another funky friday night outing of smoking poptastic covers, brazilian style. mishka and gab share the lead, backed by greg, francesc, hammadi, brian, loz, jeremy, barak. short video is here (i want you back – jackson 5) you may have to sign in to facebook to view. more pics here.
loved the salsa band. yes, often this is the comment we get, so after years of tirelessly advancing study of brazilian music, we decided to play cuban music if only so we could accept the compliment graciously. it all started at the thames festival a long time ago, but that is another story. you can catch the intro of que viva chango on this video. more pics here.
this was to be the first of 2 autumn guanabara shows for rotc’s smaller band with fabio allman; a residency, if you like. if you like you can read more about the november show and watch some clips. there was more to say about that.
variety is nice, and an opportunity to back bahian singer elisangela certainly provided this. eddy and veronica who (along with the star of the show) often dance for us, became (tonight) the singers for a mixed repertoire of axé, samba and funk carioca. samara (who dances for us) also got up on the stage, in fact every one jumped up and there was a bit of a conga-line. there is not usually room for this, but tonight was different with a minimal and multi-tasking band of greg, loz, brian, jeremy & barak. there are videos too: rap das armas, iemanjá soba, joelho. more pics here.
2012 was to be an epic year for rotc’s samba crowd. playing at olympic park, in mangueira samba school, circo voador and gdansk shipyard. gdansk shipyard was the birthplace of solidarity, who began the unravelling of ‘communism’ in europe, and now it is (perhaps slightly less importantly) on the samba map of the world too. security staff at the airport were slightly mistified by the agogo, but this was the only troublesome moment in a smooth trip. friday we arrived and hit the historic long market with a batucada (rhythm symphony), saturday there was a workshop followed by long night at the buffetklub (in shipyard. way more crumbling dirty and cool than hoxton), sunday a parade with large bateria of workshop participants assembled from the visiting polish groups. dancers asia and yazzmin grabbed the attention of the enthusiastic audience almost as much as our rendition of polish-folk-classic ‘to i hola’. thanks go to michał szczepankiewicz, organiser and complete star, for making everything so smooth.
for those of you that don’t know london, there is the hip side, and the unhip side. we don’t get asked to play in south west london much. was it the red routemaster bus that tempted us to chiswick bandstand marathon? was it the headline slot? was it free rides on thomas the tank engine? no, it was the bandstand with moat. its not often you play in a moat. to be honest, this was rotc’s 2nd time having hit the tower of london moat with jamie cullum in 2006. we are moat-friendly. there’s not much more to say about this gig… it was a warm up for the olympic park later that night, where we were the last band to play as the audience left the paralympic games.
artaha (our partners in crime for the olympics) as well as involving us with our new lifelong friends sargento pimenta, and old masters monobloco for the olympics, have now masterminded the cultural hand-over (hand back) of the spirit of carnival from london back to rio. today was the last day of the paralympics, and assembled at the specially built thames festival stage @ bernie spain gardens, we had the amazing static-rio-style-float design of shademakers with our partners from hackney carnival tropical isles. for the featured ‘hommage to rio’ shows (4pm + 8pm), our spot with shademakers performers dove-tailed into those of tropical isles, and then LSS and Paraíso before all joining forces for the massive samba finale. eddy, orquídea and aneta were our featured dancers, mishka, amy, gabby and brian shared the honours on vocals, and alongside our usual funk and motown selctions, we hit iconic anthem ‘london is the place’ for me just to remind everyone that its not all about rio. video evidence: london is the place for me | ain’t no mountain high enough | it must be love.
this was always going to be a busy day/weekend. we had been at bernie spain gardens all day for the london-rio olympic collaborations artistic handover / thames festival. and after 3 shows there, we had to pack quickly to walk/run everything over waterloo bridge to guanabara in time. what time is that, brian? its soca time. band was well-warmed up, overheated maybe. eddy and aneta danced. more pics here.
its not often that minibloco (our smaller band) plays a saturday night at guanabara, and rarer still to have dancers. some guys who don’t usually get to play in this format stepped up (tim karp, simon and dave mck) mishka, gab and brian shared the lead vocals. we enjoyed this night (less drums to carry), the dancers enjoyed the night (they had more space) and so did the crowd. video evidence: lady marmalade, volcano.