The story of Antwerp-based Paul’s Collection is in fact that of singer Paul Syniawsky.
He started singing in local bands since 1967, until he grounded his “collection” in 1969 to find manager Louis Devries immediately interested in his cracking rock tunes. It was the big RCA-Victor label who decided to add the band to their roster. So the next year there already was a first single in the shops entitled “Music In My Life” backed with “Man”. Both numbers showed off early influences of such acts as The Who, Iron Butterfly, Cream or Blind Faith. This single was well received so RCA decided to stumped up the money for a second release. After a bit of restructuring as the keyboard player left the band, Paul’s Collection retuned as a four-piece with “Time For A Change” / “What Have I Done”, where this time they skirted around the edges of Savoy Brown or once more The Who.
Quite fast after this second single the third “Who Could See / Song for the Lonely” was already for sale in May 1971. This 45-er contained for the first time Koen De Bruyne’s piano and organ playing while it also sounded more progressive than the first two vinyl’s. Especially “Who Could See”, a song in the vain of Spooky Tooth really had potential, although it failed to climb the charts.
Manager Louis Devries got them a lot of concerts at gigs or festivals he organised, as a Paul’s collection concert was known to be a pretty intense event, a truly heavy concert-experience with a lot of solo’s. In 1970 they played at both international pop-events at Deurne’s Arenahall along such bands as The Nice, Yes, Fleetwood Mac, Coloseum, Jess and James, Wallace Collection, Hardin and York, The Pebbles, Man, Burning Plague, Kleptomania, Mad Curry and Irish Coffee.
In April 1972 they supported Chicken Shack at the “Pop For Vietnam” festival and a few months later they played before British rockers The Sweet.
Early 1973 Paul decided to stop the band while right after he stated singing jazz-rock with a band named Artisjok, an 11 piece as it also had a horn section (much like Blood Sweat And Tears). When in 1976 this band finally scored a recording contract, they decided to change name once more to Paul’s Collection as also main composer Paul Geluykens suited this name. Unfortunately this group had -besides Paul’s voice- absolutely nothing in common with the first incarnation of the band. The line-up was: Paul Geleykens on bass, Paul Syniawsky on vocals, Luk Van De Poel on guitar, Luk Salu on keyboards, John Beach on percussion, Bruno Van Reeth on drums and a 5 piece horn section with Johan Joris, Lode Jansen, Mark Joris, Bruno Jennes and Robert Beyens.
The single who came out in March 1977 “Losing” / “Kill Me With Your Love” was produced by ex-collection Koen De Bruyne and turned out to be much more than jazz-rock; a true commercial pop-soul approach not exactly what record-buying Belgium wanted to hear.
The single never made it to the charts and although there were plans for a follow up (a song named “Smile”) this never materialised as Paul’s collection probably fell apart early 1978.
Paul Syniawsky resurfaced fronting Antwerp based band The Mods.
In 1981 he joined another Antwerp outfit; hard-rock band White Heat. When this band finally released their first album in 1982 it turned out that Paul was replaced by another singer.
He by then, started singing in a new hard-rock band: Backslider. Besides two very good demo tapes and one song (“Beautiful People”) released on a compilation lp named “C’est Pas De La Crotte” the band failed to make a breakthrough or score a real record deal. Somewhere in 1985 therefore, the last incarnation of Backslider disappeared quite silently. Later he sang in Mainstreet, a pop-rock band. It’s not sure what happened to Paul Syniawsky since then.
Keyboard player Koen De Bruyne passed away at the end of the seventies.
7” Music In My Life / Man (RCA 54.4048 — 1970)
7” Time For A Change / What Have I Done (RCA 54.4055 — 1971)
7” Who Could See? / Song For The Lonely (RCA 54.4069 — 1971)
7” Losing / Kill Me With Your Love (ARIOLA 17821 — 1977)
Cd ELECTRIC SOUND SHOW box (Particles PARTBOX001 E — 2011)
– Music Is My Life
– What Have I Done?
Lp BELGIAN VAULTS VOLUME THREE (Starman Records — 2013)
– What Have I Done?