Tru Thoughts mainstays look back...

Belleruche is over. Gone. Finit.

Well, almost. The band confirmed their decision to take a break earlier this year, confirming plans for a two-disc ‘Best Of’ and a batch of tour dates in the process. Able to finally wind down (the group completed four albums in five years, fer Chrissakes!) Belleruche have been granted the gift of sweet nostalgia.

“That’s been the resounding feeling between all of us at the moment,” explains Kathrin deBoer. “We just had our heads down working so hard and I think that’s actually one of the reasons why we’ve decided to take a break. As DJ Modest said recently, we didn’t get into music to get good at logistics. Which is what we had to do because we’ve always self-managed the business side of things ourselves. I was looking at YouTube videos and I just saw these videos and thought: dammit we did that”.

Looking back, deBoer recalls the first time the members of Belleruche appeared onstage with one another. “It was at a pub in Islington, which has closed down now. I think it’s a gastropub!” she laughs. “That was the first place we played – we just jammed and then we were offered real shows and we thought we’d have to start writing real songs, which kind of lead to us being four albums down.”

Able to play enormous festivals such as Glastonbury and French event Montreux, it’s the rather more simple things which stand out for the singer. “We were really worried about a show in Athens, as all of Athens was striking and rioting. Then we thought, well no one’s going to come. The promoter also said well, maybe we shouldn’t open up today. We said, well we’re here let’s just do it and the place was packed to the rafters!” she exclaims. “People just came – there was no public transport, people found their way. It’s just those kinds of things which stick out. They’re so complementary these places, people taking a stand over things which are really important, like the economy and the politics and they still manage to go to a gig. That was pretty special.”

Drawing to a halt, the members of Belleruche remain on good terms but have increasingly found that their priorities have shifted in opposing directions. “All our schedules are so different now” deBoer explains. “Tim’s just had a baby, he’s living in Hastings now and he’s writing some electronic stuff which is really cool. Ricky has signed up with a small label in Seattle, and he’s under a different name - he’s releasing soon”.

As for Kathrin deBoer, fans can expect some rather unusual collaborations. “I’ve been playing bass, just mucking around so I’ve got a couple of little shows coming up and I’ve just been experimenting with musicians. I work with a drummer, and just added an amazing string player. Just booking stuff in and taking it easy, see what feels good”.

Recently heading back into the studio, the vocalist has been working – separately - with DJ Vadim and Max Cooper. “I’ve done a thing with DJ Vadim again. He was one of the first collaborations I ever did. It’s coming out on BBE next year, and I’ve been doing these really interesting – well, I find them interesting because it’s so different for me – I’ve been working with Max Cooper, been doing quite a few little studio experiments.”

SeSet to play their final London show on November 13th, Belleruche will then go on hiatus. However deBoer is refusing to rule out the possibility of the ‘Turntable Soul’ collective getting back together. “There was this cool thing which happened in the studio the other day” she says, “we were just rehearsing and we hadn’t had to rehearse for so long so when you get in you’re feeling a little rusty. Then music kind of takes over - it’s a synergy that you can’t describe and you don’t know why it happens between certain individuals… but that’s still there with us”.

“That hasn’t changed” she insists. “That’s all present and very strong. But we just need to do something else! We’ve done a lot – in the last five years we’ve released four albums and maybe we just burned ourselves out a little bit, we need to take a break. Who knows? We’re going to keep going in one form or another.”

Words: Robin Murray

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Belleruche are set to play their final show at London's XOYO on November 13th.

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