Archive for October, 2010

Charley says ARTIST! Da Boy Tommy

October 31, 2010

What better day to tell you guys about Da Boy Tommy than October 31st?

But first, true story: Tommy Debie, as he is known offstage, was the first artist I ever interviewed! When I was in sixth grade I used to run a class newspaper. It was only a couple of pages long and I would write one every couple of months on my computer at home. (Yes, I was that geek)

In between scandalous cover stories (“Did Britney get a boobjob for the ‘Sometimes’ video?”) and music recommendations (This new singer by the name of Jennifer Lopez who seemed like she’d be around for a while) I managed to score an interview with that year’s number one Belgian artist!

12 year old me had gathered all his courage and sent in some questions to the contact info on the back of one of Da Boy Tommy’s singles. And got a reply! My first exclusive interview! It was all very very exciting.

So why am I telling you all this on October 31st? Well, because I wanted to make sure that if you guys were hosting Halloween parties tonight, that at least you have the ultimate Halloween songs set on your playlist!

Da Boy Tommy – Kol Nedra

In 1999 Da Boy Tommy released ‘Halloween‘. Just like its follow-up ‘Candyman‘ it would become huge and grab the number one spot in the Flemish charts.

What makes these songs equal parts creepy and amazing is their references to all your favourite slasher films! ‘Halloween‘ samples the theme of the Michael Myers movies, while ‘Candyman‘ uses the melody of ‘Tubular Bells‘, best known as the opening theme from ‘The Exorcist’.

And if that’s not enough ‘Halloween‘ also has Ann Duerinckx reciting dialogue from ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’. ‘Candyman‘ on the other hand has, as you’ve probably suspected by now, people making the fatal error of calling up the Candyman by repeating his name into a mirror. Finally, a “Theeeey’re heeeeeeere” from ‘Poltergeist’ is thrown in for good measure.

Mix all this into some of the, if not the very first mainstream jumpstyle tracks (long before its Dutch revival in the late 00’s) and you’ve got some classic songs that to this day can make a dancefloor go crazy.

Da Boy Tommy went on to release one album, ‘I Love School‘, and a string of singles that included ‘Kol Nedra‘, ‘Full Moon‘ and the ‘The Sixth Sense’ inspired ‘Dead People‘.

Tommy was also involved in Da Rick and Drive By Shooters, all the while aided by Flor Theeuwes who you may know from DHT ft. Edmée.

PS: While we’re talking about scary movies, let me take this opportunity to link you to Vegan Voorhees. An excellent blog about slasher movies, both for people too chicken to watch them themselves (like yours truly) and people looking for well written, fun and honest reviews of the genre’s obvious classics and hidden gems.

Charley says ARTIST! Nathalie Gabay

October 24, 2010

Let me introduce you to Nathalie Gabay, a Belgian singer who had a run of singles in the 80’s. She simply went by the name of Nathalie, because who knew your stage name would be super Google-unfriendly almost 30 years later?

A couple of weeks before writing this post I was flicking through tv channels and stumbled upon the cheesiest duet you can imagine. I didn’t catch who it was by and had forgotten most of the lyrics by the time I got to a computer.

Then today I found myself browsing through Belgian 90′s singles online. One of those was by a young singer going by the name of Cath. This was Kathleen Aerts’s moniker under which she released a solo single before making it big with her group K3 and their iconic hit ‘Heyah Mama‘.

Now this is where Nathalie comes in. Kathleen’s 1998 release was a cover of ‘My Love Won’t Let You Down‘, which was a hit for Nathalie Gabay in 1983!

It got Nathalie into the Flemish top 10, the Dutch top 20 and from the introduction to this tv performance I would assume that internationally it was a hit in at least Italy as well. A French version, ‘Mon Cœur Qui Craque‘, did the job for the French and Walloon markets.

Plastic Bertrand & Nathalie – L’Amour OK

Now how did it all start for Nathalie? Well, with our aforementioned mystery duet, which I’ve now learned is called ‘L’Amour OK’!

Nathalie was joined on this 1982 hit by Plastic Bertrand, best known for his wildly successful ‘Ça Plane Pour Moi‘.

The amazingly inane lyircs of ‘L’Amour OK‘ include gems as:

Plastic Bertrand: Tu te sens comment? (How do you feel?)
Nathalie: OK.


Plastic Bertrand & Nathalie: L’amour c’est super quand on se dit “Je t’aime” (Love is super when you say “I love you”)

Besides these two pop nuggets Nathalie also released ‘Heaven On Earth‘ (1984), ‘Don’t Look’ (1985), ‘Femme Fatale’ (1989) and ‘The Beat Goes On’, a 1983 Sonny & Cher cover.

