From BICYKLETTER to CHASSE PATATE.....
The Dutch Bicycle Band through the years, an historical overview.
In 1998 two guys from Eindhoven, bicycle-repairman and saxophonist Ruud Schellekens, and postman and trumpet player Henrie Stribos, decided to start a bicycle-orchestra, using an old 5 seater-tandem that was rusting away behind Ruud’s bicycle shop. The tandem, originally built for a pub-crawl at Carnival, got refurbished, a sixth saddle was added using a front fork, musicians were recruited, and the first bicycle-orchestra was a fact. It was named Bicykletter. A repertoire was chosen and arranged and the first performances were booked.
In 2003, after this promising start, Ruud decided to sell his bicycle shop and start a new, professional bicycle orchestra. He built a new tandem that could better withstand the arduous life in a bike-orchestra (six musicians plus instruments plus tandem add up to a weight of about 650 kilos ) and the orchestra was renamed 't Brabants Fietsharmonisch Orkest.
Musicians were hired who wanted to put a lot of time into the bicycle orchestra. Besides playing while cycling or cycling while playing – whatever you want - slapstick acts were added. The number of performances increased from 20 in 2004 to 75 in 2006, and since then have averaged around 50 per year. The bike orchestra proved to be a golden concept, one of a kind ...!
In recent years, we developed a new idea for our act: In addition to our act in the Fanfare outfit, we created an act where we are dressed as racing cyclists from the 1930’s on a tandem with racing handlebars. New racing cyclist-related acts were developed and the act was named "Chasse Patate."
The current line-up:
- Louis Roeland (driver and cymbals)
- Ruud Schellekens (alto saxophone)
- Hans Boschman (tenor saxophone)
- Wicher Gerrits (accordion)
- Pier Borkent (trumpet)
- Rob Musters (sousaphone and bass drum)