Reportage van Radio Nostalgie


PENDULUM : first Belgian countryband

Pendulum was a short-lived but successful Belgian country band from the early seventies whose influences were The Everly Brothers, the Byrds and The Flying Burrito’s . The band was founded in march 1970 by Serge Demol who had already had some success with ‘Buddy & The Shamrocks’ back in '67. Their single 'What kind of man / Paris for me' climbed to nr. 8 in the French charts. They played folkrock-flavoured gigs all over Belgium from De Panne and Knokke to Arlon, at the Palais des Congrès in Liège, the Casino's of Namur, Chimay and Saint-Malo ( Duinkerke, Nord Pas-de-Calais, France), and in Brussels 'à l'anglaise' for The Kinks on their first European concert.

Pendulum's first single, 'It's a beautiful day' is said to have been “one of the best all-time Belgian singles” (quote in “ Witlof from Belgium”, published in 1990, by two renowned music journalists, Gust De Coster and Geert De Bruycker). The follow-up, 'Cajun Music', didn't come up to expectations and the band split after a short Belgian tour with Fairport Convention. But the b-side "Early morning rain" ( written by Gordon Lightfoot) was very successful on stage for it's special arrangement. Pendulum was called " the Byrds of Flanders" for their vocal qualities.

Band members Erik Van Neygen (guitars) and Misj Verbelen (bass) went on to play with Raymond van het Groenewoud while Firmin Michiels (leadguitar) joined Kris De Bruyne's band before following a career in the music business, is now label-manager at Virgin Records. Songwriter and singer Serge Demol reformed Pendulum in 1973, with Jelle Nachtergaele ( guitars and vocals), the British bassist John Colston (ex- The Casuals / “Jesamine” ), Jan Schoevaerts drums, Alain Cornet on bass, and Yvonne Smithies, vocals and tambourine. The only Pendulum 2 single release, 'A song for you' (EMI), never made it into the charts.

Meanwhile Arthur Huysveld released the Decca single "Country trip" with a studioband called Steel Machine, with original Pendulum member Michel Verbelen on bass, Stoy Stoffelen on drums and Simon Shrimpton-Smith on guitars.
In 1975 Serge and Jelle formed “Transit” and with Michel De Smet on fiddle and mandolin, Karel Foubert, guitars and vocals, and Alain Cornet on bass. They released the nice folky single and radiohit "Come on sunshine", produced for Phonogram by Paul Moens. In 1977 they recorded the country-rock album, 'First Ride' for Universal Songs, with some success. Humo’s popjournalist Marc Didden called the LP “The album Pendulum should have but never made”. In februari 1982 Pendulum played a very successful “dernière” concert at the well-known Brussels Ancienne Belgique, organized bij the Dutch leading magazine “Country Gazette” .
The original 5-piece band came back together on May 1st 2011 for “ Erik 60 jaar” , a unique concert at the superbvenue “Roma” in Antwerp, with Johan Verminnen and Van het Groenewoud as guests. The gig broadcasted by Belgian VRT- Eén television and on Ring TV.

The Pendulum Reunion Band, including members of the different Pendulum formula’s, plays concerts every spring since may 2008. They had their grand moment last January 8th 2016 in Machelen-Diegem where Brussels’ RingTV recorded their “concert for Fairtrade” (gm)

Original Pendulum members:

  • Firmin Michiels : banjo, country guitar
  • Tuur Huysveld : pedal steel guitar
  • Misj Verbelen (electric bass)
  • Louis Van Oost (double bass)
  • Serge Demol : lead-vocals, keyboards, harmonica
  • Erik Van Neygen : vocals, fingerpicking-guitar
  • Ton Derricks & Mike Desmedt : drums
  • Anthony Aussems : acc.guitar, vocals



(only 45 rpm vinyl singles):

  • It's a beautiful day / For you (Philips, 1971)
  • Early morning rain / Cajun Music (CBS, 1972)
  • A song for you/ Here we go again ( EMI 1974)
  • Come on sunshine/ If I need you (Philips 1975)
  • First Ride LP, album out in 1977, produced by formal member Firmin Michiels
  • Release of EP-cd for the “60ieth Anniversary of Erik Van Neygen , May 1, 2011 :
  • It's a Beautiful Day Sergius 2,28
  • For You Erik Van Neygen 3,42
  • Early Morning Rain Gordon Lightfoot 3,02
  • Cajun Music Firmin Michiels - Sergius 2,14
  • Country Trip Arthur Huysveld 2,17