're a great band.
Aftershow beer at some sketchy metalbar. Afterparty at Andy's house with Youtube videos.

I was feeling way better on Sunday. Good. Let's get partying one more time. I got some KFC for breakfast and found my way to Unit Club again. I missed Maria Kalavera's set, who I met earlier that weekend and she's a lovely lady. I did see and was impressed by Break-Ups. Intense, fun and gritty punk rock band not unlike many, but really good.
Dearly Beloved was really not my cup of tea. River Jumpers are always fun though. They're solid every time I see them, very consistent.
I was really excited to see Despite Everything, basically based on one track of them that I dearly love. They played a stellar set full of melodic punk jams, really good English and cloased off with If You're Going Through Hell (Keep Going), my jammmmm. Loved it.
Astpai were great as per usual. They really put on a great show and as some of the hardest working bands in the Europeon punk scene I can only applaud their gigantic discography. Above Them closed off the matinee show but I wasn't too into it. Mid-paced punk just doesn't transfer to my spirit as well in a live performance as it does on record. But it did set the mood for a soon to come Menzingers show (mid-paced punk supreme).

To be honest, I'm not that big on the Menzingers (anymore). I really liked some songs off of Chamberlain Waits, and some off of the first record, but didn't care enough to keep track of their records. Anyway, they were headlining so first I got to see the exciting trio The Holy Mess. Fast, loud, snarly (is that a word?), high-energy and just a tiny bit eclectic. I want to see the songs stick in your head immediately but it doesn take like 3 or 4 listens to really get into them. Anyway, show was great, great vocals as well.
The Smith Street Band is another hyped up band I never heard before. But they're super catchy, fun and anthematic so singing along and dancing was no problem. Don't fuck with our dreams ans the likes. Just a really fun and sweaty show. The Joiners gets really hot.
The Menzingers started off with that song about Assholes, played I Was Born and a song about fucking shit up, and then I kinda gave up. I heard Time Tables being played near the end of the set but I had decided pretty soon-ish to get gin-tonics at the bar. Good songwriters and talented band, just a tad boring to me.


Stoned Dive

As always I'm way behind on blog stuff. I do wanna talk about this High Dive show I saw last month. They're one of my favourite current bands and amazing to see live so yeah there's that.

After a day of fishing with my co-workers I headed to Diest to check out High Dive at JH Tijl. I missed the first band but was right in time to check out The Liberation Service, a band I had never heard of before. Apparently they're from Austria. And apparently they rule. I was absolutely stunned by their set, thinking "this is the best thing I will ever see". That's how good they were. Absolutely fun, energetic, and with a bunch of cool violin parts in there it definitely grabbed my attention. Bought the CD, haven't gotten a proper listen but I think it's a good one. Loved it.

It was my second time seeing High Dive and my third time seeing Toby and Ryan play together. They haven't disappointed me yet and neither did they that night. A lot of new songs though, I think they played through the chole new EP (which is very good). The addition of Ginger Alford and Richard Wehrenberg to the band have definitely done them good. Layered guitar parts, relevant synths and an all-round good approach to alternative pop music. The lyrics still revolve around similar issues as they did before and the songs are still catchy and clever.
They did an encore of Tennessee, not really because they wanted to, mainly because they had to. Jens saying "Die gaan hier ni buiten voor ze Tennessee hebben gespeeld! Ik doen het hier op slot he!" killed me. Anyway, Amazing song and amazing ending to an already well-received set.

Great fun.


beke zenuwachtig misschien?

Rockczfé shows are always fun. This time I didn't have a room in Leuven anymore so I decided to head back home by train.

I managed to see You Nervous?, who played a fun but long set of punk rock jams that I expected to be boring but turned out really cool. Fun band. Just don't overdo it.

Mad Choice from Isreal played as well and they ruled, as does every band from Isreal that i've seen the last couple years. They've got some cool bands over there, and I love that they're touring more often, or that I'm exposed to them more often. Very good, nice dancemoves as well!

Went back home, got side-tracked to a bar in Antwerp and got shit-faced.

Bad Bides

Man, remember when I was young and vibrant, full of enthousiasm and energy? Young and goodlooking? Remember that? These days I'm 23 and I don't give a shit anymore.

Just kidding.

Couple weeks ago I went to Rotterdam to check out the album release of the Bat Bites' first full length record. I can safely say it's a great record, full of fun, quirky and sometimes edgy pop punk tunes. Much like The Copyrights, for example. Just to name one example. One very random example.

Not Scientists opened the show with a kick-in-the-butt attitude and an arsenal of jolly fine punkrock songs. With a lead singer resembling the infamous Ricky D, you can't go wrong. French dudes who know what they're doing, goshdarnit.

