Bandits are a young band out of Belgium with a lot going for them right now. While the band's members are still in their teens, they have already been playing together for over seven years. Their debut album, Bandits,was released in 2011, debuting at number 23 on the Flemish Ultratop 200 album chart. In 2014, they became one of the youngest bands to compete for a spot in the Eurovision Song Contest.
It's not hard to see why these guys have hordes of screaming fangirls lusting after them. They have the kind of good looks, perfectly quaffed haircuts, and sweet harmonies that make tween girls go Beatlemania at their live shows. It would be safe to equate them with the boy bands of the world. But there is more to this band than just their looks.
Made up of singer/guitarist Jasper Publie, bassist Thomas From Behind, guitarist Tim Tielemans, and drummer Show Smet, Bandits have honed a sound that brings together pop-rock with elements of pop-punk and dance. Critics have compared them to a young Beatles. It's a sound that makes you bob your head and tap your foot to the beat. Whether singing in Dutch or English, Publie's voice has matured since their early recordings, now resembling at times that of a young Elton John or John Lennon. Paired with top notch guitar playing, a clean bass rhythm, and skillful drumming, their music is way beyond these guys' years.
It is this level of musicianship that has gotten the band the kinds of opportunities that they have had. Recently, their single “One” helped the band reach the finals in a contest to represent Belgium in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. The song is a memorable pop-leaning track mixing Beatles-esque melody and movement with the anthemic-ness of U2, and a touch of Radio Disney sweetness.
While Bandits are still a young band, they have been playing together long enough that they have become skillful at their art. There is no doubt that they know how to play and play-up to a crowd. With thousands of fans at home in Belgium and an ever-growing global fan-base, Bandits are on the rise.
By Elise Yablon