Avant-gardist band of Peter Vermeersch with a big influence on the more recent
wave of groups springing from Belgium.
Their music is a chaotic mix of styles and sources, ranging from Zappa and
Captain Beefheart, freejazz and funk, avant-garde to rock".
Since its first concert in November 1988, the lineup of the band has changed
quite a bit with musicians that used to play in a large array of bands: Simpletones,
Union, Fukkeduk, Anna Domino, Lavvi
Ebbel, Allez Allez, Flat Earth Society, Woodentrucks,
Univers Zéro, Maximalist!, Beverly Jo Scott, ...
Peter Vermeersch, composer of almost all the songs, worked with Thierry De
Mey (in the group Maximalist!) on the music scores for performances by the internationally
renowned Belgian choreographers Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker (Rosas) and Wim Vandekeybus.
When Vermeersch gets fed up with the strictness of sheet music for those dance
productions, he founds X-legged Sally. A demo-tape is sent to Bill Lasswell (Material,
New-York avant-garde scene) who agrees to produce their albums.
From the band's bio : "The band's American première took place at
New York's Knitting Factory. An excerpt of this concert was featured on the "Live
at the Knitting Factory" record series. In October '91, the first CD "Slow-up",
was recorded at Bill Laswell's Greenpoint Studios in Brooklyn. The CD's biggest
merit is that it has been able to catch that same intensity that just radiates
off the stage at X-Legged Sally concerts. When Vermeersch and co start playing,
they leave the speed-limits far behind them, and a truckload of "young"
bands in the process.
The second CD, "Killed by Charity", was recorded during the New York
heatwave of July '93, also produced by Bill Laswell. Its sound is coming nearer
to what the band is doing live today: greater clarity, more humor, more diversity,
more volume, ... And it features a cover of Burt Bacharach's "The Look of
"Eggs and Ashed" is a compilation of pieces recorded between '91 and
'94 for choreographer Wim Vandekeybus' performances, and show X-Legged Sally at
its most diverse."
Vermeersch & Vervloesem get public recognition for their work by broader
audiences after their production of "Worst case scenario", the debut
of the now famous Belgian band dEUS. They also have a big
impact on their mini-album "My sister is my clock", on which Vermeersch
and Vervloesem can be heard on piano, drums, guitar, clarinet and bass.
"Fired" of 1996 is the musical testament of the group. The press
: "Fired is a live-album which gives a fairly good overview of the band's
repertoire. And that's free jazz, heavy rock, speed metal mixed together in a
vertigo of melodies and rhythms (these guys are excellent musicians). Sometimes
they sound a bit like the freejazz noise combo Naked City and at other times like
Frank Zappa (they cover one of his songs City of Tiny Lites). The drums and the
bass keep everything together while the keyboards, guitar and horns really freak
out. Most of the songs are instrumental, but a few once feature a fucked up singer.
This is definitely no easy-listening music, but X-Legged Sally was the perfect
band to mix jazz and rock. Most its band members have started new bands and projects,
so there is a good chance that eventually a band will pop up which can fill the
gap that is left in the Belgian music scene".
After X-Legged Sally, Vermeersch & Vervloesem started all kinds of new
bands & projects : theater (e.g. with Josse de Pauw in "Larf"),
a freeform big-band with Flat Earth
Society (their "Live at the Beurschouwburg" is the first Belgian
album released in the year 2000, their "Bonk"
is the first of the year 2001) and fun with A
Group. Pierre Vervloesem also released two weird solo-albums.
- Pierre Vervloesem (vocals, guitar)
- Jean-Luc Plouvier (keyboards)
- Michel Mast (Saxophone)
- Eric Sleichim (Saxophone)
- Peter Vermeersch (Saxophon, clarinet)
- Bart Maris (Trumpet)
- Sally C.S. (noise)
- Bruno Deneuter - Paul Belgrado (bass)
- Danny Van Hoeck (drums)
Buy CD's of this band at
Albums (X-legged Sally):
- Live at the Knitting Factory, vol. 4 (KFWorks, 1990)
- Slow-up (Sub Rosa / Rough Trade, 1991)
- Killed by charity (Sub Rosa / Rough Trade, 1993)
- Eggs and ashes (Sub Rosa / Rough Trade, 1994)
- The land of the giant dwarfs (Bang! - 1995)
- Fired (Bang! - 1997)
Albums (Vermeersch and Thierry de Mey in Maximalist!)
- Rosas danst Rosas (Schaamte - 1983)
- Maximalist! (Igloo - 1984)
- What the body doesn't remember (Sub Rosa, 1989)
- Vermeersch & Vervloesem have a beautiful
website for all their projects.
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