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Irish Coffee (2)

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Irish Coffee was a Belgian, soulful hardrock band that were formed in Aalst, East Flanders, Belgium in the mid 1960s. These Belgian pioneers called themselves Irish Coffee from 1970. Band leader William Souffreau died April 6, 2023, which probably meant the end of the band.

Original Members: William Souffreau (lead vocals and guitar), Jean Van Der Schueren (lead guitar), Hugo Verhoye (drums), Willy De Bisschop (bass), Paul Lambert (+1975) (organ).
Later with: Luc De Clus (guitar), Raf Lenssens (drums).
Actual: William Souffreau (lead vocals and guitar), Bruno Beeckmans (drums), Eric Goetvinck (bass), Frank Van Laethem (guitar) and Johan Ancaer (guitar).

Early Hard-rock group in the style of Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.
Originated from another band called "The Voodoos". See also Sandy And The Voodoos. This heavy band made the region of Aalst unsafe in the early sixties with American rock'n'roll. They also played covers of Cliff Richard & The Shadows, later on also covers of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones". Member Dirk Dierickx (2) recalls "the foreign offering were so good at that time we hardly ever thought of writing our own stuff".
After "The Voodoos", only to form Irish Coffee (2) in 1970 with composer William Souffreau. As "Wit-Lof from Belgium" acknowledges "one of the best hard-rock groups Belgium had and has had ever since".

It all started in the late 60's, somewhere in the neighbourhood of Aalst (Belgium). On a stage in one or another bar a band was playing the house down. This band had the name "The Voodoos". Coincidently a member of The Pebbles (a well known Belgian rock-band) heard them playin' and brought the band in contact with The Pebbles manager Louis De Vries of Brain Trust Music. Louis contracted the band and they recorded their first single Irish Coffee (2) - Masterpiece / The Show. Meanwhile the band had to change its name, because somewhere a group with the name The Voodoos existed already. So Irish Coffee (2) was born. In January 1971 Louis de Vries took the single with him at MIDEM Music Festival (International fair of record and musicpublishers) in Cannes (France). Brain Trust Music had two stands overthere but they had only personnel for one stand, so on the stand without personnel a tape-recorder was playing the Irish Coffee single. A representative from an American record company Parrot listened a few times to the single and another contract was signed. The single "Masterpiece" became a hit in several European countries. The American record company Parrot wanted an album as quickly as possible. In four days time only the first album Irish Coffee (2) - Irish Coffee was recorded. In spite of the fact that everything had to be arranged in such a short time the album contains some songs of a great quality. Songs like "A Day Like Today" and "The Beginning Of The End" are timeless. Some 3000 copies of the album were sold (quite a lot for a Belgium group). Through the years the album Irish Coffee (2) - Irish Coffee became one of the most collected Belgium albums. Back in time now, bad luck for the boys of Irish Coffee (2). The American record company failed and this meant the end of an American Dream. Irish Coffee (2) recorded three more singles, Irish Coffee (2) - Carry On / Child, Irish Coffee (2) - Down Down Down / I'm Alive, Irish Coffee (2) - Witchy Lady / I'm Her's but none of these sold as well as the first one. This does not mean that they were less important. A "masterpiece", a few singles and an album later, the group disbanded through several circumstances in 1974. The largest part of the band goes to play in the backing band for Wim De Craene named Brussel. (See also Wim De Craene - Brussel).
They briefly reformed some time later in 1976 under the name "Joystick". A band with William Souffreau, Raf Lenssens, Willy De Bisschop, a fine horn section and great musicians like Antony Boast. They are support-act for Motörhead among others. Joystick never makes an album, but today you can find a few of their songs on Irish Coffee (2) - Irish Coffee.

William Souffreau is still active in the music business. He still play concerts as Irish Coffee IV

Sites:belgianmetalhistory.be , houbi.com , Wikipedia
Members:Bruno Beeckmans, Eric Goetvinck, Frank Van Essche, Frank Van Laethem, Franky Cooreman, Hugo Verhoye, Jean Van Der Schueren, Johan Ancaer, Kris Van Der Cammen, Luc De Clus, Paul Lambert, Raf Gees, Raf Lenssens, Stany Van Veer, William Souffreau, Willy De Bisschop

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