Doctor Downtrip (Downtrip)


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1969-70)

- unknown

 

  line up 2 (1970-72)

- John Hastry -- bass

- Michael Heslop -- guitar, vocals

- Sylvain Paul -- keyboards

- Michel Rorive -- vocals

- Paul van der Velden -- drums

 

  line up 3 (1970-75)

NEW - Jean-Paul Goosens -- vocals (replaced  Michael Rorive)

- John Hastry -- bass

- Michael Heslop -- guitar, vocals

NEW - Serge Paul -- guitar

- Sylvain Paul -- keyboards

- Paul van der Velden -- drums

 

  line up 4: (1975-80)

NEW - Jose Cuisset -- lead guitar (replaced Michael Heslop)

- Jean-Paul Goosens -- vocals

- John Hastry -- bass

- Paul van der Velden -- drums, percussion

 

 

 

- Burning Plague (Michael Heslop)

- Lagger Blues Machine (Jose Cuisset)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 23 stars ***

Title:  Downtown

Company: Epic

Catalog: 83664
Year:
 1979

Country/State: Belgium

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: Dutch pressing; minor edge wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5685

Price: $80.00

 

1979 saw the release Downtrip's third album; their second release as Downtrip.  Self-produced,  "Downtown" offered up a rather conventional collection of standard hard rock moves.  If that didn't strike you as overwhelming praise, it wasn't ...  All ten performances were in English with lead singer Jean-Paul Goosens having a gruff, but somewhat anonymous voice that was well suited to the band's hard rock repertoire.  Unlike many of his Belgian competitors, Goosens sang without much of an accent which was a definite advantage in the rock world.  Like countless late-1970s hair bands, these guys had a knack for crafting material that was built on surprisingly catchy hooks and equally inane lyrics (check out the cliche ridden 'Love Lights').  Still, you had to give them extra credit since they were writing material in a second language - presumably had they been writing in French, or Flemish the lyrics would have been far more profoun).  Against that backdrop tracks like 'Scarecrow', 'Shout It Out' and 'Highway' weren't half bad.  Sure, nothing here had a shred of originality, but the performances were never less than professional and energetic and there was something endearing hearing a Belgian quartet singing about life in a motorcycle gang ('Downtown').  While their hard rock moves weren't bad ('C'mon Little Darling' sounded like a Golden Earring outtake), at least to my ears these guys were actually better when they nudged back towards their roots.  As such, the stripped down blues number 'Dedicated To You' was one of the highlights for me.  Kicked along by a nice John Hastry bass pattern, the title track was also fairly impressive before degenerating into a more pedestrian heavy metal workout.  Decent, but not special enough to distinguish it from the crowd ...

 

Unfortunately neither the album nor the single did anything commercially and within a year the group had called it quits.

 

"Downtrip" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Scarecrow   (John Hastry - Jose Cuisset - Jean-Paul Goosens - Paul van der Velden) - 2:21   rating: *** stars

Judging by the openerd 'Scarecrow', singer Jean-Paul Goosens and the rest of the band had been listening to more than their share of American and UK hardrock.  The track sounded fine to me, though you couldeasily  pick out a dozen outside influences.
2.) Shout It Out   (John Hastry - Joes Cuisset - Jean-Paul Goosens - Paul van der Velden) - 3:19
3.) Dedicated To You   (John Hastry - Jose Cuisset - Jean-Paul Goosens - Paul van der Velden) - 3:30  
rating:**** stars

Slowing it down and adding a little bit of blues to the mix, the slinky 'Dedicated To You' stuck me as being the album's standout performance.  Anyone who likes Alvin Lee and Ten Years After was likely to appreciate this one.  Jose Cuisset  turned in some of his best work on this one.
4.) Downtown   (John Hastry - Jose Cuisset - Jean-Paul Goosens - Paul van der Velden) - 6:35  
rating: *** stars

If someone had played the title track for me at a party and asked me who it was, I probably would have guessed it was some Southern tier rock outfit?   Maybe The Outlaws?  The song wasn't half bad; rather lacked anything original.  Yeah, you've heard every second of this one before, though I enjoyed John Hastry's bass line.

(side 2)
1.) Highway   (John Hastry - Jose Cuisset - Jean-Paul Goosens - Paul van der Velden) - 4:27

2.) Brand New Cadillac   (V. Taylor) - 2:55

he album was also tapped for a single:

 

 

- 1979's 'Brand New Cadillac' b/w 'Dedicated To You' (Philips catalog number  6075064)


3.) Címon Little Darling   (John Hastry - Jose Cuisset - Jean-Paul Goosens - Paul van der Velden) - 2:35
4.) Love Lights   (John Hastry - Jose Cuisset - Jean-Paul Goosens - Paul van der Velden) - 3:50
5.) Wrong   (John Hastry - Jose Cuisset - Jean-Paul Goosens - Paul van der Velden) - 
6.) Belgian Rock & Roll   (John Hastry - Jose Cuisset) - 

 

 

 

 

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