What happens when a large family of musicians in a very successful group have talented musical siblings coming of age who want to join their parents in the family business? If the family is as big as the Gipsy Kings with 8 founding members from the same family one can imagine the drama that would unfold. And unfold it did for the Gipsy Kings. At the end of 2014 the band split into two camps with Nicholas Reyes and his cousin Tonino Baliardo in one claiming the name Gipsy Kings while the brothers Andre, Patchai and Pablo Reyes organized a new group and also laid claim to the name.
With the success of Gipsy Kings giving value to the name it is not surprising that the split was not without ill feeling and fighting over that name. Both parties had rights to it and both parties felt entitled to its benefits. The fact that Nicholas, Andre, Patchai, Pablo were brothers added to the friction. Then again, there was no way a band of such size could incorporate another influx of members who were siblings and talented ones at that. Something had to give.
The Gipsy Kings management with Nicholas and Tonino carried on with booking the Gipsy Kings as if nothing happened leaving the three Reyes brothers looking for help. They turned to a long time fan and a top manager they knew from having done some shows with Sting, Miles Copeland
. It was also useful that he could speak French reasonably well and maintained a residence not far from Arles where they lived. Copeland, quickly convinced them that fighting over the name could be a long drawn out affair and that there was some advantage in starting afresh with a new name. Besides, with the internet and development of social media it would not be hard to attract the fans they had helped to build while in the Gipsy Kings.
Emotions ran high so it was not an easy sell but in the end it was agreed that going with a new name was the best course of action even though musically there would be a great similarity in the music they would both be performing. Gipsy Royale was born with Miles Copeland officially taking on the management and challenge of taking them to market.
The Reyes brothers were joined by a son from each, Thomas, Tambo and Petite Canut keeping with the Gipsy tradition of a family affair as well as an extraordinary lead guitarist Mario Regis. Several members of previous Gipsy Kings backing bands also joined the new line up, notably Xavier Padilla on bass. That made an impressive musical entourage of 11 players on stage with all the Reyes family members also on vocals.
The group records its first album this May with noted producer Greg Wells (Adele, Katie Perry, Mika to name a few) set for release September 2015.
Look for them soon on tour soon
The Gipsy Royale members | Photo: Archives |
The story of GIPSY ROYALE is almost identical to the story of the Gipsy Kings as Reyes brothers Andre, Pablo and Patchai were founding members of that band from 1978 until the end of 2014. The Reyes brothers were originally part of a group formed by their famous flamenco father Jose Reyes, a ?gitano? who fled Catalonia in the 1930?s Spanish Civil War. Born in Arles, France the brothers retained their Spanish/Catalonian culture which always played an important part in their music. Very much a family or extended family affair the members of the Reyes family and cousins eventually morphed into the Gypsy Kings and took the music to worldwide success with its rumba flamenco style mixing pop influences and traditional Romani melodies. Though they sing mostly in Catalan and Spanish it was always with a passion and emotive style that transcended language.
A dispute at the end of 2014 led the Gipsy Kings to split into two camps with some confusion as all the eight original members had rights to the name Gipsy Kings. Three of the Reyes brothers and original Gipsy Kings, Andre, Pablo and Patchai Reyes were joined by three sons, Tambo Reyes (son of Patchai), Thomas Reyes (son of Andre) and ?petite? Canute (son of Pablo) and guitar virtuoso Mario Regis to form a new band. Also several musicians of the Gipsy Kings backing band headed by Xavier Padilla rounded out the group. They secured long time Police/Sting manager and music icon Miles Copeland as manager who advised against a long drawn out battle over the name Gipsy Kings, preferring a fresh start with a new moniker. GIPSY ROYALE was the name chosen to launch this new band and it officially launched on March 9, 2015.
Musically with such a membership it is not surprising that the sound of Gipsy Royale is very true to the sound that made the Gipsy Kings successful in the first place. As Andre Reyes says, ?we will remain true to our roots, that is who we are? The 7 acoustic guitars with classic gipsy vocals and a super backing band gives Gipsy Royale a stunning sound and exciting stage presence enabling them to present a show even more powerful than the Gipsy Kings from which they started.