Eyewitness: Hilde

I’ve got a lot of holes in my memory about the wild 80’s, so I don’t remember exact dates and places, but I do remember I saw Virgin Prunes for the first time live at Hof ter Loo in Borgerhout (Antwerp), I guess I must have been 18, 19 or 20 (so the year could have been 81, 82 or 83).
Still got the ticket and poster…somewhere…together with some photos and articles from flemish, dutch and english music magazines.
I’d been in the punk movement since I was 16, but Virgin Prunes were “SOMETHING ELSE”! Never seen any band like that before, I was hooked on their music & image well before I saw them live (I think I discovered them via a french friend of mine that brought their ep, not sure exactly), that night at Hof ter Loo was a “REVELATION”, I cannot describe it, but it felt like I had sort of “FOUND MY CLAN” (I’ve always felt like a bit of a freak).
Later I heard much to my utter frustration that friends of mine had taken Gavin & Guggi out to a local bar after the gig and had socialised with them all night long, ARGHHH!
After that I saw them also at the Futurama Festival in Deinze (a festival which no longer exists but which used to be one of the best alternative music festivals we ever had in Belgium) and maybe in one other place but that is a complete blanc in my memory.
Around the same time my favourite club “Cinderella’s Ballroom” in Antwerp, started to play their music, soon after there was a little clan of prunes (myself being one of them) which were going wild when the dj played “Pagan Lovesong”. We used to dress up just like Gavin & Guggi, those times are among the best ones in my entire life. I was deeply upset when they no longer performed.
Many pruneless years later I heard that Gavin was going to perform at the Vooruit in Ghend, it was VERY different, but it was still MAGIC! I think he performed in other locations in Belgium as well, but somehow I learnt about those gigs too late and missed them (thank the gods for internet mailing lists!).
And now 20 years later I’m going to see my old time favourites again, I just can’t believe it, sometimes I want to pinch myself to see whether I’m not just dreaming it.