Dead Belgian


Dead Belgian are a Liverpool-based band playing the music of Jacques Brel.  They began life in 2007, inspired to share Brel’s music with all who would listen.  Each member brought their own influences to the band, from European folk to progressive rock, stripping the songs to their bare bones and fattening them up again using a ramshackle drum kit, ukulele, guitar, accordion, saxophone, mandolin, clarinet and flute.  Dead Belgian have developed a playful and inventive sound that meshes dense melodic patterns, demonic waves of intensity and passages of sparse frailty with vocals that have drawn comparison to Edith Piaf, Anthony Hegarty and Nico.  It is a sound unique to themselves while still capturing the beauty, passion and humour of the original work, a rousing and rowdy back-porch reinvention of Jacques Brel’s honest and poetic stories.

Andy Delamere - percussion, vocals

Fionnuala Dorrity - vocals, guitar, ukulele

Simon James - saxophone, flute, clarinet, mandolin, vocals

Matthew Wood - accordion, vocals

Dead Belgian's debut album, 'LOVE & DEATH: THE SONGS OF JACQUES BREL, is due for release on 25.06.12.  The album was recorded and mixed at Limefield Studios, Manchester, by John Ellis and Bill Leader.  Bill was honoured at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in February 2012 with the Good Tradition Award, in recognition of his lifetime of achievement in British folk music.!/deadbelgian

“Dead Belgian blew us away with a stunning performance of power, beauty and finess."  (Walthamstow Folk)


“Alternating between French and English, singer Fionnuala Dorrity lives the songs as Brel did - coquettish during ‘Madeleine’, passionate in ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’ and tortured in ‘Au Suivant’.  Highlight of the set though was the concluding ‘Le Moribond’, a rousing and upbeat version which will cast out memories of Terry Jacks and Westlife forever."  (The Word)

Please click here for the full FOLK RADIO review

Please click here for the full FATEA review

UNCUT October 2012

"It's what the world has been waiting for.  The only way to perform Brel is to throw yourself at it, and the dramatic Dead Belgian do just that, with aplomb."

Peter Watts

MOJO September 2012 ****

"Dead Belgian's deliciously ramshackle approach deconstructs Brel the myth and icon to reclaim him as a street musician, chanson maestro and people's champion."

Colin Irwin

The Financial Times

"The disdain of "La Haine" and "Les Bourgeois", and the seedy "Amsterdam", give way to the closing "My Death", as histrionic as Bowie."

David Honigmann

Folk Radio UK

"Dead Belgian have created a sound that is all their own, while remaining true to the spirit of Jacques Brel's music and poetry."

Neil McFadyen

Vanguard Online

"This is an impressive and welcome debut.  If you don't know Brel, start here then get a compliation of his."

Ross McGibbon

Liverpool Confidential

Gone are the strings, replaced by a four-piece band that seems born for the word ramshackle, despite their obvious professionalism. It's a street band sound, earthy and vital and reconnecting the words of Brel with a modern audience."