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Period : February 22-26th, 1999
In this issue : Sticks 'n Stones, Pinkpop, De Afrekening, Pierre Rapsat, dEUS, Machiavel, Pukkelpop, Axelle Red, Arno, Flat Earth Society, Burning Plague.

Friday February 26th, 1999

Stick 'n Stones, runners-up in the 1994 edition of Humo's Rock Rally, have finally came up with a debut album. After two (failed) singles with a major, they have now opted to do everything themselves on "No Suit".
You can find the album in most independent record shops in Belgium, or you can order it through the Stick 'n Stones-website. On this site you can also find an authorised full-length mp3-file of the current single "This is how it is".
The group has kicked off a Belgian tour on Monday, remaining dates also at their site.

17 of the 34 names on the Dutch festival Pinkpop were made public this week. Amidst them feature three belgian bands : Zita Swoon, Die Anarchistische Abendunderhaltung aka DAAU, and Soulwax. It is rumoured that K's Choice will also perform once again and that dEUS will complete this impressive belgian line-up ! Other names already on the list include Underworld, Alanis Morisette, Kula Shaker, Lamb, Red Snapper, Faithless, Skunk Anansie, Manic Street Preachers, Urban Dance Squad & Heather Nova.
More info at the Pinkpop-site

Belgian music is all over "de Afrekening" (Alternative chart of Studio Brussel) at the moment. No less than 12 of the 30 songs on the list were Belgian, that's no less than 40%!

  • 30 ABN "Vet en Fonky" (rap-rock with A-team sample)
  • 29 Noordkaap "Pretentious Moi " (Noordkaap goes eighties)
  • 28 Gorki "Ik ben aanwezig" (duet of Lukas De Vos & Tom Barman)
  • 27 Sint-Andries MC's "Represent 2000 Antwaarpe"(Rap from Antwerp)
  • 24 Zita Swoon "Maria"(the group seems to be really breaking through to new audiences with this gem).
  • 23 Das Pop "The Little Boy"(could be an early Bowie song)
  • 17 The Romans "Space Girl" (second single of the "El Diablo"-album)
  • 13 Hooverphonic "Eden" (heavenly song, still from "Blue Wonder Power Milk")
  • 11 De Mens "Einde van de eeuw" (first single from "Sex verandert Alles")
  • 9 Soulwax "Conversation Intercom" (from "Much Against Everyone's Advice")
  • 4 K's Choice "God in my bed" ("that's the excuse they all use", said the abbot to the pregnant nun)
  • 1 dEUS "Instant Street" (all the way to n° 1 in just two weeks)

My vote for next week : Dildo Warheads "She's A babe", Hooverphonic "Eden" & The Notwist "Chemicals" (that one is German, but brilliant nonetheless, with a lovely modem-solo in the middle - my US-Sportster loves it!).
Vote yourself : mail your top 3 current songs to De Afrekening (include name & address)
Source : Studio Brussel or the teletextpages of the VRT.

Wednesday February 24th, 1999

Pierre Rapsat, in Wallonia one of the most respected & celebrated artists, with a career in rock music that spans 30 years (since the period of Laurélie & Jenghis Khan in 1969) and 16 records already, will kick off a new tour this Friday the 26th. This première of the "Volte-Face"-tour (accompanying the equally titled album that was released in 1998) will take place in the Orangerie of "le Botanique"
More info : Botanique or tel : +32/2/226.12.11.

Some mixed little news-items & gossip on dEUS :
- the tv-première of the new single, last Sunday in "De Plantage" on the Dutch VPRO, turned out to be quite disastrous through a mistuned bass and non-working amps.
- the group will perform live on Glastonbury, Reading, the 30th Woodstock annivesary, ... and Axion Beach Rock : the squabble between the organizers of Beach & Werchter seems to have been won by the "sunsand" ( Alana Dante) once again.
- the single "Instant Street" has taken in the first position in "De Afrekening" (Belgiums main alternative chart) after a blitz-assault of only two weeks. The song should be on sale (in three different version) from today onwards. The B-side is the song "Everybody's Weird (demo)", featuring Guy Van Nueten (of The Sands + now also on tour with Daan Stuyven), Aldo Struyff & Sandra Pardo.
- Tim Vanhamel (the loony guitar player of the late Evil Superstars) still is performing with the group on different occasions.

