Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Grupo Fantasma/Debo Band write-up

Last item for a while about the Debo review of a show last week at the Iron Horse in Northampton.

I said, "Two big bands bring the funk to Western Mass., one the 11-piece Ethiopian-crossed-with-proggy-jazz Debo Band, the other Austin's mighty nine-man Grupo Fantasma. You wouldn't think that 11 or even nine people would fit on the Iron Horse's modest stage, but both bands pack them in. Debo's guitar player is almost entirely invisible behind the horn line, the bass and sousaphone players bob up and down, partly obscured by a lavish two-violin, one accordion electric gypsy band. Grupo Fantasma obscures its red-hot guitarist, too, behind a front line of timbales, bongos, singers, sax, trombone and trumpet players. But the sheer size of these bands, especially in such a constrained space, generates an an overwhelming, body-moving, surrounding sound. You can't not move to the beat. It's all around you."


This video is from a couple of years ago, but still...

We're going to see the Hold Steady and Mount Carmel tonight, too. More on that later.

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