New: Marka "Avant Après"
Il est arrivé, le nouveau Marka, cuvée 2001. Marka has prepared
11 funny, cheery, thoughtful and pleasant songs again, with his usual mix of chanson,
raï, punk, reggae and much more. >>> Buy
this CD at Proxis <<<
Bfr - 19,67 Euro - 17.37 $ (on
Oct 17, 2001) <<<
Serge Van Laeken, alias Marcassou and Marka, is a singer-songwriter from Brussels
who set his first steps into the Belgian punk- & rockworld at the end of the
seventies as a roadie for groups as Mad Virgins, Klang
and Sttellla. In 1981 he became the bass-player for
Allez Allez, until this day one of the finest danceable
products this country has produced.
uit Merci d'Avance, 1996
song : Robberecht / Van Laeken
58,9 sec - 115 Kb.
Producer : N. Fiszman E. Autrique
Record co. : Columbia France
uit "L'homme qui aimait"
song : Bibot / Van Laeken
57 sec. - 112 Kb.
Produced : Marka
Record Co : Columbia France
After the unhappy split of Allez Allez in 1985, Marka was a member of the
band "Les Cactus" for a number of years (together with people like Robby
of Allez Allez, Dirk Schoufs - who would become one of the founder of the famous
Vaya con Dios later - and Rikki of The Wild Ones,
Didier Brichaut of Mad Virgins and Simon Rigot of Bernthöler).
At the end of the eighties he tried a move to a solo career. He could make
his debut for the PIAS-label in 1991 with the solo-CD "Je vous dis tout"
(I tell it all). Although singles such as "Je, Tu, Il", "Elisabeth"
and "Croyez-moi" got a reasonable reception in Belgium, his career didn't
fully get off the ground. At Play It Again Sam he was fired and he became a salesman
of music instruments.
Three years later he had met Laurence Bibot (an actress & funny woman who's
very well known in South-Belgium), who apparently gave the spark to reemerge on
the stage. He put on his bold shoes and went with his first CD's and a video under
the arm to the big French record firms in Paris. His gamble paid off : Sony France
In 1995 this cooperation lead to "Accouplés".
This single (with as lyrics an enumeration of people from Arab, Israelian and
French politics & culture) meant the beginning of a breakthrough in France.
However, the song was banned from the playlist after the GIA started terrorizing
the French capital. A few months later, Marka was introduced in Flanders with
this song, brought as a a French-Flemish duet with Johan
A video-clip that was shot in Memphis, with Marka in a golden shining suit for
the song "La poupée barbu" (the bearded doll) is the way most
French got to know about him (all in all, the record sold only modestly though
: 15.000 copies, appr. 700 in Belgium).
The music of Marka often was described as a mixture of the chanson and rock
of Jacques Dutronc, Pierre Rapsat, Cheb Khaled and The Clash. The - intelligent
and whimsical - lyrics to most of the songs are being written by Thierry Robberecht,
a young writer from Molembeek. Apart from being an active soccer-player for Sporting
Ettekijs, Marka is also a real "Brusseleir" who even took the band of
football-club RWDM with him on a tour in Paris and on the song "Les
Two years later he brought the album "L'idiomatic" - this time not
in a golden suit but with a glitterhat of Elvis Pompillo - with a few more rock-influences.
Highlights of the album became the raï-like "L'idiomatic"
and the distressing "Le pays de la pluie"
("Je viens d'un pays où il pleut. Pays que des gens d'ici, veulent
couper en deux. Personne ne sait vraiment pourquoi, mais c'est comme ça
... On parles plusieurs langues ici, d'ailleurs on ne parle pas. On apprend à
ne pas élever la voix, a parler tout bas, a lever le doigt... Un
jour au pays de la pluie, y'aura plus de pays, plus que de la pluie"
- I come from a country where it rains a lot. A country that people from here
want to cut up. Nobody knows really why, but it's like that ... Everybody speaks
a lot of languages over here, but no-one really talks. One is taught not to raise
one's voice, to lift your finger ... One day, this country of rain will stop being
a country, and'll be nothing but rain).
In 1998, a book was published, "Le Petite Marka Illustré"
in which a number of Belgian & French illustrators made drawings to the songs
In 1999, he issued a good-humoured live-album "L'homme qui aimait la scène"
(the man who loved the stage) - recorded at the AB between 1 & 5 june - that
also was a sort of career-overview. On it also a hilaric duet with his wife in
a cover of French rapper MC Solaar's "Caroline" and a cover of "I
fought the law".
In 2001 there were again sound coming from the Marka camp, although the first
words didn't seem to make much sense : "A letches baby a letches bong,
A lacte lady a lacte long, A letches baby, I lacte lady" went the first
single "Letches Bong". This was the precursor to an entire new album
which was released in September. On it, 11 new songs again, mainly the work of
Marka with his faithful companion Thierry Robberecht, but here also a cover of
his heroes of The Clash - "should I stay or should I go" werd hier "resterai-je
ou ...". "Avant Après" of course was filled again
with his usual mix of musical styles as chanson, raï, punk, reggae and more,
intertweened with very funny and still poignant lyrics. On the irresisteble "Je
there also was a bit in Dutch again: "Mijn mokske is een française,
ze spreekt geen vloms, maar 'k geef haar toch een baise - Je parle Flamand, je
parle françois, je parle tout les langues parce que je suis Bruxellois.
Je parle Wallon, je parle Flamois, je pratique l'Allemand, le Créole et
même le Chinois. S'il y a une langue que je n'aime pas, c'est celle qu'on
appelle communément la langue de bois". But as the bio says "Marka
is true to himself in making songs that make you laugh. But in doing so, he regularly
succeeds in moving you. That's a trademark only the biggest can produce. Marka,
who was said to have abandoned it, is thus an illustration of a remarkable
Buy CD's of this band at
- Je vous dis tout (PIAS, 1992)
- Merci D'Avance (Columbia, 1996)
- L'Idiomatic (Columbia/Sony, 1998)
- L'Homme Qui Aimait La Scène (Columbia/Sony, 1999)
- Avant Après (Viva Disc, 2001)
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