Hooverphonic – in concert at Toneelhuis, Antwerp Belgium – 2003 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Hooverphonic in concert tonight – recorded at Toneelhuis in Antwerp, Belgium in 2003.
The wonderful thing about Music is that innate ability to effortlessly transport the listener to an entirely different world, to create a state of mind that adheres to no space and no time.
I really needed to hear Hooverphonic tonight – for a lot of reasons, not the least for that urgent need to be transported out of my current world and into a world of infinite possibilities. Yes, music can do that – and certainly Hooverphonic does that with aplomb.
Hooverphonic formed in October 1995. Though originally categorized as a trip hop group, they quickly expanded their sound to the point where they could no longer be described as a lone genre, but rather encompass alternative, electronica, electropop, rock, and a mixture of others. The band originally called themselves Hoover, but later changed their name to Hooverphonic after discovering other groups were already using the Hoover name and to avoid any legal issues with the vacuum cleaner company.
Since their formation, Hooverphonic’s lineup consisted of bassist Alex Callier, guitarist Raymond Geerts, and various lead singers. Prominent ones included Liesje Sadonius (1996–1997), Geike Arnaert (1997–2008, 2020-present), Noémie Wolfs (2010–2015), and Luka Cruysberghs (2018–2020).
This concert, from 2003, features the mesmerizing voice of Geike Arnaaert, who has been with the band longest (even with a 12-year gap) and who brings a sensual pathos to the proceedings – it’s an engaging voice with effortless expression and range. It’s the perfect compliment to the intricate and spacious instrumentation which accompanies her.
The only comparison I can draw to Hooverphonc is, to a remote degree, Portishead – maybe its the genre mashup, but it’s also the complex yet thoroughly compelling arrangements both groups employ. In either case, it’s heady and deeply satisfying pastiche of sounds and structure – and for the better part of an hour, I forget just where I was.
When music does that, there’s nothing like it – and Hooverphonic filled the bill exactly.
Turn it up and tune out. They have 10 albums available – get them and fill your world with them.