Tom Helsen

Tom Helsen is a Belgium artist from Keerbergen. Tom was discovered in 1996, when he had been practising on his first guitar for only about a year or two, during the Humo's Rock Rally of that year. Through a number of self-written songs and an impressive cover-versionof the song Hotellounge of dEUS, Tom Helsen landed a terrific second place, behind Novastar (but in front of An Pierlé and Arid). The jury concluded that "Tom Helsen is a solo-man who brings songs that touch you, and who knows that a good song does not need to filled with layer upon layer of superfluous guitar-picking" Later, he told this episode to Knack as: "When I entered the Rock Rally, I even hardly knew what that was. ...show more

Tom Helsen is a Belgium artist from Keerbergen. Tom was discovered in 1996, when he had been practising on his first guitar for only about a year or two, during the Humo's Rock Rally of that year. Through a number of self-written songs and an impressive cover-versionof the song Hotellounge of dEUS, Tom Helsen landed a terrific second place, behind Novastar (but in front of An Pierlé and Arid). The jury concluded that "Tom Helsen is a solo-man who brings songs that touch you, and who knows that a good song does not need to filled with layer upon layer of superfluous guitar-picking" Later, he told this episode to Knack as: "When I entered the Rock Rally, I even hardly knew what that was.

I thought it was a presentation of big bands that already have at least one cd. I had little material then, a few hoempapa-tunes, but my brother said : "you've got at least one song that kicks ass, take that". I then recorded a tape and sent it in, without expectations. And then I ended up becoming second in the final, I went crazy.

But well, since then I've been doing my homework and I realised what has happened to all the bands that have come second in the history of the rock rally: none of them has any stature now. So it doesn't hurt to put things into perspective." As a promotion of his one-man band, he recorded a first single in the fall of 1996 (Like her vacation), and did a number of performances, alone in clubs and on a small tour with the The Sands & Sheffield Wednesday. Somewhere in the middle of all that, he grew tired of the idea of being looked upon as a rocking troubadour (the belgian Billy Bragg, was the most often heard comparison) and realized the solo-formula had some serious limitations. "It was never my intention of remaining a solo-artist forever. ...show less