Funny Belgian artist, named after the Belgian Beer Stella Artois, but with
a twisted tongue and 2 T's and 3 L's. Because : "as long as there is
humor, there is hope, and as long as there is hope, there is humor"
53,4 sec. - 105 Kb.
song : Jean-Luc Fonck
Year : 1986
Rec.co. : Boucherie Productions
37,7 sec. - 74 Kb.
song : Jean-Luc Fonck
Year : 1991
Record co. : Boucherie Productions
The story of Sttellla began in 1975 in Brussels with Jean-Luc Fonck. He recalls
the birth of the group : "I was in high school when the school organized
a music festival. It carried the megalomaniac name Transmondialmusique. I invented
a false group for that occasion. I called it Stella. Sttellla was born."
Over the years, his band has taken many shapes and sizes (from one-man band
to big band), and only Mimi Fonck has played with the group in all its forms.
As the bio says "The object was to write and perform songs for the sheer
pleasure of sharing fun with the audience. Twenty years later,after nearly 100
songs and more than 700 concerts,the fun is still there!"
Sttellla released themselves their first record in 1977: "WC55/Jane te
crois plus". They operated on a independent basis, but could release their
singles through Polygram.
"The song melodies and arrangements borrow from from many modern genres(Reggae,
Eurodance, Salsa , Rock , Pop etc..), yet with an always recognizable flavor.
As for the lyrics, they are a must for lovers and students of the French language
: a series of poetic figures rarely seen in popular music."
The group takes a very slow start : in fact the ten first years go by almost
unnoticed. The first single to gain some notoriety (other than a small cult following
in Montréal where the yearly Foufones électroniques take place) was the 1986 single
"Balalaika" (ce soir je serai la plus belle pour aller au bal-a-lai-ka).
In Le Devoir, the critic of "The dark side of the moule" recalls
their early period as follows : "Jean-Luc s'amenait en couche pour grand
bébé incontinent, Mimi en majorette, Jean-Luc jouait des airs débiles sur un clavier
Casio bon marché, Mimi branchait la boîte à rythmes, et les tourtereaux alignaient
des jeux de mots aussi énormes qu'une promesse électorale: «Quelle heure reptile
/ Je n'en saurien".
In 1989, the career of the two clowns takes a new turn when they are offered
a contract on the French record label Boucherie Productions of Les Garçons Bouchers.
With the albums released for that label, the groups becomes very big in France
(where their typically "Belgian" style of humour makes the French wet
their pants). The 1992 album "Manneken Pis Not War" (1992), for example,
quickly reached the gold status
"The dark side of the moule" ("It would be great if Pink
Floyd, of whom I'm a real fan, would call me to say that the album title has made
them laugh. Remember the album Low by David Bowie, that was followed by the album
Bowi by Nick Lowe. That was really funny !") brings the group to a concert
at Francopholies in Spa in front of 10.000 Belgians.
As the biography at Netbeat says : "Sttellla is now to pop music sung
in French what Woody Allen is to cinema made in the USA : a guarantee of top artistic
quality and clever humour all wrapped up in a unique personnality as subject/
object / narrator."
In March 2000, Sttellla did a contribution to the "Glittering
2000" project, on which belgian bands covered songs from the glamrock
era, by doing a version of Sweet's "Poppa Joe".
2001, Jean-Luc Fonck had been locked up in his cell long enough to come out with
65 minutes of "connerie" and wordplay. The title of this new masterpiece
is called "Un Homme avec un grand H, au pays des prises de tête"
(something like "A man with a big axe in the land of the headhunters",
but undoubtedly it will have a 2nd or 3rd degree meaning). The first single of
the album ws called "Un weekend avec Emilie Dequenne", a song
that Jean-Luc Fonck wrote after being on a television show with her. Another is
about "La Fille du Météo", one about Twin Peaks (as is
the cover) "Laura sonne pour l'heure à Palmer", one a
Renaud-pastiche "A paris", and even a song in Spanish "Ke
Pasa" (not a cover of the TC Matic
song). But all in all it's of course about "rigoler", with more wordplay
than you'd get in ... in ... in a very wordplaying situation.
Quite funny already is that in the CD's there's a free ticket for a concert "celebrating
the 27th anniversary" of Sttellla. However, a place and a date is not yet
known, as is the number of invitees. Or as he told Le Soir "Il y a un
problème, c'est qu'en mettant une place gratuite dans chaque CD, on n'a
aucune idée du nombre de gens qui va s'en servir. Donc, maintenant, si
je vends 100.000 albums... On vient de rentrer dans le hit-parade des ventes en
septième position. D'un côté, c'est très agréable,
mais de l'autre, ça commence à nous faire peur. Bref, c'était
encore une bonne idée à la con, et dans ce domaine, je suis spécialiste."
Buy CD's of this band at
- Pouet-pouette (1978, Dekadisk)
- Fuite au prochain lavabo (1986, independent release)
- Les poissons s'en fichent et les pieds s'en foutent (1988, independent release)
- L'avenir est à ceux qui s'elephanteau (1990, Boucherie Productions)
- Manneken Pis not war / Faisez la mouche, pas la guêpe (1992, Boucherie Productions)
- The dark side of the moule (1995, Boucherie Productions)
- Live "Huy Chimay, Sète Maredsous, Troyes Caen Paris Orange" Quelle
Belle Tournée! (1997, Boucherie Productions)
- Il Faut Tourner l'Apache (1998)
- Un Homme avec un grand H, au pays des prises de tête (2001) Compilations :
- Sttellla (1989)
- Le meilleur du best of du plus grand greatest hits de Sttellla (1993)
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