Past & Present [1986-2018]



You are listening to > 'Fascination' > China Blue 1989 > vocals by Karina Kiekens. Photo > Joris Herregods.


Origin and past > 1986-1990.

China Blue was originaly formed in 1986 by several musicians from local bands (new wave, jazz, funk, soul and rock music). After a new line up in 1987 the band started to play concerts as supporting act of rock bands like: Won Ton Ton, The Radio's, The Nits.


An artistic background (some members came from art schools, others were educated in classical music, funk-jazz) made way to a new approach. Their music was considered eclectic and arty. Rock music with jazzy grooves and electronic input. Performing live meant: creating an 'arty' situation on stage.



China Blue 1988: Dirk Peeters (keyboards, bass & backing vocals) > Luc Van der Stock (bass) > Henry Grossfeld (drums & drum computing, percussion, backing vocals) > Stefaan van Biesen (guitars, lead vocals & songs) > Peter Maes (guitars) > Karina Kiekens (lead vocals). Photo > Joris Herregods. Location > our old rehearsel place in the countryside of Melsele.



The focus was on two front vocals: Stefaan van Biesen and the impressive voice of Karina Kiekens. Songs like 'Fascination' (recorded at TOP Studio Ghent) were played on Radio 1 (Belgium radio broadcasting) in a well known late night music program. This resulted in a TV recording session in Brussels. China blue started to tour: festivals, hall gigs and one perticular: the main act at the Arenberg theater in Antwerp.


China Blue [1989] Top Studio recordings on Band Camp:



Unfortunately the band split up unexpectedly before their French tour by disagreements about the musical direction. After a period of inactivity, two former members of China Blue, Peter Maes and Stefaan van Biesen, got together again and started to work on experimental soundtracks (a short film of a theater play) and on an art video, commissioned by befriended visual artists.



Head Wanderer Ensemble / the colour U > 2009-2018.

Peter Maes and Stefaan van Biesen working as a duo on new compositions; a project called 'the colour U'. Experimenting with sounds, sampling, keyboards, radio and field recordings, new instruments, given by the possibilities of software and digital opportunities.

Live performance 'The Listening City' at: STeM Sint-Niklaas Belgium. (09.05.2013. European city sound workshop and event with noTours and WIT Urban Team) > 'the Dresden Suite' (written and produced by Stefaan van Biesen during the Milena principle performance 'Canto Indientro' for the Accademia Dantesca Jahnishausen in Germany, June 2011) > Dacca 2011 > Vitrapoint Antwerp Belgium 2011 Belgium.




China Blue now > 2017/2018 > > >

In 2015, after a series of live perfomances based on electronic recording with 'the colour U', the need came to work on rock songs again. Working as China Blue again. Recording on a Tascam digital Portastudio DP-32SD from the beginning of 2016. On a few songs: occasionally backing vocals by Myriam Janssens (one of the early members of the band in the first line up in 1986-1987). All influences coming from their previous musical experiences, of course, lead to a new approach to the definition of a 'rock song'.


At the moment we are not a live band. We like to compose, working on new songs and compositions. In the beginning of 2018 we released an new CD. 'Herestay' as China Blue. Also a new instrumental album of Head Wanderer Ensemble was released in April 2018.




New CD release in 2018 of China Blue on Band Camp: 'Herestay'.





New CD release in 2018 of Head Wanderer Ensemble on Band Camp: 'Travel Notes'.



2018. The new Band Camp release of 'Travel Notes' by Head Wanderer Ensemble (Peter Maes & Stefaan van Biesen aka China Blue, the Color U). A full CD with instrumental compositions inspired by different walks in Europe: Nicosia, Berlin, Paris, Edinburgh, Leipzig , Lissabon ... a mix of electronics and electric / acoustic guitars with field recordings in different cities during walks.



© private foundation van biesen-mestdagh 07.04.2018