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Pieter-Jan De Smet

Wayward group from Ghent with Pieter-Jan De Smet and Geoffrey Burton.


van "Antidote" (1993)

"Here's To Us"
1 min 17 sec. - 150 Kb.

"Baby's in the world"
58 sec. - 115 Kb.

53 sec. - 103 Kb.

songs : Pieter-Jan De Smet
Producer : Roland
Year : 1993
Record co. : Play That Beat!

Van "August" (1997)

1 min 5 sec. - 128 Kb.
song : Pieter-Jan De Smet
Producer : Mike Butcher
Year : 1997
Record co. : Play That Beat!


The first musical steps that Pieter-Jan De Smet set, were in 1980 - at the age of 12 - in a band called "Route 66" (that got its name from the first song he knew to play). After a number of peregrinations in a number of cover-bands, he founded his band "The Lionhearts" in 1986. In that same year, he also enrolled in the theater training at Studio Herman Teirlinck.

In 1988, The Lionhearts got to the finals of Humo's Rock Rally and got to play a number of concerts. A year later, Pieter-Jan meets his current companion guitar-player Geoffrey Burton, who gets incorporated in The Lionhearts.

At the end of his actor's school, Pieter-Jan De Smet becomes a BV (well-known Fleming) due to his role in the popular VTM-sitcom "De Kotmadam" (in which he played the four-eyed nerd "Charles-Victor" in the first two seasons). It would take him a number of years to get rid of this image. On the musical front, he disbands The Lionhearts and continues with only a few member of that band under his own name.


In May of 1993 they record the debut-CD "Antidote", in five days time and in a production of bluesman Roland van Campenhout. The singles "Baby's in the world" and "Fire" - with an unchained Roland on his marimba - stir up quite some interest for the band.

Geoffrey Burton is the one who gets the most attention : when Arno & Jean-Marie Aerts (see TC Matic) split up, he becomes the new "right hand" of Arno.

In 1995, Geoffrey & Pieter-Jan decide get rid of the remainders of the band and continue as a duo. Together they get to play on a number of foreign stages, such as in Canada on the "Festival international d'été", in France at the "Printemps De Bourges", and in Switzerland at the "Paleo Festival".

In august of that year, they start recording their second CD "August", not in a high-tech studio but in an old chapel. The duo plays almost all of the instruments themselves (percussion by Piet Jorens). The critics welcome the album rather enthusiastically, but they loose a part of their audience. The musical direction which has been taken is rather wayward and experimental, or as Humo's pdw wrote at the time "It wouldn't surprise me if the title of the CD refers to the harvesting month of 1996 - when the "events" of the Dutroux-case were undisclosed. That would explain why that hot title conceals a collection of recalcitrant songs filled with disquieting noise. De Smet and Burton clearly got their inspiration from the great but loony Scott Walker". Jacky Huys was less praising : "the wonderful title song clearly indicates that we cannot write off this artist, but a track as "Montague Terrace in Blue" is hardly anything more than public masturbation".

As a true citizen from Ghent, PJDS also translates his songs in French to serve the south of the country. Thus, he gets a place in 1998 on the "Francofollies"-festival in Spa where he performs a cover of Axel Bauer's "Cargo de Nuit". That same Axel Bauer in turn invites him for his gig at Les Nuits Botanique of that year.

In the meantime, Pieter-Jan De Smet got the sack from their record company (in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad he told that he was nothing but a tax-write-off for this firm, just like The Romans), but he doesn't seem to be very depressed by that fact : "ever since I don't have a record deal, I'm living in a wonderful universe. All the pressure is gone. Only my friends and my instruments are left. That's a real liberation, you know. Fantastic!"

In 2000, Pieter-Jan De Smet assembled a band again, as always featuring his compadre Geoffrey Burton, and also Mirko Banovic on bass and Frederik Vandenberghe on drums. After a first (promo only) single "I know that tune" , the stand-in for Patrick Riguelle (see Riguelle & Hautekiet) in de Laatste Show, started working on his third album. A gig in the AB-Club in February 2001 was presented as "the avant-première of this new material", but then it quickly became very quiet around that plan again.

The anticipated CD did get recorded eventually in the Fall of 2001, and for that occasion Pieter-Jan de Smet re-baptized his band to PJDS. The result can be expecte in January 2002 under the title "Light Sleeper" (out on "Beuzak"-records), or as the Ancienne Belgique is announcing the cd-première: "The rather heavy result of allthis is Light Sleeper, a collection of very penetrating songs."

Band members:
- Pieter-Jan Desmet (gitaar, zang)
- Geoffrey Burton (gitaar)
- Mirko Banovic (bas)
- Frederik Vandenberghe (drums)

Buy CD's of this band at proxis

Albums :
- Antidote (Play That Beat!, 1993)
- August (Play That Beat!, 1997)

Websites :
- The one and only official PJDS-website

Forum :
- Read the messages/questions about Pieter-Jan De Smet
- Add your message, question, cd- or concertreview ... about PJDS



Pieter-Jan De Smet

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