Voices from Flanders

Laïs - Laïs


01. De Wijn
02. Barbagal
03. Isabelle
04. 't Zoutvat
05. De Wanhoop
06. In This Heart
07. Min Morfar
08. 't Jeugdig Groen
09. De Wereld Vergaat
10. Warme Garnars
11. 't Smidje
12. Grand Jacques
13. Bruidsnacht
14. Zeven Steken

Muzikanten :

- Jorunn Bauweraerts
- Nathalie Delcroix
- Annelies Brosens

Gasten :

- Kadril (Erwin Libbrecht, Peter Libbrecht, Harlind Libbrecht, Bart De Cock, Hans Quaghebeur, Mario Vermandel, Dirk Verhegge, Philippe Mobers)
- Jacques Vandevelde (harp)


 Voice, that’s the meaning of Laïs. In addition, it refers to the erotic inspired poetry of Marie de France.

But Laïs mainly refers to 3 women from the town of Kalmthout: Jorunn Bauweraerts, Annelies Brosens and Nathalie Delcroix. They know each other since childhood, but Laïs was born in the summer of 1994, when Jorunn, Annelies and Soetkin Collier (who later became a vocalist with Urban Trad) sang the song “Barbagal” on the last morning of the folk stage of Gooik. It became dead silent in the theatre and two members of the folk group Kadril encouraged them to do something with it. At that moment, music was already their flourishing passion. Jorunn is from a musical family – her father was a renowned bagpipe player – and Annelies started her studies in Classical Singing already at an early age. When Annelies and Jorunn heard Nathalie singing one time, during a car trip, they knew at once who should be the third member of Laïs.

 They interpret, mostly in old Flemish or French, singing the traditional repertoire of different countries in Europe, the contemporary song (Jacques Brel ...) or polyphony of the Renaissance, as well as some original creations, combining folk influences, pop, rock. They emphasize the polyphonic singing a cappella and accompanied by traditional instruments, but also mixed: acoustic and electric guitar, percussion-drums, accordion, bagpipe, flute ...

Laïs is a Belgian group that creates folk, and world music consisting of polyphonic close harmony songs, occasionally a cappella, based on self-composed melodies with lyrics dating back to the Middle Ages. "Laïs" is a Celtic word, meaning "voice".


Laïs' career started in 1994, when Jorunn and Annelies, together with Soetkin Collier (who later became a vocalist with the Belgian folk music group Urban Trad), performed a song at a folk festival in Gooik, near Brussels. Nathalie joined the group somewhat later. They had their breakthrough after their appearance at Folk Dranouter, near Ypres, in 1996.

Their debut CD album, sung a capella as well as accompanied instrumentally by the folk rock band Kadril, was released in 1998. They performed at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in Oudtshoorn, South Africa (1996), at Vorst Nationaal, Belgium (1998), Canada, France (1999) (as a supporting act for Sting), Spain (1999, 2000), the Netherlands and China (2001).

During the summer of 2000 they performed at important festivals in Belgium such as Pinkpop and Rock Werchter. In 2001 they made a much acclaimed return to the festival at Dranouter.

In 2003 they made a mini tour along Flemish churches and chapels, singing a capella with the vocal support of Ludo Vandeau. This resulted in the CD "A la capella".

In April 2004 they released their third CD to the market under the title Douce Victime, with covers from Jacques Brel and Herman van Veen. This time it not only contained a capella songs but also Cajun music, the London Chamber Orchestra and some World Music influences. It was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London.

With their album The Ladies' Second Song, released in September 2007, the group changed their approach and tried to reach a broader public. They could no longer be characterized as folk. The album introduces the use of electric guitars, loops and electronic beats. Their lyrics have equally undergone a thorough overhaul. Instead of drawing their lyrics from old Flemish songbooks, they have turned to poetry from William Butler Yeats, Paul Verlaine and Pablo Neruda.

In 2009 they released the album Laïs Lenski together with the cellist Simon Lenski.
Arboretom Kalmhout

1 comment:

David said...

Thank you for the introduction to Lais! I shall be adding this CD to my shopping basket as well :-)