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Dead Belgian

 

Pictures Wesley Storey and David Wickham

Dead Belgian are the UK's most popular interpreters of the songs and music of Jacques Brel, one of Europe's greatest songwriters and performers of the twentieth century. He is recognised across the continent as a great commentator on love, life and death. The songs are performed in French and English and the atmosphere they create on stage is electric. They also bring in some of the adaptation of songs created by the legendary Scott Walker, translations by Mort Shuman with a few translated and interpreted by band.  The band have a great rapport with audiences, who are often amazed at how many Jacques Brel songs are familiar to them - either through originals, translations or English language adaptations.

Based in Liverpool, a city that has a more avant garde history than many suspect, they realised they shared a mission to share Brel’s music with all who would listen. Each member brought their own influences to the band, from European folk to progressive rock, stripping the songs to their bare bones and fattening them up again using a ramshackle drum kit, ukulele, guitar, accordion, saxophone, mandolin, clarinet and flute. Dead Belgian have developed a playful and inventive sound that meshes dense melodic patterns, demonic waves of intensity and passages of sparse frailty. Autumn 2013 sees replacement Brooke Sharkey take over lead vocal duties.  Radio 6- Mary Anne Hobbs on Radio 6 says Brooke’s voice is    sure to stop you in your tracks…Really is so beautiful…’. And according to The Observer    ‘Brooke has an incredible voice, amazing control and grace’. Folk Radio:  ‘..a vocal performance that seems to switch effortlessly between lithely melodic and fiery’.

Brooke spent her teenage years in France and has a growing fanbase there and in Germany. She has since performed all over Europe, she’s also gigged Central America, Moscow and New York.

2013 saw them on a successful national tour that took in Band on The Wall Manchester, Brewery Arts, Kendal, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough and many other venues. IN early 2014 they appeared at Holmfirth Festival o Folk and a short Rural Touring dash around Cheshire. They will be available again on October/NOvember 2014

Brooke 

Dead Belgian have a sound unique to themselves while still capturing the beauty, passion and often dark humour of the original work, a rousing and rowdy back-porch reinvention of Jacques Brel’s honest and poetic stories. Members of the band have a lot of theatre experience, which adds to the drama of their gigs. They are ideal for club, concert, arts centre or theatre gigs

posterLine up:

Andy Delamere - percussion, vocals

Brooke Sharkey - vocals, guitar, ukulele

Simon James - saxophone, flute, clarinet, mandolin, mandola, vocals

Matthew Wood - accordion, vocals

 What they say:

‘’Dead Belgian play the music of Jacques Brel with a twist of stunning 
originality and devotion that has been garnering them serious attention from 
the music critics and standing ovations wherever they play.’’
Band On The Wall, Manchester

"Dead Belgian's deliciously ramshackle approach deconstructs Brel the icon to reclaim him as a street musician, chanson maestro and people's champion.'' - MOJO 

'' The way to perform to perform Brel is to throw yourself at it, and the dramatic Dead Belgian do that with aplomb.'' - UNCUT 

'' An unlikely bunch who've gone several stops beyond in the restorative promotion of very possibly the greatest Belgian in the history of the world ever. And they are terrific.'' - fROOTS 

Dead Belgian

 

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