Raymond van het Groenewoud live and Kamiel In België

Raymond van het Groenewoud - Pinkpop 1980 (pinkpop.org)

Raymond van het Groenewoud – Pinkpop 1980

Meisjes zijn het allermooist op aard
Niets dat hun schoonheid evenaart
Zeg dat van het Groenewoud het gezegd heeft


Late 1978 Raymond van het Groenewoud released his live album Kamiel In België. I heard the album at the time and immediately fell in love with it

Raymond van het Groenewoud

On February 14, 1950, Raymond van het Groenewoud is born in Schaarbeek, Belgium. When Raymond is five years old his parents divorce, he stays with his mother. In 1957 and 1958 Raymond lives in Amsterdam. In 1967 he performs one show with his first band. His next bands lasts two shows. In 1970 Raymond hooks up with Belgian icon Johan Verminnen.

Louisette - Maria, Maria, Ik Hou Van Jou (dutchcharts.nl)

Louisette – Maria, Maria, Ik Hou Van Jou

In 1971 and 1972 Raymond is gifted recording time in a studio as a present from his father. In 1972 it leads to van het Groenewoud’s first single. As part of the group Louisette, his song Maria, Maria, Ik Hou Van Jou is recorded and released. In 1973 Raymond van het Groenewoud’s debut album is released: Je Moest Eens Weten Hoe Gelukkig Ik Was. In 1975 his album Ik Doe Niet Mee is released to the public.

In 1977 the album Nooit Meer Drinken is released. A true classic in Belgian rock music, an album that’s well received and sold. The single Meisjes was a huge hit and would turn into a classic song in the Dutch language music canon.

On November 6 and 7, 1978, Raymond van het Groenewoud & The Millionairs play at Westrand in Dilbeek and Vooruit in Gent with the purpose of recording a live album.

Raymond van het Groenewoud - Kamiel In België (allmusic.com)

Raymond van het Groenewoud – Kamiel In België

Kamiel In België

The year of release of Kamiel In België is somewhat clouded. According to Raymond van het Groenewoud’s official website it’s 1978, which means the album has to have been released in December of 1978, since its recording took place in early November.

Anyway, Kamiel In België is the first live album by Raymond van het Groenewoud and would garner great success. As already stated the recordings took place over the course of two days in Belgium. The first day was scheduled to deliver the main recordings with the second day meant as backup for whatever went wrong on the first night. In 2020 Raymond van het Groenewoud (also see the sub article Raymond van het Groenewoud about Kamiel In België) said he was so nervous on the first day that the recordings, as he put it, were fucked. The day after he was in a ‘fuck it’ mood and released of all his stress, which caused him and the band to excel.

And it’s audible. Three songs from the ‘olden’ Louisette days combined with newer songs. And there’s time for mellowness, Kamiel 1 and Kamiel 4 are the same songs in a different key containing rather surreal lyrics.

Bloemen kan men kopen
Ik zei ook, ja

Which translates to something like:

Flowers can bought
I said also, yeah

© 1978 Raymond van het Groenewoud

The club song for football team RWDM is played as well and is greeted by cheering and booing.


The album has a beautiful minimalistic cover, which (intentionally?) seems a bit silly. The cover drawing is made by Kamagurka, at the time a new (comic)artist with often absurd humor. Upon release of the album Kamagurka was considered to be controversial in Belgium. His drawings and humor were considered vulgar. Raymond selecting Kamagurka for this cover, was a statement in itself.

Kamagurka had also made the album cover for Nooit Meer Drinken and would later do it again for the 1988 album Intiem. As a thank you van het Groenewoud produced the music on the first Kamagurka En De Vlaamse Primitieven album, which was released in 1982.

The cover is part of the article The greatest albumcovers.

Raymond van het Groenewoud - Kamiel In België - Inner sleeve 1 (discogs.com)

Raymond van het Groenewoud – Kamiel In België – Inner sleeve 1


Late 1970s/early 1980s, Fred, a friend of my father’s, worked at the Dutch branch of EMI, the record company that had signed Raymond van het Groenewoud. If my memory serves me well, he recommended the album, as he thought it was okay. Long story short: somewhere in 1979 I got the album and loved it.

