The story of "De Nieuwe Snaar" (the New String) starts in 1982, but
before that, the members had been active for more than 10 years in various folk,
skiffle and humor groups.
"De Meziek en Liekesgroep De Snaar" (the music and songs group The
String) had been formed in 1970 from a number of skiffle-groups and among the
members were Kris De Smet (at that time 16 years old) and his one year older brother
Jan De Smet. Other members were Jan De Broeck (until 1973) and Stef Koekoekx ('til
1981). The band has recorded two albums and has had success in places like the
talent contest in Hoeilaart, the Skiffle-festival in Hove (best Dutch song in
1971), the Humour Festival in Heist, the Sfinks-festival in Boechout (in 1978).
More than 900 concerts were given during its existence.
In 1979, Jan & Kris De Smet also formed "Het Puneizencombo" (the
drawing-pin combo). In this eight heads strong variety orchestra, the foundation
for later songs as "Suzy", "Ardennen Doo-Wop" and the "Dynasty
Rap" were laid out.
In 1981, Jef Koekoeckx leaves De Snaar and he is replaced by Geert Vermeulen.
He had been playing in the folk-formation from Geel called "Stekkedozeke"
(Matchbox). This means the official start for "de Nieuwe Snaar".
Their first theater-show "Fragmenten uit de geïllustreerde muziek"
(fragments from the illustrated music) has its première in 1982. The group
has mad the step from a music band to a curious combination of theather and music."Suzy
oh Suzy" and "De ardennen-doo-wop" are being released as singles.
With this program, they continue to tour for almost three years (over 600 shows
in all) in Belgium, Holland, France, Switserland, Germany, Canada and Austria.
They also collect some prizes on the way, such as the Bronze Rose en Press award
at the Festival of Montreux in 1984, Tasse d'Or at the International Festival
of Café-Théatre in Cannes ...)
In december 1985, their second theater show "La La" debuts. A bit
later their first long-player "Hartelijk Gefotografeerd" follows. For
the lyrics, they often make use of the talents of Hugo
Mathysen. With this show they tour extensively throughout Europe (450 shows).
In 1986 they also get a TV-show "De Nieuwe Snaar op 't Oude jaar", that
gets broadcasted on New Year's Eve.
Three years later, "Hackàdja" follows. The emphasis shifts
ever more towards the music, but the wordplay, nonsensical poetry and mimic remain.
The album with the same name follows in 1989.
In 1990 the group makes a sidestep to the Prehistory. They make the trailer
for this popular television program of Guy Deprez which tells the history of the
second half of the century though pictures of old news trailers and popular music.
De Nieuwe Snaar recorded songs of The New Beats, The Blues Brothers en Will Tura
with new lyrics.
During the summer months, they expand the group with the "Ritme Kings"
(with Jean Blaute, Stoy Stoffelen, Hugo Mathysen, Chris Peeters, Eric Melaerts
- see Soulsister, Yasmine,
Isabelle A... - , Walter Poppeliers en Bart Denolf).
Under the name "Les Snars", the album "Hackàdja"
is also released in French.
In 1991 (indeed, three years after the preceding show) "William"
debuts (also on vinyl and CD). After a tour in Belgium and Holland they continue
to hit the International roads. De group is appointed "Cultural Ambassador
of Flanders" and records albums in German (with lyrics of Drs. P), Spanish
(with a little help from Dirk Van Esbroeck) and French.
Like this, they stood eacht night for a whole month at the Theatro Condal in Barcelona
with their program "Musicomic". It earned them the 1993 prize as the
best International Spectacle.
In 1994 they release a compilation album "Revue", that summarizes
the songs of the group under the headings "Love for music" (with e.g.
Calypso Be, Slim Gaillard, Ardennen Doo-Wop ...), "The girls" (with
e.g. Liesje's Poesje, Peukje and Ijsje Vanille), "Historic Flashes"
(with e.g. de Prehistories, Bwana Kitoko and the Dynastie Rap), "Hard Labour"
(with e.g. de postbode, de zwemmer and de Fotografie) and "Foreing tongues
" (with e.g. Le Chat Du pharaon, El Nadador).
These foreign adventures cost them a delay in the making of a new show : "Famineurzeven"
makes its première only in 1996.
As Jan Desmet told Het Nieuswblad : "After all these years, people seem
to have a certain confidence in us. Yet we have always tried to stay away from
the paths we walked on before. A success-formula has never been retried. After
the first try-out of this show, someone told us that De Nieuwe Snaar never has
been this different. That could be right."
The latest programme "De Vierde Maat" was right on the dot
again, in making its première in 1999. For this show, de Nieuwe Snaar found
a fourth band member in Walter Poppeliers, who plays the bass now. A CD of this
show was released in October 2000.
Band members :
- Jan De Smet (accordeon, ukulele, slide-whistle, vocals ...)
- Kris De Smet (hobo, English horn, thin-whistle, vocals ...)
- Geert Vermeulen (violin, mandoline, chains, vocals ...)
- Walter Poppeliers (bass)
Buy CD's of this band at
Albums (de Snaar) :
- Snaar (Parsifal, 1977)
- Plaza (Harpo Records, 1981)
Albums (de Nieuwe Snaar):
- Hartelijk Gefotografeerd (EMI, 1986)
- Hackadja (EMI, 1989)
- William (EMI, 1992
- Revue (EMI, 1994)
- Famineurzeven (Myron LAM, 1997)
- De Vierde Maat (Myron LAM, 2000)
- nice but unnoficial De Nieuwe Snaar site by Joris & Dries Lemarcq
- My review of "De Vierde Maat"
- Interview with the band at the eve of the programma "Famineurzeven"
at Het Nieuwsblad (Dutch only)
- Interview with Kris de Smet about de Vierde Maat at Kkunst.com
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