The Starved Peasant is the alter ego of Uwe “Balou” Bartsch and has been around for more than 40 years. Starting as a rather rebel bunch of punk oriented folkies in the early 1980s in Germany, the political climate in Germany was somewhere in between Red Army Fraction sympathisers and right wing neo-nazi splinter groups, Balou stayed on and off in his troubled, but formidable exiled home of Berlin Kreuzberg. Living in squats, these partisan freedom punks managed to build their own little communities including shops and bakeries, cafes and hang-out pads, all in the multi stories of derelict SO36 (Post Code). More about squatting culture of the 1970/80s in Berlin click here. In those days, not unlike now, you’d be pushed to find the Peasant performing with the same artists twice. This was not because nobody wanted to, but due to the fact the Bear (Balou a.k.a. The Starved Peasant) wanted new stuff, change and no acclimatising in his uncompromising performances. Sometimes Punk, Rock, Blues, sometimes JazzPunk, other times Kraut-Rap (predecessor to Kraut-Hop (German Hip Hop), the Peasant did not repeat himself.
After a rather mad 2 years in the German Army where Balou was never far from being locked up for insubordination, and even once being bailled out by Berthold Brecht's daughter Hanne Hiob, for demonstrating in uniform against the NATO double-track decision (NATO Doppelbeschluss), which was In the early 1980s Balou was asked to "sit in" playing drums (Balou's first instrument) with some Blues cats form the US. Turned out to be John Lee Hooker, Katie Webster and Koko Taylor. Balou talked his way into playing guitars with those three after it emerged that they brought their own drummer. That's when Balou's ears and eyes were opened to the Blues. He never stopped listening to, nor playing them Blues, and he became a true aficionado and ambassador of this incredible and original tell-tale art of murder, lynching, sex and abuse. Today, the Bear spends broadcasting, touring, recording, and performing together with Blues and Folk/Blues wanderers and likeminded souls from all over this beautiful planet.
Seriously, becoming a DJ and Radio Broadcaster was not what Balou had in mind, but it all started in a nightclub on Berlin's Kudamm (Kurfuerstendamm), the centre of this unbelievably lively metropolis of the 1980s. Discovering Hip-Hop, Kraut-Hop and mixing it with Blues, Reggae, Punk and often just Poetry, Balou soon became the hot tip-off on the Szene Spree (the Spree is a river that runs through Berlin).
Turbulent times and clashes with the law (kinda) forced Balou to leave his beloved Berlin, so in '87 the Bear moved to his chosen exile to Scotland, leaving a somewhat darker and speckled past behind him. In the most beautiful country on earth's capital city Edinburgh, he joined Europe's largest night club The Amphitheater as laser and light jockey, dazzling thousands every night at midnight with the world's largest laser display in any night club at the time.
Radio and Television have been in Balou's life throughout his career starting with his runner days at RTL (Radio Television Luxembourg) to his joining a BBC production house as broadcast video editor in Edinburgh. In 1989 Balou formed Fox TV in Edinburgh with his best friend and partner Mike Scott and together they produced a series of music videos and documentaries on musical and spiritual themes.
Since then, Starved Peasant continued to perform and tour with Blues artists from all over the place to venues everywhere they'll have him. In 2017, after broadcasting his show The Starved Peasant with Balou, at three different radio networks, Balou joined Exile FM in Leicester, where he found a family of like-minded music lovers, eclectic and diverse in persona and taste. Exile FM is now home for Balou's live radio show The Starved Peasant with Balou and airs every Friday night from 9pm - 11pm (UK time) .