FAIRCHILD : L - R : Ivan De Laet, Chris Van Nauw, Patrick Van Maanen & Ronny Verhoeven (picture provided by Chris Van Nauw)


FAIRCHILD started out in early 1987. The first known line-up that I’m aware of consisted of Patrick Van Maanen (bass), Chris Van Nauw (guitar), Ronny Verhoeven (guitar) and Ivan De Laet (drums). In those early days FAIRCHILD were still struggling to find a suitable vocalist. By April of 1987 the band had already found their frontman : Dirk Seghers. But at the same time it was decided that guitarist Chris Van Nauw wasn’t quite mature enough to play guitar in FAIRCHILD, and the search for someone to replace him was on. This split was very amicable though, as Chris stayed on as guitar roadie from then on.

At last they decided to ask Erwin Suetens (ex SKUNK, THUNDERBOLT) if he wouldn’t be interested in joining FAIRCHILD. As THUNDERBOLT’s line-up was in shambles at that time, and because Erwin really wanted to continue playing in a band, he was very eager to agree. On May 1st 1987 Erwin resigned from THUNDERBOLT and … joined the ranks of FAIRCHILD that very same day. That was an easy thing to do, as both bands used to rehearse in the same building in those days …

Erwin didn’t just join FAIRCHILD to be part of a complete band again, he also considered that they had already reached a higher level of development. The band started to rehearse from day one, and a new repertoire started to take shape. Besides FAIRCHILD’s ‘oldie’ Walk Without Fear, the band also decided to re-arrange several THUNDERBOLT songs in a heavier way, including Battlefield, Hunt ‘em Down, There’s No Tomorrow, In For Treason, Prodigal Son, And Then There Were None, Never Trust Your Shadow and Lost In The Memory. A entirely new song was written as well : The Jihad – Holy War. As far as covers were concerned, the band picked the likes of Over The Mountain (OZZY OSBOURNE), Electric Eye (JUDAS PRIEST), Phantom Of The Opera (IRON MAIDEN) and METAL CHURCH’s anthem.

During the summer of 1987 FAIRCHILD considered that they were ready to record a first demo. Rather than to book an expensive studio, they decided to give it a try in their rehearsal room. Said rehearsal room belonged to a friend and included a small home-studio as well. Three songs were recorded, but only And Then There Were None stood the test of time.

Bob Schoenmaekers, owner of the Biebob club in Vosselaar, attended one of FAIRCHILD’s rehearsals, was impressed and offered them a gig. That show took place on November 28th 1987 and Metal Church was transformed to ‘Metal Schurk’ for the occasion : it included adjusted lyrics (in shady Dutch) and was sung by Bob. As it turned out, this was in fact the only FAIRCHILD gig with this line-up.

FAIRCHILD live @ Biebob, Vosselaar, 27/11/1987 : L - R : Erwin Suetens, Dirk Seghers, Patrick Van Maanen (picture provided by Erwin Suetens)

In January of 1988 Erwin Suetens left FAIRCHILD, as he couldn’t see eye to eye with vocalist Dirk Seghers any longer. Shortly after Dirk vanished into thin air as well. In order to complete the line-up again they asked Chris Van Nauw to rejoin, as he had matured immensely as a guitarist, ever since he was initially asked to leave. Finding a suitable vocalist proved to be hardly possible once again, and in the end they decided to continue as a quartet, with Chris singing. Although fellow guitarist Ronny Verhoeven took over the mike during one of the songs as well.

With this line-up FAIRCHILD proceeded to record a real 4-song demo in early spring of 1988. This tape was never officially released though, due to the fact that the band wasn’t 100% happy with the overall end result. Besides, FAIRCHILD fell apart shortly after …

Guitarist Chris Van Nauw then teamed up with Erwin Suetens, vocalist Filip Lemmens (ex BLIZZARD, ex HEAVILY MAD), bassist Patrick Anthoni (ex KING VAIN) and drummer Wim Leys (ex CROSSHEAD) in a shortlived project called RIOT’S EYE, which was over by late May of 1988 already.

Circa 1991 Erwin Suetens also briefly joined bassist Patrick Van Maanen and drummer Ivan De Laet (both ex FAIRCHILD) and guitarist Danny “Dax” Aertsen (ex HEAVILY MAD) in a side-project called PRIME SUSPECT. At the time PRIME SUSPECT were still in search of a vocalist and Erwin left again already after just one rehearsal ...

Contrary to popular belief, Chris Van Nauw did never join CROSSHEAD afterwards, although he was once offered to become their guitarist … From the 1990’s onwards Chris surfaced in the Belgian Blues and Pop music circuit. He played with the likes of THE BET, LUDO MARIMAN, YASMINE (R.I.P.), LAST CALL and HOWLIN’ BILL. These days (2009) Chris is the guitarist in the bands of Paul Michiels, Udo and Sofie. Besides he continues to do plenty of freelance studio jobs as a professional guitarist. And as of October 2009, Chris is involved with ALBO DUKES as well.

According to Chris, Ivan De Laet is still drumming these days, albeit low-profile. Nowadays, guitarist Ronny Verhoeven (alongside ex THUNDERBOLT bassist Serge Bastaens) is part of the LSR BAND, a Classic Rock cover band.


1988 : Demo 1988 {The Countess, Courtjester’s Serenade, Restless Mind, End Of Time}

Consulted people

Erwin Suetens, Chris Van Nauw

First posted

November 14th 2009

Latest adjustment


[Back to bands index]


[Back to top]