November 1983, Ghent, Belgium. Out of the political punkband More Action's ruins rose The Mudgang, founded by drummer Paul Brusseel, bass player Jo de Bondt, and singer-guitarist Luc Van den Berghe.
Unable to deny their past, they played rough punkabilly having The Cramps, The Meteors and The Straycats as their biggest influence.
Only a few months later saxophone player Steven Janssens (now the WhoDads and The Revelaires) joined the gang. Soon, he would swap his sax for a guitar.
In the beginning their gigs were characterized by a generous amount of enthusiasm. This combined with their uncontrollable energy, soon got the band a true cult following.
After a while, the rockabilly style withers and gives away for the increasingly rough guitar play. Borders are crossed as psychedelics move in. Thanks to the international Garagerock revival, the band becomes a steady value in the already extremely vivid Flemish club circuit. At that time The Mudgang already did supporting acts for the Australian Trashrockers The Scientists (later Beasts of Bourbon and The Cruel Sea). Beside the release of a few songs on the compilation "Made in Belgium", the gang members have to wait until August 1986 before they can finance their very first " EP " on which you will find a.o. the psychedelic surfinstrumental "dr. Mushroom" and the intriguing "I came in the night".
The single appears to be a hit and all of a sudden the band is asked to do the supportact of Iggy Pop, one of their former idols. Thanks to the single, the group also releases a clip in "Jonge Helden", a very popular youngsters' programme of the Dutch VPRO Television Station at that time. All seems to go well and in January 1987 the mini-LP "Let's Go Riding" is being recorded. A mediocre production and an urge for experiments lead to rather poor results.
As the band's expectations are not fulfilled, tension is growing among the members.
So it's not surprising that The Mudgang splits up for the first time in 1987.
Steven Janssens joins The Spanks while the others go lick their wounds.
Though, as the saying goes, vermin never dies ans so, a few months later, Luc Van den Berghe, Paul Brusseel en Jo de Bondt start off for a second time. The trio welcomes the unemployed guitarist Wim Rogge (later Gorki).
New songs are being made at a high speed and in February 1988, The Mudgang is on stage again. The new songs are a lot heavier and more exclusively rock an roll. New influences are AC/DC and Lynnyrd Skynnyrd. Until the end of that year, The Mudgang practically lived on stage, doing support-acts for Green on Red and The Lyres.
n November the band's equipment is stolen and co-founder Jo De Bondt is replaced by ex-Paranoiacs bass player Jo Vleminckx. In this formation the mini-LP "Travellin'Man" is being recorded in February 1989. The LP is produced by Jan Van den Bergh (The Spanks) and turns out to be rough and lo-fi statement (even before this became a trend).
"Travellin' Man" was at that time representative for The Mudgang: straight forward underdogs with an oeuvre filled with powerful songs.
Luc VdB had written so many songs that hardly six months later the band visited the recording studio for the xth time.
Thé Lau (The Scene) was the ideal producer for canning the band's next LP "Temptation". In May 1999 the single "Between You and me" kept an awesome position in the Top 5 rankings of "De Afrekening" (Studio Brussel).
As the band still has to await it's final breakthrough, drummer Paul B wants to try his luck as the band's singer. However, Jo V en Wim R were not fond of this idea, so in December 1990 they got kicked out.
In 1991 about 20 drummers are tested, though valuable replacement will never show up. And unfortunately, The Mudgang is not able to find a recording contract either.
With Paul de Spiegelaere (The Machines) as production leader, two more songs are recorded, but no results followed so this proved to be The Mudgang's swan song.
At the end of 1991 The Mudgang permanently disappears from stage. Luc VdB appears as Soapstone's bass player whereas The Revelaires try Paul B as their drummer.
On this very day Paul B, Luc VDB and Jo V have found each other again and they started rehearsing again.
The first gigs are rolling in and a demo is being recorded. The band will flood the music scene with contemporary alternative rock having Reef, Pavement, Foo Fighters, Third Eye Blind and the Beach Boys as primary influences.
The years of reason have returned, those of chaos and anarchy are left behind. But, the energy has remained.
To be continued.
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