It’s rare to have a room filled at 9pm for the very first act of the night, but Brains Trust must definitely have some local cult followers because punters are filing into Solbar in quick succession, packing the room ready for a balmy night of tunes.

The three-piece from Brisbane has the crowd milling around the room with drinks in hands and people are already boogying by the first few songs. They play a short set of downbeat but groovy tunes and are the most humble of performers to boot.

Kallidad then take the stage. Witnessing the live performance of the heavy metal Mexican-inspired musos is something everyone has to experience when they get the chance. The three boys from Sydney delve deep into their alter egos of Senor Bang Bang, The Raven and Jacinko, transformed with their famous Dia de Muertos painted faces and crazy eyes. The rarity of finding a purely instrumental band these days able to get people dancing as heavily as they do to Kallidad is astounding. Their energy and fingerpicking are second to none and there wouldn’t be a band in the world that would be a more fitting opener for the headliners of the night.

The vibe in the room is building and reaches a crescendo when Tijuana Cartel step onto the stage. Absolutely flying through their set at breakneck speed, they provide the floors of Solbar with some of the heaviest footstomping imaginable, with dance circles forming and even security guards dispatched into the crowd joining in on the moves. Once again, some of the most humble performers out there, genuinely leaving the stage at the end of the set, after a deafening chant of “Encore!” they return, grinning ear to ear and treating the crowd to an extra four songs to end the night.

With Tijuana Cartel enticing the crowd with a mix of tunes from both M1 and 24 Bit Guitar Orchestra, Kallidad later return to the stage for the closer and put on such an energetic performance that it’d be impossible to have left the gig without feeling on top of the world. With everything from bongos to brass instruments, techno beats and then the MC of the night joining in for a couple of rap numbers, the gig has every requirement to ensure Sunshine Coast punters will be talking about this night for weeks to come.

Interview with Jacinko on Sydney Eastside Radio, 89.7 FM, discussing the band's influences, origins, and touring with Tijuana Cartel.

 

SYDNEY band Kallidad will continue its love affair with Western Australia this weekend when it performs in Margaret River.

 

The band's three amigos, known to fans as Jacinko, Senor Bang Bang and Pollo Negro, describe their music as 'Mexican mariachi metal'.

 

Their influences include Met allica, Tool, Led Zeppelin and Slipknot, among many. They also share a special bond with Tijuana Cartel, who took them on some of their very first tours to Byron Bay and Bellingen.

 

"We couldn't have done without them," Senor Bang Bang said.

 

"They're a brilliant band who we really look up to and there are plenty of similarities [between us], especially the Spanish guitar."

 

Kallidad has toured Europe and Australia and performed at festivals such as Rainbow Serpent and Nannup Festival. The trio has been asked to play at Dwellingup's Nanga Festival later this year, which will mark their third trip to WA in 12 months.

 

See them live at Settlers Tavern, Margaret River on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Jacinko, Raven and Senor Bang Bang, the alter ego of mex metal trio Kallidad.

Mix metal, mariachi, and flamenco. Take two guitars, a cajon drum box.

Add the scary skeleton face paint designs of Mexico's Day of the Dead celebrations.

The result is Kallidad.

The group formed in Bondi and are building up a following both here and overseas.

Fingers fly up and down the frets, the notes anchored and centred by Senor Bang Bang's polyrhythmic drumming.

The trio hail from Sydney, school friends who developed a liking of the same music, the danceable frenetic mariachi.

Between they have an eclectic mix of musical tastes from reggae to blues and rock, Mozart to metal.

On the scene for just a couple of years, they've released one album to date, The Whack, and plan to record again shortly.

Their energy and dexterity easily won over the Nannup Music Festival goers.

La visión: three faces styled in the vein of dia de Los Muertos. Raw sounds of dos guitarras and a modified cajón madly careening across the evening air amidst the tinkling of Don Esquis Lagers and shots of tequila. It is Kiss fused with mexicano flamenco – but lacking in exposed tongues. It is fiery acoustic guitarra and inflamed box drumming. Behold incredibly nimble fingers roaming freely across the neck and heavy gauge nylon strings with all the rawness and ferocity of Eddie Van HalenJimi Hendrix or James Hetfield. Combine this with the agile dexterity of Alan Banks or Slava Grigoryan whilst surrounded by rough-hewn rich textures of the modified cajón, and it is a sound quite unlike any other. Certainly, the sonority of this instrumental música is refreshing and new, and I am #fascinated. 

To celebrate the launch of taking over West End, Beach Burrito Co imported Sydney amigos Kallidad to Brisbane for a night thick with face painting, street art, tequila and burritos. A trio light on the instruments but heavy on the intensity, Kallidad proved an invigorating tonic for such an #illustrious opening.

