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Luc de Vos (1962 - 2014)

Luc de Vos was born in the small town of Wippelgem (near Gent) as the youngest of seven kids. In 1989 he starts the band Gorky (Russian for ‘Bitter’) with friends Wout De Schutter and Geert Bonne. In 1990 they send a demo with Flemish languaged alternative pop to national radio not expecting much of it. The joke eventually lands them in Humo's Rock Rally, a contest for upcoming Belgian talent, were they end third.  In 1991 came the band's breakthrough with the single 'Anja'. After that several other singles were released from the debut album. Among them was 'Soms vraagt een mens zich af' (Sometimes a man wonders), the b-side of which was 'Mia'. But frictions soon rose within the trio and after a live-album the original line up disbanned.

De Vos thought of continuing under the name ‘Luc de Vos & friends’ but eventually choses for the more simple solutions of changing the ‘y’ into ‘i’ and recrutes new bandmembers of which bassplayer Erik Van Biesen (former Paranoiacs) would be the most stabile bandmember to date. The band heads to Dakar to record the second album in the studio of Youssou N’dour. For the tour they are joined by Luc Heyvaerts on keyboards who would become the third frequent bandmember. De Vos also starts a writing/poetry carreer and recordings for the third album are slowed down. Also because the initial recordings made in the studio of Jo Bogaert (Technotronic) get refused by Virgin. They have to remix again for an album that is released in 1996 and sells average, meaning the end of their relationship with Virgin. They switch to Sony but Luc goes solo on tour with the acoustic program 'De Vos Intiem'. The first album on the new label sees the light of day in 1998 but sells even less. Meanwhile Virgin cashes in on their previous albums with a compilation. A second solo tour by De Vos under the name 'Eenzaam en alleen ' (Lonely & alone) fuels rumours that the band will stop permanently. Surprisingly the album 'Eindelijk vakantie' (Vacation at last) appears in 2000 with more folky elements delivered by the band DAAU. The album is a succes in Belgium and even gets unexpected international attention when released in South Africa. A year later De Vos suprises everyone by suddenly founding an side project in English as Automatic Buffalo and release the album ‘Party People’. He also joins in an the multicultural project ‘Djar’ with Wannes van der Velde and Arabian band El Ashwak. Gorki themselves record a cover form Black Sabbath (‘Paranoid’) for the charity project 'Psychoasis', for aid to psychiatric patients.

De Vos also starts his career as a writer with his debut-novel ‘Het Woord Bij De Daad’. Throughout the first decade of the new millenium De Vos switches reguarly between recording with Gorki, touring and writing. Meanwhile their old song ‘Mia’ makes number one in the 'Tijdloze' (the Timeless), the 'best of all times' charts in Flanders by the music station Studio Brussel, for three consecutive years. This leads in 2008 to naming the new Belgian musical award show “Mia's" which not coincidently also officially stands for the Music Industry Awards. In 2009 they celebrate their 20th anniversary with a best-off tour. In 2011 they hit the studio again for the album ‘Research & Development’. On 29 November 2014 De Vos unexpectedly dies at the age of 52.

On the web:

- Gorki"s website: http://www.gorki.be/newsite/

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

The Scene ( Netherlands)

What do we think:

DB: You have to grant De Vos and his band Gorki the fact that they chose to sing in Flemish while around them acts like dEus and Soulwax made name for themselves internationally. The sound of the band is also alternative with a britpop ring to it and they could easily have jumped on the bandwagon of international attention for Belgian acts at the start of the Nineties. They didn’t and maybe therefor have created locally such a good name for themselves but are hardly known outside Belgium. Even in the Netherlands (which linguistally is very close to Flemish) they aren’t a household name. Their music is less polished and artistically balanced as their Antwerp/Gent counterparts. De Vos' voice is raw, monotone, nasal and raspy but that is also part of the charm. Gorki more or less stands for more rudimentary but well performed alternative pop.


♪♪♪♪- Gorky – 1992

- Boterhammen (live) – 1992 

♪♪♪ - Hij leeft - 1993.

♪♪♪ - Monstertje – 1996

♪♪♪♪ - Ik ben aanwezig - 1998

- Eindelijk vakantie - 2000

- Vooruitgang - 2002.

- Plan B – 2004

♪♪ - Homo erectus - 2006.

♪♪♪ - Voor rijpere jeugd - 2008

♪♪♪ - Research & Development – 2011

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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