Next up, the Nobodys. First time back in Europe since forever, dudes played like 20 minutes. Of which I missed a couple in the beginning. Crazy show, crazy good, crazy fun, crazy short but for me it didn't need to be longer. They're a fast punk band so yeah. Classics. Very cool to finally see them play.

The Copyrights have been one of my absolute favourite bands of all time since long and seeing them again was an absolute delight. Tight set, all hits, some old songs like Button Smasher and some new songs like Keep The Change. They all hold up to their standards and the new record is amazingly stupidly good.

The Bat Bites came on in their mysterious outfits - who are they? - and played their new album front to back, plus a couple old jams. They even had FUCKING KURT BAKER ON A BIG SCREEN PLAYING ALONG TO HEARTBREAKER. That was amazing. Loved it. Great, great show. I yelled at them way too much, I'm sorry. Album rules, pick it up from Monster Zero Records.

I met Merel's mother and proceeded to hang out with our Dutch friends. Great night.



So let's get a bit up to date with this thing. It's iether that or giving it up, and I've given up a lot of stuff already so let's keep this going.

A few weeks ago I set up a show for two French bands called Homesick and La Rupture. My friend Elyas, who sings for Homesick, asked me and I was into it. I booked the local youth house, booked other bands, made a flyer and all that and failed miserably to get any people at the show.

Seriously. it sucked. But okay. The bands were great.
Outline played a rad set, despite a microphone technicality. The technicality being it didn't sound good because of a cable defunct. It got fixed after their set. Luckily no one was there to watch the band so no harm done (it's easy being cynical when all's said and done, haha). Their new EP is rad, though, and it came over very well live. Wouter, the new drummer is a great addition.

Homesick played a set without one of their guitar players, because he had to go home early for work or something. I can't remember correctly. Anyway, it sounded cool with the one guitar so it should be great with two. Cool set, very Lifetime/Kid Dynamite/None More Black-like (notice a theme here?). Cool dudes as well. French is difficult.

I was very impressed by La Rupture. They blew me away, really really strong sound and songs. They said they weren't very pleased with their set last night but I though it was great. So I'd love to see them play actually tight. That should be awesome. Cool dudes as well. French is difficult. Their singer looks like my dear friend Domien.

The Priceduifkes played an amazing set after their 2-month break and were equally bummed so little people were attending. They deserve a good crowd. The show was good though, 2-3 dudes were really into it and they played Getwood City for me, whioch made me feel special and appreciated. Raddest band in Belgium and beyond.

Midnight Tattoo closed off the night and they did good. Not really my style of punk but they're in for a party so that was fun.

DJ Lode spun some tunes to send everyone home and everything was done, cleaned and packed in time cause there was no one to send home. Bummer but it was a fun jam. Met some cool French dudes, and I got to see the Apers the day after anyway.


Murder, Intruders, Cops and Monkeys

I caught 3 shows of the Murderburgers/Masked Intruder tour last week. Do I love Masked Intruder that much? Nah. I just really like the 'burgers.

Tuesday was my birthday and they were playing in Antwerp with F.O.D. and the Priceduifkes. Needless to day I got really drunk and had a lot of fun. Danced a bunch, hung out a bunch and stuff.
PDS played a solid set, despite being only the second time they played since July. Fun times.
Murderburgers rules as always. They have the Walking Targets' drummer as a temporary replacement, and he seemed to be doing a fine job. They played some new songs that absolutely slayed. There's this song called The Waves which is brilliant. Check it out acoustically here. The outro is just so captivating. Anyway, great set, at one point they said they were "the only three-piece band on the line-up" and someone pushed me on the stage to be fourth member. It was really awkward and embarrassing but also really fun and stupid.
Masked Intruder were really good. I was really drunk by then. Hits, hits, hits, amazing cover of Your Love, police officer moshdance. party, and more. Just fun in a bun. (Oh shit, that's actually a Murderburgers pun.)

Wednesday they played on a boat In Rotterdam. Just the Burgers and the Intruders. More fun in a bun. Fun on a boat.

And Saturday I got to see them in Luxemburg, in a venue no bigger than, say, the Frontline in Gent. Weirdly the venue was never really packed either. Anyway, it was a cool show/fest thing. I saw the Blurghers rip it up (calling themselves the Luxemburgers, hilarious).
The 1000th Apers show was also that day. It had been ages since I saw the Apers play, so it was definitely refreshing. Kevin Aper is still the best and most hilarious frontman alive. The new song are incredible. That Jamie Oliver song, "I Don't Wanna Be A Mozzarella No More" and that other one they played were all very exciting. 
Bad Cop/Bad Cop played but I wasn't too captivated. Cool punkrock, nothing special at first hearing though.
Then some grunge band and some ska band played and lastly Masked Intruder played a helluva show. Crowd went nuts, they did a Teenage Bottlerocket cover (Repeat Offender, obvz) and it was just all-round fun in a bun.

