After reopening the Bar, we had a fantastic Autumn as the Granite City got in full swing! The team managed to catch Gypsy Roots after their brilliantly successful set at Alt-Fest. With their latest members: Isaac, Chris, Johnny (of Bliss), Paloma, and Joseph, we had a great natter to get to know them better from their music and how they experiment with their styles musically and politically.
Krak: So, Just finished an amazing gig at Alt-Fest with the fantastic Gypsy Roots Band at Krakatoa Aberdeen! How are you guys doin’? How was the thrill of it all?
Paloma: always so much fun! It was awesome, good to be back in Krak. It’s been two years.
Krak: Two years?! How did you guys cope with the Pandemic, what did you do over that time-space?
Issac: It wasn’t too bad, we had our flat, and practised there… When Covid restrictions went down, we jammed, hung out in my spare bedroom which was really good because I was able to learn all the songs, then we moved into the living room where we practised all the time rather than buy a practice space.
John: Which helps a lot.
Issac: totally chill environment at home, Chris the drummer lives with me at home as well so it was chill.
Chris: It was a rollercoaster… like… with restrictions so when we could jam.
Joseph: Always challenges.
Krak: Well I can tell ya, it was certainly a good show tonight so give yourselves a pat on the back like check you’s!!! you’re back!
Krak: Who are the original OGS and who thought of kickstarting Gypsy Roots?
Paloma: I used to run events in Aberdeen called Abedontique and had a Reggae band come to Aberdeen and we needed a support band so I thought “Oh hey guys! let’s form our own support band!” so it was me, Joseph, Chris, Liam and AJ and then John replaced AJ later on.
GR: So we had a month to play songs for Tunnels… worst gig ever. [Laughs]
Paloma: Chris was on keys at the time, Liam was on drums, and Chris had this keyboard, y’know it had those background tunes that come with it, like the cheesy….yeah
Krak: Oh no!
Joeseph: Yes! so halfway through the gig, Tunnels and the next room and the next band were really loud also we heard this drumbeat and it was playing through the song! So we swapped the band about… kinda hectic
Krak: Challenge accepted though! Considering how reggae is a very political music genre historically, and your Instagram page seems political, is that just part of the territory or is that something you are into? You’re part of different co-operative groups outside the band, and your songs do give out positive and powerful political statements.
Paloma: For me- I can’t write about anything else! That is something I’m really, really passionate about so if I’m not into it, can’t write about it like “love” I can’t as it’s really really cringey.
Isaac: we all have a very similar view of the world which does connect us as friends and as bandmates. Really feel very happy to be part of the statement and the band.
Paloma: Family man.
Issac: It’s so rare to see that on a lot of bands as it is very difficult, but we all fit and we’re all good friends too.
Krak: How do you feel about playing at Krakatoa? As we do have similar political interests and viewpoints, how do you guys feel about being here?
Isaac: It’s our home.
GR: For a whole year, we played at Krakatoa once a month or even every second month.
Krak: What is your favourite drink here by the way?
Issac: I like the Tropical Cider, the lilies one?
Krak: Oh Yes! We have that on rotation!
Joseph: My best and least favourite drink is the Zombie Pirate. [Laughs]
GR: Does the job, it does exactly what you need it to do which is to get drunk.
Paloma: I LIKE ANYTHING WITH RUM!
Krak: Well our cocktails are all rum-based, have you tried them?
Paloma, Yes, I’ve tried the Zombie.
Krak: Have you tried our 1883’s?
Issac: Oh yes! The one with the strawberry in the middle? That was good memories with that, the bowls for them were ace! I’m surprised they haven’t broken yet!
Krak: Touch wood! [Laughs]
John: Proper shoutout to you guys though, you do really good absinthe!
Krak: Thank you so much for your time guys! Especially so last minute. Hope you guys come play again here very soon.
John: Thank you very much for talking to us!
Check them out on Instagram and Facebook!