If you happen to be in Brussels 29 or 30 January do try and catch the latest incarnation of Belgian band Hooverphonic live at AB Brussels. Bernardo Bertolucci picked up early single 2Wicky for inclusion on the soundtrack of Stealing Beauty in 1996 and the band have now recorded seven albums.
I interviewed main man Alex Callier for a feature in a Belgium-themed issue of Little White Lies just before lead singer Geike Arnaert quit to go solo (journalist's curse). Now they're back with a new frontwoman, Noémie Wolfs, and an excellent album, The Night Before. While the group's original trip-hop roots had evolved into a more wildly experimental, psychedelic sound for previous album The President of the LSD Golf Club (2007), they've reverted to the big, 1960s sound they'd developed for hits like The World is Mine, from the Jackie Cane concept album (2002).
Wolfs sounds unnervingly like Sophie Ellis-Bextor on stand-out track Anger Never Dies, while her voice really opens out elsewhere, betraying her admiration for Minnie Ripperton. The album has gone platinum in Belgium and features a track co-written with Cathy Dennis, who had previously collaborated on Jackie Cane.