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Flemish singer, who has taken the red light district, sailor bars, plastic roses and kitsch in general as the themes for his work.


"Droevig is deze wereld"
48,0 sec. - 94 Kb.
song : Guido Belcanto
Produced : Sylvain Vanholme
Year : 1989
Record co. : EMI Belgium

"Mijn verjaardag"
48,3 sec. - 95 Kb.
song : Guido Belcanto
Produced : Henny Vrienten
Year : 1991
Record co. : EMI Belgium

"Puntschoenen en een zonnebril"

47,7 sec - 94 Kb.
Song : Guido Belcanto
Year : 1998
Record Co : VIA / Oorwoud


His real name is Guido Versmissen, born in Turnhout in 1954.

His musical career started way back in the 1970's as a singer for ballroom orchestra's, busker and finally as a variety artist.

His first glimpse at fame came in 1987 with a TV-special about him on national Television. Two years later, his first full album and his single debut "Droevig is deze wereld" followed. He also formed a band called "Het orkest zijner dromen" (The orchestra of his dreams).

To give you an impression of the themes he sings about, here are some of the songtitles from his first album "Op zoek naar romantiek".
- Balzaal der gebroken harten (Barroom of broken hearts)
- Op zoek naar romantiek (In search of romance)
- Vannacht droomde ik dat ik beroemd was (Tonight I dreamt I was famous)
- Op het zeildoek van de botsauto's (on the canvas of the dodgem cars)
- Droevig is deze wereld als je in eenzaamheid leeft (this world's so sad when you're lonely)
- Rome bij nacht (Rome by night)
- De dag dat mijn meisje me verliet (the day my girl left me)
- Een zanger moet trachten de pijn te verzachten (a singer should try to heal the pain)
- Rode lampen en havenvampen (Red lights and harbor vamps).

Or, as an enthusiastic concert promoter said : "Guido Belcanto, barroom singer from the fifties grew out to be a cult figure with his curious mixture of self-satire and sentiment. Going to see Belcanto is like taking a bath filled with sweet smells and lukewarm water".

In 1989 he also participated for the province of Brabant (team led by Lou Depryck) in the "Baccarabeker", an occasion for which he brought the local woman's guild with him on stage.

From that year on, his albums start selling reasonably well. The second one "Plastic rozen verwelken niet" was produced by Henny Vrienten (former member of the once incredibly popular Dutch reggaepop formation Doe Maar), the fourth one "Zeerover zonder boot" by Patrick Riguelle (see Riguelle & Hautekiet, Kadril ...).

After 1993, things grew a little bit quieter around Guido Belcanto, although there still is the occasional single release to let us know he may be down, but not out. He also continues to tour the lowlands. It lasted more than 3 years for his next cd "La Comedie Humaine" to appear.

In 1998, Guido assembled a new orchestra (The Libido's, with Lieven Demaesschalck (guitar/piano), Danny Heylen (accordion), Benny Dom (drums) Dominique Osier (bass) en Walter Baeken (sax)) and started touring once again. In the fall he went back to the roots (rock'n'roll & blues & bal-musette), released a new CD ("Man van lichte zeden" - Man of loose morals), a new single ("Puntschoenen en een zonnebril" - pointed shoes and sunglasses) and a book with his lyrics (publ. Houtekiet). Or as he wrote in his press-release : "Today I can proudly present you, not only that I'm still alive & that my health is in tiptop shape, but that I've once again made an excellent, blistering, swinging & high-in-hitpotential new album. Because there's no doubt on my behalf that you'll once again cherish this work, and that you'll shower it with superlatives, perhaps will even invent new superlatives just to describe it, I would like to thank you very humbly."

In 1999 he told on Paul de Leeuw's programme on Dutch television about his "female alter ego", a side of himself which he doesn't want to hide anymore. "Gina Divina", as the vamp in question is called, also made an appearance in the videoclip for the song "Dirty Thing" of the band Soul Sucker. Less funny was the news that almost all summer gigs had to be canceled due to a serious illness.

In 2001, Guido Belcanto re-emerged with a programme called"Van den Duivel bezeten" (possessed by the devil). In it, the singer "explores the duality between gladness & sadness, between lust for life and weariness of life, between chastity & sin, between comedy & drama, between woman & man". According to the press-release this make Guido Belcanto "shamelessness in the flesh, by far the biggest exhibitionist & eccentric of all chansonniers".
There also was a new Guido Belcanto single, called "sinds jij uit mijn bestaan verdween" (since you got out of my life).
More-over, Guido Belcanto starred as the main character in a Flemish staging of the legendary musical "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", in a direction of Stany Crets (première 28/4, shown at NTG until 16/6).

Buy CD's of this band at proxis

Albums :
- Op zoek naar Romantiek (EMI, 1989)
- Plastic Rozen verwelken niet (EMI, 1990)
- Plaisir d'amour (EMI, 1992)
- Zeerover zonder boot (EMI, 1993)
- La comédie humaine (1996)
- Man van lichte zeden (VIA/Oorwoud - 1998)
Compilations :
- 10 jaar Guido Belcanto (EMI, 2000)
Singles :
- Droevig is deze wereld (als je in eenzaamheid leeft) - 1989
- Op het zeildoek van de botsauto's - Rode Lampen - 1990
- Mijn verjaardag - Tango au gare du Nord - 1991
- Platina Marina - Echte mannen - 1991
- Evelyne - The silver wedding - 1992
- Door de achterdocht verdoofd - B-side by the Polak Sisters
- Verleden tijd - 1993
- De schipbreukeling - 1994
- Mijn vriend - 1994
- Noche de la pasion - Ik geloof - 1996
- Mr William - 1996
- Het feestje - 1997
- Puntschoenen en een zonnebril - 1998
- Sinds jij uit mijn bestaan verdween - 2000

Websites :
- Guido Belcanto's official home on the web is
- Concert dates of his shows are usually on Garifuna
- Profile of GB at - the defunct site - Café Belge
- Nice foto of Guido before a gig in Vlissingen, Holland
- Description of the artist for a gig in Brussel.

Forum :
- Read the messages/questions about Guido Belcanto
- Add your message, question, cd- or concertreview ... about Guido Belcanto


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Dirk Houbrechts stopped working at The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives (you can read his personal statement here). The website is now entrusted to the Flanders Music Centre ( Contact:

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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