12

A Bright 2006 Ahead

Tonight is a night that a lot of Breed 77 fans have been waiting for. Breed have said that this is a tour for the fans and that before any review copies are sent to the press that fans should hear everything first. It's an intimate tour. It's the first time anyone will publicly hear their new material. It's a chance to stand in a venue the size of most people's living room and it's also the last night of the tour. Hours before the band have even sound checked desperate ticket touts stand outside trying to buy anything remotely resembling a ticket that they can get their hands on. If all the hype is anything to go by then tonight's going to be a good night.

Thirty minutes after the scheduled start of the set, Breed 77 walk out to start their first new song which is packed with energy and the perfect mix of classical Spanish metal that is key to Breed's success. Whilst the front couple of rows may jump courteously most of the crowd remain sadly still during the set for a song that, in such a small venue, provides an absolutely immense atmosphere for the rest of the night.

As the band move to "Alive", the new single due for release on June 12th, a slower and more melodic start manage to remain perfectly juxtaposed with a series of thrashing guitar chords and an awesome solo in a way that only Breed 77 can manage. Moving along to "World on Fire" the crowd become motivated with a classic track with a large pit opening immediately in the sold Barfly crowd as fans lurch towards the stage during the chorus and a photographer fends for his life (and camera) as person after person surges towards him.

Tonight's gig is meant to be a simple show. It's meant to be just Breed 77. the crowd and some instruments. There is no Breed 77 backdrop, there are no huge stacks of amps and there is no security barrier. This is just Breed 77, PA, crowd. It's dirty. It's in your face and it's certainly a one off.

Moving in to another new track, "Empty Words", the song starts with a drum-less introduction which slowly opens up in to a powerful and melodic chorus. This is the kind of song that could easily become a festival anthem in the future. With the next new song being introduced as "a song you can go crazy to even if you don't know" a mini pit opens as a courtesy but soon fades out. It may have some moments of fantastic axe-work but this certainly isn't the best song of the night even if the crowd and band seem happy with the performance.

The night moves along with a lot of new material. The next song is introduced as "and now for something completely different" with an acoustic start that is somehow reminiscent of a cheesy American western soundtrack mixed with instrumentals and solos. This track brings huge cheers and it seems that the crowd are finally getting in to all of the new material.

After five new tracks and only one old song most fans at most gigs would now be bored but Breeds new material manages to remain distinctly different from track to track without giving the impression that the band have no sense of direction. They've taken the best of all their old material and seem to have focussed the best aspects for the new album, "In My Blood (En Mi Sangre)".

As another new song, "So You Know" starts the London crowd is asked if they can beat the might Tunbridge Wells crowd. With another mix of acoustic and electric guitars (being skilfully switched between and worn at the same time) it's another strong song which is followed by Cultura's "A Matter of Time".

Spanish guitars, classic influence and metal are not three things usually mixed as it would normally sound like the aural equivalent of a fifty pence cocktail, but it's the fact that Breed manage it that makes them something special and that shows they aren't going away any time soon.

"Blind" then follows with a catchy sound that causes the evening's first, but certainly not last, crowd surfer who then stage dives back to his friends. This is followed by another new track. At some point in the last 30 minutes the crowd have suddenly changed. There are no longer any polite nods, no more courteous clapping and no more quiet parts of the crowd. This has all been replaced with a sense of hysteria that leads in to the last new track of the evening, "Remember That Day" that, thanks to innovative instruments, somehow seems to fit best in to the ever popular Spanish-country-redneck-metal genre.

As the last song, "La Ultima Hora", is introduced everyone is also told that they're being given a limited edition tour-only box set as a thank you for coming tonight. With the crowd now a fluid mass of people this song is the euphoric end to a night like no other for any Breed 77 fans. Crowd surfer after crowd surfer ends up on the stage and then dive back in to the crowd. One person gets thrown so high they hit the lighting rig. One person ends up stage diving and ending up being crowd surfed backwards to the bar. It's certainly going to be a night that they remember.

If tonight is anything to go by then Breed 77 are going to come back with force this year and it shows no signs of slowing. From tonight's preview it looks as if Breed 77 are not only back, but that "In My Blood (En Mi Sangre)" is going to be one of the best releases of 2006.