 

True to its nature, BBCo in West End has continued with the #arbitrary countercultures of surfing, skating and street art, keeping to the gay tinctures and earthy tones synonymous to Mexicano cultura. BBCo sustains the chipper attitude and cheery inflections successfully established in Fortitude Valley, but keeps in touch with the bohemian culture of West End. It’s like a lean-to on Boundary Street, the gay colours a brilliant standout day and night, with palm trees swaying and the décor #nostalgic but nowhere near passé. 

Add the self-proclaimed heavy metal Mexican #mariachi trio styled as fast, furious flamenco fire, and the opening of Beach Burrito Company West End is a truly #singular occasion. It's an occasion that one can take away with them, whether leaving the doors with a takeaway burrito or a copy of Kallidad's independently produced and distrbuted album 'Whack'. The uniqueness of BBCo’s vibe and buzz and the penchant in finding such #exclusive entertainment is an indication of the thought BBCo has put into their brand, not to mention, a sign of good times on the horizon to come. So here's to the Sol and Patron: #Salud!

My co-food runner (does this word exist?) told me while we were working “you’re gonna love them!”. Well, I am usually very skeptical when someone tells me that and with good reason: I have been so many times disappointed by the fact that people believe I like shitty music (I know I am being arrogant). But some people tend to believe that singing barefoot, wearing monkey costumes, throwing in randomly some ukuleles or voices of children yapping can make a band cool (ok now I sound contemptuous).

Anyway, it took only two Spanish guitars and a cajon to turn my skepticism into complete admiration. Kallidad is an instrumental trio from Bondi which plays something I would describe as progressive-flamenco-metal-on-acoustic-guitars. On stage, they put on paint like some metal/hard rock bands, but leave out spandex attires. Thanks! (No offense KISS fans).

What they make is brilliant and dexterous. I am not a music expert but I can’t think of anything else but Rodrigo y Gabriela for the eclectic blend of flamenco, reggae, rock but with a stronger metal influence.It is maybe less technical than the Mexican duo, but there is more fiesta for sure. With their skeleton face paint, they even involved a captivated and dancing crowd in their melodic and feverish delirium, by performing guitar slides, picking and tapping, with everything they found at the bar from glasses to people’s hands. I just cannot believe they are not signed yet.

Having seen this three piece Mexican siesta band with faces painted in day of the dead style skulls at my very first AP, I was beyond excited to be in the audience in another one of their performances. Sometimes you hear something and without thinking, as though your body in being beckoned, you just have to get up and dance and feel the music, both as an individual and collectively in a room full of bodies. That night at the Oxford Art Factory, Kallidad had awoken a synergy that reverberated all over the room and could be felt from within the very depths of all of those who were on their feet dancing and really getting into the music. By the end of their set, the number of fans that they had increased by 600 and I have become one of them.

As stage time neared for headliners Kallidad the watchers and hearers ballooned in numbers. The freshly face painted trio were warmly greeted as old friends as they marched on stage to perform their Mexican magic. Fresh from their Fairbridge Festival success they continually improvise the recorded songs so you never really hear the same tune exactly twice over. This helps them to stay  fresh and enthused, and with Jackinko (Jason) forever on the move and Raven (Tom) gracefully gliding over the stage it’s also a show of movement and light. Senior Bang Bang (Jules) is also making more trips from the signature Boom Box to the drum kit so at times the sound fills out. His pulsing and rolling rhythmic style adding depth to favorites and new tunes alike.

Songs titles included “Poco Loco”, “Amigos! Glorious! Amigos! Victorious!”, “Glameretto”, and dedicated to WA “The Wild, Wild Western”. As well as being their last WA show of this particular tour leg it was their largest indoor venue to date. The light show of the Rosemount was nothing short of spectacular.

 The enormity of the event also touched the band. Several times Jason gave heart felt Thanks to everyone for making the effort to come out on a Wednesday night.

Kallidad were also joined by their famed Belly Dancing crew. The story was shared of how the acclaimed addition to the Kallidad party actually came about.

The Belly Dancing teacher and troupe leader, having seen them at Nannup in 2014, asked if it was OK to use their music as a backdrop for lessons. Being caring and sharing guys they gave the nod. So when they returned to WA there was a troupe of delectable ladies ready to gyrate, rotate and whirl with them on stage - if the offer was acceptable.

As you would expect, quicker than a mongoose up Senior Bang Bang’s trouser leg the offer was agreed to.

Such is the bond and dedication of all that one of the dancers, Sarah, spent her last night in Perth before departing for overseas adventures dancing on stage with the merry gang.

The one hour and thirty five minute set came to a close just before midnight with the crowd refusing to leave without one final encore. Heading back for their home town of Sydney the next day one can only hope Kallidad return soon. If the rumored Alice Cooper/Motley Crue support slot at the Perth Arena, 23rd May, gig doesn’t come off then hopefully it will be before the withdrawal symptoms become unbearable.

