songs : Bert de Coninck
Produced : Nico Mertens
Record co. : Parsifal
Coming from Bruges, Bert de Coninck started playing in all kinds
of pop-rock bands from the age of 16, attempting to become the next Pebbles".
However, it was in the "kleinkust"-genre that he found his claim to
fame, convinced to sing in dutch by the way Raymond van
het Groenewoud and Johan Verminnen had proven
that it was possible to sing in that language and be part of the seventies-spirit
at the same time. In 1975 he became laureate with three songs in the talenthunt
of the "humour"-festvial in Heist and gathered some good reviews by
the press on his performance ("he was way better than the rest of the competitors"
wrote Bert Verhoye in Het Laatste Nieuws).
As a result of all this, he got the opportunity by Nico Mertens of the Parsifal
label to work in team with Jean Rousseau (ex-Hold Up, in the chanson-genre
with Bizjoe, and later with the Zappa-ska of Der Polizei
and the VIP-rock of the LSP-band) on a debut album, that would get the somewhat
prophetic title "Enfant Terrible". Especially the almost whispered
single "Evelyne" ("suiker, zegt ze, en ze lacht haar
tanden bloot", not a simple love song btw, because the lyrics are about
committing adultery) did get quite some attention. In Holland the song even got
into the "Top-Pop"-hitparade through Felix Meurders, an unusual feature
for a Belgian product to accomplish in those days. The suicide song "Het
is me allemaal teveel" (It's all too much for me) also probably deserved
more than it did get.
In 1978 a new collaboration came about, this time with the later TC-Matic
musicians Jean Marie Aerts and Serge Feys and with the young female singer Fran.
This ended up as an album entitled "Crapule de Luxe" which contrary
to the predecessor "Enfant Terrible" can be qualified as a rock album.
This album also didn't procure him a breakthrough to big success, but it had a
little hit in the charming adolescent-love reggae of "Johnny" (which
was also released as a single, but by "Fran" alone).
In the eighties, De Coninck did an album with hard rock and English lyrics
under the name "Crapule de Luxe" (Room for travellers) which went by largely
unnoticed, and then dissappeared at the end of the decade towards the sunny Portugal,
where he started a new life outside of the limelight.
In February 2000, the people at Parsifal at long last had the
idea of releasing the material of the (unretrievable) albums "Enfant Terrible"
and "Crapule de Luxe" on CD, and included as a bonus a few - unreleased - songs
in French. At that time Bert De Coninck returned to Belgium and was hoping to
do a number of concerts in the summer. There were even some plans of recording
a cd with new material. Thus he said in an interview "after "Crapule de
Luxe" I dissapeard out of view as a person and an artist here in Flanders, but
I always have kept on being creative, for if you're born creative, you got to
keep on creating or else you die. For me there is no other way of release than
playing my guitar, it's a therapy in which I can loose my sorrow and pain ...
My new CD will become a better -balanced piece of work than the albums of the
seventies, as the Portuguese lifestyle and culture had their effect on my music.
My life is now a regularity of peace and quite, balance, concentration and intuitition.
Bert I the rocker is dead, Bert II that rose from the ashes and
is a fenix doesn't have anything to do with rock and roll. There are two passions
in my life now : "muziek" and "mother earth"."
At the end of 2000, Parsifal released the long-awaited cd : it
got called "Pomme d'Amour" (Love Apple) and contained 15 lightweight
songs. The rock'n'roll from the seventies was indeed left behind, and instead
came a nice songsmith. Or as Knack wrote : "On Pomme d'Amour the tone
is set by the bossanova, blues and fado. The southern sun truly has enightened
de Coninck. He has gone from an exorcist to a sharp observator".
"Pluis" and "De kinderen van de regen" got some good airplay
on Radio 1, and in the summer Bert de Coninck got a place at the "Boterhammen
in de stad" festival, in between acts such as Laïs,
De Mens, Kris de Bruyne, Monza
.... : Bert de Coninck had reclaimed his spot within the Flemish music scene.
Buy CD's of this band at
- (als "Bert de Coninck & Jean Rousseau") "Enfant Terrible"
(LP, Parsifal, 1975)
- Evelyne / De speelgoedpop (7", CNR, 1976)
- (als "Bert de Coninck & Fran") "Crapule De Luxe" (LP,
- Cadillac / De Katvis (7" Parsifal, 1978)
- (als "Fran") Johnny / Marylin (Parsifal, 1978)
- (als "Crapule de Luxe") Rooms for Travellers (LP, Mercury, 1981)
- (als "Crapule de Luxe") Rooms for Travellers / Suck it to me (7",
- Bert De Coninck (Best Of CD, Parsifal, 2000)
- Pomme d'Amour (CD, Parsifal, 2000)
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