Clouseau (band)

Last updated
Kris (left) and Koen (right) at a signing session
Background information
Origin Belgium
Genres Rock, pop, dance
Years active1984–present
Members Kris Wauters
Koen Wauters
Past members Tjen Berghmans
Karel Theys
Bob Savenberg

Clouseau is a Belgian pop group, having success in Belgium and the Netherlands since being established in the late 1980s. Apart from a brush with English material in the early 1990s they perform in Dutch. Their biggest hits are "Daar gaat ze" ("There she goes", a #1 hit in the Netherlands in 1990, and rerecorded in English as "Close Encounters") and "Passie" ("Passion", a #1 hit in the Netherlands in 1995).




Clouseau was set up by Bob Savenberg, who named the band after Inspector Clouseau, a character he enjoyed imitating and after whom he had named his radio station.

Initially, Clouseau only performed at local venues. Singer Koen Wauters soon left the group to sing for another local band, but in 1987 he was persuaded to return.

The same year they were discovered at the Marktrock festival in Leuven, Belgium. Their first single "Brandweer" ("Firemen", also a pun that can be interpreted as "Burning again") sold 427 copies. Their television debut followed in November of that year.

In 1989 Clouseau participated in the Belgian tryouts for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Anne". Clouseau came in second, but "Anne" became an enormous hit in Belgium and a (minor) hit in the Netherlands. The popularity of Clouseau in Belgium skyrocketed, and that year Clouseau produced its first album, "Hoezo?" ("Whaddayamean?").

In 1990 "Daar gaat ze" topped the singles charts in both Belgium and the Netherlands; several more hits followed. On September 30, Tjen Berghmans left the group after a dispute.

In October 1990 Clouseau released their second album, Of zo... (Or so...). In March 1991, Karel Theys departed, leaving Clouseau as a three-piece. A month later Clouseau came in 16th in the Eurovision Song Contest with "Geef het op", but their participation resulted in a European breakthrough.


Afterwards it was announced that Koen Wauters was called up for the army; because of his Clouseau-commitments he only had to serve four weeks and didn't need to shave his head. Fall 1991, Clouseau released their first English language album; Close Encounters (of which the title track is a translation of "Daar gaat ze") was a huge success in Germany. The Dutch fans were less keen on the idea of Koen Wauters singing in another language and rather bought the live-album that was released during this period.

In 1992 Clouseau released a Dutch-language album, Doorgaan (Keep on going). At the same time, they supported Swedish group Roxette on their European tour performing the Close Encounters-material.

The second English-language album, 1993's In every small town was recorded in Los Angeles. However, the album failed critically, receiving little attention outside the Benelux countries. Since then, Clouseau has refrained from producing English-language music (except for occasional singles, e.g. "Weather With You" (Crowded House cover) in 2000).

In 1995 they released the Oker album, which featured the single "Passie". In 1996, founder Bob Savenberg left the group. At the time he hosted the television format of the Ultratop 50. Bob Savenberg now works with upcoming artists as a manager.

In September 1996 Clouseau released the Adrenaline album, which was promoted with a large tour.

On 22 December 1998 singer Koen Wauters married the Dutch television journalist and one-time MTV-presenter Carolyn Lilipaly (they divorced in 2002). 1999 saw the release of In Stereo. Clouseau were heading for a new direction. A live album was released in 2000, and Clouseau were touring Belgium and the Netherlands.


In 2001, Clouseau released the disco oriented CD En Dans (And Dance); the artwork was designed by Marcel Vanthilt and the title track became a huge hit. Whilst the fans were waiting for new material, the two remaining bandmembers presented the 2003 and 2004 editions of Idool (the Belgian version of Idols) on VTM. In October 2004 they released the Vanbinnen (Inside) album.

