Laïs on a church tour of Flanders


A capella trio Laïs is expanding its line-up with a cellist and organist for church tour of Flanders

Group will call in at local churches from Anzegem to Zoersel.

Shakespeare famously asked: “What’s in a name?” The answer for the a cappella trio Laïs is: a great deal. The group’s name is the Celtic word for “voice” and the name of a poetic genre of chivalric romance from medieval Brittany. The name and all its associations fit singers Annelies Brosens, Nathalie Delcroix and Jorunn Bauweraerts, whose delicate vocal harmonies sound like they came straight out of a fairy tale.

Friends since childhood, the three women from Kalmthout have been singing together for two decades, which helps explain the seeming effortlessness with which they execute their three-part arrangements.

Laïs got their first big break at the Dranouter Festival in 1996. They’ve since opened for the likes of Sting, performed extensively across Flanders and toured internationally in the Netherlands, France and as far afield as China, South Africa and the United States. In 2011, they represented Belgium at the May Festival in Memphis, Tennessee.

The trio’s next move is an unconventional one. They’re undertaking a three-month church tour of Flanders. Laïs will call in at two dozen spiritual sanctuaries from Anzegem to Zoersel. This weekend it’s Beigem, Tongeren, Dendermonde and Schoonbroek-Rozemaai, on the outskirts of Antwerp.

The women are also expanding their line-up, adding cellist Seraphine Stragier and, naturally enough for a church tour, organist Niels Verheest. As a quintet, Laïs will perform brand new material in addition to their extensive catalogue of originals and the cover versions (they’ve been known to interpret artists as diverse as Sinead O’Connor and Jacques Brel).

Several dates are already sold-out so be sure to reserve tickets at your local church as quick as you can.