Thursday, May 2, 2013

Burning Plague - Burning Plague (1970 belgium, dirty raw hard blues rock)

 When Brussels band Four Of A Kind split-up in august 1969, Wim Hombergen and Roger Wollaert formed Kleptomania. Guitar player / singer Michael Heslop (original from the UK) kept the heavy bluesrock-spirit alive in his new venture called Burning Plague. He got together with Roger Carlier (bass), Alex Capelle (guitar & piano) and Willy Stassen (drums and harmonica).

They soon had crafted some extraordinary blues tunes, so when appearing at the clubs, they made quite impression. A few support slots made their star rise as they supported Pink Floyd and Yes when those two visited Belgium. In June 1970 they played at the then famous Puzzle P. (in the “rue des bouchers”) along Kleptomania, Doctor Downtrip, Jenghiz Khan, Waterloo and Belgian hit-wonder Wallace Collection. And also the prestigious Bilzen Rock & Jazz festival put them on their bill in august 1970 (also with Black Sabbath and The Kinks).

Burning Plague 1970 wim luyten Eventually, Burning Plague signed a contract with CBS thanks to the Belgian “production company RAZA” (who already did business with Carriage Company). The album, recorded with producer Jean Huysmans (from The Cousins), was released by the end of 1970 and did get really good reviews.

Télémoustic magazine readers voted it to the first place on their “pophot” list. It surely sold reasonable amounts but main composer Heslop was disappointed by the lack of support from the record company and decided to end the band and to join Doctor Downtrip.

But it wasn’t all finished course Heslop,Carlier and Capelle got on stage in a Brussels club to jam with Doctor Downtrip drummer Paul Van De Velden. They decided to give it another try. In 1994 former Machiavel drummer Marc Isaye stepped in and finally twenty-five years after the original album, they released a new cd called “two”.

It was clear now that they abandoned their rock leanings to launch headlong into the blues. Most of the songs featured great guitar playing but weren’t strong enough to make their mark on the blues scene. The well known classic “A38” from the first record was re-recorded but it was “The Only One Guilty Is You”, a slow “Good Lookin’ Woman” and the melodic “The touch” who made a good impression. The band, now with guitar player Alain Pire (from the band Such A Noise) who already contributed on “two”, replaced Alex Capelle and continued to play a lot of shows the following years.
In 1998 Marc Isaye had to leave as he got to busy with the also reunited Machiavel. Mario Zola replaces him, but after a new cd “live at last” (still with Isaye on drums) their last sign of life was an appearance on the Rhythm & Blues festival in Peer. The majority of their last live set can be heard on this last live cd as it contained three new songs, as well as five cover tunes as a homage to the blues standards they liked themselves.
1. Night Travellin’ Man - 5:17
2. First Time I Met You - 4:36
3. Life Is Nonsense (Heslop, Capelle) - 4:21
4. Will I Find Somebody - 5:38
5. A38 - 2:46
6. She Went Riding (Heslop, Capelle) - 8:12
7. Follow That Road - 3:24
8. Hairy Sea (Heslop, Capelle) - 6:20
All songs by Michael Heslop except where noted

Burning Plague
*Michael Heslop - Guitars, Vocals
*Alex Capelle - Guitar, Piano
*Roger Carlier - Bass
*Willy Stassen - Drums

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