Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Irish Coffee - Irish Coffee (1970-74 belgium, solid hard rock with prog shades, 2007 remaster and expanded)

Irish Coffee’s singer-guitarplayer William Souffreau (b.1946.4.14) made his first steps for musical fame back in 1960 in a band he formed with some school friends: The Blue Jets. They played cover-songs of early rock & roll-classics and Elvis Presley songs. In 1963 or thereabouts he joined another Aalst outfit who called themselves The Mings.

This adventure lasted another three years as it was in 1966 when he was asked to join The Four Rockets as a second singer. This band was quite popular in the dance hall-circuit and thanks to a manager they played a lot of shows (even in France) while on some evenings they backed “Pop” (Lou Deprijck) . On their setlist were mainly rock & roll classics, The Shadows, The Beatles and The Stones with only very few self-written songs. In 1967 The Four Rockets managed to release a single (Mademoiselle / The Place Where She Lives) on the “Micro” label, while a second one was recorded but never saw the light of day, as the original tapes seemed to got lost.

Hugo Verhoye (b.1947.2.5.) came from a musical family and started playing balls & pubs in 1960 and by the time he was 15 he already had a band called The Rocking Stars. His next drumseat was with the Paul Lynde Quintet where he met Paul Lambert (b.1948.8.20 ~ d 1974.11.2) who was the organ player and via Josh Mondy he joined around 1966 the backing band for singer Rocco Granata called the Cardinal Show Quintet. This quintet was Hugo on drums, Paul on organ, William on guitar, Willy De Bisschop (b. 1948.1.20.) on bass and Rudy Van Impe on sax. Together they played a lot of shows for about three years till one day in 1969, after a show in Brugge Hugo got fired. Paul and William decided to quit also and start a new band with singer Dirk Diericks and guitar player Romain De Smet (ex The Mings).

They chose to name themselves Voodoo after analogy from The Voodoos (their only vinyl release was a 7” back in 1965), another Aalst-based band with singer Dirk and guitar player Romain, who played cover-songs in the dance halls since the early sixties.
Voodoo had quite quick an agreement with the owner of dancehall “El Gringo” in Hekelgem to play every saturday and sunday rock music over there. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic but a week before the premiere of this new band, guitar player Romain decided to leave to play somewhere else. As everything was already arranged and announced; finding a new guitar player seemed the only option. Hugo did remember he had seen a band with a good guitar player named “Willy Palma & The Raja’s”, who played Gun’s “Race With The Devil”. Although he was only 16, they decided to wait for him after school and to ask this kid Jean Van Der Schueren (b.1952.7.24), if he could learn some songs in a week. 

They went along to his parents house, where they left him some records (one of them was Creedence Clearwater Revival) to study and play along with.
When after a few days the band got Jean to their rehearsal they were astonished, as he made much progress and had learned more songs than they expected, so Jean was in!

So the following months the band became much better and tighter as a result of this weekly playing and became very popular over there, as they played more heavy music than the other bands that were around at that time. Hugo: “if we should play all those songs now, without rehearsing, I’m sure we would know them all, as we played them so many times!” The Voodoos were then: Dirk Dierickx on vocals and guitar, William Souffreau on vocals and bass, Jean Van Der Schueren on lead guitar, Paul Lambert on organ and Hugo Verhoye on drums. By the end of the year the band was asked to play - for the first time outside their “El Gringo”- at a concert for local football team “Terjoden”. Irish Coffee played on this sunday-afternoon (as they had to return to their club to play that night) right before the well known band The Pebbles. Their manager Louis De Vries, who also managed Ferre Grignard & Mad Curry, was immediately convinced of their potential. They were snapped up by De Vries right there, who afforded them the opportunity to record a single, as long as they made own compositions. As there was another band called The Voodoos, he also changed their name without telling the band first, and so they had to adopt the new identity Irish Coffee.
1. Can't Take It - 4:05
2. The Beginning Of The End - 6:18
3. When Winter Comes - 4:50
4. The Show (Part 1) - 2:51
5. The Show (Part 2) - 2:59
6. Hear Me - 3:58
7. A Day Like Today - 6:51
8. I'm Lost - 4:32
9. Masterpiece (William Souffreau) - 3:04
10.Carry On - 3:10
11.Child - 3:40
12.Down Down Down (William Souffreau) - 2:59
13.I'm Alive - 4:11
14.Witchy Lady (William Souffreau, Luc De Clus) - 2:55
15.I'm Hers (William Souffreau) - 4:40
All songs by Jean Van Der Schueren, William Souffreau except where stated
Bonus-Tracks 9-15

Irish Coffee
*William Souffreau - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Jean Van Der Schueren - Guitar
*Willy De Bisschop - Bass Guitar
*Paul Lambert - Organ
*Hugo Verhoye - Drums
*Luc De Clus - Guitar (Track 14)
*Raf Lenssens - Drums (Tracks 12, 14)
*Dirk Dierickx - Backing Vocals (Track 9)

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