srijeda, 22. srpnja 2009.
The Squats are probably one of the most controversial bands Nijmegen has ever known. The kind of teenagers you better could not have living next door to you. It seemed that they ruined more or less everything that came along their way, conform the Punks most used term in that time: DESTROY!
An unbelievable 23 years ago (1978) three guys aged 14 till 17 years old from the "Grootstal" district in South Nijmegen watched the Dutch variant of 'Top of the Pops' (TopPop) on the TV and saw Iggy Pop shaking the nation up side down with his performance of "Lust for Live". The boys used to listen to stations like "VPRO"' and John Peel on the BBC on an old tube radio and they were heavily bored. But one thing was sure:They not just wanted to listen to punk, they wanted to play it. First thing the trio did before even owing any instrument was to chalk the whole of Nijmegen with the (future) band name: The Bored.
In the fall of 1979, the three were able to buy a bass guitar and drumkit, changed the name into "The Squats" and placed an add in the local news paper for a guitarist. Only one reaction, but the right man! So, on the 1st of September ( with an average age of 16) they rehearsed for the first time in a greenhouse on the other side of the river, and on the 21st of September the band had their first gig in café "het Haantje" in Nijmegen. From then on things went fast.
In the months following, the band had their first appearance in the local venue"Doornroosje", shocked a school in Nijmegen during a highschool band festival, and did another gig at "Doornroosje". News spread fast and they got an invitation to play on the 1st punk festival in The Netherlands, 'Rock Against Religion' on Christmas day. The festival was recorded for both, radio and TV and was broadcasted nation wide.
After a short 3 months time they went from "never played an instrument before" to watching themselves on TV and listening to their own band on the radio! All with not much more than a 10 song set list, consisting of a couple of own songs added up with covers of the Sex Pistols, Sham69 and the Cockney Rejects. And it sounded like a runaway train that couldn't be stopped.
1980 / 1981 have been the most productive years. The band started to play nationwide and hopped over the border to Belgium several times. Many times supporting English punk bands, frequently touring the continent at that time, in the Netherlands. And that was one of the most astonishing things they ever had experienced. Suddenly they met with The Buzzcocks, got drunk with The Ruts, friends with the UK Subs, and got in a fight with Anti Pasti, all bands from which they learned to play music from by listening to their records over and over again.
In that same time they also started recording in the studio. The first recordings were made in the beginning of 1980 at "Huize Schoonderloo" in Rotterdam. A 15 song live recorded, 2 track, no overdubs, demo resulted from this called "The First, The Best, The Last?" which was released on their own "Nep en Bedrog (Fake and Fraude) Records" Label. (N&B001)
The second and last time they went into the studio was in mid 1981. They won a contest in Belgium, which had to result in studio recordings. But it never happened. Nijmegen was full of riots at the time (Chaos in Nijmegen) they had some good new material, the time was right and didn't want to wait any longer. They decided to do it on their own. Borrowed all the money, found a studio close to town, smacked down 5 songs on 8 tracks in a couple of hours and the 'Noise Overdose" EP was a fact. 500 copies were pressed, and again released on their own label (N&B002), and sold out in 2 months. Gary Bushel gave a rave review in Sounds, and they heard a lyrical John Peel playing the record several times on that same old tube radio. What could go wrong?
From gig one on the Squats have been notorious for violence at their gigs, and the obnoxious and rude behavior of the band and part of their following. Many times they have even been accused of being right wing followers. For those who knew the band well, it was clear this was not the case, and their best denial to these accuses have always been their lyrics.
In the beginning of 1982 they decided to call it a day. Fed up with the violence problem, being kicked out of their rehearsal studio, and the usual personal problems you find in bands did it all. At the end of 1982 they tried it again for another six months, but the damage was done and the spirit was gone……
For sure, notorious they were, obnoxious and rude as well, call them arrogant, irritant, and ignorant but what else should you expect from 17 year old teenagers on speed, on the dole, in the early 1980's playing in a punkband from Nijmegen? That's how teenagers should behave. And after all, musically, it was a great punkband!
LIVE AT THE STOKVISHAL(FRONT)1981
LIVE AT THE STOCKVISHAL