Jaune Toujours + Bal Moderne
Maria-Clara Villa-Lobos created a Bal Moderne choreography on Jaune Toujours' Ici Bruxelles. In 2010, thousands of people in 12 cities danced to it at the same time, at the start of the Belgian presidency of the European Union. Lateron, Maria-Clara created a choreography on the song Hop On. The choreographies are regulary practised in Bal Moderne workshops; now and then, Jaune Toujours performs the songs live with Bal Moderne dancers on, and with dance enthusiasts in front of the stage.
20Sth - Collector's album - Singles & Extras
20sth, the collector’s album, comes as a hardcover booklet with 2 cd’s : all Jaune Toujours singles on one cd next to extra’s on another one, with plenty of previously unreleased tracks, such as live recordings featuring the Bravo Big Band (2015), the remastered debute-EP O (1998) and even a "punky" demo from an early Jaune Toujours-constellation. All well illustrated with pictures from the Jaune Toujours history, from the early days 'till now.
Jaune Toujours' 20sth collector's album features pictures from the band's history, starting at the earliest beginnings. This was their first demos on cassette tape - remember those? They were packaged as match boxes and the first (1992) had a nude torso surprise in the centerfold. The line up of the band changed in between both demos, due to the passing of drummer Jaak Thielen. Artwork demo by Piet Maris, pictures by Roel Ruttens.
Piet Maris at 't Gesticht, Leuven in 1992. Yes, he had hair! And yes, that's a guitar he's holding! Piet picked up the accordion when his guitar went into repair and only came out if it years later. Talk about a game changer! This picture is taken from the collector's album '20 sth' and yes, it has a song on it from those early years. Leuven was the city where Piet studied and where he formed the first version of Jaune Toujours. He's standing outside the student house that also served as his recording space, called 't Gesticht (the Asylum). Picture by Roel Ruttens.
A lot of hair in this one also, clothes not so much... It just keeps getting better every day! This is Jaune Toujours in 1992 at Piet's student house/party cave/rehearsal and recording studio 't Gesticht (The Asylum) in Leuven. Angels in a centerfold-left to right: Jaak Thielen†, Piet Maris, Koen Peters, Sam Versweyveld. Sam still plays with Jaune Toujours occasionally, but he switched from bass to trumpet. Picture by Roel Ruttens.
This picture of the third - all stars - line up in the band's early years was also taken at 't Gesticht in Leuven in 1993. From left to right: Yvan DeBoeck - such a brilliant mind he was headhunted and now works and lives in the States, Pieter Van Hees - now one of Belgium's finest film directors, Olav Grondelaers - radio presenter at national radio station Klara, Piet Maris and Sam Versweyveld - both still going strong in various bands. Picture by Roel Ruttens
Jaune Toujours at the Roma-village of Rakusy, Slovakia-tour 1996. After Piet Maris had been invited to play accordion with Roma singer Laci Polhos on his tour in Belgium, he started making trips back and forth to his village, recording and making notes on the traditional Roma songs, that eventually became the Mec Yek repertoire. On this occasion Piet asked his band members to tag along for an open air concert. People often think of Roma as a travelling people, but actually most of them are sedentary. They often face fierce racism. Villages like Rakusy weren't even on the map, as they didn't officially exist. It had one electricity point, where every household would have to tap from. No sewage, no roads, no jobs and in school the children were treated like retards. Kosice, a town in Slovakia, also has a large Roma population and that's where Katia and Milka - singers with Mec Yek - originate from. Life in town was very different from what you see in the picture here. Still, their family had to flee, trying to find a way to escape the rampant racism. So proud of where they are now in life, with the next generation trampling at the gates.
