Started out as a band of four sixteen-year-olds in 1978 under the name of The
Bungalows. After learning to play some instruments and a name change to Red Zebra,
they debut with a self-produced, self-written and self-sold EP.
"The beauty of the beast"
45,1 sec. - 89 Kb.
song: Red Zebra
Produced : Jean-Marie Aerts.
Year : 1983
Record co. : Parsley
57,1 sec. - 112 Kb.
song: J. Isselee
Produced : J-M. Aerts.
Year : 1983
Record co. : Parsley
On this EP figures the song "I can't live in a living room". This
biting indictment of bourgeois society became a radio-hit and is considered one
of Belgium's finest cult classics. After another single (TV Activity) they record
the mini-album "Bastogne" in 1981. Riding on the "cold"- and
"new"-wave, this record has quite an impact.
Their first full-length album "Maquis" of 1983 (which is preceded
by the singles "Lust/The beauty of the beast" and "Polar Club")
gets received with mixed feelings, after which the group goes into a lull and
splits up completely in 1986.
After that, Red Zebra started a sort of procession of Echternach (one steps
forward, two steps back). Humo wrote about the group in 1997 : "I don't
know if there's a lot of merit to this, or if it's worthy of a listing in the
Guiness Book of Records, but to our knowledge there is no other group that has
managed to prolong its fifteen minutes of fame longer than Red Zebra. At the beginning
of the eighties, this group from Bruges mattered for a short period ... and since
then no opportunity has been left unused - Red Zebra founded 10 years ago ! Red
Zebra split 5 years ago ! 5th anniversary of the first reunion ! - to get the
group back together again. As farewell-tours, one-time reunion concerts and definitively
ultimate farewell concerts go, they even beat the Ramones. No wonder, in Bruges,
the mercantile spirit is in the genes since the Middle Ages".
In 1990, most of the original members get together again to play a number of
live gigs. In 1992 then release "From Ape to Zebra", a very well selling
"Best of". After this, there was some demand for live-gigs of the group,
of which a number of songs were released on the live-CD "A Red Zebra is not
a Dead Zebra". In the meantime, all of the members of the group had also
Guitarist Bruno Melon, who was part of The Strings before joining Red Zebra,
ventured out to The Wolf Banes and later on to La
Pip Vreede also joined The Wolf Banes and toured with Whim Punk after that.
A few of the other Zebras (Provoost, Maertens and Isselee) formed "His Royal
Fume". According to Humo this was a complete failure : "It is rumored
that His Royal Fume consists of some of the members of Red Zebra, the group who
procured us with some goose-pimples at the end of the seventies with "I can't
live in a living room", but this is never to be heard on this piece of work.
Where Red Zebra sometimes was dangerous, occasionally even barrier-breaking and
never ordinary, this seems rather like a hobby-project for tired copywriters".
Peter Slabbynck had developed his own career with the band "The Boy Wonders"
and enjoys/suffers success and devastating critics with the group "De
Lama's" (see also Kloot Per W), but decides to
come back to the band after a 1994 live-album by the group does surprisingly well.
In 1996 they even decided to reform the band completely (although without Melon
& Vreede, who were replaced by Jurgen Surinx en Nicolas Delfosse). After a
single "Sanitized for your protection" they released the second full-length
Red Zebra album, over 14 years after the first LP. From the bio : "the title
refers to the ability of certain animals to adapt perfectly to their environment
- or how a group from the 80's can feel perfectly at ease in the '90's. The CD,
produced by Staf Verbeek (see Metal Molly) was a
bit more varied than their earlier work, with apart from punk & doom also
some modern sounding rock, metal and guest vocals of Dett Peyskens (see Pas
De Deux). However, the critics again didn't like the album : Jacky Huys "Red
Zebra adds absolutely nothing to its works with Mimicry. The austerity of days
gone has been replace with rather one-dimensional, metallic commonplaces. Their
peak lies behind them, not ahead of them".
In 1999, "I can't live in a living room" was selected for the yearly
Studio Brussel contest where Jan Sprenger & C° let an old song get covered
by new talent (in this case Fence (who later released
it on their "Always Ultra"-single), Atomic (superhero from outer space,
aka DJ 4T4 of 't Hof van Commerce), Janez
Detd. (who did a ska version of it), Kolk
(drum'n'bass with dutch lyrics) and Orange
Black (guitarrock from Kontich).
In 2000, the band was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the legendary song,
with a special 2-hour performance in front of a seated audience in the Stadsschouwburg
of their hometown Bruges (October 28th). This performance was also captured on
CD, and released on the Belgian Parsifal label in 2001 with the title "Last
Band Standing". On it, there were 13 new interpretations of the songs
that made their fame.
- Peter Slabbynck - Patrick Provoost (vocals)
- Geert Maertens
- Johan Isselee (drums)
- Chery Derycke - Pip Vreede - Jurgen Surinx (bass)
- Jan D'Hondt - Bruno Melon - Nicolas Delfosse (guitar)
Buy CD's of this band at
- Bastogne (Zebra - 1981)
- Maquis (Zebra - 1983)
- From Ape to Zebra - Best of (Antler-Subway - 1992)
- A Red Zebra is not a dead Zebra (Antler-Subway - 1994)
- Mimicry (1997)
- Last Band Standing (Parsifal, 2001)
Albums (His Royal Fume)
- His Royal Fume (Play that Beat! - 1993)
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