The Band

THE IRLASTICS (aka The Fantastic Irlastic Band)

Formed in 2013, The Irlastics were the creation of Kevin Abbott, an Englishman who ran music bars in the Costa Brava town of Sant Feliu de Guixols. Part of his strategy to support new music was a jam session, but different from those at the normal jazz and blues venues in and around Girona. This jam session was for the people, it was going to be fun, open to anyone who had an acoustic instrument, even if they couldn’t play well, it would be in the spirit of Punk, but an earlier version of rebel music called Skiffle.

Gradually the session grew, with acoustic guitars, Contrabass, Dobro, Teachest Bass, Washboard, Saxophone, Ukulele and Accordion. They played Gospel, Delta Blues, Celtic and Punk songs, in fact anything easy to play and sing along with. Many people would gather on the bar terrace to watch the Jam and soon the Jam became a show. Many local bars were asking for The Irlastics to play for parties and celebrations.

In 2016 Brava Hotel Group gave The Irlastics a contract to play weekly at their Hotels during the summer season, Further contracts followed with Campsites and Bars. At this point it was necessary for the Irlastics to consolidate and the band became the six piece ensemble that you see today. These contracts benefitted the Irlastics greatly and at the end of the first season the band were playing very tightly indeed and also developed the show further with some self written songs, one of which “Sant Feliu ooo ooo ooo oooo” has become the anthem of the town and was the song of carnival for 2019. A further successful summer season in 2018 gave the irlastics the financial ability to record and release their first EP, ‘Skiffle Catalunya’. The EP was recorded at Cal Pau Recordings, sant pere molanta and Unltramarinos, Sant Feliu de Guixols. Produced by Santi Garcia and mastered by Victor Garcia.

The Irlastics are incredibly versatile, They have the ability to appeal to a wide range of live music lovers and are as much at home playing a grungey club venue as they are on a Hotel Terrace. The Irlastics seem to have a unique ability, whatever, whoever and wherever the audience, they will win them over, every time! With 3 highly successful UK tours and many festival appearances under their belts The Irlastics are becoming increasingly popular in both Catalunya and the UK.

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The Show & The Music

The Show

A highly energetic show lasting 90—120 minutes with lots of humour, audience participation, and a style of music that is guaranteed to have everyone on their feet dancing and singing along.

There is no planned choreography, everything is totally spontaneous and at times chaotic, which adds to the appeal of this talented band. Audience participation is a big part of the show, sing-a-longs, shoutbacks and yodelling. Percussive instruments are handed to the audience, the whole show is about enjoyment and good music

The Songs

The Songs are Carefully selected and not what you would normally expect. A selection of covers and self penned songs.The style of music is ‘Skiffle’ (an acoustic based genre, pre Rock ‘n’ Roll born in the Uk in the 1950’s) Modern Songs are included in the set as well as Folk, Blues, Country and Gospel classics. All of the songs are upbeat and simple, designed to engage the audience and keep them well entertained. Should I Stay or Should I go (Clash), Anarchy in the UK (Sex Pistols) are featured songs as well as their own take on traditional Habaneras, Irish Folk, Country Classics, Bob Dylan, Pete Seager, Pogues and Mano Negra. The selection compliments their own self penned efforts that often get a better audience response than the aforementioned cover versions. With a whole host of new material in the pipeline from Kevin Abbott, who has enjoyed radio play all over the world, notably from John Peel, Steve Wright, Danny Baker and Chris Evans (BBC Radio 1). The Irlastics are at the most exciting point in their Career.

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Band Members

Band Members

Kevin 'Fat Punks Not Dead' Abbott – Accordion and lead vocals and a prolific songwriter – With nearly 40 years experience as a front man, Kevin knows how to handle any audience, a great voice and a seasoned musician; having previously fronted ‘Macavity’s Cat’ and played with the likes of The Head and The Housemartins. Kevin now lives in Catalunya having formed the ‘Irlastics’ in 2014.

Oso Segura Melero – Contrabass/Ukebass – A prominent Catalan multi instrumentalist who has played professionally for nearly 20 years, more recently playing with ‘Llops de Mar’ (a high profile habaneras group). Oso also plays Guitar and Saxophone.