By 1996 Piet had left Leuven and his job at art centre STUK for Brussels, after playing a wild gig at a local bar called Brasserie de l'Union, after the soccer club Union Saint-Gilloise. The line up had changed and would change again. When Jaune Toujours recorded their first professional EP in 1997-1998 called 'O' (phonetic for water in french), the guitar had been replaced by violin, played by Nicolas Hauzeur or Wouter Vanden Abeele. To find a new drummer after Yvan DeBoeck moved to the States, Piet scouted french Théophane Raballand at the pre-selections of the Biënnale de la chanson française, where he played with Philmarie. They've been best friends ever since. Bert Bernaerts played upright bass and Piet's brother Bart Maris joined on trumpet. O was a co-production between Ancienne Belgique and Festival Dranouter, recorded by Stef Van Alsenoy. It featured 3 studio tracks and 2 live tracks. Piet made the artwork by sticking a yellow submarine-shaped thermometer to his television set and making a polaroid picture of it. DIY in true punk style. The EP sold out, but it was remastered by Uwe Teichert for the 20 sth collector's album. Frank De Crits wrote about O: Highrise-tango, metro-fado and café-rembetika. The urban element in the band's - at that point -folksy-chanson style had been noticed. Picture and artwork by Piet Maris.
Jaune Toujours recorded their first EP 'O' in this line up. Nantes born drummer Théophane Raballand played with Bubble Blue She Said and Philmarie before joining JT. He is the second leg of Ik en den Theo/Moi et le Théo, a music project for children. He also plays with Mec Yek. Piet Maris on accordion and vocals initiated Jaune Toujours, Mec Yek, Ik en de Theo/Moi et le Théo and other projects at Choux de Bruxelles. He also plays with Qotob Trio. Bert Bernaerts on upright bass was the only remaining musician from the period in Leuven. He stayed for a few more albums until he started his own projects John Torso and Hop Frog. He works mostly in theatre these days. Nicolas Hauzeur on violin was also part of the embryonic Mec Yek (Caravan 2000). He moved on to work with multiple bands specialising in music from the Balkans. Trumpet player Bart Maris probably needs no introduction. He's Piet's older brother and Belgiums most active musician. He's played with multiple bands from dEUS, X-Legged Sally over Zita Swoon and Flat Earth Society to his own recordings (Krommekeer) and many, many other projects. His heart lies in jazz, but his mind is open to all genres. Wouter Vandenabeele is a renowned folk musician. He composes and plays violin. You might know him from Ambrozijn and Olla Vogala. The EP 'O' sold out, but the tracks were remastered and feature on the collector's album '20 sth'.
Aaaah, a picture of a live gig at the one and only Brasserie de l'Union in Saint-Gilles. It was an earlier gig at this bar that made Piet Maris decide to move to Brussels. He fell in love with the vibrant energy of it's very diverse population. Left to right you see musicians Bart and Piet Maris and Wouter Vandenabeele. Screamin' Jay Hawkins smiles down on them approvingly. Standing in the audience is bar tender Fab in the colours of football club Union Saint-Gilloise and next to him is his mate Eric (den drukker), who sadly passed away. And yes, the audience really stood that close in the always packed bar on concert nights. Bar owner Jean-Claude switched bars with his brother-in-law Bart, who still owns the bar today. Jean-Claude owned the equally mythical El Metteko in the city center for a while, but has now retired, much to everyone's chagrin. This picture must have been taken at the end of the '90s. Picture by dtelemans
BRUSK, Jaune Toujours' first full album was released in 2000. By then, their style had evolved to include more brass elements. Inspired by the film 'Brassed Off' starring Ewan Mc Gregor, which reminded Piet of the marching band tradition that he had grown up with, the band had done a brassed off style gig for Dranouter Festival. They had invited Mattias Laga on reeds and Christophe Morisset on sousaphone and trombone to play alongside Bart Maris on trumpet. Christophe joined the band after that gig and Mattias was invited as guest musician on the album. Other guests were singer Vera Coomans and violin player Wouter Vandenabeele. Next to playing upright bass, Bert Bernaerts reinforced the brass section on trumpet. BRUSK