Sometimes Belgium is the butt of jokes…I guess because it is such a small country and so confusing to many and also seems a by-word for European bureaucracy.
I could sing the praises now and elaborate on the diverse landscape, the friendly people, the cartoons, the architecture and ooooh, the food, never mind the beers. And do not even get me started on chocolate.
But of course this is a music blog and I dare you to give me a country that size with so many musicians…(yeah, alright, Ireland and Wales, you’re not competing here:-))
Many get it confused but Jacques Brel is as Belgian as pommes frites, even though he did flee to Paris. (Which reminds me to highly recommend the small, but beautiful Jacques Brel Museum in Brussels to you!)
My first interview ever as a shy teenager was with Luc van Acker, enfant terrible of the Belgian music scene, later with The Revolting Cocks. And what a lovely man he is – sorry to ruin your bad reputation here, Luc.
There followed many, many bands after him, that went on the whole unnoticed outside Belgium – shame! Then came dEUS and thankfully changed that.
Before this becomes a novel, remind me, I wanted to tell you about Marble Sounds.
When their beauty of a song “Leave a light on” earwormed itself into our ears, souls and hearts in the cold winter time of 2013, they had landed. Last year they still had day jobs though, however, their jobs are all to do with music and media. Else and with families it would not be possible to do what they do.
Such as releasing two albums (Nice Is Good & Dear Me, Look Up), touring relentlessly, collaborating with other musicians and working on a new album (yippee!) as well as having toured China (sic!) last autumn and last but not least building up a huge fanbase all over the globe (ah, the merits of the internet).
Some facts about Marble Sounds:
Marble Sounds are Pieter Van Dessel – vox, guitar, keys; Gianni Marzo – guitar, vox; Frederik Bastiaensen – bass; Johan De Coster – drums and Brecht Plasschaert -keyboards.
They hail from the Flemish region in Belgium and are based in Brussels.
You can find out more on their website www.marblesounds.com which also leads you to their up-to-date Facebook page.
Now, they call what they do simply pop but let me rephrase that to indie pop ranging from the very delicate to the outright rocking! Their albums are sheer listening pleasure and yes, they are a brill live band, too.
Their songs stand the test of repeated and intense listening because they are layered very nicely and the lyrics are profound and melancholic. So, there you have it in a nutshell.
Sure, I could blather on, but why don’t you just listen to an interview I did with Pieter Van Dessel in the lashing rain in the beautiful Ardennes at the wonderful La Truite Magique Festival (I wonder if his shoes ever survived the muck) for which I would like to sincerely thank him again.
Here’s the interview (excuse my shouting, there was a soundcheck going on in the background):
And I am not going to leave without some music by Marble Sounds of course!
The famous “Leave a light on”
And my favourite rocker is not available online, so I’ll give you “Dance Clarence Dance”
If you want to see and hear the original “Marble Sounds”: It is a work of art, a sculpture in Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels.
And that’s it from me, good night, and leave a light on!