‘Bell’laut’ came from Braunschweig; their bassist ‘Stork’ Stefan Gilge and me used to correspond. I’d arranged 2 shows for them (Winterswijk, Hol & Aalst, Bel) in April ’88 but they split up before they were due to play. Their guitarist (Jens Altemark) released a 7″ entitled What Do You Know (with the first 4 tracks of this tape) in ’88; I reviewed it in Tilt #4 as follows: >>Metal combined with straight-ahead HC. Seems like they got their inspiration from ‘Excel’. Politically inspired lyrics.<< They also had a couple of tracks on the 7” compilation This Is My Life – Not Yours! (Recordrom recs, 1988).
‘Bell’laut’ was my 4th band. I guess we started in 1986 (vox: ‘Wumba’, guitar: Jens, bass: ‘Stork’, drums: Heiko) We reformed the band in 1989 with me on 2nd guitar and bassist ‘Hamster’). We had various gigs in northern Germany. Our biggest show was in Hamburg on new year’s eve in front of nearly 1.000 drunken punks and left-wing activists of the Hafenstrasse. In 1989, in the summer before the wall felt down, we played at a HC/metal festival in Wagrovic in Poland. A real adventure behind the iron certain. After that show, I left the band to form a new one. I prefer the old-school punk/HC style and ‘Bell’laut’ was more metal/crossover. ‘Wumba’ also left the band, moving away for his job. But sometimes I meet him at parties or gigs in Braunschweig. He never made music again. Later Jens moved to northern Germany to develop windpower-machines. He’s a skilled technican but no longer plays music in a band. Maybe at home??? ‘Hamster’ is still into music: he was the bassist in various bands until the end of the eighties and works as a stage-mixer and producer. Heiko and me made music for a long time with our band ‘Trigger Finger’. We split at the end of the century and Heiko unfortunatley changed his mind complete. He began to march along with nazis and cut his hair; lost his tolerance for everything. Sad story! He moved to Mallorca, came back, and became a social case and alcoholic.
I still play punk-music until today. I started playing in bands in the late 70s and never stopped. I started with a band called ‘Sids Rats’, than ‘Nervenspass’, ‘P.M.A.’ (mid 80s; with my girlfriend Babet Hansen as vocalist – She’s gone back to Amsterdam a long time ago but we’re still in touch. She’s an artist but never makes music anymore.), ‘Bell’laut’, ‘Trigger Finger’, ‘Vodka & The Blackouts’, and today ‘Helsinki Blockheads’. Like real old farts, my mates and me now play the old hits at birthday- and wedding-parties, street-gigs, charities and mournings.
I started a label, record-store and other activities over the years. For example No Trend was a punk/HC record-store and distro for the ‘Bell’laut’ 7″. Dealers Delight did a mCD for a ‘Trigger Finger’. I wrote stuff for the fanzines Ox, Plastic Bomb and 3rd Generation Nation. I’ve been organising shows here in Braunschweig for a long time…and I am one of the last survivors of the first local punk generation.
‘Stork’ Stefan Gilge