Very last concert of coldwave icons
On Jan. 19, 2024, The Brassers will play their final concert. Final concert? Indeed, after 45 years, De Brassers are definitely stopping performing. The reason is inexorable and medical: bassist Marc Haesendonckx has MS. The Brassers only wanted to play this last concert in AB: it is the place where their story really began, with the Rock Rally final in 1980. Inspired by punk groups such as The Damned and The Clash, the brothers Eric (drums) and Marc Poukens (vocals), Ben Deckers (keyboards), Willy Dirkx (guitar) and Marc Haesendonckx (bass) formed the band at the end of the ’70s, with no experience but plenty of swagger. In their local pub in Hamont-Achel, Limburg, they were already called out for “brassers”, the ideal band name they thought. “The Brassers became a nickname, because it had something cheerful in contrast to our music,” says guitarist Willy Dirkx. At the Belgian reissue label Onderstroom Records it sounds like this : “The Brassers were an intense and rebellious post-punk band and were embraced by many as the heroes of the Belgian punk movement around 1980. Their doomed sound illustrated the dark atmosphere of the late seventies and early eighties: the fear of atomic bombs, cold war pessimism, police violence against squatters, and the grim years of Reagan and Thatcher.” HUMO journalist and writer Marc Didden once described them as “the most stylish of all jammers. In
1998, the group lineup changed and ex-Struggler drummer Erwin Jans and keyboardist Joachim Cohen joined the band. In 2010, Willy’s very young son Jules joined.
The cult single “En toen was er niets meer” is still in the Belpop 100 every year and in the better record stores you can still find reissues of The Brassers’ vinyl records. Especially with live recordings, because they are first and foremost a live band. So be sure to take this opportunity to hear, see and feel De Brassers, joined for the occasion by some friends, live at their very last gig.
IN THE PRESS
Laurens Leurs (singer/guitarist of The Romans) in DaMusic: The Brassers probably have no idea how many young teenagers in North-East-Limburg showed them the way, because only in our limited circle of friends a lot of people decided to buy a guitar, drum kit or bass and they played and rehearsed until the pieces flew off. Everything suddenly seemed possible, because De Brassers from Hamont-Achel – we repeat: Hamont-Achel – had made it to the Rock Rally final and they were on that record, that mighty record, recorded in den Ancienne Belgique – we repeat: den Ancienne Belgique in Brussels.
Die-hard fan Stijn Meuris never hesitates to honor them; ‘Kontrole’ is in his top 10 best records.
“To be scared of, especially when you were sixteen like me and had this on your plate. The darkest of the dark eighties, and then again in Dutch. And damned if it’s not true: lyrics are not written this visionary these days. Top song from a group that wasn’t laughing at it. Tamino for crying out loud.”(source ab )