Clouseau performing in December 2009 Clouseau live.jpg
Clouseau performing in December 2009

Since 2002 Clouseau are playing multiple Christmas shows at the Sportpaleis Antwerp. These concerts are a huge success with tickets selling out well in advance and each year's series surpassing the previous. In 2005, 13 shows attracted over 200,000 visitors in total. Due to Koen's Dakar-participation they couldn't add any further dates.

In 2006 Clouseau performed in Antwerp at the 0110 concerts for tolerance, organised by Tom Barman, singer/guitarist with dEUS. At that moment seven shows were added for that year's Christmas stint (Clouseau Speciale Editie).

The band released their latest CD Vonken & Vuur (Sparks & Flames) in March 2007 with "De Tegenpartij" ("The Opposition Party") being the first single. The Dutch release followed a month later.

Their 20th anniversary was celebrated with the tribute album Braveau Clouseau.

On 5 December 2008 Clouseau played the first of their Crescendo Christmas-shows.

In 2009 they expressed their tiredness of Belgian communal tensions in a pro-Belgium song, a novelty in Flemish commercial popular culture. They toured across railway-stations and festivals which included their first show in the Netherlands in nine years.

In 2017 a documentary was aired in honour of their 30th anniversary.






YearSinglePeak chart positionsAlbum

"Ze zit achter me aan"
1988"Alleen met jou"25
1990"Daar gaat ze"12
"Wil niet dat je weggaat"129
"Heel alleen"318Of Zo...
1991"Ik wil vannacht bij je slapen"2728
"Oh Ja"
"Geef het op" (from Eurovision Songcontest 1991)41387*97
"Hilda"729Non-album single
1992"Close Encounters"19Close Encounters
(European release)
"Altijd heb ik je lief"69Doorgaan (Tot je niet meer
op je benen kan staan)
"Vanavond ga ik uit"919
"Ben je daar vannacht"1651
"Als je me wil"29
"Afscheid van een vriend"12
1993"Live Like Kings"978In Every Small Town
"Take Me Down"993
"I Live In Memories"
"Piece of Candy"
1995"Laat me nu toch niet alleen"74Oker
"Zie me graag"410
"1 miljoen vlinders"48
"Je bent niets"27
1997"Dat ze de mooiste is"1878
"Kom naar jou"81
"Door de muur"256987 * 97
1999"Niets meer"59In Stereo
"Heb ik ooit gezegd"768
"Ik, jij, hij of zij"
"Altijd meer en meer"39
"Hoe lang nog?"
2000"Weather with You"Clouseau Live
2001"Onvergetelijke nacht"Ballades
"Ik geef me over"13En dans
"En dans"1581
2002"Brandend avontuur"50100
"Bergen en ravijnen"
"Ik denk aan jou"6
2005"Hier bij jou"10
"Ik zie de hemel"320Ballades
2006"Weg van jou"13Vonken & vuur
"Vonken & vuur"1
2007"De tegenpartij"4
"Casanova (Wen er maar aan)"35
2008"Wat een leven"11Non-album single
2009"Leve België"16Zij aan zij
"Zij aan zij"
2010"Als er ooit iets fout zou gaan"
"De juiste vergissing"
"Gek op jou"23Ballades 2010
2014"Kan het niet alleen"
"Laatste keer"
"Onvoorwaardelijk wij"
2015"Zin om te bewegen"9Clouseau danst
"Vogel voor de kat"48
"Tijd om te leven"
2017"Ik wil je terug" (live)4Clouseau30
"Helemaal alleen" (live)35
"Alles voor mij" (live)25
"Heel mijn hart"44
2020"Wereld die nooit vergaat"52
2021"Eén keer in een leven"35Jonge wolven
"Vage herinnering"36
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.

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  1. "Tweesprong by Clouseau". Apple Music. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  2. "Clouseau – Jonge wolven". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  3. "Clouseau - Flemish Chart". Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  4. "Clouseau - Dutch Chart". Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  5. "Clouseau - German Chart". Retrieved 9 February 2016.

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Clouseau (band) at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by