The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives ...Muziekcentrum Vlaanderen
  Home | Bands & Artists | B | André Bialek        


One of the principal and most joyous chansonniers from Belgium at the end of the seventies, beginning of the eighties.


88 sec. - 162 Kb.
Year : 1977

"Gai reggae"
67 sec. - 132 Kb.
Year : 1979

58 sec. - 114 Kb.
Year : 1980

"Elle n'est pas belle"
67 sec. - 131Kb.
Year : 1981

"La belle Gigue"
66 sec. - 136Kb.
Year : 1981

"Visite Guidée"
42,7 sec. - 84Kb.
Year : 1981

All audio files above :
song : André Bialek
Record Co : EMI


He was born in Brussels in 1948, and discovered the joys of music at a relatively young age, so grew up with the likes of Brel, Ferré, Ray Charles and the Onyx Club. At the age of 18, he dropped out of school and lived a life of 13 trades and 12 mishaps for 6 long years. He lived at the Belgian Coast and on no less than 19 different places in Brussels, with the case of his guitar as his only suitcase.

In 1971 he enrolls for the drawing department of the Academy of Beaux-Arts. At night he goes working in the "cartonneries Vanneste et Brel", the same factory that had Jacques Brel fleeing to Paris before him".

In this period he started writing his own songs (the oldest are "Ma façon de vivre" and "L'alcool" (my way of living and alcohol). He wins a song contest in Bastogne, but decides never to participate in contest anymore. In the weekends he performs on stage all by himself at the "Grenier aux Chansons" (songattic). After a while, he gets asked to perform in youth clubs and small festivals all around.

In 1975 he settles down with the love of his live in Hoeilaart, and composes the joyful "La Belle Gigue". This song, a sort of an ode to the unity of the Belgians, would later on become his best known song

Entre Wallons et Flamands
Y a les bourgeois les fransquillons
Pendant qu'on se tire les deux langues
Qui nous étreignent et nous étranglent

Mais la Belle Gigue Gigue
Gigue qu'on leur fera danser
Quand les vieilles digues digues
Diguedon les fera tomber


With a few friends-musicians, he founds the group "Bal du Bourgmestre" in 1975 (a smart move, because many are fooled into thinking it would be the "Mayor's ball")
At the end of 1976 he signs a record deal (with IBC, a part of EMI, a firm he has stayed loyal to all his career). He records, in a production of Jean Blaute (see Raymond van het Groenewoud, Kate's Kennel, but also K's Choice ...), the album "Rue de L'arbre Bénit", named after the street where Charles de Coster, author of Tijl Uilenspiegel, died in loneliness. The album gets a good reception both in the north & south of the country.

In 1978 his second album follows, named "Belgeries". His live-reputations grows and he gets to perform at the bigger folk festivals, such as le Temps des Cérises, Nekka, Dranouter, Nyon, Québec, Printemps de Bourges ...

In 1979 he only releases one single with "Routinelle" (with Ilona Chale), and "La petite caissière" (about the birth of his first son, Julien). He also gets very set up with the city council of Brussels, who had issued a ban on rock-concerts during the celebrations of the 1000-years existence of the Belgian capital.

In 1981 he releases his best known album : "Nord-Sud" (North-South). Most of his best-known songs are on this one, such as "La belle Gigue", "Elle n'est pas belle", "Visite Guidée" and the anti-nuclear energy song "La petite centrale". At the same time he also tours with a "Nord-Sud"-show. He is one of the only artists that knows how to grab the attention of the press both in Flanders & in Wallonia.

Still, as a result of the times in which he had his best period (when at the same time a burst of creative energy was happening in Flanders & Brussels), he also became a sort of symbol for the "fossilization" of music in the South at the time. As Oor's pop-encyclopedia wrote for several years : "In the meantime, Wallonia was aging rapidly with troubadours-chansonniers such as Bialek and Pierre Rapsat and the symphonic rock of Machiavel". Don't forget this were the cynical new-wave eighties, not a good time for a man with an acoustic guitar.

In 1984 he records his fourth album, "André Bialek". However, during the filming of a special for the RTBF about himself (Witloof Story was the title), he suddenly decided to call it a day. He puts his guitar away.

Gilbert Léderman (A&R at EMI-Belgium for Adamo and other) knew to convince André Bialek in 1997 to help release a re-issue of "Nord-Sud" and a mix of earlier work on cd under the name "Les Années Belle Gigue" (and goes into the advertising business).
In 1998 a song he wrote a song that appeared on the album "Doum Doum Tschak" of Jean-Louis Daulne. In 2000, his "Belle Gigue" was at the foundations of an interesting new folkband, because when Yves Barbieux of Coïncidence got the order to make a contemporary version of this song, he came up with his Urban Trad.

Buy CD's of this artist at proxis

Albums :
- Rue de l'Arbre Bénit / Gewijde Boomstraat (IBC, 1976)
- Belgeries (EMI, 1978)
- Nord-Sud (EMI, 1981)
- André Bialek (EMI, 1984)
Compilations :
- Les Années Belle Gigue (EMI, 1997)

Websites :
- Little french site about André Bialek

Forum :
- Read the messages/questions about André Bialek
- Add your message, question, cd- or concertreview ... about Bialek


    André Bialek

Deze pagina in het Nederlands


By Genre
At Random
Most Popular


Links & Sources
What's New?

Search for:

Dirk Houbrechts stopped working at The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives (you can read his personal statement here). The website is now entrusted to the Flanders Music Centre ( Contact:

Watch it : This site pays royalties, and was built and maintained in accordance with the terms and conditions negotiated with SABAM, the Belgian society of copyright-holders. Consultation of this site is free, but this exludes downloading, reproducing or public performance of any part of this site. Please do not copy. Link!

Last update to this site : December 2001.

    ^ up