Sunday, 12 June 2016

Fatbeat! Powerhouse Jazz / Funk from Madrid.

Fatbeat! are a  Jazz / Alt Rock Funk / (whatever) band based in Madrid, Spain. I saw them play a stunning set in a small bar in Gijon, Spain on Friday night, parts of which left me, and the others there fortuitously assembled, quite breath-taken.

I guess you could call what they do a kind of jazz rock (long instrumentals played with expertise and chops) but the two sets played on Friday night were extremely varied and took in elements not only of Jazz but also Psychedelia, Folk, Funk, Alt Rock and even 20th Century classical music.

Formed in Madrid in 2009, they've released  two fine albums of self-composed material (available here on bandcamp). Their second album "Animals" .is a good solid modern jazz-rock album but sometimes the performances come over as a little too polite for me and it's really in a live setting that the material seems to come to life and breathe fire.

As a live band they really are a serious force to be reckoned with and if you get a chance, you should go see them play. All are very accomplished musicians but Miguel Benito, in particular, is a powerhouse of a drummer who lays down the,solid but frisky grooves the rest of the band - Mario Quiñones on guitar, Andrés Miranda on sax, keyboardist Alberto Morales and bassist Ander Garcia - are free to improvise over. And this is no revival of 70s noodling jazz fusion, the riffs here are catchy and lively and band play soulfully rather than excessively.

I think they are a band who deserve to be much more widely known. Spain has a thriving contemporary music scene and Fatbeat! are one of the best new bands (Spanish or otherwise) I've seen in a long time.

Check them out.

Here's the encore from Friday night's gig at the Cafe Plaza Doze in Gijon, Spain.

Here's a ferocious clip of them in Madrid in 2012. Crank it up.

Band website (in Spanish)
On bandcamp

More stranger than known

Asturian Jazz: The Xaime Arias Trio at the Alambique, Gijon, Spain 7/8/2014