This week I’d like to tell you about one of my most favourite local bands. I first saw them back in 2015 at the Festival Med, the festival that at the end of June (on a normal year) transforms the quiet historic backstreets of Loulé into a land of magic and wonder. There’s such joy to be found stumbling through these beautiful old streets with your friends, and the thing is, it doesn’t really matter if you manage to make heads or tails of the programme, or just let fate and your feet take you where they may - you are guaranteed to have an adventure. Over the years, so many brilliant bands from all over the world have played here, but rather ironically, the band that really struck a lasting chord with me (and my parents) is from Faro.
They are called The Mirandas and I found them playing at what has since become my favourite stage and favourite time. Those ‘in the know’ know that the early birds can usually catch a sunset show at this more hidden away ‘Bica’ stage. I first discovered this when I was drawn in off the cobblestones and into this open courtyard by the sound of an incredible passionate and powerful voice (interspersed with the occasional face melting guitar lick) singing “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die” from Johnny Cash’s, rather dark, ‘Folsom Prison Blues’. On stage with the ‘Bad Moon Rising’ above their heads was this young and (you could tell) slightly nervous band playing covers of their favourite rock & blues songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
“They call me the voodoo woman.. and I know the reason why” the deep, unique and soulful voice of the lovely Inês Miranda rang out as they started up again, and backing her up and playing “something that really cooks” was Ivo Ferreira, who is something of a wizard on guitar, especially towards the end of the gigs when he’s warmed up and really lets himself, and his fingers, go. Setting the tone of the evening was Luis Caracinha, who keeps up a beautiful baseline, and is particularly great at more intimate inside gigs where he rocks a massive double bass.
He and the mellow bearded beast-man on the drums, Ruben Azevedo, gel together like Fleetwood and Mac keeping up a rockin rhythm, and all the while Gabriel Costa is sat on the sidelines with his light fingers dancing around the keys and jumping in and out of the action.
All of them are very talented musicians in their own right, but it seemed to us, from the very beginning, that this was one of those rare situations where when this quintet come together to put their hearts and soul into this old music that they clearly love, there is no other way to describe it... a kind of magic happens.
Ever since we have been massive fans, going to see them play whenever we could, including at the Club Farense in Faro, at the Surf & Wheels festival at Faro beach and we even went all the way up to Castro Verde for a gig once. Unfortunately, they’ve been on a musical hiatus for the last few years and some of the boys went off ‘Riding a Meteor’ (their other band). But I’m delighted to say that they have “seen the light”, and in the words of ‘Joliet’ Jake Blues of the Blues Brothers, they are “getting the band back together”. And not just that, a month ago they released their first album, with all their own songs, called ‘All Those Yesterdays’.
The EP was produced by Vítor Bacalhau (another local blues & rock musician with lots of hair and otherworldly powers on the guitar) and they even released a music video for their first single ‘A Will Ready To Burst’ that you can look up on Youtube. They are opening for The Legendary Tigerman (great name, right?) at the Figuras à Rampa event (held at the Teatro das Figuras) on 26 August, in Faro (although the date keeps changing due to restrictions).
In the meantime, you can follow them on Facebook and get updates on the bands progress. It’s been a particularly hard time for artists lately and so it’s really wonderful and unexpected that The Mirandas are back and with their very own material this time. If you would like get a copy of their album, then you can ‘make it happen’ by following this link:
The Mirandas - A Will Ready To Burst (Official Music Video)