Ojos de Brujo live in Brighton


3. Dez. 2006, 23:38

So the verdict on Ojos de Brujo live, in one word: Wow.

It says something about how much I was looking forward to this that the hassle of having to take rail replacement busses instead of a fast train journey didn't dent my mood... Then again I knew what to expect having watched their live DVD last weekend.

I basically can't praise this band enough. Even if you're not enough of a muso-geek to care about the virtuosity of the individual instrumentalists or the band's tightness in complex and advanced arrangements, you can't fail to grin at the sheer energy and joie de vivre in the music.

Color came fairly early on in the set, perhaps 2nd or 3rd, and to be honest wasn't quite as scarily tight as it is on record. I rather missed the horn section from the album version, too. But this wasn't a night to be disappointed; the band basically got better and better from here on.

From the catchy Indian flavour of Todo Tiende (rattled off rather faster than on CD!) to the heavy punk flamenco of Piedras VS Tanques, all of my favourites from Techari were present and correct, mixed up with a selection of older (and perhaps newer?) material.

One track I can't remember featured a rather splendid bass solo, tapping and all, whilst another provided a huge showcase for the tapping feet of their flamenco dancer. The best "show off" moment though was undoubtedly Acción Reacción Repercusión, an eye-wateringly polyrhythmic pure percussion composition between drummer Sergio and percussionists Max and Xavi. It's rather easy to "tune out of it" when listening on CD, but jaw-dropping and mesmerising in the flesh.

Also special mentions for Max's vocals which seemed to be (deservingly) used more extensively than on the records, and for the VJ(s), who provided absolutely top-notch visuals, intelligently incorporating live camera footage of the musicians to help us see more of the fingerwork with more abstract and political imagery in keeping with their artwork and videos.

Of course the irony is that this gig barely needed visuals with a dozen or more people bounding around the stage, whilst at most visually-boring DJ / club night events I go to, the VJing is mediocre and cliched!

The set "ended" with a phenomenally cooking rendition of one of my favourite OdB tracks, Zambra, recalling Shpongle in its psychedelic intensity. Of course this wasn't exactly the end, as they returned for an multi-song, instrument-swapping encore. This was actually a bit rambling; it might have been better showmanship to end with a bang, but you couldn't begrudge them their fun!

Marina apparently doesn't speak any English, or else simply chose to communicate between songs only in Spanish - which was understood by the large Spanish contingent in the audience, but not by me. Max and Panko translated it when they felt like it, but to be honest it didn't really matter - their enthusiasm was evident in any language.

Needless to say I will be attending any and all future gigs they do within striking distance of me!


  • The_Button_Man

    Ah. Now you see, Rux added Ojos de Brujo as one of his favourites on Facebook yesterday. I'm interested... especially after this description.

    8. Jan. 2007, 1:42
  • Korosuke

    Yeah, this band is awesome. The other day they played Todo tiende on tape on a concert while we were waiting for the artists. To be honest that song was much more enjoyable than the rest of the night. xD And yeah, it does sound a bit indian, like punjabi-ish.

    17. Apr. 2007, 18:53
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