“You know Bearded Gypsy Band is playing when you walk into a pub and it’s
45 degrees inside, 98% humid, the bar is empty
and the dancefloor is heaving”
anonymous punter at the Grace Emily Hotel
On 12 February 2011 BEARDED GYPSY BAND launched their debut album. It had its origins in a mammoth sixteen hour recording session on 12-13 July 2010. Nick Gates, at the desk, has done a great job capturing the spirit of these 4 young whipper snappers from the Adelaide Hills. 10 instrumental tunes mined from the deep vein of Django-style Gypsy Jazz (with a bit of ireland and mississippi thrown in.)
The album launch will go down in Adelaide folklore. The Grace Emily was full to capacity with a line-up running down the footpath. the front bar was pretty much empty and the entire patronage was crammed into the band room – shoulder to shoulder right back to the pool table. The first ten rows of sweaty punters heaved to-and-fro like a tide, the sound of crunching glass could be heard under their feet due to the pints being lost in the throng.
After a fine set of folky tunes from support act A.P. D’Antonio, including a scorching rendition of ‘Fixin To Die’ , the Gypsies’ delivered a no-holds-barred set that culminated in Mr D’Antonio surfing across the outstretched arms of the crowd only to dissappear into the blackness.
The music was sublime with all the build-em-ups-break-em-downs that you expect from a Bearded Gypsy set. It’s difficult to say how four young lads from the hills around Adelaide came to play a spiced up blend of gypsy-inspired instrumentals. We asked them and they can’t really explain it either.
‘We all played and listened to a lot of Jazz, Blues and Folk music’ says Guitarist Tom ‘they’re styles which we sort of glued together with the gypsy sound we picked up from somewhere. Previous lives perhaps? I think it could have been the energy that exists in Gypsy music which appealed to us.’
Whatever the reason, the energy the band exudes on stage has hit a nerve and their constant gigging has connected with a rabidly loyal following. It’s only a matter of time before Adelaide’s secret infatuation with Bearded Gypsies gets out.
Anyway, the gypsies decided to let us loose to release the album and we’ve gone all out producing a two colour screen printed sleeve featuring any self respecting bedouins’ transport of choice – the camel. Inside you’ll find an 8 page booklet with sewn spine and a three colour hand-sprayed disc.
135 of these have been put up for sale and there’s no plans to make any more so grab a piece of Adelaide music history before they run out.