Ancienne Belgique (French for "Old Belgium") is a concert hall for contemporary music in Brussels, Belgium. Located in the historic heart of Brussels, it is one of the leading concert venues in Belgium, hosting a wide variety of international and local acts.
The venue consists of three concert halls: the "Main Hall", the "ABBox", and the "ABClub". The Main Hall is, logically, the Ancienne Belgique's main hall, and has a capacity of 2,000 people. It is said to be one of the best concert halls in Belgium, with perfect acoustics. The ABBox is the newest addition to the Ancienne Belgique. It is the same space as the Main Hall, but rearranged for greater intimacy: the seats in the back and the balconies at the sides of the hall are covered, limiting its capacity to 800 people. The ABBox is the Ancienne Belgique's response to the need for a smaller concert hall to host less well-known acts, helping them gain a new and larger audience. The ABClub has a capacity of approximately 250 people, and hosts smaller, up-and-coming acts.
Suicide performed at the Ancienne Belgique on June 16, 1978. The crowd was hostile, wanting to hear the main act (Elvis Costello), and the members of Suicide antagonized the audience further during the performance. The recorded performance, on which many confrontational exchanges can be heard, was eventually released as 23 Minutes Over Brussels.
Circa 1986, Ancienne Belgique hosted a popular club night with DJ "Fat" Ronny Harmsen whose distinctive DJ-ing style, dubbed "AB" music after the club's initials, laid the groundwork for the emergence of the New Beat genre.
The Domino festival, which was held annually from 1999 to 2011, hosted some underground artists that later broke into the mainstream.
Albums and videos recorded at the Ancienne Belgique
In 2000, the rock band Oasis played a notable concert which was taped by MTV.
Róisín Murphy released the limited double CD Live at Ancienne Belgique in November, 2007.
Monster Magnet placed two songs from a 2014 performance (which also was the debut for recent bassist Chris Kosnik) at the AB on Milking the Stars: A Re-Imagining of Last Patrol. The songs chosen were "Last Patrol" and "Three Kingfishers".
Calexico released three live albums recorded at the Ancienne Belgique in 2008 and 2012.
- "The Cure live concert: 11.06.1982 Brussel – Ancienne Belgique (Belgium)". Cure-Concerts.de. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
- Reed, S. Alexander (2013). Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music. Oxford University Press. p. 248. ISBN 9780199832583.
- Lozowick, Surat (6 April 2011). "Toppling the last Domino at Ancienne Belgique: An interview with Jari Demeulemeester". New Europe Agenda. New Europe. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
- "Trials & Errors".
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