NYC’s NO REDEEMING SOCIAL VALUE have been the voice of drunken hardcore punks since 1988 rocking many a party along the way and still drinking after all these years. Although having made a name for themselves on the NYHC scene the band always had this special connection with their European fans and friends and back in March they did an exclusive weekend run in Belgium and Holland with California’s Excel. This is the first In Effect article written by a chicken as Brian “Mac” McInerney who dons the NRSV chicken suit during NRSV live sets gives us his perspective from this special weekend of shows.
Graphics & collage by: John Franko. Lead photo by: Silvy Maatman.
All photos supplied by NRSV, Scoot Horton and as labeled.
After NRSV’s sold out St. Pats Day show with Murphy’s Law, Functional Idiots, The Take, and Enablers at Bowery Electric in NYC our livers were revved up and ready for three more packed to capacity/sold out shows in Europe. However, it wouldn’t be NRSV if there weren’t a few snags. Firstly, at the load in for the St. Pats show, Dean rolled his ankle at the bottom of the stairwell while carrying an amp. The amp wound up on top of him and thankfully Scott Roberts (The Take), rushed to assist. Meanwhile, it was quite a scare until we learned that the ankle wasn’t broken. NRSV powered through their set and limped home, with the luck of the Irish on their side. Proof positive that singers should not be carrying the equipment. The second scare came a day later, when Dean came down with a real nasty throat infection and could barely speak. This could have seriously compromised the upcoming shows. All hopped up on meds, vitamins and cough drops, he powered through again and off into the wild blue yonder on a Belgium bound flight! In general, and to the dismay of many friends and fans, NRSV has been pretty quiet for the past year or so. Laying low to record their new/forthcoming album “Wasted for Life”. (to be released on Dead City Records). This run, albeit short, is the first of what will be full speed ahead for the brew crew moving forward in 2019 and beyond!
After assembling at the hotel in Aalst, Belgium, the crew shook off any jetlag with a quick beer(s), and off to the gig which was already in progress. NRSV headlined, what was the final show ever at the JH Terlinden venue, which had been open for 30 years and has a date with the wrecking ball. This show was the sold out, pre-party kickoff for the Oiljist Omploft festival which is a yearly event in this town, 20 minutes from Brussels. Sharing the stage with NRSV were Spauch, Brewed in Belgium, The Turbowarrior of Steel, and Scheisse Minnelli. All had energetic, fun, beer themed sets. People got all thrashed up for TWOS, who welcomed a new guitarist that night and played a crossover style hardcore/metal hybrid. Scheisse Minnelli really got things moving in the direct support slot playing songs from their new “Waking Up On Mistake Street” album, along with other Cali-skate-punk style originals.
As NRSV got ready to take the stage and kick the party into overdrive, the mosh hungry crowd began to loudly, and wildly chant for the band – “NRSV!, NRSV!” After the intro tape played the band exploded into their set playing classic hits (“More Tattoos”, “Still Drinking”, “Wake Up”, “Olde-E”, plus more), and new songs from the forthcoming “WFL” album, including the title track, and a new party jam, “I’m Gonna Puke”. As the opening note of the set blasted the raucous crowd, the lighting rig rocked back and forth almost being destroyed by the swarming, revved up capacity crowd. The stage monitors were jostled about as the swarming, sweaty assembled mass stormed the stage to sing, dive and mosh. NRSV literally had the crowd tearing the place apart as they sang and danced the entire set. It was so wild that there was an element of danger in the air, although Dean managed to keep the crowd having fun with the between song speeches of drunken unity and lightheartedness. Fans and friends came from all over Belgium for this exclusive appearance. Many new comers and many longtime fans as well. This show was an awesome way to kick-off the weekend and we were all energized by the overwhelming audience approval and there wasn’t a single beer left at the end. NRSV closed out the final show at the venue in historic fashion, as only they can. Then it was back to the hotel for more beer, very little sleep, shower and shave.
Up early and off to the next show. That’s life for a band on the road. “Among The Angels Fest” in Maastricht (NL) was the most anticipated show of this short Euro run. It had been 7 years since NRSV's last time here in what we affectionately refer to as “M-town”. The return was bittersweet as it marked the 20th anniversary of the death of our friend Richard “Richie Backfire” Bruinen. Richie was the drummer/founding member of Backfire and an integral part of the European hardcore scene in its formative years. He played in NRSV, and formed the band SWISH with members of NRSV and Awkward Thought. Members of Right Direction and Backfire put together and performed sets in this festival, recruiting NRSV, Hometown Crew, the Young Ones, Plogendienst, Newborn Lunatics, Fleddy Melculy, Spidercrew and Excel to come together for this sold out, packed house, memorial to our dear friend.
Everyone agreed that this was an epic show for the ages and this collection of bands were specifically chosen because they all have a special connection to Maastricht- “City Of Angels”. The show was already underway as we arrived at the huge and newly renovated, Muziekgieterij venue. A huge banner with pictures of Richie Backfire and Raybeez hung over the entrance. Every band had the full support and attention of the capacity crowd. Fans came from as far away as Denmark, Slovenia, Serbia, Italy, France, as well as just about every other EU country. When NRSV took the stage, the party was in full-effect. Balloons, beach balls, and beer flew everywhere as beer costumes, pussy costumes, and chickens danced among the swarming crowd of shoulder to shoulder people singing, dancing, and diving. The band played all their hits as well as new songs to the capacity crowd. NRSV’s first of many subsequent European tours was in 1997 in support of their “Rocks The Party” album. There were many people in attendance that either hadn’t seen the band since, or never saw them perform live before, as well as many longtime, frequent-flyer fans. NRSV powered through, firing on all cylinders and left the audience beer soaked and smiling, front to back and side to side… proof positive that NRSV’s European fan base is deep and always comes to support the brew crew.
