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Period : August 8-18, 2000
In this issue : K's Choice, Dranouter, Ambrozijn, Urban Trad., Tom Barman, Bettie Serveert, Flemming.

August 18, 2000

Or maybe "extremily happy" by now, since K's Choice has been dominating the entire news of the past week as they got the promo machine of Double T/Sony rolling again for them. First of all because they have released the first single of the forthcoming brand new album, both of which are named "Almost Happy". The single was aired exclusively on Studio Brussel and Radio 21 for the entire week, but is in the shops as of today. The album itself isn't released until September 25, although the USA, Japan and United Kingdom will have to wait a few more months.
According to Sarah, the single describes a feeling she gets quite often, being on the very verge of happiness, while never quite getting there.

The band is one of the attractions at the German Festival "Bizarre" this weekend. Due to the tight coöperation of that festival with the German TV-station WDR, fans can chat with the band at 8PM tonight. Large chunks of the festival are also broadcasted during the Rockpalast programs during the small hours of the night, but none of the Belgian bands in the Bizarre line-up (Soulwax, Praga Khan & K's Choice) are scheduled to appear on TV.
More info : Bizarre festival, or Rockpalast.

On the European tour that the band will do to promote the new album, K's Choice will be playing one "exclusive" concert in Belgium, but it'll be largest and most prestigious concert hall they'll be hoping to fill. With a "special guest" doing the opening, October 31st is the date set for this concert.
Info about & tickets for this concert (at 980 Bfr + reservation costs) can be obtained from Make It Happen or telephone n° 099-00.991. Pre-sales at the usual ticket-dealers starts on August 26.

The aforementioned "exclusivity" of the Vorst-concerts doesn't appear to be intended to be taken in the literal sense : unconfirmed as of yet is that there'll be a fanclub-day in the AB on October 7th, but more sensational is the news that K's Choice has been asked to fill in the wide-open gap that was left on the Pukkelpop-lineup after rapper EMINEM had to admit he can't leave the country due to his legal hassles.

August 8, 2000

The Dranouter festival (held last weekend) wasn't only blessed with the luck of making it through the weekend without getting soaked (Sfinks festival closed with only half the visitors of last year and a deficit of 10 million, Coulour Café had enough people but had their cash register stolen), they also were the host of no less than 4 CD-presentations : an acoustic guitar / flamenco CD by Myrdinn De Cauter (one of the strangely named children - Waso, Vigdis, Dajo & Myrdinn - of folkmusician Koen de Cauter, best known for his work as a Brassens- or Gezelle interpreter, or with Waso or Les P'tits Belges) and a folk-sampler double CD that the organisation of Dranouter itself put together with a large number of flemish folk acts (41) performing songs of different foreign folk-repertoire. This CD will be distributed to all kind of folk-outlets in the whole world, in the hope of raising some more awareness of the current "Flemish Folk Boom". CD-presentation 3 & 4, on major labels Virgin & Universal, are below:

A first release after their step towards major Virgin is Ambozijn's "Naradie". The record firm markets it as "acoustic music" instead of folk, but the cd still contains a number of reworked traditionals and self-written songs with lyrics from medieval songs. The band could well become what El Fish is to the blues-scene, by giving the scene new life and fresh ideas, while not accepting its traditions as the same time. As Wim Claeys said to "De Standaard" : "Our first album could be situated as Flemish Folk. But this one can't. We all have found our places within the group : Wouter's jazz and Irish music, my Scandinavian and Flemish roots, Tom's love for music from Britany, and Ludo's music from the Mediterranean. Ambrozijn, that is Flanders on a trip trough Northern & Southern Europe".
More info from their website, or straight to Proxis to buy it.

Urban Trad is a group that was assembled by Yves Barbieux (of the Folk/chanson band Coïncidence) on instigation from some of the folks at Universal, who were looking for a way to bring new life to André Bialek's classic song "La Belle Gigue". He assembled a really large band with all kinds of musicians working in and around Brussels and put the tune in a modern cross-over style which includes soundscapes, rap, voice-decoders, technobeats as well as pipes, lyres and fiddles on "La Belle Gig" . The rest of the album "one-o-four" also can be captured under the label "Urban Folk".
The CD was released already a while back, but was presented for the first time with the complete band at the Dranouter folkfestival. Among the members of the band are musicians from Orion, Ialma, Ambrozijn, Kadril, Shantalla, Kadril etc ...
More info on Urban Trad from their really nice website (don't forget to check out the "gallery" where the musicians that cooperated in this project all present themselves with a short audio-clip. And then tell me what they were smoking in there...), or to the record shop.

Other news that could be gathered at the same festival came from dEUS-frontman Tom Barman, who performed an acoustic set with dEUS-songs and covers of songs from Palace, Elliott Smith, Neil Young or David Bowie (memories of a festival) while inviting a bunch of friends to sit on the stage, singing in duet with Tom Van Laer (Admiral Freebee) or Axelle Red, and wearing a "debardeurke" (the english word for this seems to be a "slipover", but that doesn't sound nearly as silly as a "debardeurke").
The plans for him directing a movie are now getting very real : the script is ready, the title found ("Vrijdagavond, zaterdagochtend" - Friday evening, Saturday morning), and the subsidizing appliaction filed. If money is awarded, the full-length film will be shot early next year, with actors such as Dirk Roothooft, Natalie Broots or Frank Vercruyssen, telling the story of nine seemingly unrelated people spending their time in Antwerp.
The sad part to all this is of course that a new dEUS-release won't probably be released until 2002, but that was no news.

"If you can't beat them, employ them", seems to be the motto of a number of Dutch bands looking at the continuing succes of Belgian acts in their country. Two nice examples of this new trend (?) are Flemming and Bettie Serveert.
Bettie Serveert (you should at least know their "Palomine" or "Lamprey" albums) at long last has recorded a new album, called "Private suit", and it features contributions of members of Thou and Mauro Pawlowski (with whom they also share the producer John Parish), DAAU (funny quote from an interview with Carol Van Dijck "... there was a violin player and a cello player from DAAU, Deutsch Amerikanische Abenteurliches Unterhaltung. Not to be confused with Thou. You got the Belgium band Thou and then there's the Belgium band DAAU.", very helpful indeed!) and Metal Molly (backing vocals).
Flemming not only found inspiration here for their name (a feature they share with a band called "Zea", btw), but also for a number of other aspects of their debut album : it was recorded in the Vitanova studio's (owned by Joost Zweegers, and with Karl Broeckaert behind the knobs), it was produced by Tom Pintens (Flowers for Breakfast, Zita Swoon). As they kindly put it "Flemming also took the opportunity of using the kind services of the rich music-scene of Antwerp, through which Tom Pintens kindly navigated them. The following nice people and brilliant musicians lent their talents to make a great album" mentioning Roel Poriau (Think of One), Stoffel Verlackt (Metal Molly), Tomas de Smet & Tom Pintens (Zita Swoon) or Bart Maris (Janez Detd. to name just one band he plays the horns with).


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