CHICO AND THE GYPSIES to Make London Concert Debut at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Nov 30
CHICO AND THE GYPSIES, legends in their native France and multi-platinum recording artists around the world, are to make their long awaited UK concert debut on November 30th with a special one-off show at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Chico Bouchikhi -- co-founder of The Gipsy Kings and co-writer of their biggest hits (Djobi Djoba, Bamboléo and Soy) -- and his band will release a brand new album to coincide with the London show; FIESTA has already sold 100,000 copies in France where the single, a joyful revival of El Porompompero, the signature song of Spanish singer Manolo Escobar, topped the airplay charts last summer.
The performance will take place at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine St, London WC2B 5JF on Sunday 30th November 2014 at 7.00pm. To book tickets, contact the Box Office: 0844 412 4660 or 0844 412 4657 or go online at www.reallyusefultheatres.co.uk or www.seetickets.com. Ticket Prices: £35.00 - £80.00. Nearest Tube: Covent Garden or Holborn. Nearest Train Station: Charing Cross.
ABOUT CHICO AND THE GYPSIES: Chico has built up a phenomenal worldwide audience of millions of music fans from his native France to Japan via Dubaï; the band's infectious brand of rumba, flamenco and Latin pop and rock tunes is joyful, flamboyant and hugely entertaining. Yet, there is so much more to the architect of the Gipsy Kings' success which saw them become the first French group to be awarded a platinum disc in the US and go on to sell an estimated 20 million albums, making them the biggest world music crossover act, well ahead of the Buena Vista Social Club.
As well as leading Chico & the Gypsies and releasing a dozen best-selling albums since the early 90s, Chico is also a UNESCO special envoy for peace and a keeper of the gypsy culture flame. Although he is not actually of gypsy extraction he developed a unique kinship with the rich travelling culture and its traditions that were transported from Catalonia to the Mediterranean regions of southern France at the start of the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939.
Born Jahloul Bouchikhi in Arles to a Moroccan father and an Algerian mother, Chico grew up in Provence where he was befriended by the Reyes family headed by José Reyes, a renowned flamenco artist and gifted singer who performed with his cousin, the virtuoso flamenco guitarist Ricardo Baliardo aka Manitas de Plata, in the early 60s. Inspired by the manouche (gipsy jazz) legend Django Reinhardt, they helped popularize a style of music influenced by the rhythms of the Afro-Cuban rumba.
José Reyes then set up the band Los Reyes, later to become The Gipsy Kings with Chico (who had by this time married Jose's daughter Marthe) and various family members, travelling around France, playing at weddings, festivals and in the streets.
In the early 80s, legendary French filmstar Brigitte Bardot was so taken with The Gipsy Kings that she asked them to regularly entertain guests at her beach house in Saint-Tropez and word of mouth started to grow. The Gipsy Kings became mainstays of the French airwaves and TV schedules with Djobi Djoba, Bamboléo and their inspired remake of the Claude François/Frank Sinatra standard Comme D'Habitude/My Way retitled A Mi Manera. In 1986 they met legendary producer Claude Martinez and signed to Elektra for the US. They performed in Mexico, Australia, London and their audiences grew by the shed load all loving the musical melting pot that reflected their gypsy origins and their easy-going, engaging embrace of the diverse cultures of the Mediterranean and beyond.
The Gipsy Kings' 1989 album Mosaïque included an infectious version of Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu) which continued their run of hit singles around the world and led to more world tours. But then Chico began asking questions about royalty statements...and found himself out on a limb and out of a job...