takes an urban point of view with songs about the frenetic life of the city and its inhabitants, and with socially committed lyrics referring to the expulsions of asylum seekers and the ethnic riots in Kureghem, Anderlecht (Brussels). Christian Moll wrote about the album in FOLKWORLD (Top Ten, Best CD 2000): 'New innovative European folk sounds that are breaking borders. Jaune Toujours play unusual and new music that may not easily be pigeonholed. This Belgian band has lots of wild musical power.' The songs were in French or Dutch or both. Maravillosso (a misspelled Maravilloso) a track inspired by a trip to Costa Rica drummer Théophane Raballand went on, is still on Jaune Toujours' set list for live gigs. Picture by Théophane Raballand, design by sadambert
BRUSK was recorded at the legendary Studio Jet by Staf Verbeeck in 2000. These were the days when the music industry hadn't crumbled under the weight of piracy and streaming platforms. We can only dream of recording in a studio that size nowadays. Christian Moll in FOLKWORLD (Top Ten, Best CD 2000): "There are jazz influences, but also you can find mussette, rock and of course folk. The front instrument - either accordion or a brass instrument - is very dominantly played and gives the music a great drive. The songs are influenced in style by ballads, rock hymns, chansons and more. This is up to date music - fresh with much drive and unique. A "must" for anyone who loves the more unusual acts of the New European Folk scene." From left to right on the back cover of the album: Piet Maris on accordion and vocals, Bordeaux born Christophe Morisset on trombone, Nantes born Théophane Raballand on drums, Bert Bernaerts on trumpet, sound engineer Staf Verbeeck, singer - godmother of Belgian folk - Vera Coomans, Bart Maris on trumpet, Piet again, Mattias Laga on reeds (as guest musician in those days), Bert again - well, his arm on upright bass, Wouter Vandenabeele on violin (as guest) and Christophe again on sousaphone. Most pictures by Théophane Raballand
In good Jaune Toujours tradition the commissioned picture for the press for BRUSK was in black and white. It was taken on the roof of Parking 58, the go to place for impromptu raves, hip after work cocktail parties and film screenings, with a view over the Brussels city center. It was also one of the locations for the music video of 'Ici Bxl'. The window with graffiti that said 'vive les' was used as the background for the track list on the album. Band members in 2000 from left to right: Bert Bernaerts, Piet Maris, Théophane Raballand, Christophe Morisset and Bart Maris. Check out the new live video of 'Bienvenue chez moi + Maravillosso (a track from the album BRUSK that is still played live regularly)' on YouTube. Picture by Michael Deslaunnay
Goal! Football on the menu today, which is normal since it's wednesday. Or soccer, for people seeing this in the US. It was the love for the commune of Saint-Gilles and it's supporters of football club L'Union Saint-Gilloise and of course the bar Brasserie de l'Union that triggered Jaune Toujours to record a new version of it's anthem, more than a deep interest in the game itself. The atmosphere amongst supporters is something you can not not like. The club has a glorious past and is at the moment rising again, gaining new members in the international community in Brussels to support them. Their colours are yellow and blue, by the way. If you're curious, head on over to Spotify, where you can have a listen. It's called 'C'est l'Union qui sourit'. The song was first added to the single 'Maravillosso', of which you can watch the new live video on YouTube - link in bio. It also features on the collector's album '20 sth' - you can buy it in our shop or on Bandcamp. If you know any true football fans in Brussels and beyond, draw their attention to this unique track.
By the summer of 2001, clarinet and sax player Mattias Laga traded his guest appearances for a full time membership of Jaune Toujours. This new colourful commissioned press picture was a celebration of that. Could it be more yellow? It was also the first picture of many that drummer Théophane Raballand made for the band, having discovered his new passion for photography. Top to bottom: Bart Maris, Christophe Morisset, Bert Bernaerts, Théophane Raballand, on the left Piet Maris, on the right Mattias Laga. The picture was taken at the beach of Oostende.
