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Das Contras

Music

Overview

  • Rock, funk, jazz and reggae band
  • Repertoire of their own compositions
  • 6-7 piece pop, soul, folk and latin band
  • Winners of the 2014 album of the year at the Scottish Jazz Awards.

Location

Based in Glasgow but play regularly throughout Scotland and across the UK.

Standard Set Times

  • Two 60 minute sets.

About this Act

Das Contras are a six-headed musical monster with a Latin temperament, a worldly attitude, two devilish horns and a rock n roll heart.

The Fife grown, Glasgow based band began as a duo and have grown into a 6 piece ensemble with Sher Watson (lead vocals, guitar), Dave Webster (trumpet, keys, backing vocals), Tony Courtney (sax, flute), Colin Walker (drums), Andy Chisholm (guitar), Sam Firth (bass) and Gerardo Ballesteros (percussion).

With an eclectic, original sound, the Das are a bit folk, a bit rock, a bit Latino and a bit reggae and just like their own music, their influences criss-cross genres and include Love, Manu Chao, Tiger Lilies, and The Specials among others.

The Das recently supported Terry Callier in Glasgow and shared a stage with him again at the prestigious Jazz Cafe in London (after receiving a personal invitation from the man himself).

Das Contras have played King Tuts, Queens Hall, Barfly, Cabaret Voltaire, Princes St. Gardens, RSAMD, Royal Concert Hall, The Ferry, Jamhouse and shared a stage with Marlena Shaw, Candi Staton, Acoustic Ladyland, Hobotalk and Derrick Morgan.

Das Contras were winners of the 2006 PRS New Music Award.

And don't just take our word for it - check out their press...

"Das Contras are a band of musicians from Fife in Scotland playing Folk-Funk-Jazz-Punk or something. Elegant and unusual Das Contras display venerable creative ability in their music, with distinctive composition and craftsmanship. They are rare carpenters with a distinct musical vision and spirit, at once eclectic and refined, brisling with improvised energy, a fusion of classical, jazz, reggae influences. Das Contras are a rarity and a prize. Give these guys a listen, you won't be disappointed." Scotcampus

"A refreshing change to guitar bands, their obviously studied dedication to their craft created layers of sometimes up beat jazz and reggae to despairing sadness. Think Ruben Wilson, gypsy violins, Miles Davies, filterless French cigarettes, The Bosstones, bull fighting and Ray Manzarek and you’ll probably wonder what the hell I’m talking about. There appeared to be a fairly large fan base with them and rightly so. It was not just a gig but a celebration and a chance to party. A joy to watch and even better to listen to." Live Music Direct

"Tonight's proceedings take a surreal twist when, about half way through Das Contras' set, a group of drunken cheerleaders crash into the venue and start chanting. To their credit, Das Contras don’t even flinch and continue about their unenviable task of making danceable, catchy jazz without borrowing heavily from ska and reggae. They manage it with gusto. Occasional Latin rhythms, the odd free form breakdown and a little piano weirdness mixed with probably the most impeccable musicianship The Loft has ever seen. " The Skinny

"Das Contras are a rare breed, gigging a unique soundscape that is dynamic and original but with familiar roots. This is a band that laps up the live environment and revels in getting feet from tapping to jumping." Nexus Live

"Das Contras- one of the most talented bands in Scotland. With an emphasis on trumpet and saxophone, they treated the Edinburgh audience to two John Martyn covers. " The Herald

"Das Contras kept the Jazz flowing with a funk twist. This six-piece from Fife combined Latin, reggae, jazz and funk to create an engaging set that helped the beer go down more smoothly. If your into bands like Ozomatli, Das Contras will not disappoint." Chris Torres

"Upbeat jazz combo Das Contras, whose number may be cut to a trio today, but this only highlights the virtuoso playing of their pianist and eternally smiling saxophonist. Lead singer and guitarist Watson’s vocals may make him sound like he’s from the barrios rather than Fife " The Skinny

"Blend folk, rock, latin, punk, reggae, shake them around a bit and take yourself off to a distant place and you've found their sound. And what a sound it is- they really are making some great music. " Music News

"Das Contras are beyond rational description. Irresistibly danceable, funky, with cracking tunes and unimpeachable musicianship. There's more to love than should fit on a stage." Is This Music?

"One of our favourites, Das Contras - a rabble-rousing blend of jazz, reggae and latin-tinged songs of love, hedonism and Fife." Get Into Trouble

"Das Contras! Normally I’d run a mile from anything remotely jazz-funk, but these guys made me confront my prejudices." Review

"Mixing rock, funk, folk and jazz, Fife band Das Contras are mesmerising live. " Martel Maxwell

"An absolute joy, and one of Scotland's hidden pleasures." Record

"High octane mix of Latin, funk and soul" The Scotsman

Set List


Lineup

  • This band is a 6-7 piece comprising of...
  • Sher Watson (Vocals, Guitar)
    Dave Webster (Trumpet, Keys)
    Tony Courtney (Sax)
    Andy Chisholm (Electric Guitar)
    Sam Firth (Bass)
    Colin Walker (Drums)
    Gerardo Ballesteros (Percussion)

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