Fun in buns.

Short update

I've been to a couple shows tha last couple weeks. Let's recapitulate.

First one was Gnarwolves in Zoersel. Support was provided by Coma Commander, who I missed and The Dutch Rudders, whose set was sloppy as usual but filled with great songs. Gnarwolves rules but the crowd was pretty tame. I could've destroyed shit but I cut my finger pretty badly the day before so i decided to stay safe. Good one.

I put on a show for Misgivings about 10 days ago. Two Minutes Hate opened up & played a rad set. Their record is real good, ya guys. Harsh Realms spit hits like fuck-all and blew the couple of people that came down away. Misgivings are great friends of mine so I was delighted to see them again. They may not yet live up to a band like Harsh Realms but I thoroughly enjoyed their set and their EP Delete History, that's supposed to drop in November, is really good. Afterparty was rad. I have some black holes and everyone kinda got lost. Fun night.

Two days after that I went to see Grim's last show. They were huge, considering they were only really around for like 3 years. Kids went apenuts. It's cool I guess. Time for new stuff.

In that context, I got around to rehearsing with my band (temporarily called BADGER) again a couple times, it's heading into a cool heavy direction so I'm stoked. (Little bit of early self-promotion can't hurt, right?)

On Monday I went to the Misgivings show in Oostende, together with The Mostly Whites, a new garagepunk outfit that sounded really cool and promising, and DRS, the household name for Western Belgian hardcore. Fun show, fun afterparty, long ride.


Stuff I've been lizning to

The past month I've been working a bunch but I did manage to check out some music.

Completely fell in love with this one. It's like the self-titled but better. Short, abrasive, fragile, counterintuitive and confrontational. The drums on this record are fricking insane. I've never loved an album so much based on the drum patterns.

More power pop perfection (po-po-pe for short) from Wisconsin. Midwest chilliness and summery vibes mix very well for the gals 'n' guys. So good, a true joy to listen to.

3 songs, 4 minutes, all hits. No comment.

Melancholia in record form. Couple of real bangers, couple of under-the-radarers as well but overall a solid record after a bunch of internal and external turmoil concerning this band. Great output. That last song is amazing.

Truthfully... just not as good. It's good, but it sounds safe, and that's not what a record by 4 on-the-loose party pop punk criminals should sound like. I really dig the doo-wop influences, mostly obviously in Almost Like We're Already In Love, and there's some hits on there like you wouldn't believe. But also some safe songs that miss the X.

I always enjoy Banner Pilot, it seems. This record is more experimental guitar-wise, but is equally awesome in terms of songwriting, general sound and that desolated feeling you get when the record in done.



Hey come to these show I'm putting on that would be rad. I don't do booking and promoting that often so it'd be nice to see a bunch of people come down to something I'm responsible for.
I come to your shows, right? Why wouldn't you come to mine? (Classic guilt-tripping right here!)

AUGUST 22ND 2014 - DOORS AT 19h

After their rather unnoticed venture at Vleugel F earlier this year, the South-Englandians of Misgivings return to the Mainland for a stop at Rockcafé/ Room 66, the coolest venue in Leuven for punkrock shows.
MISGIVINGS (UK): Punkrock - FFO: Leatherface, Dead To Me, punknews.orgcore and other bearded throats. - http://misgivingspunx.bandcamp.com/
HARSH REALMS (NL): Punkrock from Roosendaal. FFO: Red City Radio, Latterman, Off With Their Heads - http://harshrealms.bandcamp.com/
+1 TBA
MC KAREL: Afterparty set. Pseudo-rap with 4 chords and a lousy performance. FFO: MC Lars, Atom & His Package - http://mckarel.bandcamp.com/


Come and celebrate the end of the summer at JH Govio, Kalmthout, with a rad punkrock show!
HOMESICK (FR): Fast melodic punk from Angers, France. As catchy as a good STD and almost equally unexpected! FFO: Lifetime, Carry On, 7 Seconds - http://lostandhomesick.bandcamp.com/ 

LA RUPTURE (FR): French punkrock with a dynamic edge. Together on tour with Homesick to promote their split EP! FFO: Burning Heads, Bouncing Souls, Maladroit - http://larupture.bandcamp.com/ 
OUTLINE: semi-young and angry with riffs from the highest shelf. FFO: Dead Hearts, Paint It Black - http://outlinehc.bandcamp.com/

Afterparty with CAPTAIN CRACK (tbc)!