Now for the sad news. Just in case your wondering why there are no Kallidad pix supporting this review as I clicked the shutter for the first shot the battery died. The good news is the gig was being recorded for video!

With Kallidad shows magic happens!

The afternoon also included a sweet experience of helping connect the Mexican Death Fiesta Mayhem trio of Kallidad with Pirate 88 Freo. Subsequently being in the newly opened John Butler studio for a flamingo fast interview was a merited occurrence.

The buzz of the afternoon settled into the Youthopia stage for the unique recipe of Reggie, rock, jazz and folk of six piece youthful Raksha. The previous day they had the honour of being the first act for the opening of the John Butler recording studios in Fairbridge Village.

Preparing for the arrival of Pirate 88 Freo friends Kallidad I arrived at the Hoopla stage with The Rouges in mid-set. The volume of the rebellious audience was only matched by the fiery passion of the performance of the onstage posse. It was dancing-beer-hall atmosphere that had the volume turned up. I wonder if Kallidad were a tad nervous at following such an exploding presentation?

The audience thinned and were replaced in numbers as the death masked trio strolled on keen to let their music do the talking. Their six string draw being as fast as any famed Western gun slinger. They rampaged through their set with the high volume dancing audience reaching decibel limits that must have heard in Pinjarra. A performance that placed Kallidad in a leading position to be voted “Best Performer of the Festival”.

Kallidad’s crazy mexicarnivale hits SEQ

Kallidad - web

Kallidad is Sydney’s answer to flamenco-fuelled fiesta with a generous dose of Mexicarnivale culture thrown in for good measure. The three-piece have been touring the country with festivals and headlining gigs from east to west (some of them sold out) as well as a bunch of dates with Gold Coast’s Tijuana Cartel.

If you haven’t seen or heard their music before, it’s worth the google effort. The name of their soon to be released album Death Fiesta hints at the style of music they’ve added their own flourish to.

So before you read this Q+A I strongly recommend you youtube the hell out of Kallidad, because it’s hard to describe their schtick in words – let’s just say they take the whole Dia de Los Muertos thing to a whole new level, even though they tell me they’ve never been to Mexico. Anyway, I got the chance to exchange a few words with Jason Contos (guitar) from Kallidad before they hit the east coast.

 

The whole Dia de Los Muertos thing – is there any special significance for you all?

No actually! Just as a one off we asked a facepainter to decorate our faces for a single gig. She chose the Day of the Dead cause she thought it matched our music. It was only meant to be a single show- but it stuck! Like many things about this band, it was random and unplanned!

Where did you learn to play that flamenco style guitar?

The first time I saw a flamenco guitarist, he showed me four chords, a strumming pattern, and told me to listen to Rodrigo y Gabriela. Gabriela has an instructional DVD where she explains the crazy strumming technique. Since then we have just been musical magpies- borrowing from everywhere.

 

How do people react to your live show when they see it for the first time? 

They always say “I wasn’t expecting that!”

 

Your last Queensland tour was a complete wash-out. Tell me what happened? 

A cyclone threat led to multiple gigs being cancelled…. we ended up holing down in a rental flat for three days, unable to leave due to weather, writing a new song! It sucked but we laughed a lot!

 

Why aren’t you coming to the Gold Coast on this tour? 

Plenty of the gigs are an easy drive from the Gold Coast! It’s always a bit of a zig zag when you tour and you can’t be everywhere at once! We’ll play Gold Coast proper next time!

You started out busking in Sydney – how important is that street performance grounding?

I believe it is the single best thing you can do.

 

What advice would you give to young musicians starting out? 

Dont be solo, be in a band. And busk!

 

What’s the one question you were hoping I’d ask you?

Would you like a ride in my spaceship?

Alla loro seconda volta al Buskers Festival sono invece i Kallidad, gruppo australiano che nella passata edizione del festival, ha vinto il contest “Vota il tuo musicista preferito”. Cosa vi piace di più di questo Festival? «Veramente, ci piace ogni cosa di Ferrara. Il pubblico, lo staff del Festival e tutte le performances. Abbiamo avuto un ottimo riscontro a Ferrara, e naturalmente torniamo volentieri. Anche le altre performances nelle altre città, come Lugo e Comacchio, sono fantastiche!», risponde Jason Contos. Che musica proponete? «Un mix di flamenco con heavy metal e molti altri suoni, come soul e funk». Siete buskers anche in Australia? «Lo eravamo, ora ci esibiamo in club e festival. Quest’anno ci siamo esibiti in club e bar della Nuova Zelanda, e in novembre andremo in Giappone!», spiega Jason, che conclude «la musica è un modo per connettersi, anche a un livello che va oltre la nostra realtà visibile».(v.c.)

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