The imaginary suitcase is the vehicle chosen by the Belgian singer-songwriter Laurent Leemans to share his secrets, his lost illusions and those that still breathe, and the memories of his fantasized lives.
The Imaginary Suitcase is also the third life of Laurent, singer and guitarist of Ceilí Moss from 1996 to 2015 and before that singer of La Vierge du Chancelier Rolin in the 90s.
Cracker sang "what the world needs now is another folksinger like I need a hole in my head" and they weren't wrong, but in 2012, after about fifteen years spent playing full throttle folk-rock in a group of 5 to 8 musicians, the desire to bring to life certain songs not selected by Ceilí Moss got stronger than the apprehension of becoming the umpteenth brat who whines his moods over two and a half chords and makes you understand what Schopenhauer meant when he spoke of boredom as a metaphysical experience…
Music without artifice but rich in intensity, built around a deep, low and versatile voice (think of the son that Ani DiFranco and Leonard Cohen could have had), just as capable of stroking, tickling or scratching, carrying willingly sarcastic texts about life, death and the creepy moments between the two, posed on deceptively simple chords of acoustic and electric guitars or autoharp with some percussion to offer a surprisingly dense, generous and varied show for a guy alone.
This project, which started as a simple recreation and from which Laurent did not expect much except the selfish pleasure of bringing personal songs to life, has since taken on a totally unexpected scale, thanks to concerts (strange and destabilizing at the beginning to find oneself alone on stage when you've always had half a dozen excellent musicians to lean on!), laudatory articles and enthusiastic comments in the blogosphere and occasional cooperation with Jean-François Durdu (from Ceilí Moss, Camping Sauvach and Bow), Marc Gunn (from Brodbingnagian Bards), Jessica Kilroy, Seesayle, Formiga & Cigale, Tiny (from Doosra), Marieke Lightband or Florence Estragues.
Can we say that The Imaginary Suitcase is a kind of Walloon Silver Junkie or the evil twin of Joseph Arthur? Why not, and the listener will no doubt quickly recognize the influence of The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Smiths, Nick Cave, Rowland S. Howard, 16 Horsepower / Wovenhand, Paul Roland, Brendan Perry, The The, Hugo Race, Lloyd Cole or even Jeffrey Lee Pierce.
And so, since 2012, The Imaginary Suitcase has released nine self-produced recordings and played a whopping 350 concerts all over Belgium and more occasionally (for the moment, hehe ...) in the Netherlands and in Northern France.
The new album The Gods gave you victory today only to make your final defeat more bitter is without a doubt his most personal, intense and sincere work to date.
The future is getting prepared today: Laurent now plans to expand the universe of The Imaginary Suitcase to other permanent members ...
More than ever, to be continued ...