Sat. April 30
(Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing)

Sun. May 1
(The Pit's, Kortrijk)

Thu. May 5
Awesome Tapes From Africa dj set
(Treehou5e Open Air, Ghent)

Fri. May 6
Invisible Hands / Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex / DSR Lines
(Vooruit, Ghent)

Sat. May 7
(De Ruimte, Ghent)

Tue. May 10
(De Pit's, Kortrijk)

Thu. May 12
(DOK, Ghent)

Fri. May 13
(Het Bos, Antwerp)

Sun. May 15
THRONEFEST (Taake, Inquisition, Mgla, Batushka, Inferno, Dysangellium, Wiegedood & The Commitee)
(Kubox, Kuurne)

Thu. May 26
(Den Trap, Kortrijk)

Fri. May 27
(Trix, Antwerp)

Wed. June 1
(Botanique, Brussels)

Wed. June 8
(Vooruit, Ghent)

Wed. June 22
(Het Bos, Antwerp)

Friday, March 13, 2009

CINEMA NOVO Film Festival

I am at the CINEMA NOVO film festival in Bruges right now and I am really looking forward to the 40 films I selected! Mood = excited!!!

Next week, I also hope to publish a brief account on the films I saw at the recent INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM.

Here's what I've been listening to during the last couple of weeks:


- Samora Machel - SHALAWAMBE (Mondeca Records LP 1989)

- Le Meilleur de CHEB KHALED (Blue Silver CD 1991)

- The Legend: India's Best-Loved Singer - LATA MANGESHKAR (Manteca 2CD 2006)


- Blues With A Beat - THE GRIFFIN BROTHERS (Acrobat Records CD 2003)

- Alone & Together - CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL (Sacred Bones Records LP 2008)

- Shakti - DAVID S. WARE (Aum Fidelity CD 2009)

- The Unreleased Recordings - HANK WILLIAMS (Time Life 3CD 2008)

- ... For the Whole World to See - DEATH (Drag City CD 2009)

- Alight of Night - CRYSTAL STILTS (Slumberland Records CD 2009)

- 200 Million Thousand - BLACK LIPS (Vice Records CD 2009)

- Unbelievable Sounds - SCOTTY (Trojan Records LP 1988)

- Pure Genius: The Complete Atlantic Recordings (1952-1959) - RAY CHARLES (Rhino Records 7CD/DVD 2005)

- Onyina's Guitar Band - KING ONYINA (PAM Records CD 1999)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Here’s one of my alltime favorite jamaican dancehall tracks from the 1980’s. Don’t know much about HORSEMAN but I think he really was a one-hit wonder. Doesn’t matter, because his claim to faim is justified by this killer 12”… Enjoy da ride!!!

Horsemove (Giddi-up) - HORSEMAN (12") mp3

Watch out for more forgotten killer dancehall tunes from the 80s in the near future!


Last Friday, I drove with a couple of friends just across the border to a place called La Boîte à Musiques (Wattrelot, France). Firstly, STINKY LOU AND THE GOON MAT WITH LORD BENARDO entered the stage and played a very cool, hard-rocking blues set. It was the third time that I witnessed this lively trio on stage and they still remain my current favorite Belgian live act. Juke joint blues like it’s meant to be played: raw & savage! Their debut album on Voodoo Rhythm doesn’t do them justice and I think they should better have released a live album because that’s where the real action is. Like I said before: don’t miss this ultra-exciting live band if you have the opportunity!


I had never really cared about BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES but because some people had told me that their recent live show at the 4AD club was absolutely stunning, I certainly wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about. The reason why I used to be biased towards BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES is that the band name always reminded me of trendy-ass bands like the BRAND NEW HEAVIES. Mea culpa, because the BRAND NEW HEAVIES - oops, BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES turned out to be the ultimate live band! Imagine 2 guys: one incredibly talented drummer and a maniacal but very soulful singer/organist. They kick off with a hard-stompin’ version of “Nutbush City Limits” and you immediately realize you’re in for something very special! Rock music without guitars?!?? Well, I must admit that the organ sometimes sounded like it hid 5 guitars inside! The two-man band rocked their asses off and fused blues, soul & rock in a very majestic way. Without a doubt one of the most intense shows I’ve seen in recent years so please go check out the band if you have the chance. BRAND NEW H… damnit! BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES RULE!!!

