Los Bitchos gets Brudenell dancing on a stormy Thursday evening
Fresh from the release of their debut album Let the Festivities Begin!, London’s Los Bitchos treated a sold out Brudenell Social Club to a wonderful evening of dancing and merriment on the third night of their tour.
Formed in 2017, the London four-piece are quite hard to pin down in terms of genre, they borrow elements from cumbia, bossa nova, surf rock and the more danceable side of psych – put simply: the band produces the musical embodiment of good vibes. The group itself features members from all across the globe: Petale comes from Western Australia, bassist Josefine Jonsson hails from Sweden, keytar/synth player Agustina Ruiz from Uruguay, and drummer Nic Crawshaw is English. With a line-up so diverse, it should likely be unsurprising that Los Bitchos are the proprietors of such a unique sound.
The exuberance and danceability of Los Bitchos is plainly evident within the grooves of their debut record, but their show at Brudenell confirmed them to be a band that is best enjoyed within the context of live music. Outside the social club, it was a cold and stormy Thursday evening in Leeds, but Los Bitchos managed to transport the crowd to a paradisical land of tequila and South American-influenced tunes. The band had an incredible joyous energy on stage which translated perfectly into the crowd. Perhaps due to the group being a solely instrumental act, the energy on stage was shared throughout the whole group – as opposed to many bands where the lead singer acts as the predominant performer. Guitarist and songwriter Serra Petale spent much of the set moving frantically from delivering wave after wave of adrenaline-fulled riffs to bashing out a funky rhythm on the timbales or the bongo drums. The sheer range of instruments set up on stage – from a keytar to a set of bongos – acts as a good representation of Los Bitchos on the whole; a slightly mismatched menagerie of sounds and styles that come together to create a whole new kind of sound that you cannot get enough of.
The four-piece were joined on stage by guitarist Charles Prest, who also performed as the support act under the name Noon Garden. An impressive one-man band, Noon Garden is simply Charles, for want of a better word, shredding on his guitar with the backing of a drum machine and a helping hand from a Cry Baby wah-wah guitar pedal. Noon Garden had a definite old-school hippie influence (both in appearance and sound) whilst simultaneously creating an unmistakably modern sound. His contributions to Los Bitchos on stage, too, did not go unnoticed as he certainly added to the group’s performance.
The band danced their way through every track from Let the Festivities Begin!, in addition to as yet unreleased track ‘Yulele’ and a cover of ‘Trapdoor’ by Aussie psych legends King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard before closing the set with an energetic dance-rock arrangement of the classic ‘Tequila!’ (originally recorded by The Champs in 1958). They put on an unforgettable show – never before had I witnessed a Brudenell crowd so diverse in age, style or race, all laughing and dancing together as one. They say that live music brings us together, and that has never been truer than it was during the Los Bitchos gig at Brudenell Social Club.