FAMILY bands make for strong links but can also see almost catastrophic meltdowns such as that seen with the Gallagher brothers in Oasis.
The original Gipsy Kings were formed in France by brothers Nicolas and Andre Reyes who were the sons of flamenco artist Jose Reyes who gained popularity for what is known as Rumba Flamenco when he was partnered with Manitas de Plata.
The two brothers teamed up with three cousins and toured as Los Reyes until changing their name to the Gipsy Kings and gaining worldwide popularity with their mix of Flamenco and sing-along pop.
Whilst their parents had fled Catalonia during the Civil War, the brothers and the band considered themselves to be neither French nor Spanish but in the words of Andre “a Gitano, a Catalan Gypsy!”
Over the years, different members of the family and other musicians have come and gone from the band but there has always been a Reyes brother leading the Gipsy Kings who performed at Starlite Marbella yesterday and Puerto Sherry, a marina in the Bay of Cadiz on August 14.
The current 10 piece band is led by original founder Andre Reyes and they are breaking off a US tour to appear in just these two Spanish gigs whilst brother Mario Reyes as well as much respected musician former member Chico Castillo will be appearing with the band.
In conversation, Andre told the RTN that the Marbella gig would be technically structured in order to present the band as a slick and professional operation offering a high quality performance for an appreciative audience.
The second gig however which is set in one of the heartlands of Flamenco will see a looser and more laid back version of the band so that this performance will hopefully end up a riotous party whilst the first performance will be more akin to a concert.
Both performances will see a whole range of material not excluding the hugely successful Bamboleo which catapulted them into world-wide prominence and may even include their special take on the Eagles’ hit Hotel California
Andre lives to play and to tour but hopes to be able to take some time out of the band’s busy schedule later this year to think about a new recording.
In the meantime, the Gipsy Kings promise two evenings to excite their fans which he says they are very much looking forward to.