It’s always a festive evening when Zita Swoon is around, and it certainly will be this week during three nights at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, where the band of Stef Kamil Carlens (or SKC) celebrates its 15th birthday.
But the concerts also signify the start of a sabbatical of two years - as a pop band, at least. Starting next spring, they'll tour with the stage performance of Dancing with the Sound Hobbyist. After that, SKC (pictured) will write music for yet another dance production, work on a project with African voices and focus on instrumental music with the Zita Swoon Orchestra. His "regular" band might be on a hiatus, but this man ain't going to relocate to the devil's workshop.
To celebrate the birthday, the band has released the doublealbum anthology To Play, to Dream, to Drift. The first CD presents a cross section of Zita Swoon's albums to date - heartfelt pop, stabbing rock, capricious blues and one truly irresistible disco funk track. The second disc collects previously unreleased tracks (interesting for fans, but not a must for the rest of mankind).
Strictly speaking, Zita Swoon formed in 1996, but the same line-up of musicians had already been playing together for a few years as Moondog Jr, a name used as a tribute to American poet and musician Louis Thomas Hardin (who went by the name of Moondog). When that self-same artist threatened to sue them, a band name-change was in order.
Zita Swoon has invited some amazing guests to the Ancienne Belgique: English musician (and PJ Harvey soul mate) John Parish, Belgian godfather of rock Arno and Tom Barman, the mainstay of dEUS. SKC was a member of dEUS until starting his own band. But he's present on dEUS' seminal debut Worst Case Scenario, just re-released in a remastered version with, as a bonus DVD, a documentary on the genesis of that album.
But if you're on a shopping spree you, don't forget to look for some classic Zita Swoon albums as well, like I Paint Pictures on a Wedding Dress and, released under the moniker Moondog Jr, Everyday I Wear a Greasy Black Feather on My Hat. But be aware that their beauty and ingenuity might make you swoon.
9, 10 (both sold out)
& 12 December