It was supposed to be a seated concert but a capacity crowd of 1,500 people were up and dancing when The Gipsy Kings played at Cambridge Corn Exchange on Monday, July 9.
I could say they received a storming, standing ovation but who could tell. The audience was already on its feet. They danced in the aisles and they stood up swaying in the rows of seats. The music was irresitible.
Happily, the band is still mostly the original line-up of some 25 years ago, with several of the Reyes brothers, up to seven guitars, the rhythm guitarists with their hands moving so fast they were a blur, drums, percussion, and keyboard. It’s a big sound, full-bodied Spanish, warbling and hollering and always rhythmical. There is an unmistable beat and that’s why you can’t keep still listening to it.
Numbers like Bamboleo and Bem Bem Maria brought out the Latin in all of us.
The band came on at 9am playing for an hour and a half and the atmosphere at the venue was like a party. The doors to the foyer bar stayed open so people could come and go to buy drinks though mostly the audience was transfixed with the music.
The support band was The Americans, a roots rock band of drums and guitars from California fronted by the impressive voice of Patrick Ferris. Founded in 2010, they are big in Los Angeles and likely to get bigger on this UK tour.
After stomping, stamping, calls for an encore which could not be denied, The Gipsy Kings gave us the Italian ballad Volare (I’m flying) Cantare, (I’m singing) “No wonder my happy heart sings, your love has given me wings”. Everyone joined in the chorus and the venue rocked with happiness.
“I love you” said Gipsy front man Nicolas Reyes. It was mutual. It really was a buena noche.