Somewhere in 1969 five lads from Bredene at the Belgian coast decided to start a new rock-band named The Bunch. Since the early sixties they had been playing as The Swallows, a beat band who were extremely famous there in the north-west of the country and also in the north of France. As The Swallows they managed to release two singles and they played almost every week. Besides a few of their own tunes this band also played every possible popular song and they were probably the first band in Belgium to play Beatles songs.
Later on, the guys were really inspired by the more heavy sounds that entered the Belgian charts as for instance Creedence Clearwater Revival and so they wanted to concentrate on writing such heavier material. It took them another two years, till early 1971, before they came up with a first, probably self-financed single on the tiny Belgaphone label. Guitar-player Ray Bossaer was the songwriter who made “Sneaky Woman”, a slow rocker with handclaps and steel-guitar that wasn’t really representative for the rest of their repertoire. “Mister Roadie” on the backside suited them more; it started with a heavy guitar-riff and continued totally in the style of their beloved CCR. This single also got a re-press on another small label: Gamma Records. It was this Gamma records who released their second single in 1972 with once again two Ray Bossaer compositions. She Went Away (Bad Man) was another song that breathed the Fogerty spirit, while flip-side “Chained Souls” stayed more in the vain of The Yardbirds. For the first time The Bunch presented themselves as a sextet as they had added a keyboard player to the line-up. Around this time a British band also named The Bunch came up with a single on the big Island Records but they disappeared quite quickly.
A third and final piece of vinyl was released in 1974 on once more a tiny, probably self financed record label: Echo records. “Bye Bye Rock And Roll Queen” was a simple catchy boogie rocker. Disappointing was flipside “Mad Man”, a joke-song that probably worked in a live environment but wasn’t inviting to listen to it a second time on a record.
The Bunch was one of those bands who played an awful lot of shows and the very first were they were noticed was at the “Den Haan Rock Festival” in the summer of 1971, were almost every Belgian rock-band was invited. Later they also managed to support some bands like The Animals, If, Rory Gallagher’s Taste, MC5, Alquin and Man.
The band was seen on stage until early 1978, and although there were plans to record an album it’s pretty sure this never materialised. They probably have put their guitars aside at the end of the seventies.
Ray Bossaer sadly passed away early the new millennium.
7” Sneaky Woman / Mister Roadie (Belgaphone B 1011 — 1971)
7” Sneaky Woman / Mister Roadie (Gamma R.W. 1027 — 1971)
7” She Went Away (Bad Man) / Chained Souls (Gamma RW 1044 — 1972)
7” Bye Bye Rock And Roll Queen / Mad Man (Echo Records 001 — 1974)