By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]
When Pedro Frias started his band in 2004, it was just himself on guitar and an accordion player. Now, six years later, the band has grown and transformed into an ensemble of eight permanent members of all nationalities who play a unique blend of world music with a Celtic twist.
Pedro Frias told the Algarve Resident: “When we first began, we were essentially an instrumental group but, as new members have joined, our sound has developed to what it is today.”
The band, who will be headlining the opening evening of the Fatacil in Lagoa on August 20, have a truly international background with Portuguese, British, Dutch, Brazilian and German members and have created new sound heavily influenced by the introduction of singer Ilze van Zanten, who joined the band three years ago.
“Ilze is a great singer and songwriter and her lyrics, all in English, fit perfectly with our sound. Now we have three female vocalists who create harmonies, working almost as another instrument within the group,” said Pedro.
With so many permanent members and a huge list of guest performers who regularly join the group at different venues, the band has become a melting pot in the Algarve for talented musicians drawing on the talents and influences of all the members in a collective creative process.
However, the band manages to successfully combine all these different elements to be able to create a cohesive, yet unique sound.
Pedro Frias said: “The music has a very Iberian sound combining Portuguese styles with Flamenco and world music, and it is very accessible for audiences with 50 per cent of all our music now having lyrics complementing the instruments.”
He added: “We chose to sing all our songs in English as it is a more accessible language and we are able to connect with a larger audience because of this.”
Backing singer Mandy Davies, who has been working to develop the harmonies within the group, said: “The music appeals to people of all ages and whether you are five years old or 75, often we find audiences can’t help but clap, dance and join in as we perform.”
She added: “We have combined all the nationalities, sounds and influences and have used these ingredients to come up with our own musical recipe that everyone is able to enjoy.”
With such an international sound, the band are hoping they will be well supported in their concert at the Fatacil: “Apart from the Australian Pink Floyd and David Fonseca, we are the only act who will be singing in English at the Fatacil this year. We will be including special guests such as Beto Kalulu, while also incorporating fire dancing and fireworks into our performance on the main stage, so don’t miss it!”
The Pedro Frias band will be on the main stage at the Fatacil on Friday, August 20 from 10.30pm.
Entry to the Fatacil costs five Euros per person and includes admission to all the stands and exhibits as well as the live performances.
For further information about the Pedro Frias Band or to download music for free, please visit www.pedrofriasband.com (available in Portuguese) or follow the band via their facebook page at www.facebook.com/pedrofriasband