At the time Dutch language in combination with rock music was still frowned upon. In Holland it was done by some, but not in the way van het Groenewoud did it. It’s rather funny that a Flemish Belgian would bring me my first Dutch language rock album.

As is usually the case with Raymond van het Groenewoud, the combination of bravado and romanticism is flat-out great. The song ‘K Heb Je Graag is tender and somewhat sad, and it doesn’t feel out of place with the up-tempo songs like Waar Ik Niet Tegen Kan or Zij Houdt Van Vrijen.

Kamiel In België was my introduction to the music by Raymond van het Groenewoud, who would soon break in Holland as well with the superb single Je Veux De L’Amour, another bravado/romanticism combination. On December 5, 1981, I saw Raymond van het Groenewoud play live for the first time and I was duly impressed. He was funny and serious, made great music that rocked, had swing and was able to incite emotion. Perfect combination.

Kamiel In België should have been a double album. Maybe the full recordings are still around?

Raymond van het Groenewoud - Kamiel In België - Back cover (discogs.com)

Raymond van het Groenewoud – Kamiel In België – Back cover


All songs written by Raymond van het Groenewoud, unless stated otherwise.

  • Vlaanderen Boven
  • Waar Ik Niet Tegen Kan
  • Kamiel 1 & 4
  • Zjoske Schone Meid
  • ‘K Heb Je Graag
  • Kamiel Bij RWDM (Caerts, Rahel, Hoppe, Géal)
  • Gelukkig Zijn
  • Daddeemelee
  • M’n Lieve Schatje
  • Ik Wil De Grootste Zijn
  • Maria, Maria, Ik Hou Van Jou
  • Zij Houdt Van Vrijen
  • Meisjes


  • Raymond van het Groenewoud – vocals, guitar, organ, piano
  • Jean Blaute – accordion, guitar, organ, vocals
  • Mich Verbelen – bass, vocals
  • Stoy Stoffelen – drums, vocals
Raymond van het Groenewoud - Kamiel In België - Inner sleeve 2 (discogs.com)

Raymond van het Groenewoud – Kamiel In België – Inner sleeve 2

After Kamiel In België

In 1979 the album Ethisch Reveil was released, followed by a huge tour. In 1980 Raymond van het Groenewoud performed at the Dutch festival Pinkpop. It would be the live debut of a new song, Je Veux De L’Amour, which would lead to the break-through within the Dutch market.

However, van het Groenewoud grew tired of the constant touring and took a break. In 1980 the album Leven En Liefdes was released, which essentially was a compilation. One year later the single Cha Cha Cha turns into another huge hit.

Raymond van het Groenewoud - Habba! (discogs.com)

Raymond van het Groenewoud – Habba!

1985 sees the release of the heavily Prince influenced Habba!, which is my personal favorite. In 1986 Ontevreden is released, followed by Intiem in 1988. In 1990 the highly successful compilation Meisjes is released, with van het Groenewoud reinterpreting his older work. Liefde Voor Muziek is another huge single. In 1992 Sensatie is released, followed by a live album and Ik Ben God Niet in 1996 and Tot Morgen in 1998.

Thus far, the new millennium have brought us the albums Een Jongen Uit Schaarbeek (2001), Mr. Raymond (2005), Feest! (live, 2008), De Laatste Rit (2011), Live In De AB (live, 2013) and Allermooist Op Aard (2017). On February 14, 2020, Raymond van het Groenewoud celebrated his 70th birthday and the album Speel is released. On October 27, 2023, van het Groenewoud released the album Egoïst.

In closing

What’s your take on Raymond van het Groenewoud and Kamiel In België? Let me know!

This story contains an accompanying video. Click on the following link to see it: Video: Raymond van het Groenewoud live and Kamiel In België. The A Pop Life playlist on Spotify has been updated as well.

Compliments/remarks? Yes, please!