No supergroup this time, as in the previous time Arno took up his second name in Charles et les Lulus, but a raw and young backing group consisting of Geoffrey Burton (see also Pieter-Jan De Smet en Arno solo), Alan Gevaert (van A Noh Rodeo) en Herman Cambré.
Arno recalls his motivation in an interview with Humo : "Actually,
I was planning on having a year off in 1998; I have been touring constantly for
the last three years now. So I stopped, but after five months or so I started
acting weird : my head was turning. It was like I constantly had a hangover. Shit
man. If I had a few drinks, I would start shouting in the bar "ROCK ON!".
You tell me, that ain't OK. "ROCK ON, MOTHERFUCKERS!" and dancing on
As Humo said "If Arno changes his name to Charles, he ends up invariably in the art brut of the blues, a genre he strips even further to the bone than he did at the time of Charles et les Lulus."
On the album, there are four covers ("You gotta move" of Fred McDowell, "Commit a crime" of Howlin' Wolf, "Sea Lime woman" of Nina Simone and "Death of a clown" of Dave Davies). The remainder of the songs are raw and essential blues tracks that would have fitted perfectly on one of the early TC Matic albums. Due to the very fast recording of the songs, they sound very live and somewhat unfinished.
On the question if this band is a planned career move, Arno replies "I didn't worry about a career when I played with Paul Couter in the beginning, and I still don't. I make exactly the music I want. There is no one who tells me what to do, although I would like to meet someone who can give me directions that I can agree with. Honestly, I'm open for it like an old hooker."
The group toured for some months, but the lifespan of the band didn't last beyond that to make way for the new Arno-album that is expected to be released in the beginning of 1999. The last gig of the band was given on November 6th at the Beursschouwburg in Brussels.
Charles & The White Trash European Blues Connection
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Last update to this site : December 2001.