Rock’n roll time bomb, Stagebeast was to burn bright & fast releasing a hit single in ‘78 before ruining their EMI deal, not unlike the Sex Pistols, by wrecking their offices in Brussels on the very day they were to sign for a second 7inch.
Famous for their stage antics Stagebeast had been formed in Ostend by Dubbe & Willy Willy, the both of whom later went on as Revenge 88…So, by the time they started out fresh as Revenge, you’d think that the boys would have had learned their lesson.
Good managing could have made them the biggest Belgian rock band of its time, but fate would have it otherwise. You can’t harness a thunderstorm, & now joined by Danny Markey (ex-Stagebeast) and Luc Bollock, the guys kept on burning bridges until there was no bridge left to burn. Bad luck, poor decisions & self-sabotage tendencies, Revenge 88 took Belgium for the rock’n roll ride of a lifetime…always bathed in the glow of neon lights, at times reflected from the biggest stages, other times from the counter of the dirtiest dive-bars.
Released in 1981 on their own label, Revenge’s first single became another instant hit and ended up years later, just like its Stagebeast predecessor, on every Punk Rock hit compilation bootlegs.
1982 would see their second and final official single, though the band kept on playing successful shows until Willy relocated to Brussels in the late 80’s to join a few bands, including the Scabs.
Dubbe continued on fronting bands, releasing singles under different names until Revenge raised from its ashes with a new line up.
Through the years, Revenge might have been one of its own worst enemy, but if you ever visit Ostend & buy a couple beers to someone who was there, you’ll soon be hearing some of the greatest & most hilarious band life stories about these boys who truly were as “rock’n roll” as it gets. The loveable outsiders from the Belgian scene surely left quite an impression.
I was fortunate enough to see Revenge perform on several occasions in the early 2000’s. I remember, after a gig, waking up at Dubbe’s place appropriately called the batcave due to the vintage batman logos spray painted in the hallway. I looked up to see the wallpaper half ripped off from the walls, it looked like it had been hanging there since the 70’s. I grabbed a generic brand orange soda from the fridge, and joined Dubbe in his living room decorated with old flyers, posters & photos cheaply taped to the walls. A testimony for an entire life of ‘living It’. When it was time for me to split, he untapped one picture & presented it to me as a parting gift…Revenge 88 onstage, Dubbe pulling his pants off to show his bare ass. I’ll surely keep that photograph forever.
As for the music, it speaks for itself. If you are reading these lines, chances are that you already know. If not, then you are about to find out…some of the best Rock’n Roll ever recorded. And if Belgian Underground rock had had another name…it might as well have been Revenge 88.
So, play it loud. As loudly as these guys deserves to be played…Forever outsiders…and that’s also why we love(d) them. Forever Walkin’ under Neonlight…”
Thomas ‘thomaxe’ Goze
Available on Belgian Waffles Records:
Stagebeast “Belgium Ain’t Fun No More” reissue 7’’
2015 exact replica
500 Copies on black vinyl
10 numbered white label test pressing with b/w xerox sleeve
Revenge 88 “Neon Light” comp. 12’’
Tracks 1 to 4 are taken directly from original master tape.
Tracks 1 & 2 were released as “Alone” 7″ J.D.M. Records in 1981 (JDM2)
Tracks 3 & 5 were released as “Thousand years from you” 7″ J.D.M. Records in 1982 (JDM 3)
Track 4 “Babylon” is an unreleased song from the one and only master tape known and hopefully saved for your dirty ears!!!
Come with insert with photos and history by Stefaan Delarue and Thomas Goze.
Also availlable deluxe edition numbered to 50 copies