30 years of BZB: from Christmas celebrations at school to Lowlands and Pinkpop

1/5 BZB in its current composition.

“True friends are earned by being one yourself.” This text has been sung loudly in many party tents and at festivals. It is the biggest hit of BZB from Volkel. The band celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Once it all started as a one-off school performance. “I never expected that we would still be here 30 years later,” says singer Fred van Dijk.

In the training loft in Nistelrode, stories from the past are told. The band looks back at what they have achieved over the past thirty years. Thirteen albums, hundreds of performances. “And still a lot of fun with all kinds of fun,” says Fred.

The story of Band Zonder Banaan (as the band was then called) started in 1992 at the mbo in Veghel. “Erik, our guitarist was asked to play guitar at the Christmas celebration. He wanted to do that together with others,” says singer Fred.

“With BZB we came everywhere to play for free booze.”

Drummer Dick van der Wijst continues: “This is how the band started during a break. I already played in a band with Erik. We went to look around. Paul played guitar. Fred was a DJ so he could probably sing too. Bart couldn’t do very much, but we wanted to have him there. The band was ready in fifteen minutes.”

“We were all in metal bands at the time that were seriously making progress,” says Dick. “That was all gathering for performances. With BZB we came to play everywhere for free booze. Not always very good, but always with a lot of fun. And that fun turned out to be over. The shows poured in.”

“Bands from Volkel are not on Pinkpop or Lowlands.”

“The first time I thought: this is starting to become something big was in 1995. Then we performed in the Markthal in Uden,” says Fred. “I saw that stage and thought, is this all for us?” “Yes, the Markthal was really special,” Dick continues. “One day the Golden Earring was there and the next day we were. We sold out before the Earring.”

The band has the best memory of Lowlands 1998. “We had been going there as visitors for years. We thought that was such a cool festival,” says Dick. “But we never had the idea that we would be on the podium there. Bands from Volkel are not on Lowlands and Pinkpop. And the following year we were also at Pinkpop. It really was a childhood dream come true.”

“We are now only playing the currants out of the porridge.”

“We really underestimated how it lived,” Dick continues. “There was a book signing. We were drinking some beer after the performance. We should have been on that session for 15 minutes. No one is there, we thought. There are just hundreds of people waiting.”

The band played about a hundred shows a year for a long time. In recent years that has been less. “Now we only play the cherries in the porridge,” says Fred.

“With just the fun performances, we can easily keep going for another ten years,” says Dick. “I am very proud that we were able to do this together. The initial group has almost stayed together. We have been through this whole journey together. Yes, that’s fantastic.”

BZB celebrates its thirtieth anniversary on 17 and 18 May during the Alle Remmen Los Festival in Loosbroek.

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