[Hidden Rarities #25] Banzai (BEL)

Banzai was a Progressive Rock band formed in Antwerp, Belgium in 1971 and the following year in 1972 stabilize the lineup as a quintet. In 1974 they released the single “Be Careful Now/We’re So Sorry” via The Natural Label and began to participate in various festivals of the time both in Belgium and in central Europe. Thanks to their live activity, in Holland they get noticed by the Delta label that puts them under contract and always in 1974 they release their debut and only album “Hora Nata.” An album much appreciated by lovers of Prog sounds of the ’70s, characterized by long suites and a mixture of various genres and styles. We move from the Symphonic Prog to the softer traits of the Canterbury Scene, with references to both the UK and Dutch bands of the early 70s. Great keyboard textures, good guitar parts and wind inserts in some passages, with a solid rhythm session full of tempo changes and a dynamic and expressive vocal. The band unfortunately fails to follow up on this excellent album also due to the fact that the Delta label closes its doors due to bankrupt. After releasing two more singles “Hora Nata” in 1974 for Philips and “Talkin ‘About My Love” for Dwarf in 1975, the band disbanded. A very good album and available on affordable LPs, reissued on CD in the mid 90s, as well as the singles, whose value is not high. Except for the full-length and the first single, the other two contain softer and less elaborate tracks, however to be reported for the sake of completeness.

Discography

[1974] Be Careful Now / We’re So Sorry (Single) (The Natural Label)

[1974] Hora Nata (Delta)

[1974] Hora Nata (Single) (Philips)

[1975] Talkin’ About My Love (Single) (Dwarf)

Lineup

 John McO / Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Vocals
Peter Torfs / Organ, Piano, E-Piano, Moog, String Ensemble, Vocals
Evert Verhees / Bass, Bass Pedals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Erry Fox / Drums, Percussion
Ludwig Kemat / Congas, Metallophone, Marimba, Vibes, Percussion, Alto Sax

Guests onn the album:
Frans Maes
/ Tenor Sax
C. Focant / Horn
J. Lasselin / Horn

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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