songs : Fence
Productie : Frans Hagenaars
Jaar : 1999
Record co. : Labelman
From "Angels on your body"
1'16 sec. - 151 Kb.
songs : Fence
Jaar : 2001
Record co. : Labelman
The band came into existence as a club of friends performing at barbecues of
the locals boyscouts in 1994/1995, but the world heard for the first time from
them in 1998, when they participated in Humo's Rock Rally (a talent contest
for bands), and ended up - much to their own susprise - as second in the final
results, just behind favourite Das Pop and before Chrome
Humo about this "Fence is another band that has examples in America, although
these examples are to be situated on the opposite side of the alternative rock-scale.
There where groups like Pavement, Sebadoh and Weezer grow, where irony and lightheartedness
reign, and it's no problem to come up with a silly songtitle such as 'Don't be
a tree' and 'Manual part 15', where technical clumsiness and nonchalance are assets,
and where one still can show one is having fun on stage. Silver, we said, also
because Fence is an example of a band that showed it can grow during a Rock Rally,
how the belief in it's own abilities radiates positively on their own music. And
lest we forget: 'Singapore Airlines' is of course on hell of a song."
The band certainly didn't know where that all came from, as witnessed by the reactions
that ware scribbled down by the same magazine: "'That óne jury-member
likes us, but àll of them?' 'We should go and listen to ourselves in a
hall like this.' 'We've been playing for the same five people all along.' 'It's
implausable' 'In de Velinx in Tongeren we tought: we've made the preselections,
now some free cola and that's that. We saw the other bands and tought: was, that
is great.' ... "
Early 1999 the band made - in between graduating from university - their debut
on CD with a first EP "Singapore Airlines" on their hometown
label Labelman. The reactions were very promising, so that not much later the
debut-CD "The Return of Geronimo" followed, also a production
of Dutchman Frans Hagenaars (see o.m. Bettie Serveert, Nemo,
Rumplestitchkin and Metal
Molly). On it there were songs about how "cool" cricket is (Cricket),
or about drivers of VW with more muscle than brains or the joys of Sportlife-chewing
gum (Sportlife), or about the sock up the chimney for Christmas (Christmas),
or about the tears that come on the first summer camp with the boy-scouts (Camping),
or about the drummer who's sadly into house-music (House), or about picking
up girls at the Shopping Center (Always Ultra) or about how you'd better
stay away from Mary-Lou or else you'll have some (Mary Lou)...
The band did emphasize that these lyrics were not meant to be taken seriously.
Meindert declared to Memphis : "The lyrics are an ragbag of ideas and
nice-sounding words. It's only afterwards we see a coherence between those sentense
and we fantasize a meaning for them. If we were to write songlyrics by the book,
we would get stuck after just one line. Now you have to see the texts as a kind
of collage, the way that American photographer make one big image with a number
of these small little pictures. And as far as the album-title goes: our initial
idea was to simply name the album as you would name a baby: Peter, Johan or Marijke.
Until Lieven came up out of the blue with Geronimo. And that became 'The Return
Just how catchy the songs on their debut Cd were, was definitely proven by
the fact that no less than four singles were taken from it: "House",
"Mary Lou", "Always Ultra" and "Sportlife". In between
"de soep en de patatten" Fence also was victorious in 2000 in "Dé
Prijs", a contest by Studio Brussels in which young and upcoming bands get
asked to do a cover of an "old" belgian song. Fence gained it with their
edit of the Red Zebra-classic "I can't live in
a living room" before others such as Kolk,
Pat Verelst, Orange Black, Atomic and Janez
Detd. Their version also ended up on a CD, as a b-side to the song "Always
Ultra", which also had three songs recorded live in the Dutch Paradiso.
In the summer of 2000, the group could be seen on such venues as Dour Festival,
Pukkelpop, Marktrock en Zwemdokrock, while in September they went on a small tour
in Germany and Switserland (as support for the band Miles).
In 2001 all Fence-members had graduated, so in principal there was now time
enough to go full-time for the band, but this was not the option that Fence took:
for Fence it has to remain fun. Thus Niels told Rif-Raf: "We've all got
jobs now, and the band is something that brings a welcome variation into our weeks
... We don't have a preconceived plan, we just do what pops up in our head. As
musicians, we're certainly not above average, I think. We're not Tim Vanhamel
(see Millionaire). The members of Fence aren't technically or theoretically gifted.
But we are all on the same vibe, we function on the same wavelength."
There was however a small glitch when just before the release of the 2nd CD drummer
Samuel stepped out of the band due to some dissatisfaction with some Labelman-decisions.
He was replaced rather swiftly with a new drummer that was recruited from their
circle of friends.
The second album "Angels on your Body", just as low-budget
and charminly amateuristic as the first one, got released in November 2001, preceded
by the not very succesful single "Relax". The band esteemed that it
"is certainly an extension of The Return of Geronimo, but we have calmed
down in comparison to those days." That calmer aspect could perhaps be songs
such as "The Slopes" (a bossa nova), "Good Education" (a slow)
or "Bastard" (a country tearjerker), but on other tracks Fence rocked
just as much or even harder (eg. 3 Floors Down, All Around the World, The Family
...) with songs that remind of examples such as Blur or The Presidents of the
United States Of America.
- Meindert Leenders (bass, vocals)
- Lieven Verdin (guitar, vocals)
- Niels Hendrix (guitar, vocals)
- Samuel De Bleeckere (drums)
Buy CD's of this band at
- Singapore Airline (EP, 1998)
- The Return of Geronimo (CD, 1999)
- House (CDS, 1999)
- Mary Lou (CDS, 1999)
- Always Ultra (EP, 2000)
- Sportlife (CDS, 2000)
- Relax (CDS, 2001)
- Angels on Your Body (CD, 2001)
- www.fence.be is the official site
- My review of the debut cd "The Return of Geronimo"
- Fence-fans, "dé stek
bij uitstek om te verbroederen met uw mede Fence-genootjes!"
- Fence on the site of VPRO,
with a recorded live-concert from the show Club
- Interview with Fence at webzine Kindamuzik
- Labelman (their label) and toutpartout (their booking agency) are here.
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