(thanks to Ollie for the pictures)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Power of Pussy

I think I’ll use the following absolutely gorgeous photograph as my personal desktop background for the rest of my life!

(click to enlarge)
More exciting Viva Van Story retro pictures can be found here.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


I’m a Johnny-come-lately as far as WHEELS ON FIRE is concerned. I first stumbled upon this band from Athens, Ohio when I saw their eponymous debut album listed in Herman Van Der Horst’s 2006 year end list in the Dutch music magazine OOR. Since Van Der Horst has turned me onto a lot of great albums during the last 20 years, I knew I had to check out this album. The next day, I found a copy of the said magazine in the public library with Van Der Horst’s review of the album and I immediately realized that I was in for a real treat. Read with me:

Let’s call it garage rock for convenience’s sake. The band itself - an illustrious five some formed around the brothers Mike and Matt Chaney from Athens, Ohio - hates sub labels like ‘alternative’ and ‘garage’. Wheels on Fire is a rock & roll band, got it?! On close inspection, they are totally right. The problem is that the term ‘rock & roll’ has become tarnished these days since everybody calls his band a rock & roll band. Wheels on Fire on the other hand, makes rock & roll with an urgency, a tension and the kind of necessity that is very hard to find among rock & roll bands these days. A kind of music where country, blues and sane insanity come together and where an unpretentious I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude merges with subtlety, devotion and inspiration. Briefly, a rock & roll band with soul, like they used to say for want of anything better. Eleven gritty and compelling gems not really produced but rather smashed into grooves in a flurry of excitement by Teddy Morgan. Chased by a manic Farfisa organ and a singer who possesses the same kind of intensity and desperation as Sky Saxon (The Seeds) or a very young Van Morrison (Them). Infinitely more significant and deeper than most of all those so-called ‘important’ releases by bands who disappear into oblivion after two weeks. Wheels on Fire makes you believe again in rock & roll and that’s why they are timeless.
(Herman Van Der Horst - Oor nr. 11 – December 2006)

Pretty convincing, huh? The great news is that Van Der Horst hit the nail right on the head: WHEELS ON FIRE is a band to cherish for the rest of your life! The bad news however, is that WHEELS ON FIRE doesn’t fit a category and consequently doesn’t get the recognition the band truly deserves: WHEELS ON FIRE is too punk for Americana-lovers and too Americana for punk rockers.

Early 2007, I got in touch with the band and arranged a show at the wonderful 4AD club in Diksmuide. The five some played a great set and all band members turned out to be very nice people. I told Mike Chaney, one of the two lead singers/guitar players in the band, that the organ often reminded me of Gene Moore’s haunting organ music in Herk Harvey’s cult classic 'Carnival Of Souls' and he admitted that this low-budget cult film from 1962 has been a big favorite of the band.

A couple of months later, I read on the band’s MySpace that their van got stolen, including all the equipment. I feared that this could mean the end for a band that still couldn’t reckon on a decent fan base but they struggled through and recorded another bunch of songs. They gave the demo to Jack Oblivian who passed it on to Bruce Watson of Fat Possum Records. Watson loved the songs and has just released WHEELS ON FIRE’s second album on his own Big Legal Mess Records label. It’s got an appropriate title: 'Get Famous!'

'Get Famous!' may not be the stellar killer album that their memorable debut was, but after repeated listening, I think it is a very worthy follow-up album to the band’s debut album. It’s more straightforward than 'Wheels On Fire', but it also features some killer songs like the Stones-style blues swagger of "Corkscrew Blues" or the wonderful "Two Time Loser" which could as well have been a Reigning Sound song.

I was able to book a last minute show at the Bar Mondial in Antwerp last week and again, they put on a great performance for way too few people. WHEELS ON FIRE no longer has a bass player but the overall sound doesn’t suffer from it: the wailing organ is still prominent and Mike & John’s blistering guitars and dual lead vocals do still sound heartfelt and inspiring. One of the highlights of the show was an amazing cover of The Compulsive Gamblers’ "Rock 'n' Roll Nurse".

In the near future, I hope to do an interview with this awe-inspiring band. In the meantime, I suggest you finally check out the band’s both albums! Here are 2 tracks from the new album:

Too Stubborn to Fold - WHEELS ON FIRE mp3

Corkscrew Blues - WHEELS ON FIRE mp3