On air: Monday 21.05.18 from 14h till 16h – OPEN FOR PUBLIC


Kurt Overbergh is artistic director at the Brussels based venue Ancienne Belgique (AB). He collects record sleeves with cats on the cover (his collection consists of almost +/- 500 cat sleeves) and is die hard Billie Holiday fan (hence the road movie for radio he made about her). His DJ sets range from Sahel Sounds, Thai Funk, Crass, Singing Detective and jazz up to Beyoncé and Kanye West.


1 What was the first sound you remember?

It might be the phrase ‘Oud ijzer, koper, lood, zink en kapotte batterie’ that was repeated over a dozens of times every Friday around my parents’ house at noon. It was the voice of an old man who announced his passage through a broken speaker that was installed on top of his van. He collected old metal and copper. I still hear this phrase in my head from time to time.


2 And the first sound that you recognized as music, never to leave your heart/head again?

Fuck: honesty always kills me. The album ‘Vader Abraham In Smurfenland’ (1977) which I got from my parents as a Christmas gift. It must have had an effect on me since I once went to a dress up party as a smurf. And for sure ‘4US’ (1984) by Dutch pop reggae band Doe Maar. It was the very first album I bought. I still go and watch every possible Doe Maar gig on their never ending tour.


3 What did you want to become as a kid?

A vendor in a record store. When I met Nigel House (owner of the famous Rough Trade shop in London) recently, I asked him to be an interim for a couple of weeks in his shop. And when I’m in a record shop and I do overhear a conversation from somebody asking the owner if a certain album or artist is great, I do take over the conversation and try to sell it with all my arguments. Simply can’t help it.


4 Who do you look up to and why?

My girlfriend who beat cancer a couple of years ago and who’s pregnant now. Positive people. Creative people. ‘Free’ people. Devoted musicians. Artistic game changers. Those people give you loads of energy and beauty. Negativism and cynicism kills the air.


5 Who should play you in the movie about your life?

Peter Van Den Begin. We played together in Kapitein Winokio’s ‘Berenshow’ at AB. We had a great laugh every time he sung ‘Iedereen doet kaka’ on the tones of Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs’ ‘Wooly Bully’. I guess we both never got out of or our anal phase. He also directed (and played in) a series called ‘Oud België’. It was about the history of the Ancienne Belgique in Antwerp, that was connected with our venue in Brussels. There’s no such thing as a coincidence.


6 What annoys you the most? About others? About yourself?

Others: Selfish ego centered people. Aggressive people. Cynicism. Negativism. Macho’s (although my girlfriend always says macho’s are insecure people who are afraid of cats). Myself: always avoiding friction and thus losing a lot of discussions.


7 Choose one superpower if you were a comic book hero?

I would say Jommeke although he’s not a superpower. He’s closer to whom I am and he seems to solve things as well all the time. And it would open the door for me to use Professor’s Gobelijn’s Time Machine.


8 What is your trademark joke or trick?

Trademark joke: ticking on someone’s left shoulder while standing on the right (or the other way around). It always happens to me after a couple of beers AND the more clean/hipster/cool the place is: the more I’m tempted to do it. The fun part: IT ALWAYS WORKS!


9 Did video really kill the radio star?

Not at all! It sometimes becomes an art form in its own right. And also: there were already soundies (check them out!) in the ‘40ties, the first real video clips. MTV didn’t invent them.


10 Who are you favorite table guests, dead and/or alive?

Billie Holiday. Harry Smith. Nick Cave. Jimmy Scott. Steve Ignorant (Crass). Louis Wain. Phil Elverum (Mount Eerie). Kanye West. John Coltrane. Beyoncé. Alexander McQueen. And of course Leen Van Severen, so I can share my direct inspirational input with her. Our cats Soko and Billie are allowed to wander around the table.


11 Where would you rather be right now?

I always feel at ease in a public sauna. The only moment I’m able to switch of my mind due to the heat. The weird thing: it has to be a public sauna. I like being around people.


12 How close did you ever come to death?

I guess crawling on my knees and elbows throughout the dark tunnel complex of Củ Chi in Vietnam. We lost the guide and my former girlfriend – who suffered from epilepsy – freaked out. I was afraid she was going to pass out and honestly – always being a calm person – I freaked out too. It got worse when I told her to take to a left turn. We should have gone right and took an even longer claustrophobic route. I could hardly breathe in the end, but we managed to get out.


13 What is the craziest thing you ever saw on the internet?

Ask me when you see me behind the decks. It has absolutely nothing to do with porn. Unless you call ‘Adam & Eve’ movies porn. You fuckin’ freaks!


14 How often do you dance? Where and when?

Daily. In the living room or kitchen. No shame: when I DJ, I always dance to the tracks I play. Sometimes I even jump on the dance floor in the middle of my sets. Whether I play Beyoncé or Kanye West. Whether I play jazz or Crass DJ sets. Yes: I do play Crass Dj-sets. I even told Crass front man Steve Ignorant recently. He thought I was mad. And I dance on Crass songs too.


15 Embrace Today! But what genuinely used to be better back in the days?

52nd Street in NYC during the ‘40ties. Completely gone now. Not the street but all the little mostly 50 capacity clubs like The Onyx, 3 Deuces, Club Downbeat, the Famous Door,… You could see jazz legends almost every night: Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday,… I would love to wander around in that time era for just one night!


16 What is your biggest achievement?

You should ask other people. But I guess still holding on to my crate digger mentality in my daily work at AB by creating loads of new (collaborative) projects while dealing with economic reality at the same time.


17 What was your most shameful moment?

As MC announcing a headliner and right when I was two sentences away from shouting out their name I forget the band’s name. So I simply said ‘Please welcome …. the next band!’


18 Are we alone in the universe?

Yes, we don’t even know our neighbours across the street. But then again: I do believe in global mental connections.


19 Which habit do you want to kick?

My habits make me who I am. So I’ll embrace them.


20 What should they play at your funeral?

I utterly disgust most of the music played on funerals. Soooo impersonal. Some priests even dare to say no to certain track suggestions. So I guess I’ll make my own playlist beforehand.. Although I trust my girlfriend that she will pick out Billie Holiday’s ‘These Foolish Things’ and the finest of jazz (John Coltrane, Jimmy Scott, Lester Young,…) and Stef Kamil Carlens ‘After I’m Gone’ mixed with some doo wop and the soundtrack of ‘The Singing Detective’. Maybe I should start to DJ at funerals.