A special “guest” appearance during NRSV’s set was made by members of the band’s “Dutch alter-ego”, SWISH. NRSV members were joined on stage by Scoot Horton (ex-Awkward Thought) on bass, as John Franko and Dean Thriller tag-teamed the dual vocal attack for a SWISH song entitled, “Rumors About Reumers”. As a special effect they all donned SWISH t-shirts as the crew threw souvenir t-shirts to the surprised and appreciative crowd. This one-time special “appearance” was in honor of Richie Backfire, who co-wrote the song with the band in jest of friend/brother Dave Reumers of Right Direction. SWISH had one 7” and one CD release in their short-lived career. Both releases are out of print and sought after hardcore “classics”, by a one of a kind U.S/ Dutch supergroup. The band ended upon the death of drummer/co-founder Richie Backfire. This show was to honor Richie’s memory and legacy in his hometown. Therefore it was fitting that so many friends and family gathered to see Right Direction (the pioneers of European hardcore) and Backfire! (the longtime reigning kings of the Euro hardcore scene). There is no way to describe the level of emotion that accompanied these bands’ sets.
BACKFIRE. @ AMONG THE ANGELS FEST 2019. PHOTO BY: LAD & MISFIT PHOTOGRAPHY
First Backfire, literally blew the roof off the building. Stage-diving, pile-on’s, fist pumping by fans that sang every word out loud, to every song. The band played a variety of hits spanning their many albums, and a cover of Warzone’s “Wound Up”. Vocalist Patrick commanded the audience like a field general as he spoke about Richie, how fans have kept them going through tough times, and how special it was to be in front of their hometown crowd. Backfire is an amazing force that electrifies the audience. As Patrick thanked everyone for their participation he announced… “this one is for Richie..” and they ended with their anthem “Still Dedicated”.
RIGHT DIRECTION @ AMONG THE ANGELS FEST 2019. PHOTO BY: LAD & MISFIT PHOTOGRAPHY
It couldn’t have been a better set up for Right Direction, who since their genesis in 1989 have been a cornerstone of the European hardcore scene. Like Backfire, Right Direction had not played their hometown in forever. The energy and expectations were high. From the first note to the last the crowd rose up like a giant wave of energy. Everyone sang and danced along to the favorites “Where Were You?”, “Today I Dream”, and “The Show Must Go On”, and the grand finale “Ain’t Nobody Leavin’”. Stage dives, high fives, raised fists, and wall to wall positive vibes throughout marked a historic set by the band.
Venice Beach, CA thrash-masters Excel closed out the day.This was one of two exclusive European shows for the band. They have been ramping it up as of late and their material, stage show and energy have stood the test of time. They played a set comprised mostly of their more well-known “Joke’s On You” and “Split Image” albums. Gotta hand it to Excel as their live sound was exactly like their records. Excel’s 80’s crossover, Cali-thrash/punk style was a perfect addition to round out the diversity of musical styles at this festival. Everyone in attendance agreed this was a historic event that they’ll never forget. Richie would have been proud and would have loved it.
The final show of this run was a sold out Sunday matinee that marked NRSV’s triumphant return to the Dynamo in Eindhoven, NL. The bands’ “High In Holland” album was recorded live at this historic venue in 2007 as part of the “Still Drinking Across Europe” tour. Even though the load-in, sound-check and set times were early, those that were hung-over were still fully charged up from the positive energy of the previous day.
One Night Stand (which currently features members of Right Direction and Siren) is a legendary Dutch hardcore band formed in 1992. Originally formed as a fun side project by members of Right Direction and Backfire. Their album “One Life For The Family”, featured multiple singers. For this, long-anticipated appearance 3 of their past singers joined forces on stage at once and did most of the songs from their one and only album, which will be re-released on vinyl this spring. They played all the fan favorites - "Home Town Lover", "Nothing More, Nothing Less", "Johnny" and the Stars And Stripes cover "Shaved For Battle". They ended their set with the sing-a-long entitled "The Weekend" and John from NRSV jumped on stage and helped sing. It’s always a fun time when this legendary band gets together to play the occasional show.
NRSV, decidedly somewhat sad that this was the finale of this short string of gigs, didn’t let that get in the way of letting Eindhoven know that they were there to rock the party. Fans and friends had again travelled great distances. From the opening notes of “Mentro”, through classics and new songs, NRSV led the capacity crowd through sing-a-longs, and groove-heavy mosh-a-longs. A mere, minor hiccup when K-Love (guitar) broke an A-string. While he re-strung the axe, D-Thriller entertained the audience with some very impromptu, off the cuff jokes and banter, keeping everyone engaged. Zero momentum lost during the brief interlude and they closed out with three songs that every NRSV fan wants to hear “OLDE-E”, “Skinheads Rule”, and “The World Is My Microwave”. Afterwards, in the lobby/bar area the band signed many CD’s, posters, and ticket stubs for appreciative new fans and old friends.
Eindhoven is notoriously a ‘metal’ city, so Excel had the crowd in the palm of their fists. Many metal fans, complete with denim ‘battle’ vests decorated with patches of their favorite thrashers headbanged like it was 1985. It was an awesome sight to behold as Excel totally dominated. They played a bit longer, and added an encore as the crowd completely ate (and drank) it up. It was the last show of this run for Excel, as well, and they left it all on stage. After a few more beers, some hardcore hugs and kisses with the other bands, it was last call and time to drive back to Maastricht for a few days in NRSV’s home away from home. The next several blurry days were all about chilling, drinking and smoking to excess, catching up with friends and, of course, more tattoos. In true NRSV tradition, they were consistently “the first to have a beer, and the last to leave the party”. Watch out for more show dates and the new full-length “Wasted For Life” on Dead City Records coming later this year.