It’s very rare that I will go to see a band play live if I’ve never heard any of their music (actually it’s pretty rare that I’ll see any band live at all these days…) But last night we were lucky enough to see Ojos de Brujo live in Madrid, and I didn’t know a single one of their songs before walking into Madrid’s La Riviera, one of the few decent small venues in the city. All we had was a recommendation from a friend, and high praise from the Guardian, who rightly hail the group as “one of the slickest and most exciting bands in Europe”.
Eleven or more band members take to the stage, including a drummer, percussionist, 2 acoustic guitars, a bassist (who performed mind-numbing feats of string slapping), the wild, rasta-haired lead singer (Marina), the singer-rapper-human-beat-box guy, who does vocal battle with the whacking feet of the flamenco dancer who changes dress between numbers, a fuzzy-haired trumpeter who is too cool – and good at the trumpet – to be true, the bloke with the decks and the synths who steps up front occasionally to harrass the audience into making more noise…
The result is the most incredible cacophony of sound I’ve ever heard, and a stage show that seems as brilliantly improvised as the finest jazz, and is 100 times more entertaining than going to the theatre.
They look like they are having the time of their life on stage, obviously love each other’s company and have huge respect for each other’s evident talents, but what exactly do they sound like? I suppose you could call it a unique fusion of flamenco, jazz, soul, rap, dance, Indian chill-out, funk, rock … I’ve never seen or heard a show like it.
Next time they tour your neck of the woods, get tickets.
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