Emilio 'Boy Wonder' Ortiz – Guitar – Emillio is an accomplished Flamenco and Rhumba Guitarist who plays with great passion, power and flair.

Jaume 'Chocar' Hernandez - Drums & Zob Stick, With a set of drums resembling a car crash. Jaume is a powerful punk style drummer with great technical ability.

Roberto 'Gonzo' Sanchez – Resonator Guitar – A true Blues specialist and Bottleneck Blues supremo who is French (please don’t hold this against him!).

Adam Del Pueblo Smith – Saxophone/Vocals – Soaring Sax Solos and his Gravelly voice make Adam an important part of the show. A former Butlins Redcoat, Adam really knows how to handle an audience!

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Live Gigs

25/10/19 – Live at The London Bus Cafe

This will be a great gig at The London Bus Cafe, close to Castelló d’Empuries. Next to the golf course, with great food and company, plenty of room to dance, let the kids run around, and to have fun! This is our second visit, and judging from the last time, we will enjoy a great…

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11/10/19 – Mas Pi, Verges

With great food and a lively atmosphere until late, why not join us a Mas Pi? There will be plenty of dancing and audience participation as usual – what a great way to spend a Friday night! The restaurant is open from around 19:00 and there will be a DJ playing tunes after the gig,…

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04/10/19 – Bar Casa Irla, Sant Feliu de Guíxols

Going back to our roots for a concert at Casa Irla, in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, where we used to jam a few years back. Come and join in the fun! Bar Casa Irla is under new direction, and we hear that the food is delicious. The restaurant is open from around 19:00. Friday 4th…

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The Name

The band name ‘The Irlastics’ is derived from the name of Josep Irla and the locale, Casa Irla, where the group of local musicians spent much time having jams and practice evenings and went on to form the band.

Josep Irla lived in Sant Feliu de Guixols with his parents who ran the locale in Carrer de l'Algavira. Josep Irla i Bosch; 24 October 1874 – 19 September 1958 was a Catalan businessman and politician, He was a deputy in the Parliament of Catalonia and the Spanish Congress in 1932, as an Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya affiliate. He was also the last President of Parliament of Catalonia at the end of Republican Catalan resistance in the Spanish Civil War, before Francisco Franco abolished the Generalitat of Catalonia. He was elected President of the Parliament of Catalonia on 1 October 1938. In office, Irla pushed for cooperation with the allies, Basque nationalists and other anti-Francoist groups, though excluding the communists. He became the President-in-exile of the Generalitat after Lluís Companys was executed. During his time as President-in-exile, he established a Government in exile, and appointed Josep Tarradellas as Conseller en Cap (Prime Minister). He resigned as President in 1954.

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Recordings

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WTF Is Skiffle Music?

Skiffle is a form of music first heard in the early 1950's from The UK and America. This was the music of the poor, played on homemade and inexpensive musical instruments. Rock and Roll was born from Skiffle and the genre is one of the most important in history.

The origin of the English word “skiffle” which, in the dialect of the South West of England means ”to make a mess of any business”, is attested from 1873. It has been estimated that in the late 1950s, there were 30,000–50,000 skiffle groups in Britain. Sales of guitars grew rapidly, and other musicians were able to perform on improvised bass and percussion in venues such as church halls and cafes and in the flourishing coffee bars of Soho London, without having to aspire to musical perfection or virtuosity. A large number of British musicians began their careers playing skiffle in this period, and some became leading figures in their respective fields. These included leading Northern Irish musician Van Morrison and British blues pioneer Alexis Korner, as well as Ronnie Wood, Alex Harvey and Mick Jagger; folk musicians; Martin Carthy, John Renbourn and Ashley Hutchings; rock musicians Roger Daltrey,Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Robin Trower and David Gilmour; and popular beat-music successes Graham Nash and Allan Clarke of the Hollies. Most notably, the Beatles developed from John Lennon's skiffle group “The Quarrymen”. Similarly, the Bee Gees developed from Barry Gibb's skiffle group “The Rattlesnakes”.

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