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Culture beat - August 1

17:24 01/08/2013
Contemporary art, acoustic rock, horse trials, a former boy band and a nostalgic beach party!

The work of Brussels-based artist Javier Fernandez incorporates neither a naturalistic interpretation nor an idealistic purpose, we are told. It is characterised by three essential elements: the shape, always rectangular, without theme or motive. The colour, a structuring element, lending itself to a more global reading. The material, exclusively textile, is rayon and cotton. The works appear as if fragments of a much larger continuum. The geometric minimalism and repetitive nature of their surfaces gives out a purity of expression. The opening of his latest exhibition takes place this Saturday at the Atelier 340 Museum in Jette. For the occasion there will be local gastronomic specialities from Jette, a selection of fine beers and a range of vodkas from the Carpathians, no less – all for €7 only, or free if you are a member.

‘Jazz / country / blues’, says the blurb. It’s one thing to be good at one, maybe two of these genres but all surely it’s a bit of a tall order – greedy maybe – to have a go at all three? I mean, geniuses such as Ray Charles come along once every thirty years or so. The Fabulous Fakers, who play L’Alphabet in Auderghem this Saturday, may not be in the same league, but Dave Vermeulen (vocals, guitar), Igor Maury (bass) and Jean-Pierre Liénard (guitar, mandolin, stomp box) will most certainly give it their all. The acoustic trio list Tom Waits, Tony Joe White, Bob Dylan, Ray Bonneville, Leonard Cohen and JJ Cale among their influences. Expect a tribute to the latter, who passed away last week.

Ah, Mr Williams – we’ve been expecting you. It’s been an eventful couple of years for Take That’s former wildchild. Maybe it’s a consequence of fatherhood, but he seems much quieter than he used to be. Gone are the outbursts, the pranks, the cheeky chappieness. Gone, too, is his spat with Gary Barlow who, following on from the boy band’s reformation and subsequent world tour, stayed behind with Williams to work on a few tunes for the latters’ Taking The Crown album. Tickets are still available for this Saturday’s gig, although not for every area of the Roi Baudouin Stadium.

Outside Brussels

L’Equino knows horses. This summer the Belgian eventing team hosts its 17th National Horse Trials in advance of the European Championship, held in Malmö, Sweden, from 29 August to 1 September. For those not in the know, equestrian eventing is a sort of triathlon on four legs. Horse and rider compete in three different trials: dressage (horse ballet!), jumping and cross-country. It makes for a busy weekend spread over two specialised equestrian sites in Flanders. Dressage and jumping are held in Waregem. The cross-country competition unfolds at L’Equino HQ, the majestic Kasteeldomein van Baron Casier in Nokere. The grounds of this centuries-old estate are ideal for the event. They’re spacious, scenic and brimming with hedges, fences and water jumps as well as purpose-built obstacles for competitors to negotiate. The castle is also the site of an opening night party and closing day barbecue. It’s safe to bring the kids along too. While mum and dad are enjoying the sport, the young ones are offered a playground with bouncy castles, make-up booths, crafts workshops and an appearance by children’s author Marc de Bel. And entry is free.

Nineties music OK, but which part of nineties? Britpop? Grunge? Boy bands? Handbag house? Anything goes, is the answer provided by the organisers of God Bless the 90s, the nostalgia fest taking place on Bredene beach this Saturday from 8pm until 4pm. “Sun, surf and the biggest 90s revival ever held on a beach!” we are promised, meaning that the DJs on the night will be spinning anything released between Thatcher’s downfall and the Y2K damp squib. So get ready to dance to Blur, Britney, Nirvana, Backstreet Boys, Steps, Oasis and many more artists who may actually share nothing else than the decade in which they made a name for themselves. 

Written by PM Doutreligne and Georgio Valentino