Another colourful press picture to celebrate the addition of Mattias Laga on reeds to the band. Also taken at the beach in Koksijde (not Oostende as we wrote before) before giving a concert at JOC De Pit (a local youth center). These press pictures accompanied the release of BRUSK, the first full album by Jaune Toujours and the single Maravillosso. Watch the new live clip of 'Bienvenue chez moi + Maravillosso' at Gentse Feesten in 2016 on YouTube - link in bio. The band toured mostly in Belgium in that period. From left to right: Bert Bernaerts, Christophe Morisset, Bart Maris, Piet Maris, Théophane Raballand and Mattias Laga. Picture by Théophane Raballand,
More yellow! The last of 3 press photos to honour the addition of Mattias Laga to the band in the summer of 2001, when Jaune Toujours toured Belgium with the album BRUSK (buy it in our shop or listen to it on Sporify). It was taken on the escalator of a metro station in Brussels. Five of the songs on BRUSK are in Dutch, 4 are in a mix of Dutch and French, 1 is in French and one in a mix of Dutch and Romanes (a gypsy language). French would become more important over the next years, as Piet started to feel more comfortable in writing in that language.
Jaune Toujours made the soundtrack for the short fiction film 'Metafoor' by @sarah.fj.baur that premiered in 2000. Together they constructed the multidisciplinary show 'Foire!' that had the film spilling over in a live concert with live video projections by Sarah, including photos by Théophane Raballand and an exhibition of the set photos, also by Théophane. The show toured in Belgium for three seasons (2001-2003). The song 'Foire!' features on the album 'Camping del Mundo' (2002), more about that later. Sarah Baur is also the director of most of Jaune Toujours (low budget) music videos. Link in bio. Picture by Théophane Raballand.
Camping de Mundo, Jaune Toujours' iconic second album (2002) put them on the map internationally. It was also the first release on their own label Choux de Bruxelles. The lyrics put social and urban themes in a broader perspective. The songs alternate with solid instrumental pieces, carried by an energetic horn section. With this album, the band started touring in neighbouring countries The Netherlands, France and the UK.
Jamie Renton in fROOTS (August 2002): "a kick ass roots band who hail from Brussels and play their own distinctive form of wild, weird, brassy folk-punk. Had Joe Strummer swapped his guitar for an accordion, had Shane Mc Gowan imbibed vast quantities of Belgium wheat beer instead of vast quantities of... whatever it is he knocks back, had Mano Negra or Les Negresses Vertes hailed from Brussels, well they might all have sounded a bit like this. JT leader Piet Maris has a raw declamatory style reminiscent of the above named, although at the same time very much of his own. He can belt it out or get down ‘n’ dirty, and he also plays the hell out of the accordion (...) Add to this a kicking horn section, and you have one hell of a band." Picture by Théophane Raballand
A typical modern day 'ketje' (Brussels born) on the back cover of the 2nd album Camping del Mundo by Jaune Toujours. Sarah Baur made low budget clips for 'Camping del Mundo' with footage from gigs in the UK and for 'Printemps' with footage from the protests against the war in Irak and from a live show on the Grand' Place in Brussels. Watch them on our YouTube channel - link in bio. The album was recorded in the Rising Sun Studio by Rudy Coclet and remastered in 2016 by Uwe Teichert at Elektropolis. The line up on the album is as follows: Piet Maris - vocals & accordion, Théophane Raballand - drums & percussion, Bert Bernaerts - upright bass & trumpet, Christophe Morisset -bass tuba & trombone, Mattias Laga - sax soprano & clarinets, Bart Maris - trumpetGuests:Katia Pohlodkova, Luba Macova & Laïla Amézian - vocals. Picture by Théophane Raballand
