Soul Sucker is a pretty weird band from Antwerp that flirts with r&b, rock,
musical, lounge, polka, fifties and honky-tonk. Or as muziekkrant Oor wrote in
1998: "In pop music, there have been many unthinkable fusion's. But even
with that in mind, the quartet Soul Sucker has a very strange vision : they pour
an easytune-sauce on top of New Orleans r&b. The basis of their pop songs
usually are blues-shuffeling drums, a tinkling piano on second base, a raw and
distorted guitar, and a nicely humming tuba. It's all pretty close to a r&b-pastiche,
but it always narrowly escapes that".
60 sec. - 121 Kb. written : Soul Sucker
Produced : Thomas De Prins & Gino Campenaerts
Year : 1999
Record co. : Sue!-records
The band was founded at the end of 1995, with people who were
playing in ex-bands such as Prince Thomas and in the orchestra of Guido
Belcanto. The lineup included Gino Campenaerts (brother of their manager Bob,
who used to play with de Kommeniste- and Pitti Polak)
and the voluminous appearance of Didier Heggerick, who has a large impact on the
originality of the sound with his tuba & trombone that serve as a bass-line.
The debut came in August 1996 with a first John Barry-ish single
"The Girl With The Golden Teeth" - which featured Buni Lenski of DAAU
as one of the strings. Despite the original sound, there were only 11 (all autographed)
copies of the song sold. In October of the same year, it went a lot better with
"Bus 32", a single that could be heard on the radio a lot and stirred
even some commotion for the band across the Belgian borders. The song was about
the bus-line that travels de "Leien" in Antwerp, and was described as
"a bubbling pot of funny rock'n'roll with retro-influenced". The band
did a number of live-gigs, among which one as an opener for Jools Holland, who
enthusiastically exclaimed "A Nice sound! Good songs. Send me a copy of the
album when it's finished!"
In April of 1997, their first full-cd "Light" followed
suit, in a production by Jo Francken (Zap Mama, Evil
Superstars, Moondog Jr ...). The title of the
cd was a good clue to it's content : "light-footed, light and lighthearted".
The album certainly got a good reaction in the music-press : thus the feared mvs
in Humo wrote "Soul Sucker make a musical bridge between the streetcorner
in New Orleans and the show-stairs in Las Vegas. Amusing, exciting and highly
entertaining from the first to the last note". And "the Bulletin"
came up with the funny description "Tom Waits without a cold and on new
In 1998 the band went on a club-tour in cooperation with The Seatsniffers
under the name "Expo 98", and released the cd "Light" also
in the Netherlands. During promotion, they got to play live at the Paradiso in
Amsterdam for a the radioprogramme Leidsekade. Five songs of this good session
landed as extra tracks on the single "Bizzy People".
In 1999, the band emerged from the studio with the CD "Soul
Sucker Is Everything" which got presented at a Ketnet-party in de Kaaiman
in Antwerp. The single "Dirty Thing" didn't cause much of a stir, despite
it's "kinky" video with an appearance of Gina Divina, the female alter
ego of singer Guido Belcanto. The reception in the
press still again was good.
At the end of the summer Soul Sucker complained that almost no-one had invited
them for the summer-festivals though. On the positive side came the news that
two songs ("Soul Sucker" & "Funky Beat"), appeared on
the soundtrack of the Flemish Mickey Rourke-film "Shades"
which was compiled by Alex - Hooverphonic - Callier.
In 2000, Thomas de Prins was spotted as playing the (blind) pianist
of the swinging mambo big band El Tattoo del Tigre.
Band members :
- Thomas De Prins : vocals, piano's
- Jan Blieck : guitars
- Didier heggerick : tuba, sousaphone, trombone
- Gino Campenaerts : drums, percussion
Buy CD's of this band at
- Light (Shut Up & Eat!, 1997)
- Bizzy People / Live at Paradiso (6-tracks, Shut up & Eat!, 1998)
- Is Everything (Shut Up & Eat, 1999)
- 2 tracks on "Shades - music from the original soundtrack" (Sony, 1999)
- The Girl with The Golden Teeth (CDS, 1996)
- Bus 32 (CDS, 1996)
- Dirty Thing (CDS, SUE!, 1999)
- Ordinary (CDS, SUE!, 1999)
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