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Period : July 12-23, 2000
In this issue : Gorki, Margriet Hermans, Belle Perez, AngeliCo, Mark Thijs, Tee, Double T Records, Axion Beach Festival, Helmut Lotti, Technotronic.

July 23, 2000

Have finally come to their senses and have released the song "XTC"of their last album "Eindelijk vakantie" as a (promo only) single. There's even a video for the thing (coming to a TMF near you), which features Luk de Vos amidst hundreds (if not thousands?) of very devoted and beautiful female fans & groupies screaming out of sheer enthusiasm and hornyness (is that a word?) for the rockgod in question. Despite the lyrics (and the high price for petrol these days), the video does not feature a sjeikh.

have decided to group all the Belgian entries in the Werchter festival, from which they have been airing the highlights in the past three weeks in the program "Plankenkoorts", into one show. This means that next Saturday around 23:00hr (after inspector Morse), Plankenkoorts on Canvas will have live songs and behind-the-scenes interviews with Venus, Jan van Biesen, Praga Khan, Dead Man Ray, Laïs, Arid, El Tattoo del Tigre, An Pierlé and of course the inevitable Soulwax.

(singer who was elected in the Flemish parliament last year) has decided to give away (some of) her music for free (exactly the value of it, might be argued). On her ID21-website she has put three songs in MP3-format and a sort of "manifesto" in which she makes a case for cheaper CD's, a "correct" payment of authors, a music-industry-run Napster service ... saying that the consumer is right (in embracing the MP3-format and home-copying CD's on a large scale) and that the industry has to take steps to change.
See for yourself (listening not really a must) at
Alternatively (if those were convincing enough), you may go an shop for Margriet Hermans albums at Frontstage

has finally stopped greeting the world (NME's review of Hello World went "... Belle Perez make Billie and Britney sound like wild inner-city kids teetering on the edge of heroin addiction. Lobotomised cheeriness aside, and with brilliant synchronicity, the Belgian popstrel does offer ... some very sage advice. "Seize the day", she urges, ... "Wear a big happy smile on your face". Advice that'll also be very handy when she finds herself flipping burgers in the Ghent branch of McDonald's.) and has gone on to new things : she has married (in secret), has a new single (Honey Bee), and even a tv-show of her own (albeit an internet one) at Channel E ("the first Flemish television show made especially for the internet", featuring a reportage about three playback-gigs in Ghent, a few movie trailers, interviews with lifeguards in the rain, a Corrs-video and people saying hello to their mums. All this of course held together by lots of advertising : ex-ci-ting stuff !!!)

are taking the fact that they were "people's choice" at the washed down Beach Rock festival very literally : now they are giving the public the chance to also vote on what song will be their next single. The choice is between "Matter of Time" and "Wrong side of right". Voting might win you a promo of them, and can be done on the website of Studio Brussel.
Update July 26: the song chosen was "Wrong Side of Right", which will be released as a promo-single.

July 17, 2000

During last weekend's Belgian Rhythm & Blues Festival in Peer, there was one Belgian act deemed good enough to have a spot high up on the line-up : in hindsight this honour should've probably gone to Elmore D, but on the night it was TEE, the new project of bluesmusician/producer Mark Thijs.
He started out in the eighties playing the harmonica and singing with bands such as The Finsbury Park Empire, The Slime Hunters, The Healers, then learned to play the guitar and drums and did so in flying style with The Electric Kings or American guests, mixing all this with a growing reputation as a producer for acts such as The Hoodoo Club, Noordkaap .... A year or two ago, he left all this to travel in the States, where he started touring in the clubs and working on songs. Together with Thomas Yeardsley (of The Paladins), he recorded almost single-handedly an album in the States and then came back to Belgium. This CD is now being released in the Benelux as "This is ... TEE" on the Dutch label Cool Buzz. For the live performances, he has put together a 7-piece band.
Also nice : A bit of video of the Tee-performance at the BRBFestival at Surf-inn.

