It was like a scene from The Lord Of The Rings; six-foot beer-bellied men battling dishevelled teenagers in nu-metal hoodies. Unfortunately there was no mosh pit to stimulate more drama, but that did not matter – it was a highly pumped night of perspiration and excitement. In fact the small crowd and the lack of space increased the exhilaration. After all, there was the encouragement and praise of lead vocalist Paul Isola to arouse the audience’s eagerness for the good old rock tradition of forcibly pushing and ramming into people you have never met.
However, the night did not start off so intensely. Perhaps the crowd were ridding themselves of the frustration after the less than memorable sets played by the previous two bands. For the price of a pint you can buy seven songs by 209 at the merchandise stall. However, anyone tempted would be advised not to bother as they’re completely disposable. After 209′s diminutive and rather ridiculous set, Breed 77 showed the crowd how rock is supposed to sound.
Formed in 1996 in London, the native Gibraltans have much to be pleased about – they have supported Black Sabbath at the London Astoria, they have a five-album recording contract with Albert Productions and their single The River made the top 40 last month. It is no surprise that a loyal fan base is rapidly expanding as Breed 77 are a gifted and surprisingly inventive band.
What makes them so interesting and distinctive is their mixing of classical Spanish guitar with heavy riffs that create well-constructed songs. One minute the band are playing pure balls to the ground rock; and then they are very melodic, almost mellow. Surprisingly, away from studio production tinkering, the Latino interests work rather well on stage.
Paul Isola is a front man who has stage presence. Consistently drumming up cheers and roars from the over-excited crowd, he portrays true rock star credentials. It was like playing chess, Isola was in total control over his every move and the zealous crowd banged their heads for what seemed the entirety of the hour-long set. He is a fascinating man to observe – one minute he is calm and surprisingly quiet, like he was having a drink with the audience. Then thunder strikes and he changes by acting like a possessed beast, and it’s all shouts and bellows. The audience go wild, the sweat pours and the battles commence.
Convulsively plucking his bass strings, Stuart Cavilla was perhaps the most memorable musician of the night. He played as fast as Lemmy and was equally loud. It is a delight to hear a bass guitar, but to hear a talented bass player like Cavilla amongst the indistinct noise so many bassists produce in the contemporary rock scene is almost remarkable. The loud guitars of Danny Felice and Pedro Caprarros recall the classic twin guitarists of 80′s power metal. Meanwhile, Pete Chichone beats the hell out of his drums and the club vibrates. What a night!
So, where do they go from here? They are on the road to promote their latest album, Cultura. An exhaustive tour of the UK should hopefully entice further support and help indulge their record sales. Breed 77 are a band to see now; before all the fuss and hype starts, and it will because they are a talented, intense and enthralling group of musicians.