From brown pubs to the support act for John McEnroe: Antwerp cover band Baco d’Or exists 30 years (Antwerp)

On March 28 it will be exactly thirty years ago that Baco d’Or had its first performance. Three days earlier, on Saturday March 25, the band will hold its jubilee concert in Hangar 27. “I found another flyer from our first performance. That was in Antwerp’s Rock & Food Restaurant, which no longer exists. There were several other artists on the program,” says inspirer Peter Bogaerts.

The frontman and guitarist built the group himself. “When I was sixteen I started playing guitar with the scouts. One of the leaders said that I should also sing to be able to do more with it. Luckily I could sing so I started thinking about starting a group.”

Danny, Peter and Glenn guarantee atmosphere.© RR

Thirty years ago, Peter was looking for musicians through a notice in the Koopjeskrant. “Sven Verheyden was the first to respond. He was a drummer and we started jamming. Later Danny Nevelsteen joined us. We immediately clicked with him and we bonded. We started playing in brown pubs, at company parties and summer events.”

In the meantime, the composition of the cover band has been adjusted. “Danny, our retired longshoreman, is still with us. We also have our guitarist Glenn Verheyen. He teaches at the conservatory. So I don’t need to explain his experience. Our drummer is Dirk Loots who has also played at Noordkaap, Monza and Arsenal.”

Regular guest artist is singer Dana Van Oeteren. She will also be present in Edegem on Saturday.

The band often performs with guest artist Dana.© RR

As a cover band, Baco d’Or always adapts to its audience. “Being on stage with the group to bring ambiance and fun, that’s what we do it for. We do this with a very broad repertoire. Frank Sinatra, Amy Winehouse, U2, Dire Straits or Ed Sheeran for the youth, we bring it all. Of course we choose different numbers for a student ball than for a performance at a motorcycle club with all bikers. However, this is not a problem for us.”

After ski

In the past thirty years, performances have followed all over the country, but also in the Netherlands and France. “In the French ski area of ​​Val Thorens, we had to organize après-ski every night for a week. This was an experience for an international audience, but after seven days I had lost my voice.”

The music also brought Peter to former tennis star John McEnroe. “He plays music and years ago he came out as John McEnroe and his band from USA to Knokke. I really like him and called the organizer if we couldn’t play as support act. Eventually this was allowed, but the posters had already been printed. McEnroe was initially still angry because a band was playing for him that was not on the bill. But it all worked out for him. And we played on the beach of Knokke in front of five thousand spectators, unforgettable.”

Gold rum

On Saturday the band members promise another well-known party night with pure rock ‘n roll from Baco d’Or. “I will also explain that name”, Peter concludes. “Every musician likes to drink a Bacardi Cola and the best rum to make it with is the golden rum.”

How this all sounds after thirty years can be discovered on Saturday 25 March at Hangar 27 at Parklaan in Edegem. Tickets cost 22.50 euros. They can be ordered via the ticket service van Hangar 27.

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