Friday, 5 October 2012

Currently listening to: Breed 77

Breed 77 are a London based band from Gibraltar. Their Wikipedia page describes them as "a fusion of alternative metal and flamenco". There are quite a few North African influences as well, and all the band's albums are bilingual English and Spanish.

I first got into Breed 77 when their second album Cultura was released - but the band have been around a lot longer than that. I think we'd not long had the Kerrang channel as part of our cable package and the video for 'La Ultima Hora' was playing on repeat all the time. Something about the track really appealed to and I was pretty much instantly hooked.

The band played in Exeter in July 2004 on their album release tour, and it cemented was has become a teeny bit of an obsession with the band!

This photo is from that gig, with Paul Isola and Stuart Cavilla.

With the impending release of their third album, In My Blood (En Mi Sangre), the band toured the UK with an album preview tour. Again they landed in Exeter and I of course got tickets! The album release was put back to September, after which they came back to Exeter to play yet another gig (supported this time by the pretty awesome i-def-i who sadly disbanded in 2008). It was at this gig that I bumped into a couple of old mates from school, who told me that the drummer currently with Breed 77 was the percussionist from the school orchestra when I first joined, the guy who my Mum remembers from the school concert in the cathedral for his drumming and percussion skills. He is that good. So that was kinda cool. The gig was absolutely amazing as usual, they always played in the Cavern in Exeter which is so tiny but so so amazing.

They then released Un Ecuentro, a Spanish language album in 2008, which featured songs from all three previous albums sung in Spanish (and at least one song which is in Spanish on Cultura is in English). Despite not being able to understand any of the songs, they sound somehow even more beautiful in Spanish.

Their fifth album Insects, was released in 2009 and is a bit heavier and less flamenco than previous albums. There is probably more of the North Africa influences on this album, and it is a lot more politically motivated, with songs like 'Wake Up' and title track 'Insects'. The album also features the band's slightly reworked cover of The Cranberries' 'Zombie' which had been a staple at live gigs for quite a while as an anti war statement.

I haven't seen Breed 77 play live since 2006. I've not been able to get to any of their gigs since then, which is a real shame. When I saw that they were playing in Vienna in December I didn't hesitate to buy a ticket!

Why do I like Breed 77? I think it is their strong rhythmic foundations. As a flamenco/metal band there is a lot of emphasis on the rhythm section and strong Latin beats. I've always been a bit of a sucker for Spanish guitar and rhythm and Breed 77 offer both things in a neat little package. With, of course, the heavier bass and guitars typical of metal outfits. When they play live there are some fantastic percussion breakdowns and the atmosphere is always electric!

Check out some of these videos, and then think about checking them out live. You won't regret it!

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