|LIONELL HORROWITZ AND HIS COMBO|
sandra van der craem
bram van looveren
au bain marie (1998)
One of the most obscure and least known of Rudy’s bands, as well as one of
the oldest too.
Another project to emerge from the Heavenhotel days, Lionell Horrowitz might be best described as silly tunes and wicked ideas merged into some beautiful, weird songs that don’t lend themselves to be ignored. The band itself describes its music as ‘Post-Kindergartenpop’, which perfectly matches reality. Basically they’re a bunch of anarchists who refuse to make anything other than what they feel like, which leads (again) to a very unique, distinctive sound.
I’ve heard them live once, and they sounded basically like a group of people simply having fun. On stage, there’s 7 people or so- not very convenient when most of the time you have to perform on these really tiny stages. Once again, it’s Rudy doing all the talking, making all the jokes etc, with the others band members hardly saying a word at all. The gig I heard was one from 1994, and at least back then, the band didn’t have much experience. They started playing a song, and after a minute or so, Rudy Trouvé said: “Nono, this is all wrong! Again!’ and they re-began. Technical virtuosity isn’t one of their trump cards then, but they score points for sheer entertainment. (“The next song’s called 'L’escalier'…Basically it’s about an old guy who falls down the stairs, gets into a coma and then dies.”)
Lionell Horowitz and his combo hasn’t really been touring since they existed, only a few sporadic gigs in ‘De Muziekdoos’ or the Cartoon’s Café in Antwerp. The closest thing to a tour they did is a couple of gigs in 1996, where they accompanied Rudy and Dirk De Hooghe’s movie ‘Dave’s Great idea’ with a live score. Most of the tracks from the film are also on the album or on the demo tape.
Musicians on the album we know are Mr. Trouvé himself, Bram Van Looveren who is also in Golf, Sigrid Van Roosendael who toured along with Kiss My Jazz on their last tour, and is also Rudy’s girlfriend, Dirk Belmans who is also the drummer of Gore Slut, and Dirk D’Hooghe and Heyme Langbroek, both from Kiss My Jazz. Also in the band are Sandra Van de Craen and Dimitri Daggelinckx, who haven’t been seen in any other bands so far. Whether Heyme Langbroek from Kiss My Jazz and Vacuum Child is a permanent member or not is unclear. Appearing on some tracks too but not in the band are Daan Stuyven from Dead Man Ray, Craig Ward and Viking Dave Robertson from Kiss My Jazz, Carmen Beirens who is otherwise in no other known bands, and Alicia Kueker, Kelvin Smith and Sebastian ‘Bobo’ Kalonji from Cinérex.
The songs themselves all have varying stories attached to them.‘William comes from a mental patient who visited the band during a rehearsal. He was shouting ‘Hello my name is William- what are your names?’ The track the band was playing then had no name yet so they called it 'William'.
‘Diesel’ was at first an instrumental track, but when Daan Stuyven visited a rehearsal, he was asked to start talking into a microphone about ‘Diesel’, which was the dog from a friend. Daan never heard the music before, and the text is a complete improvisation in Dutch. Most lyrics from the band are samples of other people’s writing. Pieces from old magazines, dictionaries or manuals, or even Shakespeare.
The name Lionell Horrowitz and his combo was sort of an idea by an ex-girlfriend of Rudy’s. It refers to the underground, downtown Jazz scene in New York (cfr. The Knitting Factory)- with so many people there named ‘Horrowitz’, and according to Rudy Trouvé, 'there are a lot of Lionells as well'… The ‘and his Combo’ part simply sounded cool’.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Lionell Horrowitz. After the release of 'Au Bain Marie', Rudy has been focusing more on his other projects, as Kiss My Jazz and Dead Man Ray among others. Lionell Horrowitz and His Combo has been on a break since, but will re-unite when Rudy's busy schedule allows for it. At the moment, Lionell Horrowitz have unfortunately no concrete or definite plans to re-unite. Most band members have regular jobs and are in Lionell Horrowitz purely for fun in their spare time. Organisation of getting the entire band together is rather difficult, which makes it impossible to set a date for a reunion. 2003 is probably the earliest possible date you'll hear from them again. Unfortuantely.