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Mensen Blaffen (translated that would be "People Bark") was a group from Aalst who excelled in their funky and weird rock between 1984 en 1988. When asked to describe their own music, they said : "hardcore-chanson, ugly mixed with beautiful, sweetness and dirty worms together on a rotting horse. But the characteristic of Mensen Blaffen is exactly the difficulty of describing our music. It doesn't smell like Belgium, but it smells like the times in which we live".


uit "Mensen Blaffen" ('84):

"Braziliaanse Woud"
1 min 3 sec. - 124 Kb.
song : Mensen Blaffen
Produced : Jo Bogaert
Year : 1994
Record co. : Anything But Records

uit "D'un Seul Coup" ('86')

1 min 19 sec. - 114 Kb.

"Kleine Vamp "
1 min 5 sec. - 112 Kb.

songs : Boy Bark
Produced : Gerry Vergult
Year : 1996
Record co. : Colour Record

uit "Krengen" ('86):

49 sec. - 138 Kb.
song : Boy Bark
Produced : Gerry Vergult
Year : 1996
Record co. : Colour Record


After a few years of experimenting in the rehearsal-room, the group attracted the attention though the Rock Rally of 1984. With their original act they made it to the final. Shortly afterwards, the debut on vinyl, the mini-album "Mensen Blaffen", followed. Their music was naïeve and playful, the lyrics were dutch and filled with sound associations and exclamation marks, the voice of Sylvie Honnay smooth and filled with yells and gurgles, the sax and percussion were funky in the style of Defunkt or Lavvi Ebbel.
The debut was produced by Jo Bogaert (indeed, the brain behind the world-hit "Pump Up The Jam" of Technotronic). Still, the members of the group weren't all that satisfied with his production : "the record was badly mixed and produced : it doesn't sound as vivid and firm as in our rehearsal room or gigs. The producer did his best, but it clearly wasn't his cup of tea." said Sylvie in Mad in Belgium n° 1.


After a year of performing live (among others as an opener for international acts as Virgin Prunes, Blurt, Anne Clark ...), changing their record firm and searching for a new producer (Mickey Mike of Snowy Red dropped out, eventually it became Gerry Vergult, better known as Fred Angst of Aroma di Amore), they recorded a second mini-album "D'un seul coup" at the end of 1985. Highlights were the swinging and french sung "Hippopotame" and the sensual "Kleine Vamp" ("Little Vamp"). As Koen Dom (in Mad in Belgium n° 3) wrote at the time "quite a homogenic record that appropriately leaves a lot of room for the absurdistist-surrealistist lyrics of Sylvie Honnay. The sound reminds us at times of the so-called post-modernistic funk of A Certain Ratio. It's evident that Mensen Blaffen won't make the hitparade with their songs, but they can be proud of a very original act on the Belgian scene. Many a T.C.-, Kreun- or Twee-clone could learn something from that."


Half a year later, the maxi "Krengen" followed. This boasted a somewhat rougher sound and also contained a "danceable" and extended version of the song "Krengen" (corpses). However, the record failed to do anything and gave the group some insight : "We hoped it would get a lot of airplay. But we're not a group for maxi's. We don't write hits, the total is our strength".

After this, the problems kept coming : saxophone player Eddy Valk left the group, things grew very quiet around the group and it was all but proclaimed dead. Strangely enough, two years later there was a flicker of energy with the only full-album the group has released ("Raven", 1988). This turned out to be a bummer however : the group-sound (under the assistance of Dutch producer Theo Van Eenbergen) had changed in the direction of a "normal" guitar group, of which there was already a very ample supply at the time : (Paranoiacs, Wolfbanes, Spanks ...).

Shortly afterwards, the group closed the books. For a limited period there was a fusion between the remainders of Aroma di Amore and Mensen Blaffen. Steven Lorie, Mario Segers and Jan Van den Brande formed the core of the formation Junkfish afterwards.

Band members :
- Sylvie Honnay (vocals)
- Ludo Vervliet (bass)
- Eddie Valk (sax)
- Jan Van den Brande (guitar)
- Steven Lorie (drum)
- Mario Segers (synthesizer, percussion)

Albums :
- Mensen Blaffen (mini-LP - Anything But Records, 1984)
- D'un seul coup (mini-LP - Colour Record, 1986)
- Krengen (Maxi - Colour Record, 1986)
- Raven (LP - Colour Record, 1988)

Websites :
- none found

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


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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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