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BANZAI
 




 
Not heavy at all but a real “symphonic-rock” band, Banzai, were mostly from Antwerp.
They started in 1971 and were soon noticed when they won a contest organised by the Bilzen festival. When a steady line-up is found, the band starts playing concerts from early 1972:
   Members:Peter Torfs (organ, piano, string ensemble, moog and vocals)
Evert Verhees (acoustic guitar, bass, foot bass, piano,vocals)
John Mc O (acoustic & electric guitar, vocals)
Ludwig Kemat (tumbas, metalophone, marimba, vibes, percussion)
Erry Fox (drums, percussion) 
Verhees was the main composer but as important for Banzai was drummer Erry Fox who took care of the presentation of the band.(lyrics, sleeve design & paintings, stage-show)
Their stage appearance was probably influenced by the early Genesis as they had make-up and weird costumes. But it worked as the bands popularity did grow. In 1973 they were voted 3rd best Belgian band by the readers of Humo magazine. In August 1973 they played the leading Bilzen rock & jazz festival one more time. Other bands on that bill were Golden Earring, Argent and Procul Harum.
On September 30th they appeared in Turnhout on a festival with other symphonic acts such as Kayak and Focus.Also in the Netherlands the band played a lot which resulted in a record deal with Dutch record company Delta.
So 1974 saw the release of a 7” (Hora Nata / Good Morning Life) – produced by Pebble Luc Smets – as well as a full album called “Hora Nata”.
The album had 4 long songs (with subtitles) and an intro. As most of “symphonic” bands those days, there were a lot of variations and themes on it. Sometimes it sounds as relaxed as British band Yes. Most impressive songs are those where the guitar is flowing in to create beautiful melody.(Obelisk &the instrumental Hattrick)
They continued playing a lot of shows; even in Germany and also on the first edition(1974) of a (then !) small fesival called Rock Werchter.
After the album there were 2 more 7” singles; “We’re Sorry / Be Careful Now”(1974) and “Talking About My Love / On The Rocks” (1975). It were all shorter songs with much more “poppy” leanings; therefore not that interesting.
When they don’t find a record company to release their second album the band split-up in 1976.
The album (along with the singles) are digital remastered and released on cd in 1995.
01 31 brasschaat sporta aff BANZAI