A lovely singing doll plus cinematic grooves, that sums up Dorléac rather nicely I think. The doll is Geike Arnaert, former siren of Belgian triphopstars Hooverphonic. The grooves are made by Dutch cut and paste meister Erik de Jong (aka Spinvis). They were brought together by Belgian filmdirector Hans van Nuffel, who asked them for a song for his new movie. Geike and Erik got along very well, and recorded a whole album. Erik said to Dutch site 3voor12: ‘Geike approaches English as a French singer, which I like.’ It’s a pity that there’s only one French song on the album, would’ve loved to hear more. The name Dorléac refers obviously to Catherine Deneuve’s sister Francoise Dorléac, who died in a carcrash but remains a cultfigure thanks to Les Demoiselles de Rochefort. The album is really beautiful, all kinds of references pop in my head, from Portishead to Postal Service.
Dorléac plays live only twice, here and here.

Dorleac – Disparu

Bye Bye Bobbejaan

Today Belgium lost one of its most remarkable (cult)icons for life. The day after he celebrated his 85th birthday, Bobbejaan Schoepen died of a heart-attack at the Turnhout hospital. He was famous because of his yodeling and whistling talent. Check a funny old video from the movie ‘At the the Drop of a Head’ (L’Ordonnance) from 1962 over here and see why he was often called the Belgium cowboy. Toots Thielemans taught him how to play the harmonica in 1951 while playing guitar in Bobbejaans band and – not coincidentally – Toots himself became a professional whistler too. Bobbejaan was the first European to do a gig at the famous Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, but wanted to spend more time back home with his wife.
In an attempt to quit touring that much, he bought a castle in 1959, which he turned into a place for variete. Nowadays this place is called ‘Bobbejaanland’, a very big amusement park for families with kids. This park made Bobbejaan a very fortunated man.
In 2008 the Belgium cowboy returned to his roots as he recorded a highly recommended come-back album simply called ‘Bobbejaan’. Acoustic mostly, fragile and intense songs on the edge of country and singer-songwriting. He also planned to release a new live-album later on this year… Don’t know whether these tracks were already recorded or not, but luckily for us he left us with two breathtaking duets on his last album.
Bye Bye Bobbejaan, I do hope the pubs up-there are well equipped!

Bobbejaan Schoepen – Café Sans Export (From the movie L’Ordonnance)
Bobbejaan Schoepen & Geike Arnaert – Le Temps des Cerises
(Clip @ YouTube)
Bobbejaan Schoepen & Axelle Red – Je Me Suis Souvent Demandé