The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives ...Muziekcentrum Vlaanderen
  Home | Bands & Artists | R | Roland        


Pioneer of Belgian Rock and Blues-music.


"A Tune for you"
57,9 sec. - 114 Kb.
song: R. Van Campenhout
Year : 1970
Record co. : CBS

"Fish on the hook"
43,7 sec. - 83 Kb.
song: R. Van Campenhout
Produced : Jean Blaute
Year : 1985
Record co. : Ariola

"A Man needs a plan"
38,1 sec. - 75 Kb.
song: Van Campenhout, Jean Blaute, Marc Didden
Produced : Roland.
Year : 1993
Record co. : !Play That Beat


Starts off in the sixties (1963) with skiffle (The William and Roland Skiffle Group) and folk (plays for some years together with Miek & Roel), but evolves to blues later on. His breakthrough follows at Jazz-Bilzen in 1969.

Roland (or in full : Roland Van Campenhout) is mainly a live performer, but he always manages to stay in touch with modern times on his records. The styles he touches : folk & blues, country, rock'n roll, rhythm & blues, world music.

In the seventies he is a member of the backing band of Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher an tours about every barroom from Belgium to Singapore with his band The Bluesworkshop, but also with artists as Ian Anderson, Leo Kottke and Tim Hardin. Or, as his credo goes "To make a café swing with an amplifier and a microphone, and to return home with a few thousand franks. That's what Belgian pop is about and the rest is bullshit".

Commercial success is not really the thing he's after, but it occasionally comes around, as with the "poppy" album "79 cm per second" of 1985 and the cooperation with Arno Hintjens in "Charles et les Lulus".


This last project turns out to be a very important one for Roland ánd for Arno. Or as Arno said later in an interview with Humo "One of the important aspects of Charles et les Lulus was that I've gotten to know Roland really good. Such a terrific man, and a terrific artist, who had been screwed by the music industry for 25 years long. I feel that through the project he has gotten back a dignity worthy of his status. Many young people have found out about Roland for the first time through Charles et les Lulus. Even if that were the only thing this project would have done, it would have been worthwhile for me".
As a reward, Roland also plays on the debut-album of Arno's girlfriend Marie-Laure Béraud. In return he receives from her the song "Les Femmes" for his 1993 album "Little Sweet Taste".


In 1993 he produced "Antidote" for his "protégé" Pieter-Jan De Smet, and composed the soundtrack for "Mannen Maken Plannen", the fourth film by Belgian filmmaker & rock-critic Marc Didden. Humo received the cd as follows : "His LuLu-ness knows like no other to create atmosphere with nothing but a guitar and a bottleneck (or a lighter or a kitchen knife) and I would give money to see him on stage together with Ry Cooder."

He took part in the Johan Verminnen-tribute Spelers & Drinkers with a cover of "In de rue des bouchers". He still tours to country on a regular basis. In 1997 he did this together with Jan Hautekiet (keyboards player and DJ on Studio Brussel), César Janssens (former member of The Kids) and Vincent Pierins (bass player of Raymond van het Groenewoud) under the name "A Vapore". "Steam there will be. And music. The fragility of chanson, the pureness of folk, the wild yell of world music, the surprises of jazz or the restlessness of blues : all you will hear is clearly "Roland"-ish." said an announcement.

In 1998, he went to the States to do an interview with his American counterpart : blueslegend John Lee Hooker (the artist that inspired him to go into music-making with his concert in the legendary Antwerp café De Muze, somewhere in the early sixties).


In the summer he released an album filled with covers (from Frankie Laine, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Ferre Grignard ...). As "Waltz" went by almost unnoticed, the album was re-released with a new record company (Virgin) in november, this time with more response in the media. He will also be touring the country with Marc Bonne, David Crane & Vincent Pierins, and guest musicians such as Bruno Deneckere, Pieter-Jan Desmet and Steven de Bruyn (of El Fish).

In 1999 he played on the debut-album of Neeka (a young female singer-songwriter) and also joined her live-band and started a theater-tour with Wannes Van de Velde as "Nomaden van de muziek" (a cd-release of this project was released in november 2000), containing work of both, a number of cover (e.g. a masterfully done version of Dylan's "Masters of War", and a less obvious version of Dr. Hook's "Blue Jeans").

In 2001, he went on tour with the young bluesband El Fish. This cooperation was also recorded onto Cd : "Waterbottle", including a surprising cover of the Grace Jones hitsong (to an original air of Astor Piazolla) "I've seen that face before (libertango)".

Buy CD's of this band at proxis

Albums :
- A tune for you (CBS - 1971)
- One step at a time (CBS, 1972)
- Live (Music For Pleasure, 1974)
- Movin' on (Music For Pleasure, 1975)
- Snowblind (Assekrem, 1981)
- 76 centimeters per second (Ariola - 1985)
- Good as bad can be (CNR - 1989)
- The last tribe (Indisc - 1990)
- Hole in my soul (CNR - 1990)
- Last Letter Home (Play That Beat,
- Mannen maken plannen - soundtrack (Play That Beat - 1993)
- Little sweet taste (Play That Beat - 1994)
- 50 (Play That Beat, 1994 - Limited edition cd)
- Waltz (Play That Beat - Virgin 1998)
- Nomaden van de Muziek (Roland + Wannes Van de Velde, Virgin, 2000)
- Waterbottle (Roland + El Fish, HKM, 2001)

Compilaties :
- 20 years (Ariola - 1983)
- Day by day, Blow by blow - an anthology (Ariola, 1994)

Websites :
- Blue Roland, website over Roland van Stefan Van Slycken.
- Roland & Wannes van de Velde - Nomaden van de muziek
- interview with Roland & Wannes about Nomaden in De Standaard

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



This page in English


By Genre
At Random
Most Popular


Links & Sources
What's New?

Search for:

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 ( Contact:

Watch it : This site pays royalties, and was built and maintained in accordance with the terms and conditions negotiated with SABAM, the Belgian society of copyright-holders. Consultation of this site is free, but this exludes downloading, reproducing or public performance of any part of this site. Please do not copy. Link!

Last update to this site : December 2001.

    ^ up