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the story of Candle Bags

at 't caféke

Being different is difficult, it asks for courage and perseverance. And... being manipulated by other's opinions, is the last thing you should allow. This is also a correct statement for musicians. The identity of a band is the result of merging all parts together: all the feelings, all the ideas.

A band is the result of evolution, the reflection of the on going process of each bandmember. The more every musician wants to express herself through the music, express her convictions, the more the band has its own soul.

LISTEN along

a weird sound

Our stance on being different was offered as an entree to the two members of Candle Bags, Inge and Dirk. Candle Bags is a weird band, that's for sure, but the 'why' wasn't clear to me. I wanted to dive into their subconscience to find the source of their peculiar songs. In a desolate forest, by the border of Belgium and The Netherlands, we hiked for two hours in the mud followed by another two hours in the smallest bar of Flanders, 't Cafeke.

You know, candle bags are paper baskets with a candle inside mostly used to perform some kind of a ritual like celebrating the end of the year. Candle Bags deliver music with a loaded message, you can feel it but can't put it in words. It's from the stomach you experience this band. The hard daily realities are covered with deep love and comfort. Tenderness and understanding is woven into the dynamic, rough sound. So, time to start looking for the source, not of the Nile, but of these two mystical candle bags.

Dirk, the free thinker?

When I first met Dirk, I thought he was sort of a family man, deeply strangled in the habits of modern society. No no, Dirk 'is' father and husband, but he's mainly a free thinker, a tutor in an art school, a musician with tremendous skills. He mostly looks focused, a bit somber but behind that face we found a warm, philosophic man, with secrets only found in the deepest seas. He needs music to find that necessary balance in his life, one that keeps you alert in this world.

Inge, the opposite?

Inge seems, on first sight, the complete opposite of Dirk. No no, they have more in common then you might think. They're cousins, not lovers. They're complementary, not opposites. Inge found her valve for letting off steam in her cooperation with Dirk. Inge screams her message out and this matches with the rude sounds Dirk produces. They need each other for the same purpose. At first we thought that the songs were meant to drain their anger and frustrations, but on the contrary. It's not that kind of punk-mud, both want to express a constructive message about a world that needs change, real change. A harsh sound with a digestible message.


Together they are unique, not to be compared to other bands. But diving into their minds was more difficult than we expected. Both said that our questions were eye-openers and that they will use the insights in the near future. Candle Bags has planned a time-out, five months during which Inge will travel around the world, visiting Asia and New Zealand. Dirk will set up a home recording studio together with their sound engineer, Wout. In June they will meet again and hopefully the outcome will bring them to the next level of excellent music.

watching the birds

In a bird-watching cabin, we talked with Inge and Dirk separately.

Dirk told us about his experience during the concert of Louis Henri Ford, a man playing bass drum and snare with his feet. Dirk wanted to try this as well and after some months of hard practice, it worked for him too.

"Never think", says Dirk, "It has to be inside your body, you have to feel it. Otherwise it will be a disaster."

Inge talked about her voice as an instrument. She's a creative therapist, working mostly with music as therapy. She discovered the power of her voice long ago while singing in children musicals.

Inge: "Dirk is the creator, I'm the translator."

"It feels like confessing to a priest."
"Everything that comes into my mind has to be transformed and has to find its way to the outside world."

the pie

Sitting on a bunch of tree stumps, we asked both about their relationship. Are they 'best friends for live'? 

The trees they were sitting on, are a reflection of Candle Bags, truncated but not yet scuffed.

Inge: "It's like a piece of a pie, one piece in our lives is Candle Bags and in this piece we are one."

Dirk: "I like the way you're saying that we are merged, a harmonic oneness. Our foundation is the love for music as the only way to express ourselves.

best friends for live

Our feet half drowned in the swamp, at an open spot in the forest, we talked about society. I felt part of the movie 'Into The Wild' right then and there. The message of this film matches the message of Candle Bags.

Inge: "Making music is therapy, I don't want to lose myself in the routine of every day. That's why I needed another world trip."

Dirk: "We choose themes that are understandable to everyone. Not too deep down the rabbit hole, just enough to trigger the mind of our listeners."

Interview - part 1

a message for the world?

"Be yourself in the most pure form, search for a way to express yourself."

"You can trust on your own powers. Don't let others say what to do."

Interview - part 2

eternal friendship

Interview - part 3

the world

Interview - part 4


Candle Bags

Band Socials


Dirk Henrotay (guitar, drums, vocals)

Inge Henrotay (vocals, cymbals, cross flute)

CHUM would like to thank

Where to now captain?

BAck to