This picture by dtelemans was a continuation of the colourful and playful era, after the arty black&white and the themed yellow one. It's one of our all time favourites too, as it breathes the optimism of the days when the alterglobalist movement was raising our consciousness and we firmly believed - as we still do - that another world is possible. The picture was taken at Recyclart, one of the very fine alternative art houses/clubs in Brussels. We posted the clips for Camping del Mundo and Printemps, made low budget by Sarah Baur on our YouTube channel (for some reason we never got round to it before). Link in bio. From left to right: Piet, Mattias, Théophane, Bert, Bart and Christophe. Picture by Dieter Telemans
The third album Barricade (2004) was a game changer. Songs like 'Ici Bxl' and 'Réfugiés sans frontières' - both on YouTube, music videos directed by @sarah.fj.baur , link in bio - opened new doors for Jaune Toujours. They started playing at bigger venues, bigger festivals, played live radio shows, all on an international level. All pictures in the album booklet were made by drummer/photographer Théophane Raballand. Andrew Cronshaw wrote about the album in fROOTS: Led by singer Piet Maris, with his energetically-pumped small accordeon plus a hot rhythm unit of double bass and drums and a wild and incisive trumpets and reeds section, they have a very fully-formed, complete sound and rhythmic approach whose components and inspiration are difficult to pin down. Not like a fusionist thing where now you hear this influence, now another; this is so natural that it feels like it's always been there... Picture by Théophane Raballand
Welcome to the spiderweb. A press photo by Eric De Mildt from 2004. It was taken in the Gare du Midi neighbourhood in Brussels. With the album Barricade, Jaune Toujours climbed the ladder of the international scene. The album was recorded and mixed by Werner Pensaert at Studio Caraïbes. James Attlee wrote about it in SONGLINES (****): The Jaune Toujours’ sound is a high-octane combination with uplifting lyrics that celebrate life, music and the cultural diversity of their home city. (…) Standout tracks include “Ici Bxl”, the band’s anthem, on which Piet Maris’ guttural vocals make the case for the recognition of Brussels the capital of surrealism, with its sailors and its Gypsies, its refugees and its African cafés, as being the ultimate European city. “Aire de Rien” climaxes in a soaring trumpet solo that captures something of the excitement the band generate live(…). Picture by Eric De Mildt
Joyful, coulourful and rock 'n roll - those are the keywords for this 2nd press photo from 2004 that accompagnied the release of Barricade by Jaune Toujours. It was shot in the Gare du Midi neighbourhood. From left to right: Bart Maris, Mathieu Verkaeren, Yves Fernandez, Théophane Raballand, Mattias Laga, Sam Versweyveld and Piet Maris. The third full album by Jaune Toujours: catchy songs with socially commited lyrics, carried by the groove of accordion, drums and bass, strengthened by the “crème de la crème” of Belgian horn blowers. From the accordion sounds of the Marolles (the “musette” quarter of Brussels) over brassband to influences from deep-ska and dub... Music videos from the album on YouTube. Picture by Eric De Mildt
Another collaboration with a female singer for Jaune Toujours (2004 - 2007), this time for the Arabo-Andalus project Arabanda with Laïla Amezian. The title of the album 'Shams' means 'Sun' in Arabic. The illustration on the cover - made by @sarah.fj.baur - indicates the place of the sun in our galaxy. Recorded at Studio Caraïbes by Benoît De Visscher and mastered at Equus by Pieter De Waghter. Buy Shams in our webshop or on digital platforms. Thierry Coljon wrote about the album in Le Soir: 'Arabanda, c'est un bouquet ensoleillé où le mariage de l'accordéon et du chant est comme le rendez-vous entre le soleil et la lune. Avec des tonalités aussi bien orientales, que jazz ou même balkaniques.' Cover by Sarah Baur
A non-exhaustive collection of backstage passes. Such a pity they're going out of style. In th picture, passes from: Winnipeg Folk Festival, BBC Broadcasting House, Vancouver Island Musicfest, Sziget, WOMAD, Brussels Summer Festival, Francofolies de Spa, MeYouZik Festival, South Country Fair, Calgary Folk Festival, Rudolstadt Festival, Dranouter Festival, Womex. We plan to make an artwork with them some day. . . .