Let The Festivities Begin!
Exclamation marks! Four musicians from all over the world! An album entitled ‘Let The Festivities Begin!’ An album cover bedecked with balloons, party hats, cocktails and what looks like a really tasty cake! Welcome to the world of Los Bitchos, a destination like none other, where it’s woozy party-time, all of the time. The foursome are based in London but three-quarters of the collective call elsewhere home.
It’s this rich, pan-continental influence that gives their debut album that extra sprinkling of spice. And, to add to the mix Alex Kapranos (he of Franz Ferdinand fame) produced the record at Gallery Studios, a recording space owned by Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music. Suffice to say, ‘Let The Festivities Begin!’ was always going to be an eclectic record infused by a rainbow of lurid colours and tongue-tingling flavours.
Having met at all-night house parties or through friends, Los Bitchos are the instrumental party band you need in your life right now, without even knowing it. This is an act that ensnare a range of varied sounds from across the globe, whether it’s Peruvian chica, Argentine cumbia, Turkish psyche and a liberal splash of surf guitar. “We wanted to sound like Van Halen and Cocteau Twins – but from Turkey” mentions Serra Petale (guitar) when commenting on Los Bitchos’ primary outing. Petale herself hails from Western Australia and mentions that her mother’s 70s Anatolian rock records are a big musical touchpoint for her. Then there’s Agustina Ruiz (keytar), a Uruguayan who has a love for Latin-American music. Swede, Josefine Jonsson (bass) “brings a touch of out-of-control pop” to proceedings, according to her bandmates. Lastly Nic Crawshaw (drums) is a south London native who has a history of playing in a number of punk bands.
Stepping into ‘Let The Festivities Begin!’ is like rocking up at a shindig just as it’s about to get into full swing; ‘The Link Is About to Die’ gets things shaking via its Latino-surf-flecked tones. It’s that stage of the party where you’re on your first drink, you’re nestling into the vibe and starting to loosen up a little. There’s a steady peak that flows through the proceeding tracks (that have wonderful names like ‘I Enjoy It’ and ‘Ffs’) which act as a euphoric rush to ‘Las Panteras’, the LP’s giddy, hedonistic epicentre. Think dancing on tables, banging shots back, multi-coloured streamers, conga-lines, the works – this is where the record goes full carnival on our arses. From ‘Las Panteras’ through to final track ‘Lindsay Goes to Mykonos’, Los Bitchos shimmy and shake through further kaleidoscopic ebbs and flows, as the pace drops for a breather but ends on a raucous high note, presumably as the sun is coming up and you’re wondering whether to crawl into bed or keep the party going.
Quite simply Los Bitchos sum up ‘Let The Festivities Begin!‘ perfectly “it’s about being together and having a really good time.” We’ll raise a garishly coloured cocktail to that!
Order Let The Festivities Begin! by Los Bitchos HERE