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NOORDKAAP

The best dutch-singing rock band that was around in Belgium during the nineties.

 
Songs
 

"Arme Joe"
41,6 sec. - 82 Kb.
song: Will Tura, Bijl, Van Aleda
Produced : Jean Blaute.
Year : 1990
Record co. : Mercury

"Een heel klein beetje oorlog"
49,0 sec. - 96 Kb.
song: Noordkaap
Produced : W. Van Belle.
Year : 1992
Record co. : Mercury

"Druk in Leuven"
36,7 sec. - 72 Kb.
song: Meuris, Van Bambost
Produced : W. Van Belle.
Year : 1994
Record co. : Double T

Voor songs uit "Massis" (1999) klik hier

 
   

Noordkaap win the 1990 edition of Humo's Rock Rally and gain immediate fame through a cover of Will Tura's "Arme Joe" (Poor Joe). The song is the incentive for a complete tribute-album by the entire Belgian rockscene to the old master (Turalura).

 

Their debut album "Feest in the stad" (The town is partying) got a warm welcome. Or as the critic from Humo said "Strong points were : a handful of excellent songs, a tight rhythm section, a whopper of a guitar and an expressive voice who has finally made Dutch a first-quality rock-language."

Powered by their emotional frontman and rock-journalist Stijn Meuris, the band evolves fast from slightly bombastic rock to more passionate pop music. Also the gloomy lyrics of Meuris about the "unbearable lightness of being" change to more humorous and optimistic lyrics.

Especially the album "Gigant" gets glorious reviews all over the country. Or as Oor's popencyclopedia puts it "It's quite justified speaking of this album as a monument in the Dutch pop-history".

The breakthrough to the "mainstream" audience comes with a soundtrack for the film "Manneken Pis", when the na´ve waltz "Ik hou van U" (I love thee) becomes a big hit.

 

1996 sees the release of their 4th full album. As Jacky Huys wrote in Knack "If it's true that Stijn Meuris and his men don't know whereto, why and when and that the rumour spreads "Programma 96" is their farewell-cd, they should be walking around with these kind of existentialist questions even more often. This is not only their most layered and mixed piece of work, it is also their best." And Humo said about their latest album "Meuris simplifies his lyrics more and more and sometimes ends up on the wrong side of the line between simple and stupid... Perhaps "Programma 96" is not of the kaliber of "Gigant", but these boys have proven to be still on the way up in the elevator. We gladly take the stairs."

After the album "Programma 96", Meuris seems to be tired of writing and performing. The band takes a step down, but continues touring Belgium and Holland with an acoustic show in the theater halls. Without the loud guitars and drums, the full quality of the emotional songs gets accentuated.

Amidst rumours of a split, they record another soundtrack in 96, for the film adaptation of the Tom Lanoye book "Alles met weg" (everything must go). Stijn Meuris : "Noordkaap is becoming a very different band than we used to be. We are wrestling ourselves out of the way a rockgroup is supposed to behave. A song no longer needs to last 4 minutes and have 3 verses, a break and a chorus. On this CD there are instrumentals, a pastiche Barry White, French chansons ... Thanks to these soundtracks, we have widened our horizon, met new people ... Noordkaap has gotten to the stage where everything is possible".

After the album "Alles moet weg" and in 1997, three of the original Noordkaap-members leave the band : only Stijn Meuris and Lars Van Bambost remain. Yet this still doesn't mean this is the end of the group.

 

In 1999, the group resurfaced with the single "Pretentious moi" , and a new cd that carried the name "Massis" (a reference to the deceased Belgian strongman). The producer was Jo Francken, who has worked with Zita Swoon (Sunrise), Cabbage (The miraculously winking Jesus), the Dutch group JD Kort etc ... before. With the contribution of no less than three new musicians (Wladimir Geels on bass, Mario Goossens - ex-member of the Hoodoo Club on drums and Anton Janssens - ex-Soapstone - on keyboards) the album showed a "renewed" Noordkaap. It even earned them a long awaited place at the Torhout-Werchter festival.

In September 1999, however, Stijn Meuris revealed the news that Noordkaap would throw in the towel at the end of March (2000).The reason for this sad affair is that Lars Van Bambost, the guitarplayer and songwriter, has decided to leave the band (and would join Novastar). Although Noordkaap had lived through serious changes in personnel over the years, this was the sign for frontman Stijn Meuris to call it a day.
All this didn't mean the Noordkaap-story was finished right there and then: in october 1999 there was a release of a compilation album (with a magnificent bonus-live-cd), and on top of that a brand new single ("Goed nieuws voor slechte mensen"). All the concerts that were scheduled earlier also continued. The final concerts on the 1st of April 2000 was given in the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, and this emotional occasion was also shown on national television.

Stijn Meuris will continue with a dutch-singing band, together with the drummer and the keyboardplayer of the current group, but with the name "Monza". The band already gave a number of try-out concerts which received a very good press, and is planning to release a first album by the spring of 2001 (partly because drummer Mario Goossens, also in Angelico, went on tour to the States for Hooverphonic's Magnificent Tree tour).
Anton Janssens re-surfaced in Mauro (the band around ex-Evil Superstars Mauro Pawlowski).

Members :
- Stijn Meuris (vocals)
- Lars Van Bambost (guitar)
- Wim De Wilde - Anton Janssens (keyboards)
- Eric Sterckx - Serge Feys - Wladimir Geels (bass)
- Nico Van Calster - Mario Goossens (drums)

Buy CD's of this band at proxis

Albums :
- Feest in de stad (Mercury - 1991)
- Een heel klein beetje oorlog (Mercury - 1993)
- Gigant (Double T/Columbia 1994)
- Manneken Pis - soundtrack (Double T/Columbia 1995)
- Programma 96 (Double T/Columbia 1996)
- Alles Moet Weg - soundtrack (Double T/Columbia, 1996)
- Massis (Double T, 1999)
Compilations
- 90/00 Avanti! (Double T, 1999)

Websites :
- Review of "Massis".
- Satelliet Suzy, a good fan website that stayed with the band until the end.
- Another Noordkaap-devoted website at Nederrock
- Noordkaap at Leidsekade Live
- Interview with the band about "Alles Moet Weg"
- Noordkaap at Kleinkunst.com
- the final concert on Plankenkoorts
- a first look at Meuris' new band Monza in De Standaard (requires registration)
- a review of the final compilation album 90/00 by Humo
- Lyrics of Noordkaap and Monza at Waltertje's Lyrics site

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


 

 

   
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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 (www.muziekcentrum.be). Contact: webmaster@muziekcentrum.be.

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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