song : Mommens / Swinnen
Year : 2001
Record co. : Surprise
Vive la Fête is one of the projects of dEUS-bass-player
Danny Mommens (others are Sexmachines - rock'n roll - Jesus Christ - heavy rock),
who teams up in the band with his girlfriend Els Pynoo.
Usually also Piet Jorens (Arno, Pieter-Jan
De Smet, Charles et les Lulus ...) and Aldo Struyf
(Nemo) are on the stage with them. The combination of Danny's
love for eighties wave music and the Serge Gainsbourg/Jane Birkin-fixation of
Els blend together in Vive La Fête.
The debut of the band is being told by the couple as a coincidence
: "I have always played keyboards at home. Els came humming her little
french verses along from time to time. We thought that is was much more sexy to
sing in French than in English, and it's easier to sing in French than in Dutch.
There's no strategy behind it, although you get noticed for it".
The first release of the band was a 7-track CD "Je Ne Veux
Pas" on the label Kinky Star (which was founded by Danny Mommens btw, together
with co-Sexmachines Luc Waegeman en ex-Manifesto Mark Vandebos) in 1998. Filled
with lo-fi home-recorded electropop, it was the titlesong that was picked up by
the radio and stayed there for some time. Although no reviewer was jubilant about
the mini-cd, the reception was good.
The song "Je Ne Veux Pas" was picked up also in the
fashion world, a fact that caused the establishment of a live-version of the group
: when they were asked to play at a Paris fashion show for Walter Van Beirendonck,
they were offered such a sum of money they couldn't refuse. Vive La Fête
also played at a number of aftershows to dEUS' live-gigs.
In 1999 (with dEUS touring heavily with "the Ideal Crash"),
the couple/band did find time to do a number of home-recordings. These were released
in 2000 on their first full-cd "Attaque Surprise". Less lo-fi, but with
the same ingredients, the album also included a surprise collaboration with the
band Ween. Danny on "On s'amuse"
: "We know that group well through a common friend: René Godeville.
I like Ween and there are some similarities : they also sing songs in French at
times, although they don't know the language. And they have the same playful attitude
towards music. They have sent us a recording with bass/guitar/drums, and we have
recorded the vocals on top of that. Even though I don't like the blues very much,
because it was Ween we thought it funny to put it on the record".
The album appeared on a new sublabel of Lowlands instead of Kinky
Star, and the group changed to the dEUS-management Musickness instead of Tout
Partout, which was explained by Danny as "When we wanted to go to France
for the first time, they said that if we went outside Belgium, we had to take
the Kinky Star catalogue with us. But I don't like all the groups that are on
the label and stylistically we are very different. Or can you picture us touring
in Germany, with on our bus the albums of De Bossen?
The business-aspect of music isn't exactly our forte. We only want to look after
the nice part : working on new ideas, playing live."
In 2001 Vive la fête did a small promo trip through Spain (aqui
se habla de "Eviva El Fiesta" en español) and recorded a track written
by Serge Gainsbourg "69, Année Erotique", which is included
on the tribute album "Lucien Forever" (label: Pussycats).
In June 2001, the band released its second album "République
Populaire", preceded by a vinyl only maxi with some remixes of the song
The Gainsbourg fixation was also enhanced, through a cover of "Lemon Incest".
As the bio said : "the band still digs in their memories of an innocent
popsound of 20 years ago, but gets its inspiration without embarrassment from
the eighties electro sound. Echo's of Visage, The Cure, Kraftwerk e.a. give the
unmistakeable VLF-touch a nice retro-feel ...". The album was recorded
in a home-studio at the house of the couple, but by this time the band set-up
had changed: Jeroen Swinnen, Jules de Borgher (also a dEUS-member
looking for something to do as that band got ever so quiet in 2000 & beyond)
& Dirk Cant (Mumasan Oyster) joined in the fun.
Band members :
- Els Pynoo (vocals, synthesizers)
- Danny Mommens (guitar, bass, synthesizers, vocals)
- Jules de Borgher (drums)
- Jeroen Swinnen
- Dirk Cant
in the first set-up with :
- Piet Jorens (percussion, synthesizers)
- Aldo Struyf (guitar)
Buy CD's of this band at
- Je ne veux pas (Kinky Star, 1998)
- Attaque Surprise (Surprise/Lowlands, 2000)
- République Populaire (Surprise / Lowlands, 2001)
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