As far as I can tell an album sadly never materialised and finding one of her songs on CD seems to be next to impossible. Shame.

Charley says SONG! Winsome – Chilly Cool

October 20, 2010

Well here’s something I never knew existed!

It seems like even the internet barely knows about it, as except for a single eBay listing there is no mention of this little gem anywhere!

I blindly picked this up the other day for just €0,20, because I recognised one of the girls in this pop trio to be Anke Frédérick!

Dancer Anke is probably best known as the ex-girlfriend of actor and tv host Peter van Asbroeck. These days she’s married to Pascal Durant, who as the winner of The Bachelorette-style dating show Wie Wordt De Man Van Phaedra?, has a media history of his own.

Before all this Anke was part of Spirit, a Flemish wannabe Steps in which Dimitri Vantomme and the amazing Roxane also had a spot. In fact, and at the risk of getting completely sidetracked, both Anke and Roxane had a cameo in the ‘Girls & Boys‘ video by Dimitri’s dance alter ego D-Me.

Anke Frédérick

And, as we now know, even before Spirit there was Winsome. Besides Anke there was Chung Hee and a young blonde by the name of Kim.

Now when I saw Kim’s picture on the back cover I thought I recognised a familiar face. A moment later it hit me, this is Kim Poelmans!

As bandana wearing brunette Tina Bride she had a string of small hits in the early 00’s. ‘Perfect Love‘, for example, got her into the top 20.

Things started to slow down for the singer halfway through the decade, but she made the headlines one more time coming out and getting married to her girlfriend.

Anyway, I know this seems like an awful lot of rambling and obscure Belgian pop connections, but then again, isn’t that what this blog is about?

Charley says SONG! Sandrine (Live In Bruges)

October 16, 2010

I was just watching Zot Van Vlaanderen on vtm.

The show is a Flemish adaptation of the Dutch Ik Hou Van Holland format. It’s a cheerful celebrity game show themed around the country it’s broadcast in. You’re bound to have a local version of the show sometime soon, by the way, as it’s been sold to a bunch of networks.

But that’s not what I came here to talk about.

To support the musical questions and contribute to the general atmosphere there’s a band that accompanies the show. Familiar faces in our Flemish support band are producer Hans Francken, husband of the lovely Ingrid Mank, and singer and radio host Raf Van Brussel.

However, the band member who caught my attention tonight was this one backing singer.

I have to admit I do not know her name, but I immediately recognised her from this great gig I went to this summer.

Back in July a couple of friends and I went to see Sandrine perform on the market square in Bruges!

The Idool 2004 singer, which I just mentioned in the earlier Aleksander With post, put on a great show with backing dancers that included Ketnet host Melvin Klooster.

Sandrine treated us to all her hits, except for ‘Ass In Check‘ which got bumped from the setlist at the last minute. I was pretty bummed about that, because, seriously, when else do you get the chance to scream “You can be my donkey, I’ll keep that ass in check” in public?

This post is getting to be a bit all over the place, so without further ado, here is our mystery backing singer sitting on Sandrine’s left side (our right) during this little acoustic set-within-a-set of ‘When Love Takes Over‘ and ‘Release Me‘!

Charley says VIDEO! Aleksander With ft. Lene Marlin, Sandrine & Nikki – Worth It

October 7, 2010

Aleksander With took Norway by storm when he became the youngest Idol winner ever in 2006.

His debut single ‘A Little Too Perfect‘ shot to the top of the charts, with follow-up ‘The Other Side‘ getting to an impressive number two a couple of months later.

These days Aleksander is already up to his second top five album and is looking to make it big outside of his own country.

Aleksander With ft. Lene Marlin – Worth It

To make this happen Sony is launching him abroad with the song that got him another Norwegian top three hit. ‘Worth It‘ was originally a duet with Lene Marlin, who is also a co-writer on the accompanying album ‘Still Awake’. It goes without saying that Lene is still as lovely as ever.

However, for the Belgian and Dutch releases Aleksander has teamed up with some local talent to cover Lene’s lines.

Sandrine came third in Idool 2004, but her music career outlasted both finalists Joeri and Wouter. Her biggest hits in Belgium include ‘Goosebumps‘ and the Eurosong 2008 entry ‘I Feel The Same Way‘. Sandrine spent last summer promoting ‘Run Away‘ and packing her bags for a trip to America from which she hopes to return with a third album ready. A sample of her rendition of ‘Worth It’ can be found here.