The concert of Machiavel that had been planned for this Friday at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, will be postponed the the 26th of next month. A double pity for the group, because the concert was scheduled for internet-broadcast at netbeat.
The reason for the annulation is a flue-epidemic that has struck no less than four members of the band. Only drummer Marc Isaye hasn't given in yet.

There's a real possibility that Pukkelpop, the main "alternatieve" festival in Belgium, will move from Hasselt/Kiewit to the more Norderly location of Lommel. Chokri Mahassine, parlemantarian for the Socialist Party since a short while, has received such a good offer (including a trainstaion, a fixed "village" to house the musicians...) of the Lommel-mayor Louis Vanvelthoven that the organisation seems to consider making the move.
Bron : Humo, Surf-Inn ...

Tuesday February 23rd, 1999

Last weekend the "Victoires de la musique" were handed out in paris to France's most beloved artists & groups. "As such" no news for the Belgian Pop & Rock Archives, if it weren't for the fact that the prize of "Best female artist" was won by the Belgian Axelle Red. In her category, the girl from Hasselt won it over talents like Céline Dion (Canada) , Noa (Israël) and Moïse (Haïti).
The title (comparable to the Grammy's for America or the Brit-Awards for England), is awarded by a jury of 2.500 people from the French Music Bizz. Other winners this year were Alain Bashung, Manau, Air, Manu Chao, Faudel, Michel Sardou ...
More info : Agence France Presse, or a more subjective version at Le Soir (that devoted a commentary to this Belgian victory in which they make a plea for a better legal position for artists in Belgium.)

Warning for fans of Arno (Hintjens) : please do not buy blindfolded all the cd's that are put out by "Arno" any longer. Not that this website wants to organize a boycott of Arno, on the contrary :
In the latest edition of Oor there is a message that "the marketingteam around singer Arno Kolenbrander has decided that the career of their prodigy has to be restarted : a new look, completely in Dutch, and with a new and shortened name : Arno. As if there isn't a belgian rock'n'roll animal from Belgium who has been walking around for two decades."
At least óne thing this management has accomplished : without their blunt move, we would probably never have heard of this Dutch Arno Kolenbrander.

It's only just since the latest cd of "A Group" was reviewed on this site (we admit, that was on the late side), but now the gentlemen Vermeersch & Vervloesem already have a bunch of new projects in the pipeline for us :
- The Flat Earth Society (an 18-man strong big band with among others David Bovée, Roel Poireau, Benjamin Boutreur, Bart Maris, Wim Willaert ...) : this group has a repertoire that varies from The Residents to Duke Ellington, Jacques Brel to Rodgers & Hart, will debut live tomorrow Wednesday 24th february in Le Botanique. Also to be seen on Thursday, February 25th at the Vooruit in Ghent.
- The aformentioned gentlemen have just finished recording the soundtrack for a dance play by choreographer Wim Vandekeybus. They did that back in the eighties also, but this time the music was of the hand of the ex-Talking Heads intellecto David Byrne.
- Finally, there will be a solo-cd of Pierre Vervloesem on the VIA-kra label, to be released at the end of March.

Monday February 22th, 1999

Burning Plague, one of the early Belgian Blues groups, has some big plans for this year. The group that released their first material in 1970 but dissapeared some years after, was reformed in 1992 with Michael Heslop, Alain Pire, Roger Carlier & Willy Stassen. They released a new cd "Two" in 1995.
For 1999, they have announced a live album in March called "Burning Plague Live At Last". In May, there will be a re-release on cd of the "legendary 1970 Burning Plague LP, which contained mythical numbers like A38, Life is Nonsense, Night Travelin' Man." Lastly, they will feature on a compilation cd "Top Blues Bans from the Low Countries".

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