Vikings On Bicycles
VIKINGS ON BICYLES. It could be the title of an episode of “Hagar The Horrible” – not quite – this is the first release from brand-new Belgian label Beehive records.
Vikings On Bicycles is the latest brainchild of Noël Van Oyen. This Bruges-born guitarist/songwriter has a wealth of musical experience and has been a long-standing influence on the Belgian rock scene.
In 1977, with blues-rock group St.James, he opened the first Woodland Festival in Torhout, Belgium (the genesis of the world-famous Torhout-Werchter festival) and has subsequently supported many major international acts including AC/DC, Van Halen, Golden Earring, Kevin Coyne, Dr Feelgood, The Sound......
3 years after his festival debut, Van Oyen appeared on the legendary Belpop compilation LP “Get Sprouts” with power-pop band Ivy & The Teachers. The song, “Candy”, and later the album, was produced by Sylvain Vanholme (Wallace Collection).
Together with Steven Van Havere, sometime drummer with acclaimed Belgian artists Gorki, Arid and Hooverphonic, Van Oyen formed Babytalk, before moving on to record several CD’s with Split Window and then Skov.
On two of these latter CD’s production was by Serge Feys. This former sidekick of the infamous Arno also regularly toured with the band.Along the way Van Oyen recorded two CD’s with Mancunian singer/songwriter Nige Bray.
For this new CD, in addition to his established roles as songwriter and guitarist, Van Oyen has now turned his hand to production.
The style of this new project is indie-pop-rock, spiced with a rack-full of musical flavours and influences.
As often happens these days, a gaggle of vocalists appear on this project, Van Oyen’s motivation? “I wanted the most appropriate voice for each number”. These voices are Henk Vanhee (from renowned stoner-rock band Cowboys & Aliens), Jan Van Acker (singer with Transcoder), Sam Claeys (frontman of Elements, a reincarnation of Red Zebra) and impressive newcomer Katrien Claeys (no relation).
Beside Noël Van Oyen’s guitar, the cornerstones of this album are Philippe Lefief (guitar, bass, keyboards and engineering) and drummer Gino Claeys (different international acts).
Providing seasoning are guest artists Conny Clement and Peggy Slingeneyer (backing vocals), Tommy Vlaeminck (guitar), Geeraard De Groote (saxophone & backing vocals), Jan De Vos (mandolin) and Londoner Julian Allcock (one-time bass player with NWOBHM legends Sledgehammer).
1. Good to Know - 4:14 2. Street End - 3:52 3. Keep Your Shirt On - 3:34 4. You Keep It In Line - 3:38 5. War Machine - 3:46 6. Back In Town - 2:22 7. Devoted - 3:54 8. Dreamdealer - 3:50 9. A Heart of My Own - 4:08 10. Who Wants Everything - 4:19 11. Trojan - 02:44
Noel Van Oyen (guitars) , Henk Van Hee (vocals on 1,-3,5,10,11, backing vocals) , Tommy Vlaeminck (guitar on 1,9) , Sam Claeys (vocals on 4,8) , Katrien Claeys (vocals on 6, backing vocals on 7) , Jan Van Acker (vocals on 7,9) , Geeraard De Groote (sax) , Jan De Vos (mandolin on 8) , Phillippe Lefief (bass, keyboards) , Jouri Slabbinck (ad. Keyboards on 7) , Julian Alcock (bass on 6,11) , Gino Claeys (drums, percussion) , Conny Clement (backing vocals) , Peggy Slingeneyer (backing vocals on 7)
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