song : Ilse Goovaerts
Producer : Staf Verbeeck
Year : 1999
Record co. : Oyster Records
The breakthrough of neeka happened in 1999, when she was 28 years old. She
had been going to music classes ever since she was 8, has played church organ,
bought a guitar as a teen, discovered her versatile voice a bit later and had
played in a band specializing in covers of bands such as Indigo Girls, 10,000
Maniacs and Suzanne Vega. "After a while I started writing songs of my
own, a creative process that was more satisfying to me than playing covers. After
some time, these songs were asking for different instrumentation's so I teamed
up with other musicians. By the time we recorded the CD in 1998, only the drummer
was left", she told De Morgen.
neeka won the talentcontest Rock Ternat, got to open for a few other groups
(Flowers For Breakfast, Tribe ...), and was picked up
by the young but ambitious Brussels-based record label Oyster Records. With producer
Staf Verbeeck (The Romans, Red
Zebra, Kadril, Metal Molly
...) she went looking for studiomusicians. A demo that was sent to Roland
Van Campenhout did the trick : he called on Lange Polle (B.J.
Scott, Wolf Banes, Guy Swinnen
...) and Bart Denolf (a jazz-bassplayer) to show up.
After an intensive period of rehearsals ("the atmosphere was good from
the start. I didn't feel intimidated by the musical heavyweights at all. They
kept asking me if I was satisfied with their contribution, while I felt they themselves
had to be given space to do their thing"), the songs found their definitive
form and the records was recorded almost live in the Jet Studio.
The title-less debut album was released in April of 1999 and was received rather
favorably by the critics, who scribbled comparisons with people like Patti Smith,
Joni Mitchell, Suzanne Vega or even Jeff Buckley in their columns. A good move
by the record company was without a doubt to introduce neeka with a cover of Tom
Robinson's "Listen to the radio (Atmospherics)". The English singer
even came to Belgium to talk of "how impressed he was with her version"
and to do a number of guest-performances (he even ended up signing a record deal
with that same company). This created a slight buzz and got neeka some television
shows in Flanders (Zevende dag, morgen maandag ..).
In the summer of 1999, she stood on the stage of the folkfestival in Dranouter,
Marktrock Leuven and the Crossing Border festival in the Netherlands with a new
band (Roland and c° had went on to new horizons by then).
Buy CD's of this band at
- neeka (Oyster Records, 1999)
- The Gardener (1998)
- This is not my home (1999)
- Eve (1999)
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