Hey Negrita are from South East London although their style is American country in the Johnny Cash vein. They can do funny and they can do sad and just about everything else in between. Singer Felix Bechtolsheimer moved to Florida to live with his uncle and overcome his heroin addiction. His time spent in a drug induced hell, the return to normality and the loss of his uncle and two close friends that precipitated the addiction is the inspiration behind much of the band’s material. Felix teamed up with an old friend Hugo Heimann to form Hey Negrita. They were later joined by drummer Neil Findlay and another multi instrumentalist Gus Glen.

This is one of those gigs where the support has been chosen to complement the main band, who are Alabama 3 doing their acoustic set. Alabama 3's front man Larry Love comes on to introduce them with a rap, in his laid back, totally stoned style. Hey Negrita appear to be enjoying their set. They are a little nervous at first, but once they realise the crowd is on their side they start coming on all smiles and messing about with one another. Despite his traumatic recent past, Felix appears to have moved on and even the bleaker songs are accompanied by a jokes and a big grin.

As the room fills up, people move down to the front and dance along to them. They are well received and their obvious joy is infectious. Hopefully we’ll see more of Hey Negrita over the coming months.

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Commenting On: Academy, Manchester, 28/10/2006 - Hey Negrita

ie London, England

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