avg 21 2018
After spending his post-teenage years doing various jobs (painter, driver, delivery guy, some modeling…) and playing guitar and bass guitar in different garage punk outfits, he founds his first real band, the dark alt-rockers Bogartz. He starts singing because nobody in the band wants to sing, and he hasn’t stopped ever since.
In 2002 the Bogartz release their debut album: “Honeymoons in the desert” (MooRec/IRD). It earns rare reviews and a cult status for the band. During the live shows to promote the record, the band gets entangled in the major labels net. Three years are lost in the management’s effort to smooth the edge of their music, and at the end of 2005, the Bogartz call it quits.
Andrea then releases the first EP under the Van Cleef Continental moniker.
“8 shots, 8 failures”, the EP, is then followed in 2009 by “Red Sisters”, which is released in the USA (Steam Machine Records, with CdBaby distribution) and in Europe by CasaMolloy/Audioglobe.
The first single, the band’s rendition of Mike Oldfield’s Moonlight Shadow, is a minor radio hit, and the record earns ecstatic reviews on the national press; the band tours extensively to promote it, playing clubs and important italian open air festivals, sharing the stage with Willard Grant Conspiracy, Dead Meadow and Gaslight Anthem, among others.
In 2010, Andrea starts touring alone, for the first time, to play his band’s songs as well as selected cover versions of other artists’. During the tour (57 gigs all over Italy and Switzerland) he starts to feel the need to record new songs in a singer/songwriter style. And he starts writing new songs.
With “Sundog”, for the first time, songwriter/musician/producer Andrea Van Cleef plays acoustic songs, and his distinctive baritone isn’t surrounded by thundering drums and overdriven guitars and basses.
His music here is a re-interpretation of the experimental folk music of the early 70s, merged with the songwriting sensitivenes.