Handkerchief is a gang of young lions with an incredible drive and passion for the music they make: Christof Annaert (vocals, guitar and blues harp), Tijs Bonner (vocals and keys), Bram Stessel (vocals and double bass), Nicholas Hermans (trumpet), Werner de Kroes (drums and percussion), Sebastian Fischer (tenor and baritone saxophone) and Lisah Adeaga (vocals, percussion).
The band started under the name “The Woodys” and played in bars, music cafes, motorclubs and small festivals. With the recording of the EP “Dancing Bones”, the time was ready to kickstart the ambitions, so they opted for the symbolic name of “Handkerchief”.
April 21st, 2017: Handkerchief releases its first double vinyl: Sea - Rain- River
Handkerchief releases its first double vinyl album which carries the name "Sea-Rain-River". A year after the debute EP “Dancing Bones”, they captured a sound that combines American and European roots into a sultry soup, with big chunks of rumba, calypso and manouche adding to the taste. The album is an ode to the sailor’s life of days gone by and sounds dazing, like brown rhum with old sailors’ diaries and the tales of Moby Dick. Guest on board of this continental ship: Roel Jacobs (The Seatsniffers, Internationals) supporting a couple of songs on the sax.
Christof (vocals): "On April 21st 2017, we will present the album live to the public in Cafee Cabron in Antwerp. Our inspiration for Sea-Rain-River comes from the old sailor’s life. The songs had to sound like long forgotten seashanty's, smell like the salty water of the ocean and be played as if it were the last party on the deck of a sinking three-master.”
Tijs (keys):“The music has become one big intercontinental melting pot. You hear the influences of Congolese rumba, Gipsy jazz from Europe, American blues, fragments from folk songs from the Italian region of Abruzzo, ancient Flemish children’s songs, calypso from Trinidad, but most of all: anything in between. Like the water connects to the land, but does not call any specific country “home”.”
Dirk (Studio Fandango): “During the recording process, we searched for a live sound in one space, using a limited number of strategically placed mics. We hardly did any overdubs. It is an honost sound, brought by seven seasick sailors.”***
Handkerchief has grown into a 7-headed seamonster: Christof Annaert (vocals, guitar, banjo); Tijs Bonner (keys, singing saw, remington typewriter, backing vocals); Bram Stessel (upright bass, vocals, backing vocals); Nicholas Hermans (trumpet, vibra slap); Sebastian Fisher (alt sax, baritone sax); Lisah Adeaga (backing vocals, percussion); Werner de Kroes (drums).
The double vinyl Sea – Rain – River with CD is available through the band and all digital stores.
November 15th, 2016: single release “Congo Rain”
***Handkerchief, the 7-headed seamonster from Antwerp, will release its debute album next Spring. It will be a vinyl, titled "Sea-Rain-River". After a year of humming waves, they have captured the sound that combines American and European roots to a sultry soup, with big chunks of rumba, calypso and manouche adding to the taste. The album is an ode to the sailor’s life of days gone by and sounds dazing, like brown rhum with old sailors’ diaries and the tales of Moby Dick. Guest on board of this continental ship: Roel Jacobs (The Seatsniffers, Internationals), supporting a couple of songs on the sax.
In anticipation of this album, Handkerchief releases the single “Congo Rain”, which will be digitally available as from mid November. Come to Cafee Cabron on November 27th to listen to the new album. It is there and then that you can reserve your seat on the ship that will sail between Antwerp, Gent and Mechelen in Spring to give you the entire album experience on board. Do not miss the departure date of these musical explorers! ***
The single “Congo Rain” is available through all digital stores.
May 2015: EP release of “Dancing Bones”
“Dancing Bones“ is the first EP release of the Antwerp roots band Handkerchief. Their inspiration goes back to the 30ies and 40ies, think of old rock ’n roll, bebop, swing, blues, ska with gypsy, surf, ragtime and even gospel influences. The band uses the term “dirty roots” to describe its music and they bring it with so much enthusiasm that it knocks your socks off!
Christof (vocals, guitar and blues harp): “Writing is like going to the barber’s: it takes a lot of waiting and when it’s finally done, it looks a bit weird, it needs some time to get used to your face. Or it’s like going fishing: again, it takes a lot of waiting, but when you catch a fish, you know exactly how to prepare it. And then again, sometimes you end up with an old shoe. Or it’s like when you go shopping: never go when you’re too hungry, because that’s when you make the wrong choices.”
Dirk (Studio Fandango): Their biggest concern was that their music would not be treated as it deserves, and that is to be recorded as honestly and pure as possible. The band was recorded live, which is how I believe recordings should be done: music has to be “alive” and cannot be limited through quantizing, melodyne, metronomes and stuff. “Dancing Bones” contains 6 songs that fascinate from the very first to the very last second.
Tijs (vocals and keys): “Dirk knows what really matters. Any fool with a bit of money for a mic and some software can record sound, cosy at home, in ‘studio quality’. That makes me smile, because you can fill a studio with top notch material, it still won’t bring the music to live.
Dirk makes you feel at home instantly: he wants to find out what the soundof the band is. En that’s what he wants to record. The noises you don’t hear, the atmosphere in the room, the looks the band exchange: try recording that! That is done with love, eternal patience and unstoppable enthusiasm. And that allows us to do what we always do: play music and have fun.”
The EP “Dancing Bones“ is available through Fandango Music upon request, via iTunes and all other digital stores.