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After a first try with the group "Freckleface" Arno Hintjens and Paul Decoutere form the group Tjens Couter (named after their surnames) in 1972. This group turned out to become of big importance for Belgian music of later years because it was the direct predecessor for Belgian's finest group : T.C.Matic, and because it was the first time Arno caught the public eye.


"Saturday Night Queen"
70,3 sec. - 138 Kb.
song : Hintjens, Decoutere.
Year : 1975

"The javatrot"
60,6 sec. - 106 Kb.
song : Hintjens, Decoutere.
Year : 1976

"Gimme what I need"
70,9 sec. - 139 Kb.
song : Hintjens, Decoutere.
Year : 1977

"Honey Bee"
57,6 sec. - 113 Kb.
song : Hintjens, Decoutere.
Year : 1978

"If it blows (Let it blow)"
72,0 sec. - 141 Kb.
song: Hintjens, Baelen
Produced : Mike Butcher.
Year : 1979
Record co. : IBC/EMI


Freckle Face was formed in the early seventies and was a blues group. They recorded one album "Freckle Face" in 1972.


After some years they change their name to Tjens Couter and play on the streets and in bars until they meet producer Karl Bogard and get signed by the label Dwarf. They release a first single "Saturday night Queen" in 1975. The debut album "Who cares" follows, but doesn't get a lot of attention.

In 1997, Ferre Baelen and Rudy Cloet join the band (so the group changes it's name to Tjens Couter and the TC Band). The singles  "Honey Bee/The Milkcow" and "Gimme what I need/In my Eye" do very well. The last single is even found on the juke-box of the legendary CBGB's in New York (the place where Talking Heads, The Ramones, Patti Smith ... were discovered).

The second album "Plat du jour" is released in 1978. On this you can find a remarkable cover of Rufus Thomas' "Walking the dog" (a song which later reemerges on the repertoire of Charles et les Lulus).


After the single "If it blows (let it blow)", the transformation from Tjens Couter to T.C.Matic begins. The change of name becomes official in 1980, to underline the move from traditional R&B to more modern sounds.

Paul Decoutere leaves the new band T.C.Matic after a few months (and is replaced by Jean-Marie Aerts). Arno on the departure of Paul Decoutere : "I regretted that very much, because after all these years he had become a real good pal. But alas, he was a real blues guitarist, and we couldn't do anything with that in the new group. Initially I tried to tug him along on my personal trip, but that was very selfish of me. You can't force somebody to play music he isn't endorsing, however brilliant a musician he may be".

Paul Decoutere also continued a path in music, first with a band called Partisan (with Ferre Baelen) and almost 16 years later with a new solo-album.

Band members :
- Arno Hintjens (vocals)
- Paul Decoutere (guitar)
- Ferre Baelen (bass)
- Rudy Cloet (drums)

Albums :
- Who cares (IBC/EMI - 1975)
- Plat du jour (IBC/EMI - 1978)
Compilaties :
- Tjens-Couter 1975-1980 (IBC/EMI - 1980)
- Tjens-Couter, A complication (BMG - 1991)
Singles :
- Saturday night queen / Sitting in the park (Negram - 1975)
- The javatrot / Asking myself all day (Dwarf, 1976)
- Honey Bee / The milkcow (Big Bear - IBC/EMI - 1977)
- Gimme what I need / In ly eye (IBC/EMI - 1977)
- Walking the dog / Forget the rest (IBC/EMI - 1978)
- Let it blow / Dance with me (IBC/EMI - 1979)

Websites :
- some more information about Tjens Couter can be found on the Arno-website.

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


Tjens Couter

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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