Aleksander With ft. Sandrine – Worth It

The singer to take on Lene’s vocals for the Dutch market is, just like Aleksander and Sandrine, an Idols alum. Nikki Kerkhof has left the sound of her 2008 winner’s single ‘Hello World‘ behind and is now The Netherlands’ hardest rocking talent show winner. Her two albums were fronted by pop/rock anthems like ‘Bring Me Down‘ and the Guy Chambers and Busbee penned ‘Can’t Stop Thinking About You‘. The full Dutch version of ‘Worth It’ had his radio premiere, but isn’t up on YouTube yet. For now though, there’s the sample below.

I’m curious to see if the addition of these two Charley says POP! favourites will do the trick for Aleksander in the Benelux. I for one hope it does!

Oh, and while you’re at it, Aleksander, how about local versions for France, Spain, Germany, Italy and so on?

PS: Look out for the interview I had with Nikki a couple of weeks ago, coming soon to Charley says POP!

Charley says VIDEO! Lisa, Amy & Shelley – Fout Ventje

October 3, 2010

Lisa, Amy & Shelley represented The Netherlands at the 2007 Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

With a flawless delivery of their catchy ‘Adem In, Adem Uit‘ they had become the obvious winners of their national final. They finished at a somewhat disappointing 11th place on the big night itself, but did manage to get a music career out of it all.

Their first album, ‘300%‘, and its singles kind of passed me by, but with that era over and a couple of movie themes to their name, the three sisters have moved on to a bit of a new sound.

Basically, ‘Fout Ventje‘ is all kinds of amazing.

For the first few seconds I was a bit sceptic, but once the beat kicks in there is no doubt. This is the, pardon my Tyra, fiercest things these girls have ever come up with.

And the choreography! The choreography! If these aren’t the coolest moves you’ve ever seen that don’t even require getting up out of your chair, then I don’t know what is.

What’s it about? Lisa, Amy & Shelley are essentially calling out this guy for being an epic douchebag, listing why they are not impressed.


Charley says ARTIST! Simon Sinnaeve

October 1, 2010

Because every self respecting tv channel needs its own talent show, TMF launched Wanna Sing? in 2007.

The Flemish music channel used the same concept as it did for Rate The Video and Rate The VJ. While each contestant does their bit, viewers get to text in their comments and a score from 0 to 10. The person with the highest average score gets to progress.

The show attracted some familiar faces like Popstars and Eurosong 2008 contestant Kenza. Also taking part was Miss Belgian Beauty finalist Tamara Opdebeeck, who was already recording as Noa Neal and went on the be the runner-up in ‘K2 Zoekt K3’ in 2009.

However, there can only be one winner and for Wanna Sing? that was Simon Sinnaeve.

The West-Flemish boy won a performance at the TMF Awards and got to release ‘Your Eyes‘.

Simon Sinnaeve, popstar and Belgium’s first national beerpong champion.

While the song isn’t particularly spectacular, I do love this pop/rock-ish tune. It’s refreshing to have a winner’s single that sounds current enough, fits the singer well and has a lovely looking video. Three points not many Belgian talent show debuts manage to tick off!

Wanna Sing? being on a small channel may not have stopped the product from being a bit amazing, but it did mean few people got to know about Simon’s music career. ‘Your Eyes‘ unfortunately never made it out of the Bubbling Under chart.

With no plans for a second single at Universal, Simon took to MySpace profiles and various YouTube accounts to have his voice be heard. An overview of his many projects can be found here on what I’m assuming is his personal MySpace.

Earlier this year he uploaded a video onto the SonicAngel and Joepie Talent Booth site. A girl by the name of Laura van den Bruel beat him to the top spot of the competition, but does this video shot at the SonicAngel studios indicate that Tom Dice’s label has a spot ready for Simon?

We may still be waiting for news on his music, but Simon was in the papers just a couple of days ago! What for? He hosted and won the very first Belgian beerpong championship.

That was a bit random.

Charley says SONG! Daphné – Thank God I’m In Love

October 1, 2010

Do you remember how I told you about Daphné?

The young singer was a blip on the Belgian pop scene back in 1999 and 2000. Her duet with En Zo… is still up on YouTube, but her one solo effort has barely left any traces online.

I still haven’t been able to track down a reasonably priced copy of ‘Thank God I’m In Love’, but today I did manage to hear the song for the very first time!

Basically, it has the very same structure as Nunca’s ‘House Of Doom‘. Well, a glossy, shiny version of it obviously.

Daphné barely has any lines in it. “Thank God I’m in love! Oh what a feeling!” she squeals joyously. The only other lyrics in it are performed by a mystery man who groans “I love you, I love you, cause you’re the best in bed”.

While it is not what I had expected, I’m super glad to finally have heard this and am pleasantly surprised by how well the Nunca sound apparently works for bubbly no-hit-wonders!

See also: Charley says ARTIST! Daphné