This was the second gig Werner Execelmans organised in the ‘Parochiezaal’ (parish-hall, locals call it “het patronaat”). That day (86-10-05) ‘Concrete Sox’ played with ‘Government Issue’ (USA), ‘Strong Concentration Of Anger’ (Ned), ‘Capital Scum’ (Bel) & and their buddies ‘Heresy’ (who weren’t announced on the flyer). Recordings courtesy of Kurt Christiaens.
The band – here bassist Kalv(in) Peiper (replacing Les Duly), drummer John March, guitarist Vic ‘Victim’ Croll & singer Sean Cook – had their 1st LP (Your Turn Next) released out on Tim Bennett’s label (Children Of The Revolution recs) and were about to record the tracks for the split with ‘Heresy’. It was their first passage on the continent, I believe…
It was the first time I saw the band and met the members. Shortly after I did an interview for Tilt! #2 with Jon March. I had already reviewed Your Turn Next in Tilt! #1: >>The guys have listened to speedmetal/thrash records carefully and are able to the same now. Definitely: rough guitars, heavy riffs, drum-break with cymabls and all that on speed; so there we go. A guitar-solo here and there, a dash of synths or some female vocals; the another break and off we go again. Transparent perhaps but you have to be able to do it. Perhaps not always that original (what is nowadays?) but technically quite good. And what is most important: it grabs you by the throat. You can’t resist them. Lyrically I find the ‘Sox’ showing intelligence and thinking things through… Pro human and animal…<<
The first song, called Senile Fools, somehow didn’t make it to the Your Turn Next album. It should have, as it was a great song. I don’t think we actually released it, which was a shame…
In 1987 John left ‘Concrete Sox’ to just sing for ‘Heresy’. He played drums at the shows in 1986. Andy Sewell took over from him late 1986. John leaving the band was very very disappoiting for me. He was my catalyst for us going from being a pretty-average band to being a band with something-quite-special. His level of musicianship inspired me to become a better player and I did it in quick-time. It was never anywhere near as good once he left ‘Sox’. I’m glad you got to know him. We were much more solid with him in the band. I think that’s when I realised the band was never going to be as good as it should be. Les missed one of the 1986 tours as far as I can remember because Kalv Piper played bass for us for a while. Good guy Kalv; I always had time for him. 1986 was also the year we recorded the split-album with Heresy and Les did not feature on bass (he did not turn up); I played bass. Les had left the band. Later I allowed him back in. It wasn’t always fun unfortuantely and that’s why I was thinking of packing it in. I don’t know what happened the next few years after I’d left after my final show (south Germany; 87-10-10). I left in a bad way and didn’t talk to anyone in the band for many many years afterwards. I knew I was leaving around 1 year before I left but I wanted to record Whoops Sorry Vicar album and then to do the tour. It was always my intention to leave the band I created at the end of the tour! I actually agreed to join ‘The Idiots’ (from Germany) at that time but that never happened after I came back to England. I never played in a punk band again, though I was asked by a few bands (including ‘Varukers’) and I almost auditioned to play for ‘Conflict’. To be honest, those bands don’t play the style of music I’m into; I’m much more at home playing power-metal! I have no regrets though. What happened is done. My shining-light looking back will always be the Your Turn Next album as it was: me in full-flow! Obviously, I write much better stuff nowadays but I will always be proud of YTN.