AUTHOR: EDDY BONTE
PHOTOS: EDDY BONTE
PUBLISH DATE: 5th May 2001
EMAIL: eddy.bonte@hogent.be


R-L: Norman Beaker, Chris Farlowe, Dave Lewis & John Price

LIVE ON RADIO-1, BELGIUM: CHRIS FARLOWE & THE NORMAN BEAKER BAND (1ST MAY 2001)
 

To cut a long story short: thanks to the old boys' network (college days!), a Radio 1 producer (Flemish Radio 1 that is) rang me and asked if I could please arrange for Chris Farlowe & The Norman Beaker Band to appear on his live radio programme 'Levende Lijven'. A wonderful opportunity, as the show has 300,000 listeners.

Two small problems.

One: The band was somewhere on the road, heading for its first Belgian club.
 Chris Farlowe
Two: Rehearsals for this live show started at 8 on Saturday morning whereas Friday's show at Verviers would only end after midnight - not to mention we had to travel some 100 miles.

A few phone calls later (thanks to fans
Theo and Diana), Chris and the band said yes. So it was that after the Verviers show we slept four hours, got up at six (much to the hotelkeeper's surprise) and arrived in Brussels at 8 a.m. sharp (this time, much to the producer's surprise). 
A brief relaxation, left-right:
Norman Beaker, Kris Gray, John Price & Paul Burgess
Chris and the boys had to rehearse first and finished before ten. Norman Beaker, manager Kris Gray and a few members of the band went to the centre of town to admire Manneken Pis and the Grande Place. I guided them around with Norman, who once lived in a Brussels suburb and knows the town well.

"
Levende Lijven" being a radio talk show in… Flemish, the band had to be very patient for two hours. In between a Cuban band a series of interviews, Chris and the band performed Don't Wanna Sing the Blues No More, Blues as Blues Can Get and, of course, Out of Time. Lead singer with Flemish band De Mens and co-host Frank Vander Linden couldn't hide his admiration for Chris, nor could a few people in the audience.
Chris outside Radio 1

During the rehearsals, Norman sang lead on
Don't Wanna Play the Blues No More (!) and Chris suited the lyrics of Out of Time to the situation, singing about a Brussels girl in a Brussels world and, of course, Brussels sprouts. It was great publicity for Chris.
Chris with Eddy Bonte & Theo