The most successful independent record label built almost solely on Belgian acts such as K's Choice, Ozark Henry, Clement Peerens, Arid and Noordkaap, is being overtaken by multinational and major Sony. There was already a very close cooperation between the two labels, as Double T distributed much of the their material through Sony-chains. The name Double T will not vanish, but will become a brand within the "Sony Family" (Epic, Columbia, C2, Sony Classical ...).
Double T was founded in Brussels 7 years ago by Jan Theys (Talent Factory) and Christophe Turcksin (A&R for Polydor before that) with capital by tv-producing company D&D. The Two T's will become Sony "advisors" and will as such continue their mission : "stimulate artists and provide them with the opportunities to give the best of themselves".

July 12, 2000

The number of Belgian bands at the festival Axion Beach Rock of this weekend is rising quickly.
Novastar was already exclusive and high up on the line-up, Vive-La-Fête was already brought in to fill a gap on Saturday, and now the Irish band "One Minute Silence" has been struck by an "angina" : they will be replaced by everyones favorite "dull honeys" named Rumplestitchkin.
Less of a surprise is the fact that AngeliCo has won the "People's Choice" with flying colours. They got 64% of votes in a contest which set them up against Higgin's, Vanilla Coke, Mud Flow, and the Patolie's. AngeliCo is the band which was announced with some sort of exaggeration as a "Belgian superband" (as the members come from other bands with some merit : Martine Van Hoof is ex-Sin Alley, Axl Peleman is ex-Ashbury Faith and ex-Paranoiacs, Mario Goossens is ex-Noordkaap, guitarist Ruben Block is ex-Sin Alley, and ex-Trigger Finger) with the excellent although very Garbage-like single "Good About You" . More on this band later, as they are recording a debut album for Universal already, under supervision of Jo Franken (Noordkaap, Zita Swoon, ...).
More info on the festival at

After four "Goes classic"-album, and one "Out of Africa", Helmut Lotti (or his management) have selected to go Latino for their next project. Think "Buena Vista Social Club" with Pampers. Think : mariachi's in the streets of Ghent. Think "Guantanamera" Elvis Style. Think "La Bamba" drenched in violins. The title of the album will be "Latino Classics".
The album will contain a number of Mexican, Brazilian, Cuban, Chilean, Argentian and Puerto-Rican evergreens, sung in Spanish, Portuguese and - on two songs - in English, such as 'Cuando caliente el sol', 'La Cuccaracha', 'La Bamba', 'La Golondrina', 'Guantanamera', 'Marinero', 'Besame mucho', 'Eso beso'... The production is once again in the hands of Peter Koelewijn, the orchestra in the hands of André Walschaerts. A first single can be expected around August 20, the album itself October 15.
On the other hand : Helmut Lotti is the only Belgian to be invited to this year's IFPI awards, which will be held on July 13th in Brussels, as these are presented only to artists that have sold over 1,000,000 albums in Europe (he'll receive an award for both Goes Classic 3 and 4). Currently, the Out of Africa CD is still selling very well (eg Top 10 in Germany, double platinum in Holland ...).

There are some similarities between the previous message and the news that Technotronic has a new single : this also involves an act which had sales-figures which can match any international success, and it also involves a band that is going Latino. Jo Bogaert has teamed up with Ya Kid K to do a song for a later to be released album, and it has become a dance-goes-to-Mexico song called "The Mariachi" , fast on it's way to become the summer hit of 2000 here in Belgium.
It was with Ya Kid K (aka Manuela Kamosi), that Technotronic had it's biggest hit, now 11 years ago. She rapped "Pump Up The Jam" in the studio, although the initial "act" featured Felly with the blue lips, and "Get Up". She went to live Westchester (New York) in the nineties, but was recently spotted in Belgium once again. She also did a track on the recent ABN-album "Seriewoordenaar".
More about Technotronic at the website of ARS-productions.

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